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PAU’s CONCEPT Professional Training Helped Yenys Castillo, Ph.D., Expand Her Practice and Raise the Bar

Monday, December 16, 2019
Yenys Castillo, Ph.D. was the Director of Psychology, Clinical Training, and Forensic  Services at South Florida Evaluation and Treatment Center in 2016, when an attorney asked her to offer expert testimony on a death penalty case. She sought out professional development opportunities to expand her skills and found CONCEPT Professional Training’s online workshops and webinars.

“The trainings were thorough and conducted by board-certified forensic psychologists. I could go to a university and learn from a live professor, but CONCEPT has experts who wrote “the” best-practice books and continually set high standards in the field of forensic psychology. That is rare to find in a single space,” Dr. Castillo said.

Since then, she has taken almost a dozen courses and has established a full-time private practice in forensic psychology . She attributes the growth of her practice, in great part, to the CONCEPT trainings.

CONCEPT Professional Training, which combined forces in 2019 with Palo Alto University, offers a range of online and in-person post-graduate training for mental health and allied professionals led by world-class experts on relevant, specialty topics.

Dr. Castillo describes the “Best Practices in Competence to Stand Trial” workshop taught by instructor and PAU Vice President of Continuing & Professional Studies Patricia Zapf, Ph.D. It offered a weekly consultation along with the course. Students met online and discussed real-world cases and experiences, she said. Dr. Castillo brought her own cases to the cohort and took the learning experience right back to the courtroom.

Courses range from 10-20 continuing education credits. Since the trainings are web-based, Dr. Castillo was able to enroll, engage, and then listen to them again and again via audio or video. The instructors were also responsive when contacted and have offered feedback and mentorship.  

A meaningful course Dr. Castillo enrolled in was the “Evaluations for High Stake Cases” with Dr. Mark D. Cunningham. “He’s really guided my work and responded to all my questions,” she said. “He takes a very holistic view of defendants and has made important and innovative contributions to the practice of evaluations for capital sentencing.”

Other courses she has taken to further her career include “Assessment of Malingering” with Dr. Barry Rosenfeld, “Evaluation of Risk for Violence using the HCR-20 V3” with Drs. Kevin Douglas, Stephen Hart, and Laura Guy, and “Effective Expert Testimony for Forensic Evaluation” with Dr. Randy Otto. “All the trainings extend beyond theory and research, and are very practical,” she said, noting that the applied and data-driven approach has improved her critical thinking skills and expanded her ability to offer forensic psychology services in Florida, California, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, and New York.  

“By taking these trainings, we as participants can raise the quality of our work to align with the highest standards in our field,” Dr. Castillo said.

Since 2009 CONCEPT Professional Training has been equipping mental health professionals with the education and specialized skills to map their paths for continuing success. By combining strengths in 2019 with Palo Alto University’s faculty expertise and academic leadership, CONCEPT custom-designs online and in-person, post-graduate training for mental health and allied professionals — connecting you directly with world-class experts on relevant, specialty topics. We continually expand the breadth and depth of our course offerings and partnerships so we can help you practice lifelong excellence. https://concept.paloaltou.edu/
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