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Friday, September 24, 2021

GVPA 2021 Convention: Building Immunity: Implications for Practice and Self-Care in the Age of COVID

Theme: Building Immunity: Implications for Practice and Self-Care in the Age of COVID

Date: Friday, September 24, 2021

Time: 9:00am - 4:00pm

Where: GVPA's 2nd Virtual Convention - Zoom Lnk:

5.0 CE credits for NYS Psychologists

The effects of the pandemic have touched us in a myriad of ways. Unanticipated need for change confronted us all differently: some with grief, shock, fear, loss, uncertainty and a ubiquitous need to recalibrate and respond flexibly and sensitively to our patients while also figuring out individually how to protect ourselves and our families.

Our topics include a trauma-informed perspective on risk and protective factors in returning to work/school, in remaining remote, and in creating a hybrid model of re-engagement. We will also hear about practical interventions for self-care during COVID, the use of mindfulness for clinical well-being and how to practice what we preach. Self-determination theory will be presented and include a discussion of its application to the integration of clinician and patient need satisfaction during COVID for physical and mental health outcomes. Exciting indeed!

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Program Schedule:

Presentation 1 (1.5 CE credits)

9:00 - 10:30 am: Transitioning to a Reimagined Tomorrow

As we transition into the recovery phase of the pandemic, there is an opportunity to reflect on what reentry means both professionally and personally. This not only includes considerations for the way in which we deliver services and conduct our work (in person, remote or hybrid) but how we approach work life integration overall. The pandemic forced us all to adapt quickly and work in ways which we once thought were not possible. From this experience, there is learning on not only what we take with us moving forward, but also what we choose to leave behind. This interactive workshop will lead participants through a process of discovery through a trauma responsive framework.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn common responses to collective trauma and effective approaches to mitigate risk and promote protective factors.
  2. Identify post-pandemic lessons and strategies for incorporating those into planning for the new normal.
  3. Understand the importance of self-care as a professional responsibility.

Elizabeth Meeker, PhD

Dr. Meeker is Vice President of Consulting Services at Coordinated Care Service, Inc. She is a seasoned consultant working with a broad range of healthcare and human service organizations to implement and integrate practice change initiatives to improve outcomes and sustain change with specific expertise in trauma responsive care. Dr. Meeker has a private clinical practice specializing in children, adolescents and young adults. She is also an Adjunct Faculty for the Rochester Institute of Technology’s Clinical Psychology Doctoral Internship program and a Qualified Teacher through UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness and teaches Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction with a focus on enhancing staff wellness.

10:30 - 10:45 am: Break

Presentation 2 (1.25 CE credits)

10:45 - 12:00 pm: The Power of Presence in Creating a Culture of Wellness

The presentation will focus on creating a culture of wellness in the workplace. A culture of wellness implies a proactive focus on well-being rather than a reactive effort to manage burnout. The presentation will review the impact of burnout, a longstanding problem which has afflicted clinicians for years, and how COVID-19 has exacerbated the problem. We will also discuss resilience practices, with a focus on mindfulness and compassion-based exercises.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe ways to build resilience practices in to the workday.
  2. Assess burnout and barriers to wellness.
  3. Engage in mindfulness and compassion-based exercises.

Autumn Gallegos, PhD

Dr. Gallegos is a clinical psychologist and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at URMC, who was recently appointed the Psychiatry Wellness Officer to assess and improve faculty and staff wellness. She is an experienced mindfulness-based stress reduction course instructor and her research and clinical work are focused on the delivery of effective interventions for traumatic stress, with a specific focus on complementary health approaches.

12:00 - 1:00 pm: Break for lunch

Presentation 3 (1.25 CE credits)

1:00 - 2:15 pm - Applying Self-Determination Theory for Mental and Physical Wellbeing as we Transition to a Post-pandemic world

Finding Meaning in Comfort (1 CE credit)

The recent and unprecedented upheaval in our lives due to covid-19 is compelling us to reconsider how to meet fundamental needs for surviving and thriving in a post-pandemic world. Dr. Williams will introduce Self-Determination Theory and its model for health behavior change and wellbeing in the context of emerging from the pandemic. Consideration will be given to ways of equipping ourselves to meet the physical and mental health needs of providers and patients. Satisfaction for our basic psychological needs for autonomy, competence and relatedness enhance successful health behavior change, and improve psychological wellbeing. He will review recent meta-analyses of SDT intervention studies demonstrating these effects, and discuss how these findings can be applied in practice and in our personal lives to improve our wellbeing as we emerge from the constraints of living through a world pandemic.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe basic tenants of SDT including basic human psychological needs
  2. Describe internalization and its established role in health behavior change
  3. Review SDT’s meta-analyses that support basic need satisfaction as therapeutic targets to improve mental and physical health.

Geof Williams, MD, PhD

Dr. Geoffrey Williams is Professor Emeritus of Medicine, and Center for Community Health and Prevention at University of Rochester, in Rochester, New York. After retiring from UR, he has taken a position as the Medical Director for the Collaborative Science and Innovation unit at the Billings Clinic in Billings Montana. He is also Adjunct Professor at the University of Southeast Norway. He is an internist with board certification in Lipids and Hypertension. He received his M.D. from Wayne State University School of Medicine in Michigan. Dr. Williams performed fellowships in Biopsychosocial Medicine and General Internal Medicine prior to receiving his Ph.D. in Health Psychology from URMC. Dr. Williams has over thirty years of practice experience in academic internal medicine and training as a health psychologist. He has contributed to the development of the Self-Determination Theory (SDT) model for health behavior change; focusing much of his research career on SDT and its application in interventions for health-related motivation, tobacco dependence treatment, diabetes self-management, adherence to medications, and other health behaviors that are difficult to change.

2:15 - 2:30 pm: Break

2:30 - 3:30 pm: Panel Discussion (1.0 CE credit)

3:30 - 4:00 pm: Concluding remarks

Ticket Prices

  • GVPA Member: $125.00
  • Non-GVPA Member (with CE credit): $150.00
  • Students: $50.00

5.0 CE credits for NYS Psychologists

Register Now

If you are registering multiple people, please include each person's name, degree, and email to help with disseminating certificates.

Attendees may request a refund/cancellation by contacting Cara Regan, Ph.D., GVPA Program Chair at or (585)721-6782 one week ahead of the program. GVPA does not provide commercial support to invited speakers and no conflict of interest exists with GVPA and program guests.

GVPA is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists and has applied to NYSED to be approved to offer continuing education credits. GVPA maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

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