The Wright Institute News & Events

Surf Circle Adapts to 2020

Surf Circle Adapts to 2020

When Surf Circle held its first session in February of 2019, founders Nathan Greene, PsyD, and Adam Moss, PsyD, were excited to hold in-person sessions with groups of adolescents navigating issues in their lives. After a successful first year, Wright Institute Clinical Psychology Program graduates Greene (class of 2017) and Moss (class of 2016), alongside their former mentors Christopher Arrillaga and Roberto Lascano have had to change their strategy as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alumni Spotlight: Paige Pires de Almeida, 2015

Alumni Spotlight: Paige Pires de Almeida, Class of 2015

“I feel so proud of the contributions I can make to help people reach their goals or create a more meaningful life,” says Paige Pires de Almeida, LMFT. “I feel so much gratitude that I’m able to do work that I love.”

A 2015 graduate of the Wright Institute Counseling Psychology Program, Pires de Almeida has spent the past seven years in the mental health field following careers in both the legal industry and technology/video game industry. This summer, she became an adjunct professor at the Wright Institute Counseling Psychology Program, and also teaches at Dominican University’s Counseling Psychology Program.

Student Spotlight: Allie Jackson

Student Spotlight: Allie Jackson

A few weeks before her graduation from the Wright Institute Counseling Psychology Program, Allie Jackson is reflecting on her past two years while looking ahead to her career as a clinician.
"I don't know if it's possible for a student to finish this program as the same person they were when they started," she says. "I feel like I've grown immensely in the past two years."

A Southern California native, Jackson studied Psychology and Spanish at San Diego State University. She applied her studies into on-campus experience in the social psychology research lab. "That experience with research was one of the primary reasons why I wanted to go into psychology," she says.

Get to know Rebecca Stevenson, PsyD - Assistant Program Director, Counseling Psychology Program

Get to know Rebecca Stevenson, PsyD - Assistant Program Director, Counseling Psychology Program

Rebecca Stevenson, PsyD, joined the Counseling Psychology Program administration as Assistant Program Director in June. She spoke with the Wright Institute's Dalton Green about how she became interested in psychology, her background in coaching, and how she uses cooking as a source of wellness.

Dalton Green (DG): How did you become interested in psychology as a career?

Rebecca Stevenson (RS) I got my start in the psychology world after spending many years coaching youth sports, as well as holding various positions in the corporate world. After getting laid off from a corporate job, I spent some time reflecting on what I actually wanted to be doing. As I worked more and more with kids through coaching, I felt I should pursue something where I could help the greatest number of people with the biggest platform possible.

Students from ReModel Minority Group present "No More Silence"

Students from ReModel Minority Group present "No More Silence"

Students from the Wright Institute Clinical Psychology Program's ReModel Minority Group collaborated with various community members to create "No More Silence", a message of Asian and Pacific Islander (AAPI) mental health awareness. The students spoke alongside contributors from San Mateo County Health Department's Chinese Health Initiative (CHI), the Filipino Mental Health Initiative of San Mateo County, and other community members. Third-year student and ReModel Minority member Shiyu Zhang, who served as a co-chair for CHI, helped to organize the efforts.

Theopia Jackson, PsyD '95 joins Congressional Black Caucus Panel

Theopia Jackson, PsyD '95 joins Congressional Black Caucus panel

Wright Institute Clinical Psychology Program alum and Association of Black Psychologists president Theopia Jackson, PsyD, participated in a panel hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus on Friday, July 24. The conversation, entitled "Black Mental Health in 2020: Speak Up and Speak Out," was hosted by Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), and discussed mental health issues facing the Black community brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and the nationwide protests following the murder of George Floyd.

The Wright Institute Clinic Launches COVID-19 Support Line

The Wright Institute Clinic Launches COVID-19 Support Line

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wright Institute Clinic has launched the COVID-19 support line. The support line is offering eight free counseling sessions via video conferencing or telephone for those affected most by the pandemic - healthcare providers, caregivers, parents, food services personnel, and more.

The line is staffed by Wright Institute Clinical staff as well as Wright Institute students currently completing practicum training. As some practicum sites have temporarily closed or limited their services, some students have had fewer opportunities to gain the hours of clinical experience that are required to pursue licensure after graduation. Working on the COVID-19 support line enables them to gain that experience while helping especially impacted and vulnerable populations. Student clinicians have already been assigned clients, and services have begun.

Alumni Spotlight: Ian Vianu, Class of 2014

Alumni Spotlight: Ian Vianu, Class of 2014

"I don't think there's ever been a better time in our history to get into the mental health field," says Ian Vianu. "There are so many different ways to help people, and those different ways are becoming more widely accepted every year."

A 2014 graduate of the Wright Institute Counseling Psychology Program, Ian Vianu has spent his career exploring different ways to help people. An East Bay native, Vianu studied psychology at UC Santa Cruz before working as a research assistant around the Bay Area. When deciding upon a graduate program for psychology, he wanted to stay local and find a program that would allow him to work while taking classes.

Congratulations to 2020 STAY Fellows!

Congratulations to 2020 STAY Fellows!

Four Wright Institute Counseling Psychology students have been accepted to the Services for Transition Age Youth (STAY) Fellowship through the American Psychological Association's (APA) Minority Fellowship Program (MFP). First-year students Erica Gallegos, Jillian McCoy, Katia Mosley-Muñoz, and Dominique Nguyen, are 2020 STAY Fellows.

The Fellowship assists students in training to provide mental health services to transition age youth (ages 16 through 25). "Transition age youth are a population who traditionally haven't been effectively served by psychologists and counselors," explains Ulash Thakore-Dunlap, LMFT, Wright Institute Faculty Member and Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

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