Over 40 Years of Service to the Mental Health Community

MaMHCA: Massachusetts Mental Health Counselors Association

MaMHCA's 32nd Annual Conference



-A Dynamic Guided Panel Discussion with Experts in Trauma Treatment

Moderated by Judy Bralove, LICSW


Caitlin Williams, LMHC

Nilda Laboy, PsyD (afternoon session by Paola Contreras, PsyD) 

Meg Connor, LMHC

Melissa Anderson, PhD, MSCI (afternoon session co-presented with Amanda Costa)

-Afternoon Breakout Sessions - Learn the Latest Techniques and Perspectives from the Panelists!

November 10, 2018

9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Registration begins at 8:30am

~6 CEs Available~


Crowne Plaza - Boston Woburn
Woburn, MA




Panel_Collage_UpdatedLatest Trends in Treating Trauma: A Dynamic Panel

Moderated by

Judy Bralove, MSW, LICSW


Caitlin Williams, MEd, LMHC

Melissa Anderson, PhD, MSCI

Nilda Laboy, PsyD

Meg O'Connor, MA, LMHC


This year MaMHCA is proud to present our Keynote Panel moderated by Judy Bralove, MSW, LICSW. The panel will consist of a dynamic discussion of latest trends and modalities in treating trauma in clinical practice, including Energy Therapy Techniques (EFT), trauma within multicultural and immigration populations, and mind-body interventions. In addition to review and discussion of each panelist's framework of trauma and it's treatment, case examples will also be discussed to provide the audience side by side perspectives in the different approaches. 

About the Moderator: Judy maintains a private practice and teaches graduate courses at Cambridge College in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her clinical experience spans 30 years and has included hospice work, emergency room evaluations, inpatient, outpatient, and correctional settings. Her clinical interests include personality disorders, couples and family therapy, and working with trauma survivors. She is described as a talented, high energy, enthusiastic presenter who often uses humor, practical hands-on material and case examples to illustrate her points.

Workshop_4_collageLeveraging Community Engagement to Adapt Evidence-Based Trauma Treatments:

by Melissa Anderson and Amanda Costa

This workshop will provide an overview of formal and informal approaches to incorporating the voice of individuals with lived mental health experience in the development and adaptation of trauma interventions (e.g., participatory action research, community-based participatory research). Specific examples of such community-engaged adaptation will be presented to illustrate these concepts, including the recent development a Deaf-accessible form of Seeking Safety, an evidence-based treatment for comorbid trauma and addiction.  

About the Presenters:

Melissa L. Anderson is a psychologist and clinical researcher in the Systems and Psychosocial Advances Research Center (SPARC), Department of Psychiatry, UMass Medical School. She completed her graduate work at Gallaudet University, where she studied intimate partner violence and trauma in the Deaf community. At UMass, Melissa provides individual therapy to Deaf clients recovering from trauma and addiction and conducts community-engaged research on best approaches for working with Deaf clients. She collaboratively leads SPARC's Participatory Action Research Initiative with co-presenter Amanda Costa.

Amanda Costa is a Project Director at the Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research located at UMass Medical School Department of Psychiatry, Systems and Psychosocial Advances Research Center (SPARC). Amanda provides support on multiple research studies focused on improving the education and employment goals of young adults with lived experience. Amanda travels nationally to help inform audiences about the importance of meaningful youth voice and partnership with young adults in research, and oversees the Transitions ACR National Youth Advisory Board, where she supports young adults across the nation in developing leadership skills and using their voices to change the mental health system.


Immigration and PTSD:

The Intersection and Impact on Trauma Treatment

by Paola Contreras, PsyD (See bio of Keynote Panelist Nilda Laboy, PsyD Below)

Immigration and Trauma have both been widely discussed recently as politics and immigration policies have brought debates about the psychological consequences of how immigrants are treated in the United States. In this workshop, Paola will discuss her perspective as an expert and experienced professional working with victims of human trafficking, political persecution, and also those seeking assylum in the United States. 


