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Psychological association president to speak

March 18, 2009

KALAMAZOO--The president of the American Psychological Association will be on Western Michigan University's campus Monday and Tuesday, April 6-7, for a series of events open to members of the public.

Dr. James H. Bray, who became APA president in January, will be presenting a communitywide lecture as well as two clinical training programs and two colloquia. His visit is part of WMU's Visiting Scholars and Artists Program.

Each event featuring Bray is free, but requires registration by Wednesday, March 25. Seating for all of Bray's programs is limited. Those interested in attending are encouraged to register online at http://www.wmich.edu/coe/cecp.

The communitywide lecture will take place from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Monday, April 6, in the Fetzer Center. A reception for Bray will follow the lecture, which is titled "Adolescent and Young Adult Drug and Alcohol Abuse: Parents, Teens and Propaganda."

The remaining presentations also are open to the general public, but geared toward psychology and counseling professionals as well as WMU students and faculty members.

Bray will lead two three-hour clinical training programs that start at 9 a.m. The program on "Screening and Brief Interventions for Substance Abuse" will take place Monday, April 6, while the program on "Love, Marriage and Parenting in Stepfamilies" will take place Tuesday, April 7.

In addition, Bray will present a colloquium from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Monday on "The Future of Psychology Practice" and a research colloquium from 3 to 4:15 p.m. Tuesday on "Developmental, Family and Peer Influences on Adolescent Alcohol Use."

An internationally acclaimed researcher, author and lecturer, Bray is an expert in stepfamily therapy as well as in treating and preventing adolescent alcohol and drug abuse. He has extensive experience addressing the needs of at-risk children and families. His role as president of the 140,000-member APA gives him a unique opportunity to continue advocating for families as one of America's most influential mental health public policy leaders.

Bray is an associate professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. He also serves the department as director of the Family Counseling Clinic, which specializes in providing collaborative primary care for children and families and in training psychology students in primary care psychology.

A clinical psychologist, Bray has been active in APA governance since 1988 and has held numerous leadership positions within the organization. Outside of the organization, he conducts research as well as teaches resident physicians, medical students and psychology students. He also maintains an active clinical practice that focuses on children and families and primary care psychology.

Bray has published and presented numerous works in the areas of divorce, remarriage, adolescent substance use, intergenerational family relationships, and collaboration between physicians and psychologists.

He completed one of the first longitudinal studies to examine the effects of divorce and remarriage on children and adolescents, and summarized this work in his book, "Stepfamilies: Love, Marriage and Parenting in the First Decade." He and a colleague also completed one of the first demonstration projects related to teaching psychologists to collaborate with family doctors.

Long involved in a variety of health issues, he has been a National Science Foundation grant reviewer, consultant to the National Institute of Mental Health Consortium on Families and HIV/AIDS research program, and member of the National Leadership Coalition for Health Care Reform, an organization active in the early 1990s that brought together major corporations and labor unions to seeking to reign in health care costs while broadening coverage for Americans.

Bray's visit is being co-sponsored by Kalamazoo's Family and Children Services as well as the University's colleges of Education and of Health and Human Services; departments of Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology, Family and Consumer Sciences, and Psychology; and Specialty Program in Alcohol and Substance Abuse.

For more information, contact Dr. Alan J. Hovestadt, visit coordinator and WMU professor of counselor education and counseling psychology, at alan.hovestadt@wmich.edu or (269) 387-5117.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, (269) 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

WMU News
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