President’s Column
Lauren Muhlheim, Psy.D.

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We are honored to have APA President-Elect Thema Bryant, Ph.D. as our keynote speaker during our afternoon session. Dr. Bryant is a licensed clinical psychologist, a tenured professor at Pepperdine University, and a trauma specialist. Her presentation, Diverse Healing Pathways for Sexual Trauma Survivors, will outline the integration of culture and spirituality in sexual trauma recovery. This will be a presentation you will not want to miss.

Our lunch break will include our virtual Poster Presentations and a brief arts presentation showcasing the works of therapists who are also performing artists. The convention is also the time at which LACPA presents our annual awards. This year’s recipients include Gretchen Kubacky, Psy.D. (Distinguished Service to LACPA by a LACPA Member); State Senator Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh (Distinguished Legislator Award), and Carol Torcello (Lifetime Achievement Award).

Dr. Kubacky served on the LACPA Board of Directors from 2011-2014 and again from 2019-present. She has worn numerous hats in that capacity, including serving on the Executive Committee as Treasurer and, more recently, as the Editor of The Los Angeles Psychologist. I have been honored to work closely with her over the last few years and endorse the words of her nominator: “Gretchen Kubacky is a devoted LACPA member, but she’s also a great person. She brings intelligence, humor, vivacity, panache, and solid common sense to everything she does. As a LACPA leader, she sets a great example for distinguished service to our professional organization.” Dr. Kubacky has often gone above and beyond her designated roles in supporting LACPA’s agenda.

Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh (R - Yucaipa) is a native Californian born to Mexican immigrants. She began her first term in the California State Senate on December 7, 2020. In a short time, Senator Ochoa Bogh has done much to advance the cause of mental health and well-being in California. She has authored or co-authored several bills related to mental health, including SB-1428 (2021-2022), which expands the use of psychological testing technicians for psychological testing. Several of us lobbied for this bill at the most recent CPA Lobby Day this March. Her nominator noted that “Taken as a whole, Senator Ochoa Bogh has been a strident advocate for increased and improved access to mental health services in California, and is a worthy recipient of this award.”

Carol Torcello, our beloved director since 2017, retired in July 2022 after 31 years as a LACPA employee. We have honored her with a Lifetime Achievement Award for her many years of dedication to LACPA.

This is my last column as your second-longest LACPA president (Linda Bortell, Psy.D., who served as president from 2004 to 2005, holds the longest title). I look forward to enabling a smooth transition to Miriam Hamideh, Ph.D., who will assume LACPA’s presidency in January 2023. I want to thank all of LACPA’s Board Members who supported me during my one-and-a-half year term, especially David Laramie, Ph.D., Lynne Steinman, Ph.D., and Kenneth Skale, Psy.D., who supported me in the absence of a past-president, and Beth Leedham, Ph.D., who eagerly jumped into the role of chair of NEAC.