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Palo Alto University Acquires CONCEPT Professional Training, Expands Online Offerings for Mental Health Practitioners

Palo Alto, California—Palo Alto University (PAU), Northern California's leading school of psychology and counseling, has acquired Consolidated Continuing Education & Professional Training (CONCEPT) Professional Training, a world-class provider of premium online professional training for mental health professionals, with a reputation for excellence in forensic psychology.   Under the umbrella of a new division, Continuing and Professional Studies, this acquisition significantly expands PAU’s programming with the addition of post-graduate education and training. Offerings will include continuing education in the areas of police and public safety psychology, counseling, immigration court evaluation, and behavioral science of firearms; the introduction of new certificate programs; and delivery of training for local, state and federal agencies as well as practitioners around the world. Patricia Zapf, Ph.D., a clinical forensic psychologist and the founder of CONCEPT, will lead the integration and development of the program at PAU as vice president for continuing and professional studies.
“In keeping with Palo Alto University’s mission to advance education, research and practice in the fields of psychology and counseling, we are joining forces with a premier and established provider of online professional training to broaden training opportunities for mental health practitioners at all stages of their careers, locally and around the world,” said Maureen O’Connor, president of Palo Alto University. “We are honored to have the brilliant force behind CONCEPT, Patricia Zapf, lead the expansion of Palo Alto University’s continuing and professional studies. Her impressive background in research, training, consultancy, and entrepreneurship, coupled with her unique vision, development and execution of CONCEPT Professional Training, makes her an invaluable asset to the institution.”

“By combining the strengths of CONCEPT Professional Training with the infrastructure, faculty expertise and academic leadership of Palo Alto University, we are uniquely positioned to be at the forefront of online and in-person professional training that is developed and delivered by the best in the field,” noted Zapf. “We are developing opportunities for convenient and affordable online training that will elevate the level of practice among specialized mental health professionals around the world.”   Since its inception in 2009, CONCEPT has built a strong reputation by providing high-quality professional training to over 15,000 mental health professionals in 45 countries. With an extensive database of over 35,000 mental health professionals, CONCEPT offers over 1,000 hours of training content in forensic mental health which will be further expanded as it merges content with PAU course offerings. All training programs are based on the latest research and evidence-based practices, which enables participants to incorporate relevant, up-to-date information based on a solid scientific foundation into their practice. In addition to professional training, CONCEPT provides free resources to promote lifelong learning and to allow participants to stay at the top of their practice throughout their careers.

“CONCEPT offers an unparalleled breadth and depth of training by experts from all over the world who are leaders in their field,” said Stephen Hart, Ph.D., an expert in risk assessment and management and content expert for CONCEPT.  “CONCEPT programs offer providers in the field of mental health the knowledge and skills they need to become better professionals.”   Prior to joining the administration at PAU, Zapf served as a professor of psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice at The City University of New York. She was instrumental in developing John Jay’s doctoral program in clinical psychology with an emphasis in forensic psychology, serving as its first director of clinical training. Zapf has served as the editor of the American Psychology-Law Society (AP-LS) Book Series, as co-editor of the APA Handbook of Forensic Psychology, as associate editor of Law and Human Behavior, the leading journal in the field of forensic psychology, and in numerous leadership positions in the field, including past president of AP-LS and as a member of the International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services board of directors.   For additional information, or to register for training, visit
  About Palo Alto University
Palo Alto University is dedicated to improving the human condition through excellence in teaching, research and scholarship in the fields of psychology and counseling. With an unwavering commitment to diversity and to the communities it serves, PAU offers doctorate, master's and bachelor's programs, as well as hands-on clinical training. A private, non-profit university, PAU is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Connect at: