PRINCIPALS

Peter Goldblum, Ph.D., MPHPeter Goldblum, Ph.D., MPH, Founder and Co-Director of CLEAR, is professor of psychology at Palo Alto University (formerly Pacific Graduate School of Psychology), his MPH from UC, Berkeley School of Public Health, and his MA in Psychology and Teaching from Teachers College of Columbia. He was a founder and the original Deputy Director of the UCSF AIDS Health Project and a visiting scholar and Director of the HIV Bereavement and Caregiver Study at Stanford. He is a pioneer in the development of community-based mental health programs for LGBTQ clients with over thirty-five years of experience serving this population in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has contributed to the professional literature related to gay men’s health, AIDS related suicide, end of life issues, HIV and Work, including three acclaimed books: Strategies for Survival: A Gay Menfs Health Manual for the Age of AIDS (with Martin Delaney), Working with AIDS Bereavement (with Sarah Erickson), and most recently was first editor on Youth Suicide and Bullying: Challenges and Strategies for Prevention and Intervention. In 2006 he received the NCSPP Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Committee Award for his contribution to professional psychology. In 2013 Dr. Goldblum earned the American Psychology Association Division 44 Distinguished Contributions to Education and Training Award. He also received, as Director of CLEAR, the 2013 Presidential Citation for services to the LGBTQ Psychology from Arlene Noriega, Ph.D, Division 44 President. Finally, he received the prestigious Larry Beutler Faculty Award (2013) “In recognition of outstanding national and international contributions to the field of psychology.”
 
Kimberly Balsam, Ph.D.Kimberly Balsam, Ph.D.
, Co-Director of CLEAR, is Professor of Psychology and Co-Director of the LGBTQ Emphasis at Pacific Graduate School of Psychology at Palo Alto University. Dr. Balsam received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from University of Vermont in 2003 and her M.S. in Counseling Psychology from University of Oregon in 1994. Dr. Balsamfs research focuses broadly on the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender populations and she is widely recognized as an emerging expert in this area. She has published over 40 peer-reviewed articles, many in leading journals in the field such as Journal of Family Psychology, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, American Journal of Public Health, and Journal of Abnormal Psychology. In August 2010 she was awarded the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the American Psychological Associationfs Division 44 (Society for the Scientific Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues). She is currently President-Elect of Division 44. Dr. Balsam’s research and scholarship to date has focused on a) disparities in mental health and health-related behaviors between LGBT and heterosexual populations, b) trauma, victimization, and minority stress as potential explanations for these health disparities, and c) interpersonal, social, and legal factors affecting same-sex couples and families. Dr. Balsam has been awarded R01 grant from NICHD to conduct a 10-year longitudinal follow up study of same-sex and heterosexual couples previously surveyed in 2001-2 (R01HD069370, Longitudinal study of legal status, stigma, and well-being among diverse couples). Dr. Balsam also has 20 years of experience conducting psychotherapy in a variety of settings with diverse LGBT clients.
 
Janice Habarth, Ph.D.Janice Habarth, Ph.D.
is an Assistant Professor at Palo Alto University. She earned a joint doctoral degree in clinical psychology and women’s studies from the University of Michigan, where her research training included a focus on measuring personality and attitudes about sexual orientation. She completed internship training at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Human Adjustment with rotations in outpatient adult, child, and family therapy and assessment. She subsequently completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in clinical health psychology and academic medicine at Michigan State University’s Consortium for Advanced Psychology Training. In addition to pursuing clinical and research training, Dr. Habarth has also taught a broad range of undergraduate and graduate courses and has taught and supervised medical students and medical residents. Dr. Habarth’s research interests focus on two main themes: (1) social norms (especially personality and attitudes related to gender and sexual orientation) and (2) personality and social context variables jointly predicting outcomes for marginalized populations (e.g., gender minority stress, disenfranchised grief). Current projects include (1) ongoing development of a measure of heteronormative attitudes and beliefs; (2) consideration of gender and social constraints in predicting resilience associated with grief; and (3) heteronormativity, binary beliefs about sex and gender, and bias in attitudes towards sexual and gender minority populations. She is broadly interested in applying theory and consideration of complex social contexts to empirical research, and in examining potential risk and resilience factors associated with experiences of marginalization.
 
Matthew Skinta, Ph.D., ABPPMatthew D. Skinta, Ph.D., ABPP
is Clinical Faculty and the Co-Director of the Sexual & Gender Identities Clinic at Palo Alto University. He earned his doctoral degree in clinical health psychology from Kent State University, where his research training focused on the relationship between stigma and psychological well-being among gay men. He completed his internship at the Southwest Consortium Predoctoral Psychology Internship (SCPPI) in Albuquerque, NM, with rotations in out-patient and in-patient medical psychology, substance use disorders, and forensic/prison assessment. He subsequently completed a one-year postdoctoral fellowship in HIV Behavioral Medicine at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. In addition to experience teaching at the undergraduate and graduate level, Dr. Skinta has also taught medical residents and licensed-mental health professionals in the application of evidence-based treatments. He is a peer-reviewed trainer of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and served as the 2015 Chair of the APA Committee on Psychology & AIDS. Dr. Skinta’s research interests focus on three main themes: (1) the impact of stigma and shame on well-being, particularly among gender and sexual minorities, and clinical innovations in the area of acceptance and compassion-based therapies to remedy shame (2) the specific ways that HIV has shaped the psychological and relational lives of gender and sexual minorities most impacted by the disease, and (3) effective means of training sex and sexuality to clinicians. Current projects include (1) analysis of psychological resilience factors in a large sample of HIV-positive sexual minorities, and (2) an exploration of how HIV-related stigma is changing as a result of the roll-out of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). He is broadly interested in increasing the evidence base of interventions used with gender and sexual minorities, and is first editor of Mindfulness and Acceptance for Gender and Sexual Minorities: A Clinicianfs Guide to Fostering Compassion, Connection, and Equality Using Contextual Strategies, which will be released in Fall of 2016 from New Harbinger Press.
 
AFFILIATED RESEARCHERS

Rylan Jay Testa, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Psychology Department and Director of the Health Behavior and Disparities Lab at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. Dr. Testa is a clinical psychologist whose research focuses on understanding and preventing self-destructive health-related behaviors, such as suicide, eating disorders, sexual risk-taking, and substance abuse. Dr. Testa is particularly committed to addressing these issues in marginalized and underserved populations. Several of his publications have focused on delineating the relationship between gender minority stress and suicidality among transgender and gender non-conforming people. For his work in this area, he has received the American Psychological Association Division 44’s Transgender Research Award. Dr. Testa’s research is grounded in the understanding that psycho-social factors are crucial to improving health outcomes. He aims to develop interventions that address these factors through innovative means, including technology-based, primary care-based, and community-based interventions.

Amanda Houston-Hamilton, DMH, is an Associate Clinical Professor in the UCSF Department of Psychiatry and a practicing psychotherapist with clinical, teaching, research and consulting experience emphasizing the needs of ethnic minorities, “hard to reach” populations, and under-served communities. Most recently a member of the staff of the Center for Health and Community at UCSF, she has been a Research Scientist at the Northern California Cancer Center. In addition to clinical research on developmental adaptations to race, her work on health behaviors has focused on reproductive health care decisions and the self-care practices of low-income women, and the HIV prevention and service barriers of gay and bisexual youth and men who have sex with men. Dr. Houston-Hamilton consults to CLEAR on community participator research for the San Francisco Welcoming Schools Guide Pilot.

Joyce P. Chu, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor, Director of the Multicultural Suicide Research Center (MSRC), and Co-Director of the Center for Excellence in Diversity at Palo Alto University. She earned her BA and MA in psychology at Stanford University, her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Michigan, and did a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Chu’s work is focused around the treatment of mood disorders in young adults, adults, and elderly populations. She has a particular emphasis on ethnic minority populations and diversity work. Her research is community-collaborative and aims to understand barriers to service use and develop culturally congruent outreach and treatment options for underserved communities.

Rowena Gomez, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor and Director of Clinical Training at Palo Alto University. Her clinical background is in aging and neuropsychology. She has also applied these areas to the study of affective disorders, in particular psychotic major depression. She is also interested in the diagnosis and treatment of dementia, and older adults’ ability to cope with age-related changes. Dr. Gomez completed her undergraduate work at University of California at Berkeley, majoring in psychology and social welfare. Her research there focused on PET studies of depression and dementia. Her graduate training was at Washington University at St. Louis in the tracks of Aging and Neuropsychology. She then went to Palo Alto Veteran’s Health Care System for her clinical neuropsychology internship. In 2002, she became a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. There she applied her background of aging and neurospychology to depressive disorders. In 2004, she received a Young Investigator Award Grant by the National Alliance of Research for Schizophrenia and Depression to examine the cognitive, hormonal, and (brain) structural differences in Psychotic Major Depression versus Nonpsychotic Major Depression.
 
SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY BOARD

Larry Beutler, Ph.D., is Distinguished Professor at Palo Alto University, is Past President of Divisions 29 (Psychotherapy) and 12 (Clinical) of APA, and a two term Past President (international) of the Society for Psychotherapy Research (SPR). Among his citations and achievements, he is a recipient of the Distinguished Career award from SPR, the Gold Medal Award from the American Psychological Foundation, and a Presidential citation for achievement from the APA. He has published over 350 scholarly articles and chapters and is the author or co-author of 20 books on psychotherapy, assessment, and psychopathology

Bruce Bongar, Ph.D., ABPP, FAPM is a professor at the Palo Alto University. Dr. Bongar received his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California and served his internship in clinical community psychology with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health. Past clinical appointments include service as a senior clinical psychologist with the Division of Psychiatry, Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, and work as a clinical/community mental health psychologist on the psychiatric emergency team of the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health. For over 25 years he maintained a small practice specializing in psychotherapy, consultation and supervision in working with the difficult and life-threatening patient. He is past president of the Section on Clinical Crises and Emergencies of the Division of Clinical Psychology of the American Psychological Association, a diplomate of the American Board of Professional Psychology, a fellow of the Divisions of Clinical Psychology (12), Psychology and the Law (41), and Psychotherapy (29) of the American Psychological Association, a fellow of the American Psychological Society and of the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine, and a chartered clinical psychologist of the British Psychological Society. Dr. Bongar is also a winner of the Edwin Shneidman Award from the American Association of Suicidology for outstanding early career contributions to suicide research, and the Louis I. Dublin award for lifetime achievement in research on suicidology. Since 2001, he has also become interested in the psychology of mass casualty events and suicide terrorism. His research and published work reflects his long-standing interest in the wide-ranging complexities of therapeutic interventions with difficult patients in general, and in suicide and life-threatening behaviors in particular.

Michael Hendricks, Ph.D. is the President of the Society of Clinical Psychology (APA Division 12), Section VII- Clinical Emergencies and Crises. He is a licensed psychologist in practice in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.. He has conducted research in the areas of depression, suicide, substance abuse, and other compulsive behaviors, HIV and gender issues. He is a co-investigator on the Virginia Transgender Research Initiative, which is a joint project of the Survey and Evaluation Research Laboratory, Virginia Commonwealth University, and the Virginia HIV Community Planning Committee, Virginia Department of Health.

Lynn C. Waelde, Ph.D. is a Professor at the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology and a Consulting Associate Professor at Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr Waelde earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in anthropology from Louisiana State University. She received her doctorate in Developmental Child Clinical Psychology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She has special interests in diversity, qualitative research methods, and statistical techniques. Dr. Waelde provides statistical consultation for the Sexual Minority Stress Scale.  
 
 

 
Photograph on this page: Dr. Peter Goldblum and student Ann Bilbrey. Photo © Gary Laufman.