About the Presenter: Dr. Contreras is an Assistant Professor in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Department at William James College. For over ten years, Dr. Contreras has trained providers on the psychological consequences of trauma, including human trafficking, political persecution, and war. She is an experienced evaluator for individuals petitioning for asylum under a variety of U.S. immigration relief programs such as T-Visas, U-Visas, stays of deportation, and VAWA among others. At William James College, Dr. Contreras teaches classes on trauma, psychotherapy, research, and Latino Mental Health. Dr. Contreras is also the lead researcher of William James College’s Human Trafficking Community Research Hub, where she is the principal investigator on studies related to human trafficking in the United States. She formerly served as a co-chair of the APA’s Committee on Women in Psychology and was a member of the APA’s Task Force on the Human Trafficking of Women and Girls. Dr. Contreras received a psychology degree from Universidad Landívar in Guatemala City and a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology. She completed her clinical and research post-doctoral training at the Cambridge Health Alliance/Harvard Medical School’s Program for Psychotherapy. In 2014, Dr. Contreras was the recipient of the APA’s Emerging Leader for Women in Psychology award.

Keynote Panelist: Nilda Laboy, PsyD

Nilda_M_Laboy_2018_-_office About the presenter: Dr. Laboy is Associate Professor and Chair of the Counseling Department at William James College. She has close to thirty years’ experience providing evaluation and treatment of refugees and immigrants, including evaluations of individuals seeking asylum in the U.S. As an adjunct faculty of law with the Georgetown University Center for Advanced Legal Students, she collaborated with faculty attorneys and students involved in cases of asylum petitions, which included testifying in federal court. Dr. Laboy did her predoctoral internship and was a staff member at an inpatient evaluation and treatment facility on the grounds of St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington, DC that provided services to immigration detainees, mostly Cubans from the Mariel boatlift. In her practice in the Northern Virginia area, she provided assessment and psychotherapy services to refugees and immigrants, mainly from Central America. She has continued working with immigrants in Massachusetts, mainly those involved with the criminal justice system. In 2014, as part of her work with the federal Disaster Medical Assistance Team – MA1, she was deployed to Oklahoma for two weeks to evaluate unaccompanied minors during the massive immigration of that summer. At William James College, in addition to her administrative duties, she teaches courses in clinical practice (internship seminar), ethics, assessment, psychopathology and Latino mental health. Dr. Laboy has a PsyD in Clinical Psychology from Carlos Albizu University in San Juan, PR. She is member of MARIACES, ACES, ACA, MaMHCA, APA and MPA.


Mind-Body Interventions: 

EMDR, EFT, and Other Mind-Body Interventions with Trauma Survivors

by Meg Connor, MA, LMHC

This workshop will focus on a more in-depth review of using mind-body interventions, such as EMDR, Mindfulness, Yoga, DBT, Energy Psychology, and other modalities in clinical work with trauma survivors. 



About the Presenter: Meg is Associate Director of Field Training for the Division of Counseling Psychology at Lesley University since 2014, and has taught and supervised graduate counseling students at Lesley and Antioch for over 14 years. Her clinical experience includes colleges, community-based agencies, and private practice where her clinical specialty is working with trauma survivors using mind-body interventions. She was a founding staff member of the Kripalu Center, a holistic health center, where she remained on staff for 20 years.

Caitlin_WilliamsEmotional Freedom Techniques - EFT®: An Introduction and Review of EFT for Trauma Treatment

by Caitlin Williams, MEd, LMHC


Emotional Freedom Techniques or 'EFT®' is a powerful energy therapy that involves tapping on acupuncture points to relieve emotional distress. This technique is based on the belief that a disruption in our energy system is the cause of negative emotions. It has been shown to be very effective in the rapid treatment of phobias, anxiety, depression, PTSD and more. 

About the Presenter: Caitlin is a psychotherapist in private practice in Arlington, Massachusetts. She is a co-founder of 'Energy Therapy Associates' an organization for the purpose of training interested individuals and health care professionals in EFT. In their work, Energy Therapy Associates were trained in a variety of energy therapy techniques, and found that EFT has been the most user-friendly, both for the therapist and the client.