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Synde Acks, Psy.D.

Synde Acks, Psy.D. is a clinical psychologist with over 24 years of experience assisting youth, young adults, couples, and families with symptom management. Her theoretical orientation is rooted in imaginal/archetypal psychology. While a firm believer in the imaginal process, techniques from cognitive-behavioral therapy modalities, short-term solution focused behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and mindfulness strategies are key components used in sessions for managing emotional suffering, structuring the therapeutic process, and minimizing time in therapy. Work history includes the provision of individual, couples, and family therapy treating the following: anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar/mood disorders, ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder, reactive attachment disorder, transitioning transgender youth, children of divorcing couples, adopted youth, avoidant youth, survivors of suicide, victims of bullying, trauma survivors, schizophrenia, personality disorders, and developmental transition challenges. Additionally, Dr. Acks has facilitated groups since 2000, specializing in topics including substance abuse treatment, assertiveness training, personal power, codependence, identity exploration, adventure therapy, women’s & men’s groups, vocational exploration, appropriate risk taking, and mental illness and symptom management. 

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Robbie Adler-Tapia, Ph.D.

Dr. Adler-Tapia, is a licensed psychologist who was previously a firefighter and emergency medical technician (EMT) before starting in nursing and moving on to becoming a psychologist. She is the author of “One Badge-One Brain – One Life: Preventative Maintenance and Brain Health Training for Emergency Responders.” And, she has multiple chapters and articles on working with Emergency Responders. Her workshop “Haunted” teaches therapists to work with Emergency Responders.

Dr. Adler-Tapia has additional expertise in EMDR therapy and working with children from infants to adolescents. She co-authored a book, “EMDR and the Art of Psychotherapy with Children: Infants to Adolescents,” and a second book “Child Psychotherapy: Integrating Developmental Theory into Clinical Practice.”

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Adam D. Alban, Ph.D., J.D.

Adam Alban has masters and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology from Michigan State University, as well as a law degree from American University in Washington, DC. He is licensed as a psychologist in California and is admitted to the California Bar.

Adam has advanced clinical training in neuropsychological assessment, general psychological assessment, the standard of care, geropsychology, and forensic evaluations. His publications include contributions to professional association publications, continuing education presentations, and he is the co-author of a book on testamentary capacity and undue influence.

Since 2007, the bulk of Adam's work has involved providing legal guidance and consultation to mental health practitioners, clinics, groups, institutes, hospitals, and behavioral health technology companies. He provides the full stack of legal services to clients throughout California on a wide variety of matters including license defense, deposition representation, practice formation, privacy breaches, clinical edge cases, and many other topics.

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Michael L. Alvarez, M.S., LMFT

Michael L. Alvarez offers 38 years of progressive experience in the study and application of behavioral sciences. Emphasis on both systems and business inter-relational conflicts. Accustomed to researching and conducting effective presentations relative to dependency issues. Professional background encompasses marital, family and child counseling, drug addiction, sexual compulsivity, non-violent sex offender behaviors, group and individual therapy. Co-founded establishment of inpatient and outpatient treatment settings, nationally and internationally. Fully familiar with contemporary administrative functions in such settings, including scheduling, business development, report preparation, and comparable organizational functions.

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William G. Austin, M.S., Ph.D.

William G. Austin, M.S., Ph.D.

Dr. Austin and Austin Child Custody Services provide a broad range of forensic services to attorneys and courts within Colorado and in other states. He is licensed in North Carolina. He provides services in other states only if permitted by state law. Almost all states allow out-of-state licensed psychologists to provide services on a temporary basis. Dr. Austin specializes child custody cases when there are issues concerning relocation and domestic violence/intimate partner violence.

Forensic evaluation services: Dr. Austin provides Child Custody Evaluations. In Colorado, custodial evaluations include Parental Responsibility Evaluation and Child & Family Investigator. All evaluations are neutral, impartial evaluations conducted with an appropriate court order. Parties involved in the litigation must sign a Statement of Understanding that describes issues involved in the evaluation, procedures, and fees.

Dr. Austin has adopted a new practice model for the forensic services of court-appointed expert Child Custody Evaluations (North Carolina) and Parental Responsibility Evaluations (Colorado), effective July 1, 2019.

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Rebecca Bailey, Ph.D.

Dr. Bailey received her doctoral degree from The Wright Institute in Berkeley, CA. Since 1995 she has focused on high conflict familial situations and parent coordination from a developmental perspective. She is former director of the Sonoma Police Departments Youth and family services program and was a therapist educator for programs such as Marin County's DUI Program. She continues to work with a variety of state and national organizations such as The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. She has served as a Special master and expert witness in cases were parental alienation or estrangement is an issue. For more information on Dr. Bailey please visit her website at www.transitioningfamilies.com.

