Faculty, clinicians and students affiliated with Palo Alto University and the Institute for Global Mental Health have projects and ongoing programs addressing needs around the world. Click map points for details.
The Institute's home base is the Palo Alto, CA, campus of Palo Alto University. PAU is a private, nonprofit educational institution, founded in 1975 as the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology (PGSP), an independent, professional school. PGSP re-incorporated as Palo Alto University in August 2009 when it began offering bachelor's degree programs.
PAU is dedicated to ducation with an emphasis on the behavioral and social sciences. Its mission is to prepare future innovators and leaders for the benefit of society; to generate knowledge through research and scholarship of the highest level; and to provide mental health services to the community that are informed by science and scholarship.
PAU maintains numerous international collaborations as well as collaborative partnerships with Stanford University School of Medicine, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Medical Center, and many other mental health care and social service organizations that support the diverse communities of Silicon Valley, the greater San Francisco Bay Area, and beyond.
Dr. Eduardo Bunge co-directs a children and adolescents clinic in Buenos Aires (Fundación de Terapia Cognitiva con Niños y Adolescentes, ETCI, www.etci.com.ar) with Dr. Betty Gomez, Director of the Aiglee Foundation of Buenos Aires. They are also working to bring PAU's Global Online M.A. Counseling program to Latin America. This program will enable students in Argentina, Brazil and Chile to take courses online and complete their fieldwork in their home countries.
Central African Republic
Because of its expertise in research methods and trauma treatment, Palo Alto University was invited by the CAR Interfaith Peacebuilding Partnership to develop and evaluate pre-existing trauma healing and peace education programs. These programs, whose goal is to reduce trauma in order to enable receptivity to peace, have never been conducted together, and neither has been subjected to scientific testing in CAR, or anywhere else for that matter.
The study is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) through a grant to Catholic Relief Services. Data collection will end in 2017, and the analyses will be reported in 2018. More...
PAU has trained numerous therapists and counselors in China through its online master's degree programs. The first cohort graduated in 2014, and the 2017 commencement included 15 graduates.
Through online education, accessible worldwide, PAU prepares mental health professionals to meet the needs of their home countries and communities while contributing to research and methodology for counseling around the world. While disseminating relevant techniques and training internationally, the PAU community is gaining insights into mental health concerns and issues that have not been widely studied.
In December, 2015, Dr. Karen Roller traveled to Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti, with Global Trauma Research, Inc., a Brooklyn, NY-based non-profit organization whose mission is to increase access to culturally competent trauma counseling services to underserved minority populations. The trip was part of GTR's Haiti Trauma Project. The purpose of the trip was to implement the National Board of Certified Counselor’s Mental Health Facilitator training. In addition to the training, she helped to organize and transport holiday gifts for Haitian orphans. PAU also has a history of supporting Haiti with donations of technology for low income schools.
In 2014, PAU provided support to the Philippines following Supertyphoon Haiyan. The work done in partnership with faculty from Ateneo de Manila University and University of the Philippines, Visayas resulted in the development of two manualized and modularized post-disaster interventions, one for immediate post-disaster and the other for more specialized needs in the longer term aftermath. These disaster intervention manuals integrate mindfulness and meditation practice to address the stress component of disaster work.
Hundreds of disaster responders were trained in the interventions, which have impacted the lives of thousands of disaster survivors. Thanks to these efforts, a generation of Filipino psychology students has been influenced to consider clinical psychology as a career option, even though training resources are not commonplace there. Dr. Lynne Waelde and other PAU staff continue their collaborative efforts with Filipino colleagues.
Dr. William Froming is trained as a research psychologist in personality and social psychology. He has long-term interest in pro-social behavior, moral development, self-awareness, and the relationship between thought and action. Along the way Dr. Froming became a student of the Holocaust and genocide--tragedies of epic proportions that demand psychological analysis. He has incorporated Holocaust events and people into his teaching, visited many sites in Europe, and befriended amazing people who survived the nightmare.
In 2004 he first visited Rwanda, where the genocide had taken place in 1994. He was deeply moved by what he learned and was struck by the parallels between the Holocaust and the genocide in Rwanda. This has led to two parallel developments. First, he has led multiple groups of faculty and students on teaching trips to Rwanda. The goal is to assist in the building of a graduate program to train students to treat trauma survivors. Second, the commonalities between the two genocides sparked his desire to explore other genocides, such as those in Armenia and Cambodia, to better understand the conditions that give rise to such events.
In 2008 Dr. Froming was an invited speaker at the Raphael Lemkin Seminar for Genocide Prevention in Auschwitz, Poland, where he lectured on these topics to government officials from around the world.