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Concerns Related to 100% Virtual Education
A SCCPA Town Hall presented by Azadeh Weber

Thursday, September 24th @ 6:00 - 7:00 PM


This talk will address concerns related to 100% virtual education in the Santa Clara County Public Schools, focus on widening educational inequality, and examine ways to discuss socio-economic privilege within school-based settings. As of 8/26/2020, 55 private schools in Santa Clara County had applied for waivers to hold in-person education, but only 4 public schools had applied for such a waiver. Some suggestions for best practices, such as increased partnerships with nonprofit organizations, to mitigate the effect of 100% virtual learning on English learners and children with special needs will be discussed.


Brief Bio: Azadeh has served in 3 school districts in the San Francisco Bay Area as a mental health professional. She has also led Fun Clubs at Ronald McDonald House with Stanford Children's Hospital to help children with terminal illnesses and their families overcome anxieties with character building activities. She completed her postdoctoral hours within the Workers' Compensation system. Azadeh currently works as a consultant to enhance awareness on the Islamic model of psychology and her clients span around the world. She is Chairperson Elect for the Consulting, Industrial, and Organizational Division of California Psychological Association and one of five candidates running for two seats on the Saratoga Union School Board of Trustees, 2020.


Welcome to SCCPA

 

Founded in 1965, SCCPA is comprised of licensed psychologists, registered psychological assistants, graduate psychology students, and other professionals affiliated with the mental health field. We are the third largest of 23 chapters of the California Psychological Association (CPA), which is a state chapter of the American Psychological Association (APA).

SCCPA is dedicated to advancing the science and profession of psychology; promoting the ethical, responsible, and effective practice of psychology; providing education, networking, and support among psychologists; and offering our diverse community an array of educational and mental health services.

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Stealth Addicts and Silent Victims: Increased Internet Risks During COVID-19 


With the whole world in lockdown, Internet use has exploded. It has become the primary way for millions of quarantined people to pass the time, stay connected to others, and escape from the overwhelming anxiety of the unknown. 


On March 29, the World Health Organization (WHO), even encouraged people to play video games and several U.S. game companies supported this suggestion by making their products available for free.  There is some irony in the WHO endorsement however, in that it wasn’t that long ago (2018) that it added “gaming disorder” to its very own diagnostic manual, the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), acknowledging its addictive qualities. 


WHO’s seal of approval brought attention to, and threw the door open for, new and moderate players to “dive into the deep end” of online gaming and, for the 0.8% to 25% of gamers who are already addicted, to freely indulge in their own special “drug-of-choice.” But no one had to push anyone “into the deep end,” really. The prolonged isolation of COVID-19 has opened the door to Internet escapism of all forms.


Dr. Keith Whyte, Executive Director of the US National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), recently commented that, "every risk factor for gambling addition is spiking right now, and the same is true of Internet and gaming addiction.”  He went on to caution, "there could be a wave of addiction, quite a big wave to follow.” 


And a significant part of this wave will involve our sexuality. Millions of young people and adults are stranded at home without access to affection or to sexual outlets. Usage of popular dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, and Grindr has grown substantially as people are stuck at home. Tinder, for example was the highest grossing app in the world in March, according to market intelligence company Sensor Tower. Whether these contacts remain online, as some form of cybersex activity, or proceed to romantic/sexual contacts as yet remains unclear. 


Pornography consumption has increased as well, with Pornhub, one of the largest online pornography sites, reporting an 11.6 % increase in March alone. Distressingly, an ever- increasing percentage of the pornographic content viewed online has been of children.


At this point you may be tempted to stop reading this article, telling yourself that it doesn’t apply to your work. After all, you don’t even work with clients who look at pornography, much less child pornography! However, this article will attempt to explain why it is highly likely that you do, in fact, have clients that are, at the very least, at risk of being draw into illegal aspects of Cybersex activities, if not already engaging in some form of risky or illegal behavior.  


Furthermore, you may be legally mandated to report their activity! Many therapists are not aware that, since 2014, we have been mandated (via AB 1775) to report anyone who even looks at child pornography. While, once again, you might think discovering this about a client would be an exceptionally rare occurrence, it is a much greater possibility then you would imagine- particularly if you work with adolescents. 


Because California has no specific laws regarding teen sexting, teen offenders must be tried under adult statutes, and therefore can suffer significant repercussions socially, financially, and legally for their behavior. Hence, if a young teen client mentions she sent a topless picture of herself to her boyfriend, guess what, you’re mandated to report her for the “production and distribution of child pornography”! 


Given that the enforced isolation necessitated by COVID-19 has most probably created or worsened addicted and illegal Cybersex activities that we may be challenged to address and even report, I would like to familiarize you with the issues and provide some ideas and resources for managing them within your practice.


Scope of the problem:

  • Adult entertainment ranks 7th on the list of leading categories utilized online
  • Pornhub, one of the biggest providers of adult material, boasts of 92 million visitors a day
  • 30% of men and 3% of women are daily viewers of porn
  • 13% of men admitted to a porn addiction
  • Due to the progression of porn addiction, viewers can be drawn into more shocking, even illegal aspects of pornography--such as child porn--chasing the “high” they can’t get from regular porn anymore
  • There are an estimated 45 million images of child pornography online 
  • Playpen, the world’s largest child pornography website, reports it has over 150,000 users around the world 


Even apart from child porn, both therapists and divorce lawyers have reported a significant negative impact by the Internet on marital relationships. One poll of lawyers actually broke this down into categories: 


1.  Excessive time on the computer - 47% of cases

2.  Excessive time in chat rooms, which tend to be highly sexualized - 33% of cases

3.  Obsession with porn sites - 56% of cases

4.  New love met online - 68% of cases



Tragically, children are also being swept away by this surge of online sludge, both as viewers and as victims:

 

  • 90% of youth between the ages of 8 and 16 claim to have seen pornography
  • Children under 10 years of age now account for 22% of porn viewers under 18
  • Many children find their parents’ porn
  • 10% of 12- to 13-year-old users fear they may be addicted to porn 
  • Commonly used children’s apps like Snapchat, Twitter, & Kik have been saturated with both pornography and pedophiles
  • Children online are at risk of being sexually exploited, molested, and/or kidnapped
  • A high percentage of sex addicts in treatment reported early exposure to pornography as a key factor in the development of their addiction


As previously mentioned, sexting (the sending, receiving, or forwarding of sexually explicit messages, photographs, or images, between electronic devices) between young people or between a minor and an adult, is illegal in California and you may be mandated to report it.


With so many more young people and adults online, for so many more hours than before, the chances of encountering Cybersex Criminal Activities (CCA) are much greater. Here again, you may be mandated to report these activities.



For example:

  1. Soliciting another person for sex with intent to pay/sell­--prostitution
  2. Meeting with a minor with sexual intent
  3. Revenge porn--posting sexual images of someone without their permission
  4. Sextortion--demanding sexual images/acts or money be given at threat of blackmailer sending acquired sexual images to friends/family
  5. Sexual Cyberbullying--harassing and/or stalking someone

 

Unfortunately, your clients are not likely to disclose their online pornography habits, their casual or illegal sexting, or their own victimization. Given the personal nature of these activities and the threats accompanying most criminal behaviors (like solicitations of a minor or sextortion), they are likely to remain stealth addicts and silent victims.


Therefore, as professional caregivers, we are morally, ethically, and legally obligated to assess for and address Problematic Cybersex Activities. And the first step in beginning this process is that of overcoming our own denial. Just as we finally recognized the impact of alcoholism on individuals and families thirty years ago and started assessing for it, we must make Internet use and abuse assessment a normal part of our intake process.
     


Even a simple CAGE-like assessment (for alcohol) can be useful in opening a conversation about Internet use and possible problems. I’ve developed a model I use called the “PCOC” that addresses the core elements of addiction: Progressive, Compulsive, Obsessive, and Consequences. An example of your questions might look like: P--Has your use increased over time?  C--Have you tried to cut back or stop? O--Are you preoccupied with thoughts of being online; what you’ve seen? C--Have people complained about your use? Spent more money than planned? Gotten into trouble at work/school?


But what happens if a teenager or adult client does reveal some form of activity reportable under AB 1775?


Legally, you are mandated to report to CPS and/or the police.  And, while failure to do so is only a misdemeanor, extenuating circumstances in a case may result in significant charges, fines, and even the loss of your license. If you would like more information about AB 1775: 


https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140AB1775

http://blogs.psychcentral.com/sex/2014/08/wake-up-california-therapists-protecting-client-confidentiality-per-proposed-california-law-ab-1775/


If you have concerns about AB 1775, it is currently in the California Supreme Court due to efforts to repeal it. Dr. Don Matthews, of the Impulse Treatment Center in Walnut Creek, CA has been fighting the bill for six years and has asked for financial support to continue his efforts: https://www.gofundme.com/f/stopAB1775.


Additional assessment tools are available at: netaddiction.com and recoveryzone.com.


Educational resources for addressing PCAs are available through: netaddiction.com and zurinstitute.com/internet-addiction.


Treatment resources: Unfortunately, there are no local treatment facilities for Internet-related activities. As far as I know, there are only a few local therapists who have any training in this area and, of those, I believe I’m the only one that also has training in sex-related Internet issues. If any of you have such training, please let me know so I can add you to my referral list. 



Elaine Brady
, Ph.D., MFT 

1190 S. Bascom Ave., Ste. 130

San Jose, CA 95128

elainebrady.com

docelaine@elainebrady.com

Cell: 408-637-1022

 



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Congratulations on your APA convention submission acceptance!



Hi Everyone,


Great news... better late than never!

 

Our proposed advocacy symposium submitted to the 2020 APA Annual Convention in DC was accepted by Div 31!  

 

This means that SCCPA, PAU and CPA's will be showcasing the awesome advocacy work and mentoring we all do in DC!  See confirmation from Dr. Tyson Bailey, Div 31 Convention Chair. 

 

Now it will be coordinating with Assemblyman Evan Low's schedulers and see if he can be there in-person or we will need to do a video of sorts.

 

Symposium ID 20493

 

Title:  Psychologists' impact on public policy and law: Legislative collaboration with results.

 

Brief Dx:  Psychologists often undervalue the impact their psychological science and clinical expertise add the development of healthcare policy and legislation. Legislators collaborating with psychologists are most effectively introduce laws.


Chair: Jorge Wong, PhD

Participants:       
CA Assemblyman Evan Low

Joshua Heitzmann, PhD (SCCPA 
Member-at-Large)

Aimee Zhang, MS & William Chan, MS (SCCPA 
Student Co-Chairs & PGSP-Stanford PsyD Consortium)

Discussant:         
Maureen O'Connor, PhD, JD (PAU President)

 

 

Congratulations Team!

 

 

Jorge Wong, Ph. D.
CA Licensed Psychologist

-Past President, Santa Clara County Psychological Association

    LAN Representative

-Past President, California Psychological Association 

    Divisions I, II & VII
-Past President, San Francisco Psychological Association
-Asian American Psychological Association

-American Psychological Association

    Div 12, 18, 31, 45

 
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Evan Low's Lunar New Year Fundraiser was a Success!
February 7, 2020
Fox-Becker-Wong-Low-JBO-Heitmann-Carillo-Gibson
More photos: Assemblyman Evan Low's Events 2020


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Pancakes & Politics, Dec 8th

This is Congressman Josh Harder of the Central Valley alongside SCCPA Board Members Billy Chan and Jeff Becker in a picture taken by Board Member Neda Kharrazi at the Zoe Lofgren Pancakes & Politics fundraiser this past Sunday.  The fundraiser was held to protect/re-elect six California House of Representative seats (including Josh’s) that were flipped last year.  Because of all the activity in Washington D.C., Zoe did not attend as she was prepping for the Judiciary Committee Impeachment hearings this week. 

She sent a videotape
explaining her decision for remaining in Washington that morning, discussing her Congressional work this term, the importance she places on helping to fund vulnerable California House Democrats to get elected and thanking all of us in attendance at the Pancakes and Politics event.


by Dr. Jeffrey L. Becker


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Update on August 19th SCCPA Meeting with Senator Jim Beall's Staff

A few SCCPA members met with Jonathan Perez, Sr. District Rep. (Labor area) @ Sen. Jim Beall’s district Office today (Aug 19).  In attendance from SCCPA were (L-R):  Drs. Jessica Byrd-Olmstead, Jeffrey Becker, Azadeh Weber, Jonathan Perez of Sen Beall's office, Drs. Francis Abueg and I.


We introduced ourselves, our areas of work and shared who SCCPA was and how it related to CPA.  We also discussed AB 5 (Gonzalez) impact on areas of practice for psychologists including contracted adjunct teaching & supervision, forensic evaluators & group practices, SUD treatment, foreseeable organization/programs' increase administrative costs to hire providers onto staff, adverse impact on patient care from HMO  independent contracts with private practitioners in order to meet the mental health care demands from their members, restriction/
elimination of flexibility for parents to care for their families and the risk of talent drain from psychologists who do not want to be employees.  We also shared that SCCPA members volunteered to assist the Santa Clara County Behavioral Health Services Department in response to the shooting in Gilroy.

Mr. Perez wondered and recommended for SCCPA and CPA to speak with the bill sponsor and organized labor backing this bill to consider the wider, unforeseen and adverse impact on a wide range of not only health professionals but those in other fields (e.g.:  travel consultants, trucking, etc.).  This bill originated as a result of the drivers in the gig-economy and debate whether they were independent contractors or employees of these ridesharing companies.  One hope would be for the bill sponsor(s) to consider this to be a 2 yr bill to better work out the kinks/exceptions on this broad sweeping bill.  Mr. Perez also invited us to be aware of some Senator Beall's current bills including SB 5 Building Affordable and Inclusive Communities, SB 10 Peer Provider Certification, SB 12 Youth Mental Health Drop-In Centers, and SB 582 School-Based Mental Health Partnerships.

Thank you to Dr. Weber for scheduling the visit today, Drs. Abueg, Becker and Byrd-Olmstead for joining in the visit today. 

We hope to see and have other SCCPA members join us in the future on our collective efforts to advocate and protect psychologists' practice.  If you wondered why it is important to join our professional organizations locally and statewide... AB 5 (Gonzalez) is just one reason!

SCCPA Strong!

Jorge Wong, Ph. D.
SCCPA President
 

 

 


 
   

 

    

 

 
Upcoming Events
Upcoming Events
Winner of the 2019 CPA Award for Outstanding Chapter


Congratulations!

On behalf of the California Psychological Association (CPA), we are pleased to inform you that your Chapter has been selected as the recipient of the 2019 CPA Award for Outstanding Chapter. This award honors the CPA affiliate chapter that demonstrates exceptional service to its members and to the profession of psychology, and that contributes to the health of CPA, as the state psychological association.

On behalf of CPA and the Nominations, Elections and Awards Committee we extend a heartfelt thanks and appreciation to you for your contribution to CPA and our congratulations on being selected for this award. 






New Member  Incentives & Member Specials

The SCCPA Board and particularly our Membership Director, Dr. Beverly Floresca, would like to announce a whole slew of new membership incentives and specials (see below). We know that you, as members, love SCCPA. We would like to spread the love this year to as many psychologists and mental health professionals as possible this year. ...click for more 

We are a social activism engine this year, standing up for the rights of humans in Santa Clara County and beyond. We love the enthusiasm we are receiving and the participation level of members who want to be involved in myriad ways such as:

 Marching in protest marches that align with our values of protecting human rights and the psychological welfare of all.

  • Volunteering to provide pro-bono therapy to Spanish speakers
  • Volunteering to provide pro-bono therapy to veterans, victims of the recent shootings, fires and other traumatic events
  • Participating in phone banks
  • Volunteering to be part of expert panels on gun violence and mental illness
  • Interfacing with community agencies that provide help to targeted individuals and groups

And on and on…

Of course, not everyone is into the social activism aspect. Here are some of the member benefits you love the most:

  • Our list serve- We discuss topics of interest, pose ethical questions, ask our colleagues for referrals to other professionals and treatment options and receive referrals from our colleagues.
  • Our professional CE workshops-keeping us up to date and tuned in to what is in the spotlight in the profession of psychology
  • The monthly Professionals Book club
  • Our myriad of social events and networking events to meet and interact with colleagues
  • The chance to be part of our many professional committees
  • Our top-notch newsletter-The opportunity to read and contribute our written articles and other works.
  • Fill in your personal favorite that I am forgetting

 

SCCPA is a thriving community! If you would like to encourage your colleagues to join us, here are some great membership offers:

MEMBER TO MEMBER SPECIAL:

  • Any SCCPA member who refers someone to be a new member to SCCPA will get $100 off the SCCPA workshop of their choice. For this special, have the new member enter Workshop100.
  • The new member you refer will get half off of the membership fee for the first year of their membership.

STUDENTS ROCK SPECIAL:

  • New student members can join SCCPA for free if they join a SCCPA Committee. Have them useStudentsROCK as the promo code when they register.

NON-PROFIT AGENCY SPECIAL:

  • Anyone that works for a Non-Profit serving the Santa Clara County community who has never been a member of SCCPA before can join for half price for the first year. Use AGENCY50 as the promo code. This includes all levels of membership.
  • FULL MEMBER: Holder of a doctorate in psychology or an equivalent degree, or a psychologist licensed to practice in California. Full Members have all rights and privileges of SCCPA membership including the right to vote and serve on the Board of Directors. Note that Board positions also require CPA membership because SCCPA is a chapter of CPA.  Full members may be eligible to have their profile included in the publicly searchable Find a Psychologist web site feature. Annual fee: $175. For any psychologist staff member of your agency they can now join for $87.50.
  • NEW DOCTORATE MEMBER: Holder of a doctorate in psychology granted three years or less prior to membership. New Doctorate Members enjoy the same rights and privileges as Full Members at a reduced membership fee.  New Doctorate members may be eligible for their profile to be included in the publicly searchable Find a Psychologist web site feature. Annual fee: $95. Currently your staff member can join for the ultra-low first year cost of $47.50
  • ASSOCIATE MEMBER: Holder of a master’s degree in a mental health discipline (e.g., LMFT, LCSW, LPC, etc.) or a related degree (e.g., MD, JD, etc.). Associate Members have all rights and privileges of SCCPA membership except the right to vote or serve on the Board. Associate members are not eligible to have their profile included in the publicly searchable Find a Psychologist web site feature. Annual fee: $100. Currently your staff member can join for $50.00

 

Local Advocacy Network

Greetings SCCPA colleagues!

 

Here is an interesting article on how “Doctors And Nurses With Addictions Often Denied A Crucial Recovery Option”. The author supports non-disciplinary programs, in which doctors and nurses enroll for a number of years and are closely monitored by addiction specialists and state authorities as they seek to maintain or restore their medical licenses. But, he says that he is perplexed as to why these programs and other efforts to help health care providers generally do not stress a recovery method that has long been shown to be effective: the use of drugs like buprenorphine and methadone, known as opioid agonists, to relieve cravings.

https://californiahealthline.org/news/doctors-and-nurses-with-addictions-often-denied-a-crucial-recovery-option/

...click for more

1.
      New Initiatives:

·          New York lawmaker announces bill allowing mental health days for students: https://cnycentral.com/news/local/new-york-lawmaker-announces-bill-allowing-mental-health-days-for-students-09-05-2019

·         Starbucks plans to improve US employees' mental health benefits: https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/05/business/starbucks-mental-health/index.html

·         City of Berkeley creates mental health crisis hotline: https://www.dailycal.org/2019/09/19/city-of-berkeley-creates-mental-health-crisis-hotline/

·         NBA adopts new rules requiring teams to add full-time mental health staff for 2019-2020 season: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/09/19/nba-now-requires-teams-to-add-full-time-mental-health-staff.html

 

2.      Suicide statistics and more

·         One person dies every 40 seconds from suicide, WHO says: https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/09/health/who-global-suicide-rates-intl/index.html  

·         Want To Reduce Suicides? Follow The Data — To Medical Offices, Motels And Even Animal Shelters: https://californiahealthline.org/news/want-to-reduce-suicides-follow-the-data-to-medical-offices-motels-and-even-animal-shelters/

·         Turning crisis into opportunity: Son's death by suicide in college prompts mom's activism: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/09/10/suicide-prevention-college-students/2273117001/

 

3.      What new studies or research data are saying 

·         Study Touts Psychotherapy As First-Line Treatment for Youth With Depression:

https://psychcentral.com/news/2019/08/01/study-touts-psychotherapy-as-first-line-treatment-for-youth-with-depression/149097.html

·         MDMA, Or Ecstasy, Shows Promise As A PTSD Treatment: https://californiahealthline.org/news/mdma-or-ecstasy-shows-promise-as-a-ptsd-treatment/

·         Most common antidepressant, sertraline, a type of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) barely helps improve depression symptoms, 'shocking' trial in UK finds: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2019/09/19/common-antidepressant-barely-helps-improve-depression-symptoms/?WT.mc_id=tmg_share_em

·         How High Heat Can Impact Mental Health: https://www.npr.org/2019/09/04/757034136/how-high-heat-can-impact-mental-health

 

4.      AB5 signed into law; victory for advocacy efforts of CPA  

·         AB 5 Signed Into Law: https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/09/18/gig-worker-bill-signed-into-law-in-california/

·         Who’s in, who’s out of AB 5?: https://calmatters.org/economy/2019/09/whos-in-whos-out-of-ab-5/

·         There will be no deal for gig companies such as Uber and Lyft in the California Legislature this year. California Senate Moves 'Dynamex' Worker Classification Bill Forward Without Deal For Gig Companies: http://www.capradio.org/articles/2019/09/10/california-senate-moves-dynamex-worker-classification-bill-forward-without-deal-for-gig-companies/

 

“A doctor put me on antidepressants about a decade ago. I’ve spent the last year and a half trying to get off of them,” wrote David Lazarus in LA times. In response, the author of Medical Treatment is Not Addiction states “There is a difference between side effects and withdrawal. There is a difference between taking a medication that helps you, even for lengthy periods, and being addicted to it” Continue reading at  https://arcdigital.media/medical-treatment-is-not-addiction-f1fa3c5e692e

 

And I’d like to leave you with an opinion piece on “How will presidential candidates prioritize mental health in 2020?” by Peggy Huppert, the executive director of NAMI Iowa; https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/columnists/iowa-view/2019/09/25/its-time-presidential-candidates-make-mental-health-priority/2440535001/

 

Warm Regards

Anita

SCCPA Board member & LAN Rep 

www.linkedin.com/in/dr-anita-mukherjee-29080

anitaj@gmail.com

 



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