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Uri Bergmann, Ph.D.

Uri Bergmann, Ph.D., is in full-time private practice, in Commack and Bellmore, New York. Dr. Bergmann is a past-president of the EMDR International Association (EMDRIA). He is an EMDR Institute Senior Facilitator and Specialty Presenter as well as an EMDR International Association Approved Consultant in EMDR. He is a lecturer and consultant on EMDR, the neurobiology of EMDR and the integration of EMDR with psychodynamic and ego-state treatment. Dr. Bergmann has authored and published articles on the neurobiology of EMDR in peer-reviewed journals, has contributed chapters to various books on EMDR and is the author of the books Neurobiological Foundations for EMDR Practice, and Neurobiological Foundations for EMDR Practice – Second Edition . He is a member of several journal editorial boards.

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Gitu Bhatia, Psy.D.

Dr. Bhatia has extensive experience working with individuals, couples and families. She provides psychotherapy, marital therapy, co-parenting, and mediation. Having worked as a family mediator for the Superior Court of Los Angeles for over 10 years, Dr. Bhatia has worked passionately to make the process of divorce, for the children and families, as humane and as emotionally safe as possible. Dr. Bhatia has co-developed an app (Divorceworks) for people going through divorce and separation to navigate their emotional journey.

Besides her private practice, she is an adjunct faculty member in the Graduate School of Psychology at Pepperdine University and volunteers as a Clinical Instructor at the David Geffen School of Medicine UCLA. She enjoys teaching and has conducted trainings for therapists, teachers, family law attorneys and judges on several subjects related to human development. Dr. Bhatia served as the President of Los Angeles Psychological Association in 2015 and completed 10 years of serving on the Board of Directors of LACPA in 2019. She has been a passionate supporter of raising awareness regarding issues of diversity.

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Susan Brown, LCSW

Susan Brown is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in private practice for 35 years in San Diego, CA. She specializes in the treatment of complex developmental trauma, addictions and other maladaptive behaviors. Her current focus is the integration of Internal Family Systems (IFS) informed processes within the EMDR therapy standard protocol. Susan was a Principal Investigator in a pilot study using an EMDR Integrated Trauma Treatment Program in an adult Drug Court. She has co-authored multiple book chapters and articles and presents specialty workshops on the application of EMDR therapy, combined with IFS, with this complex population. She has presented regularly at the EMDRIA conferences. She is an EMDRIA-Approved Consultant and Basic Training Facilitator for the EMDR Institute.

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Scott Browning, Ph.D., ABPP

Scott Browning, Ph.D., ABPP is a professor in the Department of Professional Psychology at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia. He is a noted authority on psychological treatment with stepfamilies and families on the spectrum. As a scholar, teacher and clinician, Scott has explored the intricacies of treating contemporary families, and has provided advanced training in the treatment of these diverse families to clinicians and graduate students both nationally and abroad. He is the author of numerous chapters and articles on the topics of: stepfamilies, empathy, co-dependency, Strategic Family Therapy, Family Therapy on the Autism Spectrum and family therapy training practices. Scott is a diplomate in Couple and Family Psychology and part of the clinical training team of the National Stepfamily Resource Center.

The stepfamily remains Scott’s original area of scholarship. Since 1986, Scott has been examining the dynamics of stepfamilies. This interest lead to his co-written book, (Browning & Artelt) Stepfamily Therapy: A ten step clinical approach (APA Books, 2012)

Scott has been awarded the Award for Distinguished Contribution to Research and Practice of Psychology from both the American Psychological Associations (Division 43) in 2017, and from the Pennsylvania Psychological Association in 2022. In 1994, Scott was awarded the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching.

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Cindy Carlson, Ph.D., ABPP

Cindy Carlson, PhD is a couple and family board certified licensed psychologist and professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin where she has taught graduate courses family assessment and intervention for thirty years.

She co-authored (with H. Grotevant) Family Assessment: A Guide for Researchers and Practitioners, and has published multiple book chapters and journal articles on the topic of family assessment with particular emphasis on the assessment of families with child and adolescent presenting problems.

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Dené Carroll, LCSW

For the past six years, Ms. Carroll has specialized in working with court-involved families, including co-parenting counseling, connection-focused/family therapy, and individual therapy for adults and children. She is the chair of the Sonoma County Mental Health Liaison Committee and volunteers for The Common Ground Society.

Prior to that, Dené worked for over twelve years as a child protective services social worker. Her various roles include dependency court investigator, family reconnection social worker, and emergency response social worker. Additionally, Dené has facilitated hundreds of child and family team decision-making meetings, and has trained hundreds of foster parents and mandated reporters.

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