Mental Health Conference

The new Clinical Mental Health Counseling Masters of Science program and the Department of Social Work will be co-hosting a Mental Health Conference this spring at the Rockville Centre campus. The conference is co-sponsored by the Fordham/Molloy Graduate Master's in Social Work Program, the Molloy Department of Psychology and Counseling, the National Association of Social Workers, NASW NYS, Nassau County Division, and LINYMHCA, the Long Island Chapter of the New York Mental Health Counselors Association (NYMHCA). 

"The Transformative Power of Mindfulness in Reducing Stress and
Optimizing Mental Health:
Evidence-Based Practices for the Helping Professions"

Our Second Annual Interdisciplinary Mental Health Conference entitled,"The Transformative Power of Mindfulness in Reducing Stress and Optimizing Mental Health: Evidence-Based Practices for the Helping Professions", will be held on Saturday, April 11, 2015 (please note the change in date from an earlier announcement) from 8:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. in the Madison Theatre located in the Public square on the Rockville Centre campus.

Presentations will include national and international experts representing the fields of psychology, medicine, counseling, and social work. Keynote speakers are Dr. Joan Borysenko and Dr. Romila Mushtaq. The conference will offer theoretical as well as experiential and practical presentations for professionals, practitioners, students, and anyone interested in the science and practice of mindfulness.

Please note: Molloy College is in the process of applying for approval as a Continuing Education Provider for Licensed Master Social Workers and Licensed Clinical Social Workers in New York State. We expect to report on the status of the approval sometime this winter, prior to the start of our spring conference.

Who should attend?
The intended audience includes anyone involved in the care and/or evaluation of individuals with mental illness, including: mental health counselors, addiction and substance abuse counselors, social workers, nurses, teachers, psychiatrists, psychologists, music therapists, speech-language pathologists, physicians, marriage and family therapists and students.

Conference Agenda

8 a.m.- 8:30 a.m.

Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:30 a.m. - 8:45 a.m.

Welcoming Remarks:

Drew Bogner, Ph.D., President, Molloy College

Laura B. Kestemberg, Ph.D., Conference Chair
Associate Professor in Psychology, Associate Dean and Director, Masters of Science Program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Molloy College

8:45 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.

Opening Keynote Speaker: Joan Borysenko, Ph.D.: "The Guide to Therapeutic Meditation, How to Do it, When to Use it, How to Teach it"

10:15 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.


10:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Daniel Rinaldi, Psy.D.: "The Use and Practice of Mindfulness Stress Reduction Techniques with College Students and Faculty in Academic Settings"

11:05 a.m.-11:35 p.m.

Beth Navon, LMSW: The Lineage Project: "Mindfulness Practice with At-Risk Youth"

11:35 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.


11:45 a.m. -1:15 p.m.

Closing Keynote Speaker: Romie Mushtaq M.D.: "Mindset Matters: The Neuroscience of Mindfulness to Heal Mood Disorders" and Experiential Exercise with Dr. Mushtaq

1:15 p.m. -1:30 p.m.

Closing Remarks

Session Descriptions

8:45-10:15 a.m.
"The Guide to Therapeutic Meditation - How to Do It, When to Use It, How to Teach It" 
Joan Borysenko, Ph.D.

Meditation is an evidence-based practice useful in treating stress related disorders, chronic illness, addictions, trauma, anxiety, and depression. In this in-depth introduction to the topic, four basic forms of meditation-concentration, mindfulness, compassion, and centering prayer will be compared, contrasted and taught. Dr. Borysenko's presentation will focus on the physiological, psychological and spiritual aspects of these differing practices with a view to helping clients identify a practice that best suits their needs and values.

Speaker: Joan Borysenko, Ph.D.

Joan is a Harvard Medical School trained cell biologist, psychologist, and New York Times bestselling author.

 After graduating magna cum laude from Bryn Mawr College in 1967, Joan earned her doctorate in Medical Sciences from the Harvard Medical School, where she completed postdoctoral training in cancer cell biology. Her first faculty position was at Tufts University College of Medicine in Boston. 

But after the death of her father from cancer, she became more interested in the person with the illness than in the disease itself, and returned to Harvard Medical School to complete a second postdoctoral fellowship, this time in the new field of behavioral medicine. Under the tutelage of Herbert Benson, M.D., who first identified the relaxation response and brought meditation into medicine, she was awarded a Medical Foundation Fellowship and completed her third postdoctoral fellowship in psychoneuroimmunology. 

