Dr. Lorraine Mangione, Professor of Clinical Psychology at Antioch University New England, is in the middle of chairing the annual convention of the Massachusetts Psychological Association (MPA). Despite the challenges of organizing in a new format, during the middle of a global pandemic, the convention so far has been a great success. Says Dr. Mangione’s colleague, Dr. Kathi Borden, “She was able to get amazing well-known (in psychology, therapy, and diversity circles) speakers/presenters, and attendance was even higher than last year.”
Beyond teaching in AUNE’s Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, Dr. Mangione has in years past planned multiple conferences, including the MPA Annual Convention. But this year was the first time that it would ever be held online—and it was Dr. Mangione’s first time organizing an online convention, which she did alongside co-chair Dr. Emily Mohr and MPA staff. She says that making this adjustment was “hard work and more than I ever expected.” Still, it was rewarding, especially as she was able to bring to the convention Dr. Christopher Muran and Dr. Janet Helms as keynote speakers. “The two keynote speakers are what I am most proud of, getting them here!” says Dr. Mangione. Dr. Muran gave a keynote talk about “Rupture and Repair: Negotiating Emotion and Difference” on November 14th. Dr. Helms will be giving a plenary presentation on “Clinical and Supervision Implications of White Racial Identity Theory” on Saturday, December 5th.
The pandemic, by forcing a digital format, has allowed the convention’s three days of workshops, lectures, and presentations to be spread over a Friday and two Saturdays, each on a different weekend. Whether because of this timing or because of eliminated travel and lodging costs, the convention has drawn increased attendance from prior years. Attendees have been able to learn from presentations like “Decolonizing Psychotherapy Spaces,” “Make it Right: Why It’s So Hard to Apologize and How To Do It Anyway,” and “Cultural Analysis, Conceptualization, and Treatment with Individuals with Trans and Gender Expansive Identities,” a talk given by Antioch PsyD graduate and core faculty member Dr. Katherine Evarts Rice ‘17. Another Antioch PsyD graduate, Dr. Carmela DeCandia ‘99, helped lead a presentation on the NEST online developmental screener. Each of these events can be taken for continuing education credits, which help psychologists and therapists maintain their licensing.