The Wright Institute News & Events

Therapist Doubles as Asylum Advocate

Therapist Doubles as Asylum Advocate



Sahil Sharma, a third-year student in the Wright Institute’s Doctor of Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) program, is spending his training year developing not only his clinical and assessment skills, but also learning to compose asylum evaluations for many of his clients. Placed at Partnerships for Trauma Recovery, a relatively new Bay Area nonprofit founded by a graduate of the Counseling Psychology program, Sahil works with people who were forced to flee their countries of origin.

“Our clients include refugees, asylum seekers, and victims of human trafficking and other atrocities,” he explained. “At my placement, we provide free mental health services and work closely with local legal agencies to provide asylum evaluations for court to help our clients remain legally in the country.”

As his clients’ therapist and advocate, Sahil’s role is distinct from that of an expert witness but still potentially extremely influential.

Dr. Hanna Levenson, Clinical Psychology Program core faculty member, to serve as invited discussant

Dr. Hanna Levenson, Clinical Psychology Program core faculty member, to serve as invited discussant



The University of California, San Francisco Department of Psychiatry will host its 13th annual Robert S. Wallerstein, MD Visiting Lectureship on Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 from 1-5 pm. Dr. Hanna Levenson, Wright Institute Clinical Psychology Program core faculty member, will lead the discussion following the keynote address.

Uniting in Grief: Students Start Grief and Loss Group at the Wright Institute Clinic

Uniting in Grief: Students Start Grief and Loss Group at the Wright Institute Clinic



Second-year Clinical Psychology students Eyal Matalon and Anna Weicker recently launched a process group through the Wright Institute Psychodynamic Clinic for members of the community dealing with grief and loss.

“Grief and loss are topics steeped in feelings of isolation,” Anna said. “When you lose something that’s vital to you, it often feels like something nobody understands; but, at the same time, recovering from grief and loss is all about connecting with people and being able to share in that experience.”

Eyal added, “Many countries and cultures have rituals around grief and loss that are about bringing people together because it can be such an isolating experience.”

Dean Gilbert Newman active in supporting Public Service Loan Forgiveness program

Dean Gilbert Newman active in supporting Public Service Loan Forgiveness program



Dr. Gilbert Newman, Dean and Director of Clinical Training, held a meet and greet at his home for Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (D-11th-CA). The event was arranged as an opportunity to discuss the importance of preserving the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. The Congressman is on a key committee responsible for the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, through which PSLF is funded. Several Wright Institute Clinical program graduates contributed personal stories demonstrating the PSLF’s impact on people receiving services from clinicians enrolled in the program.

The Congressman spent considerable time at the event, answering questions and sharing his views about the divisiveness in Congress, his prescriptions for ways to focus moving ahead, and his concerns about education and other important issues. The participants were all impressed by how well read, informed and personal he was in his comments.

Wright Institute founder, Dr. Nevitt Sanford, in the news

Wright Institute founder, Dr. Nevitt Sanford, in the news

Craig K. Comstock, a writer, TV producer, and former student of Dr. Nevitt Sanford, recently posted two brief articles about Wright Institute founder, Dr. Nevitt Sanford. Comstock served as a teaching assistant for Dr. Sanford during his time in the Psychology department at Stanford University in the 1960s, before Dr. Sanford founded the Wright Institute in 1968. Click here to learn more about Dr. Sanford's background.

Click below to read the posts:

Sanford’s Institutes
Lesson from Starting Something


Click here to learn more about the Wright Institute’s Doctor of Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) program.
Click here to learn more about the Wright Institute’s Master of Counseling Psychology program.

Get to know Katherine Tarnoff, MFT - Core Faculty, Counseling Psychology Program

Get to know Katherine Tarnoff, MFT - Core Faculty, Counseling Psychology Program

See Katherine's professional biography here.


Shayna Quilty (SQ): You started at the Wright Institute as a student. How did you find out about the Wright as a prospective student?
Katherine Tarnoff (KT):
I was working in advertising before I transitioned into the counseling field. After working for an ad agency for a few years, I started to want something more substantial out of my career and an opportunity to connect more honestly with people. I realized I would need to change fields if I wanted to make that happen.

So I began exploring other career options. I heard about The Wright Institute through an acquaintance and it is the only place that I applied-- I’ve never second-guessed or regretted the decision. The environment immediately felt welcoming and open with opportunity.

Helping Children Process Trauma

Helping Children Process Trauma

"Bibliotherapy can be a powerful medium to help process distress," says Dr. Ritchie Rubio, Full-Time faculty member with the Counseling Psychology program.

"With kids, my experience is that the books need to be as close as possible to what they went through but it doesn't have to be. My personal favorite is 'A Terrible Thing Happened' by Margaret Holmes. Another good one is 'When the Bough Breaks: A Story For Children Suffering Natural Disasters.'"

Including the Body in Psychotherapy Practice

Including the Body in Psychotherapy Practice
By Angela Porter, MFT, CATC, CMT, Wright Institute Counseling Psychology program graduate



Doing graduate work at The Wright Institute allowed me to assimilate my life experience with my desire to become a clinician capable of navigating the increasingly complex mental health needs of our society. Before becoming a therapist, I was a substance abuse treatment counselor for many years, and I studied Gestalt and Body Psychotherapy as a work scholar at Esalen Institute, with some of the great pioneers in the field.

Get to know Bowbay Liang-Hua Feng, MFT - Core Faculty, Counseling Psychology Program

Get to know Bowbay Liang-Hua Feng, MFT - Core Faculty, Counseling Psychology Program

See Bowbay's professional biography here.


Shayna Quilty (SQ): Congratulations on becoming a Core Faculty Member! Can you tell me a bit about your history with the Wright Institute?
Bowbay Feng (BF):
Thank you! I’m a graduate of the Counseling Psychology program here at the Wright Institute. I was always interested in teaching. I talked with my faculty advisor about it when I was still a student, and she was wonderfully supportive. I have taught at other universities, and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to join the faculty at my own alma mater. I have a long history of teaching and developing programs, trainings, and groups. I am an avid learner and am passionate about sharing and helping others grow, develop, and explore.

New study explores impacts of clinical supervisory relationships on supervisees and supervisors

New study explores impacts of clinical supervisory relationships on supervisees and supervisors

Click here to read more about Dr. Rubio’s background.
Click here to read about Dr. Rubio's work with Expressive Arts.



The San Francisco Department of Public Health - Behavioral Health Services is undergoing external review by the State. As part of this review, Dr. Ritchie Rubio, Full-Time Faculty member in the Counseling Psychology program, will be presenting on his ongoing study of clinical supervisors of the city.

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