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Welcome, Dr. Stacy Ann Aquipel!

We at PNBC are pleased to introduce our new psychologist to the practice, Dr. Stacy Ann Aquipel.

Dr. Aquipel is a clinical psychologist licensed in California (PSY28518) with specialty training in geriatrics and health psychology, including treating individuals experiencing mood disorders, anxiety, grief and loss, emotional trauma (including acute stress and PTSD), substance abuse issues, acute and chronic pain, interpersonal difficulties, and the after-effects of brain injuries, strokes (CVAs), medical complications, acquired disabilities/functional deficits, and neurodegenerative conditions/dementias.

She has provided individual and group psychotherapy primarily to adults in inpatient, residential, and outpatient settings, including psychiatric hospital, community mental health, long-term care/skilled nursing, and substance abuse treatment programs. She also has experience conducting psychological and neuropsychological assessments with adults and older adults for diagnostic, care planning, and capacity evaluation purposes.

Dr. Aquipel primarily utilizes an existential-humanistic, person-centered, biopsychosocial, and strengths-based approach in psychotherapy that integrates aspects of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), psychoeducation/skills training, mindfulness, and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT). She is dedicated to providing trauma-informed, as well as multiculturally affirming and responsive care.

Clinician Highlights at PNBC

For this week’s blog post, we would like to highlight some recent accomplishments for some of our clinicians at PNBC, as well as their extracurricular work activities.

Dr. Takisha Corbett, Psychologist

Dr. Corbett is a steering committee member of the California Psychological Associate Division 1 Health Psychology Section and worked with the steering committee to raise awareness of Health Inequities and Disparities. Dr. Corbett recently wrote an article highlighting the impact of implicit racial bias within healthcare systems and the growing body of research connecting implicit bias to chronic health disparities. She is currently work on additional research with the steering committee to continue facilitating positive change to reduce health inequities and disparities.

Dr. Corbett also provides clinical supervision to large clinical trials pediatric research study at UC San Diego. The study focuses on improving treatment outcomes in pediatric obesity treatment. Dr. Corbett started up the study several years ago and currently oversees treatment implementation, provides clinical supervision to group leaders and coaches, and provides treatment to parents.

Dr. Corbett also works with the San Diego County Department of Probation Youth Development and Community Support Services. The Department of Probation has been working to transform the juvenile justice system and implement the Georgetown University Youth in Custody Model. Dr. Corbett works with the Department of Probation providing trainings on promoting and implementing positive youth development within juvenile justice settings, and key aspects of adolescent development.

Dr. Corbett is member of the Chula Vista Police Chief’s Community Advisory Board and recently worked with The Department to review and revise several important policies to ensure adherence with best practices.

 

Dr. Sarah Jurick, Neuropsychologist

Dr. Sarah Jurick had 8 peer-reviewed manuscripts accepted for publication or published in 2020, and was selected for a paper presentation at the upcoming INS meeting next month, with a talk entitled, “Trauma-focused Treatment Enhanced with Cognitive Rehabilitation Improves Memory Performance in Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans with Cognitive Impairment.” In addition to her clinical work at PNBC, Dr. Jurick conducts longitudinal research studies of active duty service members and veterans at the Naval Health Research Center. A list of her extensive publications may be found here.

 

 

Dr. Delia Silva, Neuropsychologist

Dr. Silva was elected as Chair-Elect for the California Psychological Association (CPA) Division 8 (Neuropsychology) for 2021. Her term as chair will run from 2022-2023. Division 8 has been involved in legislative advocacy for psychologist practices in California, and providing educational and networking benefits to its members. Division 8 is currently working on promoting and sponsoring a series of diversity educational programming developed through UCSD’s Clinical Neuropsychology Seminar (CNS) for post-doctoral residents.

Dr. Silva continues to serve through 2021 as Secretary for the Hispanic Neuropsychological Society (HNS), a national organization that has been a leader in promoting opportunities and resources for neuropsychologists and students to establish competence in working with Latino/a/x populations.

Empowering Holiday Rituals

In a year full of uncertainties and the continuing need for social distancing, the holiday season in 2020 may not feel very festive. You may feel that there is not too much to celebrate about 2020 and may choose to forego in this holiday rituals altogether! If you do that, however, you might be missing out on an opportunity!

Because of the events in your life, you may feel like you have little to no control, but by engaging in rituals, you are making the choice to empower yourself, no matter how small it may seem.

A ritual is an act or series of acts performed in a customary way. Rituals may be as elaborate as a ceremonies marking events (like a wedding to mark the start of a marriage), or as simple as having a cup of coffee in the morning to start the workday. Rituals bring us a sense of comfort with their predictability through repetition. Rituals are also performed with intention, which can serve to bring about a desired outcome that we want to achieve. Rituals can also provide us with a sense of closure. Psychological theories examining the purpose of rituals have postulated that they serve three main purposes 1) Regulate emotions, 2) Prepare us for some type of action, and 3) Social connectivity (Hobson et al., 2018).

Holiday rituals typically consist of family gatherings, specific meals, decorating homes, and (for many), engaging in religious rites. While it is true that the holidays in 2020 may not be celebrated exactly in the same way you have celebrated in years past, engaging in the holiday rituals that are within your control may still bring a sense of comfort. This year, your holiday rituals may be done with the purpose of closing out this year and welcoming the new year with a positive outlook. Perhaps you can create a new ritual for yourself to leave negativity in the past and enter into the future feeling lighter and stronger.

Some ideas to consider:

  • Make your favorite holiday meal. If you have leftovers, gift them to your neighbors.
  • Put up the holiday decorations and listen to holiday music while you do it.
  • Call your loved ones and friends that you have been meaning to reconnect with.
  • Try a new holiday tradition that you have not done before. For ideas, search the internet for New Year’s Eve traditions from around the world and see what you find!
  • Clean your house and throw away things that you know you need to let go of.
  • Write down the negative events that you want to leave in the past and then burn that sheet of paper (in a safe place, of course!).
  • Think about what change you want to make for 2021 and visualize that goal. Make an effort to engage in that visualization each day.

It is your choice. Are you going to give up on the holidays this year, or are you going to take it back and use it to power you into a better place for 2021?

 

Written by Delia Silva, PsyD. Dr. Silva is a neuropsychologist at Pacific Neurobehavioral Clinic, PC.

Reference

Hobson, N. M., Schroeder, J., Risen, J. L., Xygalatas, D., & Inzlicht, M. (2018). The psychology of rituals: An integrative review and process-based framework. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 22(3), 260-284.