pre-conference workshops

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The Importance of US Military Cultural Competence

3 Hour Diversity CE Credit Event

Tuesday, October 22, 2019: 8:30AM- 11:30AM


The purpose of this course is to train mental health professionals in the tenets of military culture as it applies to clinical practice.  The course will review the impact that military culture has on clinical presentations and clinical care.  It will then introduce the components of military culture as identified in the cultural formulation interview (CFI) proposed for the DSM.  This will then be expanded into clinical vignettes where providers will have a chance to practice asking the questions that facilitate a cultural competent interview with a military member.  Finally, methods of assessing military cultural competence will be reviewed, as a method for measuring the success of efforts to improve military cultural competence in participants' own clinical programs.

Course Objectives:

At the end of this course, participants will be able to:

1.   Describe the impact that military culture has on help-seeking, presentation of illness, and treatment.
2.   Defend the use of the military appendix to the cultural formulation interview as a means of accounting for military culture in a clinical setting.
3.   Implement the use of the "military CFI" in common clinical scenarios.
4. Measure the success of interventions to improve military cultural competence via the use of the Assessment of Military Cultural Competence (AMCC) tool.  

Eric G. Meyer, MD, FAPA is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry & Neurosciences at the Uniformed Services University (USUHS).  He is an active duty Major in the U.S. Air Force. He currently serves as the Clinical Module Director for Neuroscience, a scientist at the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress, and as an attending psychiatrist on the Consultation-Liaison Service at WRNMMC while pursuing a PhD in Health Professions Education.  Dr. Meyer has received several national and international teaching awards for his work on the use of simulation, assessment design, feedback, and online learning.  Prior to teaching at USUHS, he served as the Medical Director for the 51st Mental Health Squadron and the chief of Combat and Operational Stress Control at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea.  Building on that operational experience, Dr. Meyer has taught Disaster Mental Health to coalition forces across the globe.  As part of this interest, he has also published extensively in military cultural competence – to include the development of an assessment of military cultural competence and a recent book on conducting mental health research in the US Army, which is now used as reference material for researches seeking funding from the MRMC/CDMRP.


Ethical Practice in Operational Psychology: Military and National Intelligence Applications

3 Hour Ethics CE Credit Event

Tuesday, October 22, 2019: 1:00PM- 4:00PM


The purpose of this course is to educate mental health professionals about the field of operational psychology and ethical practice in this subspecialty area. Familiarity with the APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct is strongly recommended prior to attending this course. The course will present the differences between operational and embedded/expeditionary psychology, briefly discuss the history of operational psychology, and delineate the most frequently occurring ethical challenges in operational psychology environments. Through a series of vignettes, ethical dilemmas will be identified, potential courses of action hypothesized, and probable outcomes discussed. In this way, attendees will obtain exposure to ethical decision-making in this area of practice.

Course Objectives:
At the end of this course, participants will be able to:

1.   Define the field of operational psychology and differentiate its practice from embedded/expeditionary psychology.
2.   Identify the most common ethical challenges in operational psychology environments.
3.   Demonstrate ethical problem-solving and decision-making through vignettes.

Carrie H. Kennedy, Ph.D., ABPP is a neuropsychologist with specialization in military psychology and aeromedical psychology. She is an active duty Captain in the U.S. Navy and currently serves as both Division Chief, Psychological Health Center of Excellence, Defense Health Agency and Specialty Leader, Navy Clinical Psychology. She received her PhD from Drexel University in 2000 and completed her neuropsychology postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Virginia in 2006. Previous duty stations include Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, VA, National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, MD, Naval Hospital Okinawa, Japan, Naval Aerospace Medical Institute, Pensacola, FL, Marine Corps Embassy Security Group, Quantico, VA, Naval Branch Health Clinic, Bahrain and she has deployed to Cuba and Afghanistan. She is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia, a Fellow of both the American Psychological Association (APA) and the National Academy of Neuropsychology, and serves on APA's Council of Representatives. Awards include the APA Division 19 Charles S. Gersoni Award and she is a two time Navy Psychologist of the Year winner. She serves on the editorial board of Psychological Services, has published six books on various military psychology topics and is board certified in both Clinical and Police and Public Safety Psychology.


Learning Community in Prolonged Exposure Therapy for PTSD

Monday, October 21 & Tuesday, October 22

The STRONG STAR Training Initiative is offering a competency-based training in Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE) for PTSD. PE is one of the most effective treatments for PTSD, and is recommended as a first-line treatment by clinical guidelines by the American Psychological Association, Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense. Extensive research has shown PE to be effective in reducing PTSD with civilians and veterans and with various types of trauma, including sexual and physical assault, combat trauma, natural disasters, and motor vehicle accidents.  PE is a time-limited, individual, cognitive-behavioral therapy, with treatment typically ranging from 8-15, 90-minute sessions. The key components in PE include, psychoeducation about the rationale for treatment procedures and the impact of trauma; repeated in vivo exposure to situations the client is avoiding because of trauma-related fear; prolonged (repeated) revisiting of the trauma memories; and processing where the therapist and client discuss new learning and changed beliefs about the trauma and symptoms. Through the processes in PE, and exposure to trauma related content, clients learn that thinking about trauma memories is not dangerous, that low risk situations that remind them of the trauma or feel unsafe as a result of the trauma are not dangerous, and that they can handle these situations and thoughts. As a result of the therapist helping clients to confront instead of avoid, PTSD symptoms remit and clients are able to expand their lives.

Mental health providers will enroll in the STRONG STAR Learning Community which consists of:

  1. Pre-Workshop Reading and Webinars

  2. 2-Day In-Person Workshop in Prolonged Exposure

  3. 6 Months of weekly phone case consultation

  4. Use of the Provider Portal including Webinar and Video resources on Advanced Practice Topics

  5. Organizational Consultation

Those interested may apply directly here:

Brooke A. Fina, LCSW, BCD is an Associate Professor and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker within the Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. She providers clinical and administrative services as a part of the STRONG STAR Consortium and the Consortium to Alleviate PTSD. Ms. Fina is Board Certified in Clinical Social Work by the American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work. She specializes in Prolonged Exposure (PE) for combat-related PTSD, providing training and supervision in PE. Ms. Fina oversees the development, implementation, and evaluation of all training curriculum for the STRONG STAR Training Initiative.

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

The CE credits provided by American Psychological Association are acceptable CE credits for the most licensed professions when licensees renew their license. It is our experience CE credits have been recognized by most professional state license boards. Please check with your board regarding the acceptability of the CE credit.

For more information regarding CE activities, please contact