In the early 1980s, Joan co-founded a Mind/Body clinic with Dr. Benson and Dr. Ilan Kutz, became licensed as a psychologist, and was appointed instructor in medicine at the Harvard Medical School. Her years of clinical experience and research culminated in the 1987 publication of the New York Times bestseller, Minding the Body, Mending the Mind, which sold over 400,000 copies. The 20th anniversary edition, newly revised, was published in 2007. 

Joan is the author or co-author of 17 books and numerous audio and video programs, including the public television special Inner Peace for Busy People, the founding partner of Mind/Body Health Sciences, LLC located in Boulder, Colorado, and the founder and former director of The Claritas Institute Interspiritual Mentor Training Program. She is a pioneer in stress management, resilience, and the use of meditation in medicine, and is well known for her tender exploration of the human spirit-how we create meaning that heals and inspires. 

Her latest book, The PlantPlus Diet Solution: Personalized Nutrition for Life represents the culmination of her pioneering work in holistic health. Joan devoted three years to a full-time exploration of the latest science and holistic practices that can now converge on a real solution for optimizing each person's diet. You can learn more about Dr. Borysenko's work at or join the lively conversation at

10:30-11:00 a.m.
"The Use and Practice of Mindfulness Stress Reduction Techniques with College Students and Faculty in Academic Settings
Daniel Rinaldi, Psy.D.

Emerging adults frequently experience high levels of stress as they pursue personal, educational, and vocational goals. Those studying and working in a university setting often find themselves inhabiting a highly distractible time period in our history.  Mindfulness has been applied in a variety of clinical therapies, including mindfulness-based stress reduction, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, and dialectical behavior therapy. Dr. Rinaldi's work in individual and group counseling sessions at Hofstra University incorporates these concepts, allowing students the opportunity to connect with the present moment and whatever that moment may bring on the physical, intellectual, and emotional level. Dr. Rinaldi's presentation will demonstrate how he teaches the core concepts of Mindfulness and Meditation at a university setting, introducing students and faculty to key concepts in the field. For example, Dr. Rinaldi will discuss how in connecting to our breath we become more aware of our sensations, thoughts, and feelings in the current moment instead of dwelling on the past or fixating on the future.

Speaker: Daniel Rinaldi, Psy.D.

Dr. Rinaldi attended Quinnipiac University where he received dual degrees in Psychology and English. He obtained his doctorate in School and Community Psychology from Hofstra University and has been a member of the Hofstra family for over 10 years in one capacity or another. He began working at Hofstra's Student Counseling Services as a Psychology Extern and has continued to work there ever since. Currently he is a licensed psychologist on staff there and is active in leading Mindfulness and Stress Management Workshops around campus as well as being the advisor to the Be Kind Step Up program.


11:05-11:35 a.m.
"The Lineage Project: Using Mindfulness Practice with At-Risk Youth"
Beth Navon, LMSW,RYT

Ms. Navon's presentation will cover the history of incarceration of juveniles in NYS, the shift to a rehabilitative approach in the juvenile justice system versus a punitive one, The Lineage Project's mindfulness curriculum as a therapeutic intervention to prevent recidivism, and a review of the latest research and outcome data on mindfulness techniques with this specific population.

Speaker: Beth Navon, LMSW,RYT; Executive Director, The Lineage Project.

Beth graduated from Simmons College with a Master's degree in Social Work in 1973. Recognized for her expertise in the mental health field with at risk youth, she has led workshops, served on panels and moderated national conferences. She has also published several articles and a book chapter describing methods for replicating the nationally-recognized service delivery model she created for youth re-entering the community after incarceration.

The Lineage Project (LP) is a not-for-profit organization in NYC founded in 1998 which teaches Awareness Based Practices (ABP) to adolescents and young adults ages 10 to 22. LP has developed a model for working with youth based on research which shows that awareness-based practices such as yoga and meditation can significantly reduce stress and increase the capacity for self-regulation.

11:45 A.M. -1:15 p.m.
"Mindset Matters: The Neuroscience Behind Mindfulness To Heal Mood Disorders"
Romie Mushtaq M.D.

Dr. Romie's presentation will discuss the neuroscience and medical evidence of the effects of stress on the brain and body.  She will focus on a natural and holistic approach to heal from anxiety and depression with "Mindset Matters" her 5 step program to conquer stress based on neuroscience, positive psychology and mindfulness.  Her presentation will combine principles of Eastern and Western medicine and end with a mindfulness exercises based in the principles of pranayama, breath-work and meditation.

