Psychotherapy Bulletin

Psychotherapy Bulletin

2018 President’s Column

Into the First Turn

As I write my second Presidential Column, the Kentucky Derby is fast-approaching (for those unaware, it is always the first Saturday in May!). As a big fan of the event, I feel compelled to use horse racing lingo. Thus, whereas my first Presidential column was my personal post time at the SAP leadership helm, this second column represents the three-quarter pole of my term (distance is in reference to the finish line). Stated differently, I am well into the first turn (a figuratively literal turning point).

As time tends to do, four months on the job have gone by quickly! During this time, SAP not only continues to have its annual rhythm of events, programs, awards, and publications, but its leaders also put new initiative balls in the air to be juggled. I am happy to report that SAP continues to juggle with skill and precision, which allows for an exciting blend of the norm and the new. In this column, I provide an update on several of the Presidential and Board of Director initiatives that I laid out in my previous column, and that have been successfully launched or furthered. I also provide a brief look ahead to important transitions and SAP’s next major event—APA Convention in San Francisco.

A Few Updates

As a reminder, SAP engages in numerous initiatives reflecting the cutting edge of psychotherapy research, practice, training, and professional development, and that in many ways connect to my presidential themes of personalized mental health care and disruptive innovations to psychotherapy training molds and methods.

In a few short weeks, I will represent SAP at the May 2018 meeting of the Society for the Exploration of Psychotherapy Integration (SEPI) in order to raise awareness of SAP and to increase the active connection between these two organizations who share many overlapping missions. In my role as guest to SEPI (though I am also a member), Tracey Martin, Catherine Eubanks, and I will meet to discuss in earnest concrete ways to grow the SAP-SEPI collaboration and bidirectional support system. My colleague, Dr. James Boswell, and I will also present the results of the two meta-analyses that we conducted for Dr. John Norcross’s forthcoming book, Psychotherapy Relationships That Work (3rd ed.)—a project co-sponsored by SAP. Respectively, our meta-analyses focused on the prediction of patient posttreatment outcomes from their pre- or early treatment outcome expectation and perceived credibility of therapist/treatment. We are excited to share our results, and to raise consciousness around the relevance of attending to pandiagnostic and pantheoretical patient belief variables as a central form of evidence-based practice (EBP)—a disruptive movement, for sure, away from conceptualizing EBP solely as elements of therapist actions in concert with a treatment protocol. We will also present both of these works at APA Convention in August.

Also relevant to the Psychotherapy Relationships That Work (3rd ed.) project, Dr. Rayna Markin and I have begun production on companion videos to the book’s chapters. These videos, which will be cross-posted on the SAP website and the Oxford University Press website, involve Dr. Markin asking focused questions to the authors on the training implications of their original meta-analyses on factors that contribute to psychotherapy improvement. I was fortunate to be Dr. Markin’s first interviewee, discussing our outcome expectancy chapter, and we look forward to featuring these videos in the near future. Be on the lookout for these companion pieces!

We have now received nominations for two new student awards: The Student Excellence in Practice Award and The Student Excellence in Teaching/Mentorship Award. I am excited to present these awards to our inaugural winners at the SAP Award Ceremony at Convention.

Commemorating our 50th anniversary, we have also now received proposals for the 2018 Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy 50th Anniversary Research Grant, which will provide $30K toward the advancement of research on psychotherapy process and/or outcome that will help shape the field for the next 50 years. I am also excited to present this award to our winner(s) at our Award Ceremony.

I have convened a workgroup, including Nicholas Morrison, Dr. Lavita Nadkarni, and myself, to develop the administration and evaluation process for the two new SAP student poster awards, which will be granted this year at Convention. Our group looks forward to reviewing abstracts, listening to oral summaries during the poster sessions, and selecting the inaugural winners. These winners will be announced at SAP’s popular “Lunch with the Masters” at Convention.

We will formally extend our successful partnership with Oriental Insight at Convention, and we remain devoted to the internationalization of SAP.

