2023 OPA "Renew" Fall Conference Speakers

October 3, 2023 9:00am - 4:00pm | Attend via Zoom


As we confirm speakers, we will be updating our website here! Read the information below to learn more about this year's speakers.


 Healing the Healer: Caring for Ourselves and Each Other with Self Awareness, Compassion, and Community | Presented by Daniel P. Johnson, PhD

Daniel Johnson is a licensed clinical psychologist in Massachusetts. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, Boulder, completed his predoctoral internship at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School, and completed his postdoctoral fellowship at the VA Boston Healthcare System/Harvard Medical School. Dr. Johnson has previously worked as a staff psychologist at Massachusetts General Hospital’s outpatient substance use disorders (SUDs) clinic and as the Director of the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Program at Boston Child Study Center. He is now in private practice, providing evidence-based therapy to adults and offering training to mental health professionals and organizations. Dr. Johnson has trained clinicians internationally on evidence-based treatments, with a focus on mindfulness and acceptance-based behavioral therapies (ACT, DBT, CBT). He has been designated by the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science as a Peer Reviewed ACT Trainer. Dr. Johnson also teaches courses on SUDs and evidence-based clinical practice at William James College and he is the Education and Facilitation Lead at Tend Health, Inc., an organization that provides behavioral health and training tailored to the needs of healthcare professionals.

Psychologists, mental health professionals, and the mental healthcare system broadly are struggling. In the face of staggering demand for mental health services, limited resources, and a shortage of trained professionals offering care, psychologists are experiencing unprecedented levels of burnout, secondary stress, exhaustion, and trauma. Can you feel it?
Join your Oregon colleagues in an experiential workshop focused on opportunities to turn inward and build connections to restore and sustain us. Through discussion, experiential practices and small group dialogue, you will experience the power of mindful awareness, self compassion, and connection with other professionals in navigating these difficult times.

Learning Objectives:
At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:
1. Identify and describe the function of emotions and the contextual factors that shape emotional experiencing
2. Utilize self-awareness practices to identify and respond to difficult emotions that result from clinical experiences
3. Identify, describe and apply principles of self-compassion through experiential exercises
4. Explain the stages of post-traumatic growth and their relationship to valued living as a clinician

How Surviving Rural Mental Health Practice Applies to Everyone | Presented by Natalie Kollross, PsyD

Dr. Natalie Kollross is a psychologist in Pendleton located in Eastern Oregon. She owns Psychological Services of Pendleton, LLC. She is active in her community including the local Red Cross chapter. She is past OPA Diversity Chair and OPA President. She is looking forward to continuing to represent Eastern Oregon and rural Oregon psychology!

Dr. Kollross will present on the challenges of working and living in a rural area of Oregon. She will discuss strategies she and her fellow colleagues utilize to deal with the challenges they face that are not all unique to rural practice. The pandemic served to reinforce and reignite some of these strategies and principles. These can apply to any psychologist or practitioner whether urban or rural.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand challenges to serving in a rural area and how those may overlap with your own experience.

  2. Assess your current professional and personal boundaries; pinpoint areas to strengthen; brainstorm ways in which to insert and hold boundaries.

  3. Resisting “hero complex” and moving toward empowerment for oneself and one’s clients.

  4. Identify preventative strategies for burnout, dealing with lack of resources, and rising to meet personal and professional goals. 

Best Practices in Autism Spectrum Disorder Evaluations: Considering the Entire Spectrum | Presented by Jeffrey Fry PhD, NCSP

Dr. Jeffrey Fry is a psychologist who recently joined the newly established Southern Oregon Children’s Clinic in the Rogue Valley.  He has been providing psychological and educational services in school districts and private practice for over 25 years.  Dr. Fry specializes in the evaluation and treatment of neurodevelopmental conditions in all ages and has provided autism spectrum disorder evaluations and training since 2001.  In addition to providing support to persons with disabilities, he is a strong advocate for comprehensive mental health treatment for children and families.  Part of his practice is devoted to helping families navigate the special education process and helping students receive appropriate Individual Education Programs (IEPs) including related services provided by properly credentialed professionals.  

As the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) continues to increase, it is vital that practitioners be able to recognize the manifestations of this neurodevelopment condition within the picture of comorbid mental health conditions so that such individuals receive proper intervention services. Dr. Fry will present on developing an assessment plan for autism spectrum disorder that accounts for the wide variation in presentation across the lifespan.  He will explore the often, unacknowledged challenges that affect quality of life, education, employability, and daily living of individuals on the spectrum.  Various resource options will be discussed including online supports, peer groups, social media, support groups, and books.

Learning Objectives:

  1.  Enhance their understanding of autism spectrum and the often-unrecognized challenges based on current research findings and DSM-5 criteria.
  2.  Select appropriate tests for a comprehensive evaluation across the lifespan.
  3.  Identify nuanced characteristics of an ASD.
  4.  Provide appropriate differential diagnosis.