Speaker: Romila "Dr. Romie" Mushtaq, M.D., ABIHM, is a traditionally trained neurologist and an expert in the field of mind-body medicine; the branch of medicine that promotes the science behind mindfulness-based techniques. 
Through her mindful living program, "Mindset Matters", she helps individuals heal from stress, retrain the brain, and shift mindset.

Dr. Romie completed her medical training and education at the Medical University of South Carolina, The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and The University of Michigan, where she won numerous teaching and research awards. She also served as an assistant professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

After surviving lifesaving surgery, Dr. Romie traveled the world learning mindfulness-based techniques such as yoga and meditation, and is now a certified hatha yoga instructor. She is also board certified in integrative and holistic medicine, and heals clients at the Center for Natural and Integrative Medicine in Orlando, Florida.

Dr. Romie is a highly sought after professional speaker, teaching the medicine behind mindfulness to groups and corporations. She is an expert contributor for the Huffington Post and is regularly featured in national and local media outlets such as Fox Business, NPR, and You can sign up for free wisdom from Dr. Romie on how to conquer stress and connect to inner peace at

Continuing Education Credit:

Social Work Continuing Education Credit
CEU's for NYS Licensed Social Workers: This program is co-sponsored by the NASW-NYS Nassau Division, NASW-NYS is an approved provider of CE for NYS Licensed Social Workers:  Provider ID#0014. CE Approval Status:  Pending NYSED CE Approval (NASW-NYS has submitted this program to NYSED for CE Approval.)    

Nursing Continuing Education Credit
Molloy College, Continuing Education Department, is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the New York State Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses' Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation. 4 contact Hours for the conference will be awarded if you attend each session of the conference.

Other Continuing Education Credit
Continuing Education credit for other professions, such as Speech-Language Pathologists, Music Therapists,and Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselors (CASAC), is pending. Check back for updates on the status of continuing education approval in these areas.

Tuition Rates
Early Registration: until February 27: $65
Regular Registration, February 28-March 27: $75
Late Registration: March 28-April 9: $85
At the Door (if space is available): $95
NASW or NYMHCA Members (show proof of membership at check-in, no late or at the door registration): $55 by February 27, $65 by March 27
Molloy Students: $10 (provide copy of student ID at check-in, no at the door registration, register by April 1)
Non-Molloy Students: $25 (provide copy of student ID at check-in, no at the door registration, register by April 1)
Molloy Faculty and Staff: No Charge. No at the door registration, register by April 1.
Molloy Alumni: 10% discount

Online registration is available by clicking here. Phone-in registration is available by calling 516.323.3550 with your MasterCard or Visa. To register in person, by fax or mail, please click here to download a registration form and follow the directions. Course number: Payment can be made by check or money order (made payable to Molloy College, by MasterCard or Visa, or by purchase order.

Registration is limited. In-person registration the day of the conference is on a space available basis and cannot be guaranteed.

Refund Policy: A full refund will be granted as long as you contact us by March 27. Refunds will not be granted after March 27: however, substitutions can be made until the day of the conference at no charge.

The conference will be given in theMadison Theatre in the Public Square Building at Molloy's Rockville Centre campus located at 1000 Hempstead Avenue, Rockville Centre, NY, 11571. The campus is located about 40 minutes east of New York City by train on Long Island. Travel directions will be sent with your confirmation, but can also be found on our website at:

If you should need hotel arrangements, please call 516.323.3554.

Conference Brochure
A conference brochure will be available sometime in February. To be placed on our mailing list or to be mailed a brochure, please contact Cindy Thomas, Assistant to the Director, Summer Sessions and Conference Services by email at: or by phone at:516.323.3554.

The new Clinical Mental Health Counseling Masters of Science program and the Department of Social Work will be co-hosting the conference. The conference is co-sponsored by:

 The Fordham/Molloy Graduate Master's in Social Work Program





The Molloy Department of Psychology and Counseling




The National Association of Social Workers, NYS, Nassau County Division



 LINYMHCA, the Long Island Chapter of the New York Mental Health Counselors Association (NYMHCA)






Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program
Please click here for the webpage for the Master of Science Program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Molloy College.

Questions regarding conference content or speakers?
Contact Laura B. Kestemberg, Ph.D., Associate Professor in Psychology, Associate Dean and Director, Master's of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program, Molloy College - Conference Chair
Phone: (516) 323-3842

Questions regarding registration?
Contact Cindy Thomas, Assistant to the Director, Summer Sessions and Conference Services
Phone: 516.323.3554

Click here for information on the 2014 conference.