Finally, in response to SAP Fellow and Past-President, Dr. Marvin R. Goldfried, being awarded the 2018 APA/APF Gold Medal Award for Life Achievement in the Application of Psychology, our Student Development Chair, Nicholas Morrison, interviewed Marv. This piece, for which Marv reflects on his illustrious career, will be published in this edition of the Psychotherapy Bulletin. It is well worth the read. Congratulations, again, Marv! We are all very proud.


Speaking of time flying, Dr. Mark Hilsrenroth, our Psychotherapy Editor extraordinaire now enters what is akin to the stretch run of his second and final term as Editor. Dr. Hilsenroth’s term will end in 2020. Thus, the SAP Publications and Communications Board Chair, Dr. Laurie Heatherington, and I have begun working with APA on a transition plan. Please see an advertisement for the position in this issue, and we encourage those interested and qualified to apply. The Journal has been immensely successful under Dr. Hilsenroth’s leadership, and we look forward to continued excellence with the selection of his successor.


The SAP Convention program has been released. Please visit our website to see the full program. I highlight here just a few events:

Division 29: Poster Session I (ID: 1229)

Thursday (8/9/18): 11am-11:50am
Location: Moscone Center – Halls A, B, C

Division 29: Poster Session II (ID: 1231)

Friday (8/10/18): 11:00am-11:50am
Location: Moscone Center – Halls A, B, C

Presidential Symposium: Personalizing Mental Health Care Through Disruptive, Evidence-Informed Innovations to Psychotherapy (ID 1187)

Saturday (8/11/18): 8am-9:50am

Location: Moscone Center – Room 206

Also, you are cordially invited to the following SAP special events (all of which will incorporate a celebration of SAP’s 50th anniversary):

Division 29: Award Ceremony (ID: 1233)

Friday (8/10/18): 4pm-4:50pm
Location: Marriott Marquis – Yerba Buena Salons 5 & 6

Division 29: Social Hour (ID: 1234)

Friday (8/10/18): 5pm-5:50pm
Location: Marriott Marquis – Yerba Buena Salons 5 & 6

Division 29: Luncheon with the Masters (ID: 1235)

Saturday (8/11/18): 12pm-1:50pm
Location: Marriott Marquis – Golden Gate Room C2

See you in San Francisco!

In Memoriam

As most of you are aware, SAP lost an esteemed member, co-founder, and Past-President on March 14, 2018 when Dr. Ronald Fox passed away. We were fortunate to have Drs. Pat DeLeon and Ron Levant write a touching obituary, which can be read here.

A Repeat of Gratitude

It bears repeating from my first column: to our Board members, thank you, for all that you do for SAP. To all SAP members, thank you, for entrusting me to lead this fine organization in 2018. And for those of you who take in the most exciting two minutes in sports, enjoy the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes, as well as a mint julep, black-eyed Susan, and Belmont breeze, respectively (if you are into those sorts of things)!

Be the 1st to vote.

Dr. Michael J. Constantino received his BA in Psychology from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo, and his MS and PhD from the Pennsylvania State University. He completed a predoctoral clinical internship at SUNY Upstate Medical University, and a postdoctoral fellowship at the Stanford University Medical Center. He then joined the Clinical Psychology faculty at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass), where is a Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences (PBS). At UMass, he directs the Psychotherapy Research Lab, teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on psychotherapy, supervises clinicians-in-training, and is the PBS Graduate Program Director. Among other professional positions, Dr. Constantino is Past- President of the North American Society for Psychotherapy Research and APA Division 29 (Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy). Dr. Constantino’s professional and research interests center on patient, therapist, and dyadic characteristics/processes influencing psychosocial treatments; pantheoretical principles of clinical change (i.e., common factors); and measurement-based care.President of the North American Society for Psychotherapy Research, and current President of APA Division 29 (Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy). Dr. Constantino’s professional and research interests center on patient, therapist, and dyadic characteristics/processes influencing psychosocial treatments; pantheoretical principles of clinical change (i.e., common factors); and measurement-based care.

Cite This Article

Constantino, M. (2018). 2018 president’s column: Into the first turn. Psychotherapy Bulletin, 53(2), 2-4.



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *