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June-July, 2020

Seminars & Announcements

Western Institute for Social Research (WISR)
A Premier Academic Institute for Social Change
Since 1975

2930 Shattuck Avenue, Suite 300, Berkeley, CA 94705

(510) 655-2830 

Look for our page and group on Facebook, also WISRBerkeley on Twitter.
Current newsletters with seminar descriptions, events and other announcements will be posted at  


Interdisciplinary Seminars & Events:
Online only unless otherwise notified

Sat 6/13, 10am-12pm Guatemalans Under The Pandemic (Pandemia) In East Oakland

Sat 6/27, 10am-12pm Racist Policing: A Panel Discussion

Sat 7/18, 10am-12pm  Computing Basics, Google For Education, & More…What Students And Faculty Need To Know!

MFT Seminars (w/CEUs* see details below):
Online only unless otherwise notified

Sat 6/6, 10am-12pm Practicum Process Group

Sat 6/20, 10am-1pm Psychopathology and Diagnostic Principles VII

Sat 7/11, 10am-12pm Practicum Process Group

Sat 7/25, 10am-1pm Conflict, Control, And Out Of Control In Couples And Couple Therapy


~All seminars and events will be online only until further notice.
~To facilitate the quality of an interactive seminar experience for everyone, participants are strongly encouraged to stay engaged and keep their video on at all times.

~Those with email addresses can find seminar/event info on their Google Calendars.

~June 12-13th Mini Conference And Graduation has been postponed; more details to come.

See More Announcements below for Covid 19 Resources & Important Information and Disclosures about WISR Seminars and Events

~Look for our page on Facebook, also wisrberkeley on Twitter and wiserberkeley on Instagram.  
~If you have difficulty logging in to Zoom seminars, go to  and click on the blue "Help" button. International phone numbers are also available.

INTERDISCIPLINARY SEMINAR(S)  are a way for WISR students to learn about core subjects of social change, writing, multiculturalism, adult/higher education, community leadership and social action-research. Community members are welcome to participate as well.  Students are strongly requested to participate in at least one seminar each month, unless they have an unavoidable conflict.  Students also have the option of creating seminars on topics of interest, of forming their own peer discussion groups, and developing regular collaborations with other WISR students. 

Saturday, June 13th, 10am-12pm
Ignacio Ochoa, WISR EdD Student, Presenter. 
Ignacio will talk about how Guatemalans have been affected by the pandemic in East Oakland. He will also address Central American immigrants to the USA and their issues, including a powerpoint presentation. Ignaco Ochoa: "As a community organizer in Central American countries, and especially in Guatemala, these three months have represented new challenges, not only to survive." Ignacio helps "underserved people from Guatemala who don't speak Spanish or English, but Maya-Mam from Guatemala (we have 24 Mayan languages in Guatemala)."

Video/phone conferencing Zoom link; ID 831 4813 9057; phone# 669-900-6833. To RSVP or for help with technical difficulties call 510-655-2830 or email and provide a phone# in case of technical difficulties. 

Saturday, June 27, 10am-12pm
Organized by Rosa Reinikainen, MFT, WISR Adjunct Faculty. Panelists will include WISR Alum Sevgi Fernandez, Cofounder/President of Together We Stand. More panelists to be confirmed shortly. Racist policing has a long history in the United States.  From slave patrols to Jim Crow Laws and in present time with what Michelle Alexander calls “the New Jim Crow” there has been a long lineage of violence, harassment, harm and killing of Black and Brown people. Recent killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor have spurred a call to action. These killings add to the long list of African American people who have been killed by police officers.  We can not sit back and stay blinded to these injustices.  There are currently protests and demonstrations of different forms happening around the country as well as in other countries.  The time for change has come.  

This seminar is a panel discussion on the subject of Racist Policing and how we can create change.  Therapists and Educators have a particular responsibility to address and dismantle racism.  Racist Policing along with systemic forms of racism is particularly traumatic for black people.  As therapists and educators we have a duty to help change and dismantle the traumatic, humiliating systems and create space for dignity for all. Panelists will discuss their work, world and lived experience related to this subject. 

Video/phone conferencing Zoom link; ID 828 1091 9867; phone# 669-900-6833. To RSVP or for help with technical difficulties call 510-655-2830 or email and provide a phone# in case of technical difficulties. 



What Students
and Faculty Need to Know!

