Simpson Graduate Psychology Students Share Research at State Conference

For Immediate Release


REDDING, Calif. – Eleven men and women from Simpson University’s Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology program presented research at a sold-out graduate student conference in San Diego on Feb. 24.

About 300 people attended the California Division Student Conference put on by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapists. The conference showcases the work of graduate students, presented in 50-minute formal sessions and on posters.

“It was a great way for students, graduate programs and university professionals throughout California to get a glimpse of what Simpson University has to offer and the high degree of professionalism, student involvement and research interest the MACP program generates,” said Dr. Michelle Engblom-Deglmann, clinical director of Simpson’s MACP program.

Designed to prepare students for California licensure as marriage and family therapists, the MACP program launched two years ago. New cohorts begin each fall, with students meeting three times a week for two years.

While MACP students have been accepted to present research at state conferences in the past, this was the largest number of student presenters accepted at one conference since the program began.

“I am impressed with the breadth of research interest shown by the topics the students presented on,” said Dr. Adeline Jackson, director of the MACP program. “Each student was supported by a faculty mentor, and their commitment to the success of our students is outstanding.”

Students Jenni Odell, Sarah Ball, William Myers, and Kimber Serna – along with Christopher Scott, who graduated from the program in January – presented research in formal sessions. Six students – Myers, Vanessa Areiza, Sarah Miller, Rayelle Finlayson, Sarah Sanders and Dan Marshall – created visual displays of their research, answering questions from interested attendees who informally viewed their posters.

Research topics covered aspects of family dynamics, sexual addiction, schizophrenia and intergenerational conflict, among others.

“The commitment of time and effort it took to research their areas of interest and prepare to present at a professional conference speaks volumes for the caliber of student we have in the MACP program,” said Dr. Jackson.

In addition to gaining valuable presenting experience, the students also had opportunities to network and learn from others.

"The variety of experience, knowledge, and insight from the presenters at the conference was exceptional,” said student Dan Marshall. “It was a wonderful time of interacting with and learning from other students and professionals who all share a similar passion."

To learn more about the MACP program, visit

The Simpson University presenters and their topics were as follows:

Formal presentations

  • Jenni Odell and Sarah Ball, “The Effects of Spinal Cord Injury on Family Dynamics”
  • William Myers, “Family Systems Work with Schizophrenia: A Bowenian Oriented Approach”
  • Christopher Scott and Dr. Engblom-Deglmann, “Overcoming Trust and Attachment Issues Following Couple Infidelity”
  • Dr. Engblom-Deglmann, “Divorce Adjustment: Clinical Interventions to Assist with Disentanglement”
  • • Kimber Serna, “Sexual Addiction: Comparing Executive Function Development to Prevalence of Sex Addiction"

Poster presentations

  • Vanessa Areiza, “Structural and Experiential Family Therapy Approaches with Intercultural Families”
  • Sarah Miller, “The Five Languages of Love”
  • Rayelle Finlayson, “Intergenerational Conflict in Undocumented Mexican Immigrant Families with Adolescent Children”
  • Sarah Sanders, “Infant and Child Attachment”
  • Dan Marshall, “Father-Son Relationships: The Importance of Love and Affection in a Changing Culture”
  • William Myers, “Schizophrenia: Fact and Fiction”


Simpson University is a Christian university offering undergraduate, graduate and teaching credential programs. Simpson's academic programs include ASPIRE, a degree-completion program geared toward working adults in the north state. Simpson's recent curriculum expansion includes degrees in biology, nursing, outdoor leadership, and a master's degree in counseling psychology. For more information about the university, or to arrange a personalized visit, call 1-888-9-SIMPSON or visit


Contact: SU Public Relations
(530) 226-4737