2016 Newsletter. Created by the  WILA Alumni Association  for our WILA Community

Created by the Wright Institute Los Angeles Alumni Association for the WILA Community
Together 42 Years: Honoring Allen Yasser

On May 21st, we honored our beloved Allen Yasser for 41 years of devoted leadership of WILA. We celebrated on a perfect sunny day in the backyard of Myra & Earl Pomerantz's gorgeous Santa Monica home.

Spirits were high as we played games, ate tacos, and enjoyed a comedy show. Allen gave a moving tribute to his time at WILA and all that these 41 years have meant to him. 

Thank you, Allen. We love you.
Our New Clinical Director, Claudia Feldman

Claudia Feldman, Ph.D.
My love story with WILA started many years ago. I wanted so badly to be part of WILA that during my pre-doctoral internship I started private and group supervision with some of WILA's supervisors to better prepare myself to get into the postdoctoral fellowship.
WILA was my first and only choice. After sending in my application, I did something peculiar; I called Dr. Myra Pomerantz and asked if there was anything I could do to improve my chances of being accepted at WILA. Myra very politely said, "Just make sure your application is complete." I had no doubt it was. I had already reviewed my application a hundred times. Fortunately, Myra and Allen thought it was complete too! My training, supervision, and clinical experience at WILA were singular. I made the most of every class, every article assigned, and every supervision encounter.
After graduating from WILA, I went into private practice full-time, and shortly after, I began my analytic training at the New Center for Psychoanalysis. Slowly, my experience at WILA started to transform. It became this place inside (part collective, part private) that I could draw from -- a space co-created by a multitude of psychoanalysts and psychotherapists that passed through WILA. Once you are part of WILA, you become linked to thousands of analytic minds. You become part of this shared experience, which continues to expand and multiply.
When Michele and Allen offered me the position of Clinical Director, I was deeply honored. It is my time to give back. It is my time to foster in the new generation the same esprit de corps and psychoanalytic curiosity that was passed down to me. There is a lot of work to be done. WILA needs all of our minds to continue to exist. And I will need all of your help to make it happen.
It is good to be back at WILA. It is good to be back home.
Films From the Heart


Don't miss our award winning film: 'I AM BORDERLINE'

Postgraduate Fellow Betsy Usher, Psy.D. wrote, directed, and produced the film with the support of WILA's Executive Director Michele Gomes and the WILA Self-Regulation Project team. It began as an idea inspired by a song Betsy heard on the radio. Seeing the glimmer in her eyes as she pitched the idea of making a film to help reduce the stigma of individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder, Michele encouraged Betsy to go for it! And, she did! Betsy's talents are as abundant as her passion to educate the community about important mental health issues. WILA is grateful to Betsy and her entire team including Cinematographer Thom Kuo.

'I AM BORDERLINE' has won several awards and aired in film festivals. Most notably, the film was winner of the Art With Impact Short Film Competition, 2016. Art With Impact is a program that promotes mental wellness by creating space for young people to learn and connect through art and media. The organization visits schools around the nation to encourage a dialogue on mental health issues that are considered taboo.

Brant Anderson
, one of our outstanding Psychology Interns graciously hosted a wrap party for our film 'I Am Borderline.' Most of the filming was also done in his beautiful home. Thank you, Brant! - June 2016
WILA Happenings
The Panel: Garret Wyner, Ulla Grunnet, Dana Kiesel, Lisa Grajewski
Life After WILA... EEK!

The Alumni Association held a panel discussion for soon-to-be-graduates.  Topics ranged from establishing a niche to how to pick the perfect couch! Our panel of esteemed alumni represented a wide swath of experience: seasoned practitioner, analyst in training, agency and clinical work, and forensic psychology.

Bagels and Gratitude

The WILA Alumni Association hosted a Trainee Appreciation Bagel Breakfast. Represented by Alumni Association Board Members, Lilly Gallay and Eran Solomon, interns engaged in a big breakfast spread, Starbucks coffee, and learned about the particulars of the alumni association. In response, one WILA Trainee said,  "We love Bagel Day! Truthfully everyday is Trainee Appreciation Day at WILA."

Terry Simpson, Psy.D.
All Jokes Aside

On Sunday, March 6th, funny men and alumni, James Harris and Terry Simpson, performed  at "Off the Wall!" in Santa Monica. Lots of laughs were had and part of the proceeds went to WILA!
James Harris, Psy.D.

Alumni MeetUps

We've had a wonderful time at our first two WILA Alumni Meetups. Three decades of cohorts have been represented, along with members of the original graduate school. Come out and join us!

March Meetup @ The Avalon Hotel

August Meetup @ Steingarten LA

Our Next Alumni Meetup is

Saturday November 12th 5-7pm

West Restaurant @ Hotel Angelino

Please email  alumni@wila.org to let us know you'll be coming! We look forward to celebrating the holiday season with you!


More Amazing Students
WILA continues to have a  national reputation as a premier training site. Each year we are faced with the lucky problem of choosing a new class from a large pool of qualified applicants. We're proud to introduce you to our 2016 cohort!

Pear Wilson, Yasi Mostajeran, Chanel Halimi, Jennifer Kashani, Gregory Brown, Marilyn Robison, Nevena Mojsilovic, Christine Spera, Kyle Kermott, Kyana Barakett, Tyler Howard, Nicole Flowers

We also say 'bye-for-now' to our wonderful graduates!
Maryam Vadjed-Samiei, Veronika Glusker, Ilana Bar-Din Giannini, Rebecca Rodriguez, Noa Hedaya, Lauren Moses, Aimee Martinez, Neil Cortez (Not pictured: Jody Churko)


The idea is simple:  We'll match each current trainee with a WILA alumnus who is practicing psychotherapy in the Los Angeles area,  to meet about three times over the course of one year. Trainees will come to your office or wherever is most convenient. The focus is NOT supervision; rather, it's an invaluable professional development experience for the trainee.

It's not too late to participate! If you haven't already, shoot us a quick email at alumni@wila.org to let us know you're interested in becoming a mentor to one of our fabulous trainees.

The WILA Alumni Association  is a valued partner of Wright Institute Los Angeles . Members are active in fundraising, sponsoring CE programs, and honoring WILA trainees and graduates. The Association also publishes the WILA Newsletter and Spotlights and organizes social events for Alumni.  Join today online  or for more informat ion, contact  alumni@wila.org