10am to 12:00pm
Saturday, July 18th, 2020

Mark Wilson, WISR’s Learning Experience Designer\Technologian will present a short overview of computing basics for learners; then explore the G Suite Apps, storing, sharing, and editing files. Please keep a log of computing challenges you have encountered to share and discuss.

Video/phone conferencing Zoom link; ID 843 4327 2330; phone# 669-900-6833. For help with technical difficulties call 510 655 2830 or email or

MARRIAGE FAMILY THERAPY (MFT) SEMINARS are for WISR students pursuing an MFT and/or LPCC license. Other interested persons are welcome to attend (on site or by video conference) and receive CEU credit for MFTs and LPCCs, but you must RSVP the faculty member (see email contact info below) in advance. *WISR students not in the MFT program may get CEU credit for no additional charge, others pay $40.  These seminars are typically held at WISR from 10am to 12 or 1pm (as listed) with a short break; often students bring a snack. MFT students must participate in a total of 48 such seminars in order to graduate. These required seminars for our MS program lead to the State of California MFT and LPCC licenses and are now available by telephone conference call and video webinar.  

Monthly Series of Seminars 
Saturday, June 6th, July 11th 10am-12pm
Rosa Reinikainen, MFT, WISR Adjunct Faculty
  leads this group for those MFT and LPCC students and alumni who are pre-practicum, those who are in practicum, and those who have already done their practicum.  We will be discussing issues around therapy practices, including treatment plans, assessments, modalities etc.  This is a place for students, interns and associates to discuss their experiences, hopes and ideas and to discuss the world of therapy in a group setting.  This is a monthly seminar where we can discuss any thoughts, ideas or concerns you might have surrounding practicum and therapy practices. Everyone is welcome regardless of where you are at in your learning. 

Video/phone conferencing Zoom link; ID 840-1629-4880; phone# 669-900-6833. On July 11th, use the Zoom ID 886 5279 6092 and link To RSVP or for help with technical difficulties call 510-655-2830 or email and provide a phone# in case of technical difficulties. 

Saturday, June 20, 10am-1pm 
Ronald Mah, MA, LMFT, PhD, Faculty.

VII of this series will address Somatic Disorders, Feeding & Eating Disorders, Elimination/Sleep-Wake Disorders and Sexual Dysfunction and Gender Dysphoria; and Neurocognitive Disorders. These workshops will examine the study of the diagnosis, assessment, prognosis and treatment of mental disorders. Included will be a study of the characteristics and dynamics associated with various pathologies, ranging from neurotic styles found among "normal," functioning adults to severe disorders.

There will be an examination of different systems of diagnosis, including the current edition of the DSM, and the strategies of treatment associated with these various diagnoses. Various approaches to diagnoses as related to varied mental health practices will lead to the concept and practice of differential diagnosis, the impact of co-occurring substance abuse disorders or medical psychological disorders, established diagnostic criteria for mental or emotional disorders, the role of diagnosis in recovery-oriented care, and the treatment modalities and placement criteria within the continuum of care. Diagnosis, including conceptualizations of issues will be linked to conceptualizations and therapeutic approaches and strategies. 

Video/phone conferencing Zoom link; ID 833-9398-6269; phone either date, #669-900-6833 with meeting ID. To RSVP or for help with technical difficulties call 510 655 2830 or email or and provide a phone#.

PRACTICUM PROCESS GROUP: Monthly Series of Seminars 
Saturday, June 6th, July 11th 10am-12pm
Rosa Reinikainen, MFT, WISR Adjunct Faculty
See above for details

Saturday, July 25th, 10am-1pm 
Ronald Mah, MA, LMFT, PhD, Faculty.

The book Conflict, Control, and Out of Control in Couples and Couple Therapy by Dr. Mah addresses the continuum of assertion, aggression, and abuse between partners. The therapist is guided how to promote appropriate assertiveness and aggression while avoiding crossing the boundary of abuse. Conflict is intrinsic to most couples, but relative control vs. getting out of control varies greatly resulting in relationship health or dysfunction. The therapist is directed how to guide partners how to deal w/ anger and frustration -- learning how to fight fairly and productively to prevent emotional abuse.
 The book discusses conceptual vs. practical distinctions between normal couple therapy and domestic violence therapy. Therapist boundaries and choices to engage or not in domestic violence therapy become functionally problematic when intimate partner violence is unanticipated but uncovered in sessions. The therapist will learn how to assess for, manage, and treat partners when emotional reactivity becomes emotional abuse -- a focus of normal couple therapy; when verbal abuse predicts physical abuse; and when domestic violence is revealed.

