Meet Cesar A. Gonzalez, PhD, ABPP, 2008 CSPP Graduate
Cesar Gonzalez, PhD, ABPP graduated from the California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP) at Alliant International University, Los Angeles in 2008, with a PhD in clinical psychology and an emphasis in multicultural community psychology. While at CSPP Dr. Gonzalez received his pre-doctoral clinical training at Pasadena City College, Children’s Collective, Inc. Los Angeles Department of Mental Health and Glendale Adventist Medical Center.
“CSPP provided me with exposure to multiple theories, communities, life spans and stages of development, and clinical settings. You don’t really know how much you’ve learned at CSPP until you complete your doctorate and have integrated all of your knowledge and experience and you work and compare yourself with others from major institutions,” said Gonzalez.
In the last year of his PhD, Dr. Gonzalez continued his passion for working with multicultural and stigmatized groups and served as director of evaluation and research at Bienestar Human Services, Inc. in Los Angeles, a non-profit organization serving Latino, HIV-infected/affected, GLBT individuals, where he evaluated HIV prevention programs and conducted community research on HIV/AIDS. In order to make a greater impact in underserved communities he realized that he needed to receive his licensure as a psychologist and pursued a postdoctoral fellowship.
In 2010, he completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in human sexuality at the University of Minnesota Medical School where he specialized in sex and relationship therapy, sexual dysfunctions, compulsive sexual behavior, and transgender health. Following his postdoctoral fellowship he took a position as research associate at the University of Minnesota Medical School where he helped developed an interactive web-based intervention for sexual health.
In 2012, Dr. Gonzalez accepted an Assistant Professor position in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Minnesota Medical School where he continues his focus on working with multicultural communities through research projects, writing research manuscripts and grants. He also continues to provide clinical services focused on transgender health and teaches first year medical students on topics relating to human sexuality and how to facilitate sensitive conversations with patients.
Dr. Gonzalez received his licensure as a psychologist in the state of Minnesota in 2009 and received his board certification in clinical psychology by the American Board of Clinical Psychology in 2012. He is currently receiving his Advanced Certification in Schema Therapy (by the International Society of Schema Therapy through the Cognitive Therapy Center of NY/NJ), an innovative and evidence-based approach for treating complex psychological conditions and personality disorders.
Dr. Gonzalez is a recipient of the National Institutes of Health's Loan Repayment Award, a former participant of the American Psychological Association’s Minority Fellowship Program and recipient of the Marco Garcia Memorial Fellowship (a CSPP scholarship awarded to Latino/a doctoral students who are committed to working with marginalized/multicultural communities). Dr. Gonzalez is an editorial board member of the International Journal of Transgenderism and is a fellow of the American Academy of Clinical Psychology. His research interests include: gender dysphoria; gender nonconformity; depression and suicidality; resilience; early maladaptive cognitive schemas; and multicultural community psychology. Gonzalez is bicultural, and is bilingual in English and Spanish.
“I was born in Mexico and I am the first in my family to graduate high school. I did not realize I would be going to college until my junior year of high school. My undergraduate career at the University of Arizona was excellent; however, I did not have modeling from minority faculty. It wasn’t until my last year of my bachelor’s that I realized I could be a psychologist. CSPP’s program in multicultural community psychology was a calling for me; it was a quality program. Since graduating, I have published my master’s and dissertation research in peer-reviewed journals. I feel forever indebted to the professors there – they understood my background, they adapted themselves to me and understood my origins – I didn’t have to hide who I was. The core faculty’s intrinsic passion for helping others and furthering the field was a key component to my motivation. To this day, I continue CSPP’s mission in my daily life. CSPP gave me the key to open the first doors to pursuing your dreams, after that it’s ultimately you, not the institutions, who make you who you are today. I’m still in my early 30’s and I have a lot of other doors to open and to give back to those who are in most need.”