The Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy is committed to increasing both its relevance to and membership of psychotherapists who are members of traditionally underrepresented and marginalized groups in the United States. It has a corresponding commitment to providing its members with resources (convention programming, publications, and web content) that will help in their continuing development of multicultural competence. As part of its continuing effort to better address these commitments, our Board of Directors set aside a day at its February 2015 meeting to engage in diversity-related strategic planning. The board voted a few years ago to set aside one day every three years to discuss progress and needs for the society with respect to diversity and this strategic planning meeting.
This planning meeting, of course, included an assessment of where we are especially strong as well as where we should be strengthening our resources and efforts. One particular and quite significant strength of the Society has been in the leadership our members have exercised with respect to diversity-related policy, scholarship, and practice. There are a number of indicators of this, but one that deserves specific notice is our Society’s representation among the select group who have been named Distinguished Elders at the National Multicultural Summit (NMCS). These have included, for example, Beverly Greene, Lillian Comas-Diaz, and Guillermo Bernal at the 2013 NMCS and Melba Vasquez, Roberta Nutt, and Armand Cerbone at the 2015 NMCS. Beverly and Armand—Diversity Domain representative on the Board and President-Elect, respectively—are featured elsewhere in this issue of the Bulletin.
Of course there also are a number of diversity-related areas in which the Society needs to be focusing on continuing improvement. The strategic planning document that is a follow-up to our February meeting will finalize a plan that will identify specific goals and timelines. Under consideration, for example, are: developing a more effective pipeline to bring psychotherapists from diverse groups into leadership positions in the Society; establishing a stronger collaborative role with respect to the National Multicultural Summit; partnering with other divisions with respect to diversity initiatives; and funding projects that have social justice purposes.
But the Board continues to welcome ideas that will help us address that priority. Suggestions can be sent to any member of the Board, but especially our Diversity Domain Representatives, Jairo Fuertes and Beverly Greene, or our Diversity Committee Chair, Astrea Greig (contact information for all Board members can be found on the Society’s webpage: http://societyforpsychotherapy.org/). In the meantime, our Diversity domain will continue to advance issues related to practice, research, and training through the work of its committee, including highlighting timely issues in our Bulletin, website, awards, and other business of the Society.
Finally, I want to provide the following affirmation of the Society’s values that the Board developed and approved by unanimous vote during its February meeting:
The Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy values and honors diversity (as defined in the APA ethics code) in its Board of Directors, Committee Chairs, committees, as well as in its membership. We work to create and maintain an inclusive environment that welcomes the perspectives and voices of all participants. We recognize the contributions of all and that diversity strengthens the work we do. Our honoring of diversity extends to the products, projects, publications, convention programming, awards, and grant programs generated by the Society.
Cite This Article
Goodyear, R. (2015). Keeping diversity at the forefront of the Society’s work. Psychotherapy Bulletin, 50(1), 2-3.