Video/phone conferencing Zoom link; ID 869 3583 1541; phone #669-900-6833 with meeting ID. To RSVP or for help with technical difficulties call 510 655 2830 or email or and provide a phone#.

More Announcements

Covid 19 Resources for Therapists

WISR Alum Diane Poole Heller offers a masterclass, Nurturing Resilience During a Traumatic Crisis masterclass: Therapists can earn 30 CE credits.

Links to free content: various interviews around COVID 19 and how best to respond:

~Deb Dana: Responding to Stress and Dysregulation in our Nervous System

~MingTong Gu: How to Practice Self Care:

~Pat Love: Societal and Trauma Fallout from COVID 19

~Francesca Maxime: Exploring Diversity and Marginalized Populations during COVID 19

DISASTERSHOCK is a valuable Resource on Dealing with Stress During a Major Disaster, Co-authored by WISR Faculty Member, and Chief Academic Officer, Brian Gerrard, PhD: Disastershock: How to Cope with the Stress of a Major Disaster provides explicit instructions on how to lower stress using 20 different practical techniques. The majority of these are cognitive-behavioral and evidence-based techniques known to reduce stress and reduce the effects of trauma. The manual is in 3 sections. Part 1 provides adults with techniques to lower stress. Part 2 is written for parents, teachers, and anyone working with children and contains techniques for helping children to lower their stress. Part 3 contains additional books, videos, and internet resources. Since 1989 Disastershock (now in its 4th edition and available as an ebook on Amazon and Apple iBook) has been distributed free to countries around the world where there have been disasters. A 92 person Disastershock team representing 26 countries is currently translating Disastershock into 20 different languages for global distribution. Free copies of Disastershock may be downloaded from If you are willing to volunteer some time to assist us with helping our global family, please contact Brian (



  • For those who are new to WISR, here are some important things to know about WISR seminars and events.

  • All WISR seminars and events are accessible online through the use of Zoom, and they are also concurrently held on site at WISR’s facility in Berkeley, CA, which is on unceded, traditional Ohlone territory.

  • At WISR, we intend to create a learning environment that is safe, and supportive of mutually respectful dialogue and collaboration, and curiosity and openness in learning. [see WISR’s Statement of Non-Discrimination and Affirmation of Diversity Values: --and a portion a portion of which is found under “WISR Core Values Include” below ]

  • At WISR, we welcome people from all walks of life and of many, varied values and political beliefs, who share WISR’s commitment to our affirmation of diversity values.

  • At the beginning of each seminar, we give each participant a minute to introduce themselves, and if they wish, to share a bit about themselves. Those wishing to inform others of the personal pronoun they wish to have used for themselves, are encouraged to do so, when introducing themselves.

  • All WISR seminars and events are recorded, and photos and brief video clips of WISR seminars may be posted on WISR’s website. In addition, the entire video of each seminar is accessible to WISR students, faculty and staff through WISR’s online courses. By participating in a WISR seminar or other event, you are giving WISR permission to use photos or videos of your participation in these seminars and events. However, if you have strong concerns about a particular portion of the seminar in which you made comments, you may, within 24 hours, request that we remove that portion of your comments. (For more details, go to:


Developing a multicultural, inclusive perspective. This means developing and using multicultural perspectives to inform one’s purposes, and one’s views of social issues and challenges and opportunities in one’s chosen fields or arenas of endeavor—profession, workplace, community.

  • Developing a sense of empathy, compassion and community toward, and with others.

  • Appreciating and understanding the broad spectrum of perspectives and consciousness, and how those arise out of people’s culture, gender, economic background, religious and sexual orientation.

  • A culture of learning that respects and promotes the dignity of every person.

  • The belief that no individual or group may rightfully prosper at the expense of others.

  • The use of language that conveys respect for persons whose gender identity, culture, religion, sexual orientation, economic background, or political interests may differ from our own.

Prospective students and Community Learners are invited to attend these seminars. Contact WISR if you need a ride from the BART or want to carpool. 

Copyright © 2020 Western Institute for Social Research, All rights reserved.

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