Psychotherapy Bulletin

Psychotherapy Bulletin

2018 President’s Column (#4)

Entering the 2018 Stretch

To follow through on the horse racing analogy that I introduced in my second President’s column, we are now entering the stretch run of a productive and celebratory year for our Society. So, for one last time in “print”—happy 50th birthday, Division 29! And here’s to the start of our next 50 years, which, when sticking to our Bulletin’s theme for this year, could be considered a major turning point.

As this column will be my last as President, I would like to thank our members for entrusting me to lead our organization. I accepted the gavel for 2018 with gratitude, humility, and excitement, and, in a few short months, I will turn it over to our next President, Dr. Nancy Murdock, with the same. As a Board of Directors, I am grateful for and humbled by our wealth of accomplishments this year, including several movements toward my presidential theme—Establishing and refining personalized mental health care: Promoting disruptive, evidence-informed innovations to psychotherapy training molds and methods. I am also excited to witness our continued growth and cutting-edge contributions to the psychotherapy field during Nancy’s term and beyond. In this final column for 2018, I will summarize and spotlight several of the agenda items and initiatives that our Board took up at our most recent in-person meeting, which took place at APA Headquarters from September 14-16.

Your Board at Hard Work

The following initiatives remain at the front and center of our Division’s business, some of which have been completed as of this writing. Although the list is not exhaustive, it is representative of the types of important items that our Board addresses and raises for the good and betterment of our Society. As I noted in my first column, I simply use the term “we” to indicate Society actions. As there is such a wonderful collaborative spirit among our Board members, it would be too challenging to list all of the associated names behind each creative endeavor. However, if you want names, or if you would like to be involved in any of our efforts, you should never hesitate to contact our Board!

  • If you are reading this column, it likely means that you have accessed the entire Bulletin Thus, you can see for yourself what amazing content that our team publishes. The information is timely, diverse, and mission-relevant, and it is disseminated by authors who span different, yet interrelating cross sections of our field (students, licensed professionals, faculty members, practitioners, researchers, trainers, administrators, and others). It is always a treat to receive the Bulletin release notice in our inbox, and we owe a huge, and ongoing, debt of gratitude to the Editorial team.
  • As you click through our website, you will also notice significant upgrades, timely news, important announcements, and exciting web-only features. Simply put, the website is flush with content. There is so much good psychotherapy “stuff” to find here, and through our social media, that I urge you to browse regularly and read often. And, thank you, to our immensely talented web team.
  • While I’m at it, our Publications and Communications (Pub) Board as a whole is doing a fantastic job. In addition to the Bulletin and website, our flagship journal, Psychotherapy, keeps churning out remarkable scholarship, including with the recent release of the special issue on Evidence-Based Psychotherapy Relationships III. The Pub Board also doubled as the Search Committee charged with interviewing candidates and selecting the next Editor-in-Chief of Psychotherapy who will succeed Dr. Mark Hilsenroth when his second term, and immensely successful entire tenure, ends after 2020. As I have happily announced through multiple Division 29 channels, including this Bulletin issue, the next Editor will be Dr. Jesse Owen. Simply put, the Journal will remain in extremely capable hands, and I look forward to witnessing Jesse realize his long-term vision for it. I also note that as Drs. Lillian Comas-Diaz and Heather Lyons rotate off of the Pub Board after the calendar year, we will welcome Drs. Sarah Knox and Paul Kwan as new members; further, we are thrilled to have Brien Goodwin serve a second term as student member of this Board.
  • Consistent with our long-standing and ongoing commitment to, and appreciation of, diversity, the Board has approved a revised diversity mission statement, which can be viewed on our website. We will also send a representative to the next National Multicultural Conference and Summit (NMCS). We also continue to contribute to the endowment for the NMCS.
  • Consistent with Dr. Jeff Zimmerman’s 2017 Presidential theme, several Board members are involved in organizing a conference on bringing psychotherapy to the underserved.
  • As a consequence of efforts to further our Society’s collaboration with the Society for the Exploration of Psychotherapy Integration (SEPI), our Board has approved three concrete actions. First, the organizations have established an agreement for in kind advertising at each other’s annual professional conference, as well as Division 29’s no cost sponsorship of the continuing education program at SEPI meetings. Second, the organizations will invite the current President (or other designated representative) to each other’s meetings, with registration waived or reimbursed. This will facilitate ongoing connection and pursuit of collaborative initiatives. Finally, the organizations have established annual, bi-directional poster awards to be given at the other organization’s meeting (with both named in memory of Dr. Jeremy Safran). That is, Division 29 will sponsor and administer a poster award (with a cash prize) to be given to a SEPI poster presenter at SEPI’s annual meeting. SEPI will then do the same for a Division 29 poster presenter at APA’s annual convention.
  • The Board has approved several revisions to our bylaws on which all Division members can now vote. If you are a Member or Fellow of Division 29, or an Associate Member who is also a voting Associate Member of the American Psychological Association (APA), you are entitled to vote on the presently proposed amendments. These changes will allow undergraduate students to be student affiliate members of our Society. Moreover, we have proposed changes to the composition of the Committee on Professional Awards; namely, given the growing number of award programs that we now administer, we are proposing for there to be a Chair that serves in this role for two consecutive years. We have also clarified various membership rights and privileges. Please visit our website to see a fuller review of these three substantive changes, and cast your vote before the poll closes on December 9, 2018.
  • Speaking of awards, we have developed and will launch for the 2019 cycle two new mid-career awards; one for distinguished scholarship contributions, and the other for distinguished practice contributions. See our website for nomination details and submission guidelines (as well as for our longer-standing professional awards and grant programs).
  • Nancy Murdock has been hard at work finalizing her Standing Committee Chair appointments for her 2019 term (and check out her Column in this issue), and our President-Elect designate, Dr. Jennifer Callahan, has appointed (with Board approval) her Committee on Nomination and Elections.
  • Our Board has approved a renewed partnership with Oriental Insight (which will be signed at the start of 2019), and we remain devoted to the internationalization of our Society.
  • A workgroup is actively pursuing creative options for updating and upgrading our Division’s logo.
  • The Board agreed to endorse our Division’s Past-president, Dr. Armand Cerbone, for President-Elect of the APA.
  • We have convened a Presidential work group to develop guidelines for administering a seed grant program for a training initiative. This will be one of my Past-president initiatives in 2019.
  • As discussed elsewhere in this issue, we have completed our companion video series to the chapters in the forthcoming book, Psychotherapy Relationships That Work (3rd). In these videos, Dr. Rayna Markin interviews contributing authors who discuss the training implications of their original meta-analyses on factors that contribute to psychotherapy improvement. The videos will soon be cross-listed on our website and the Oxford University Press website, so be on the lookout!
  • Our Program Chair, Dr. James Boswell, is already hard at work soliciting proposals for our Divisional programming at the 2019 APA Convention in Chicago. If you have yet to do so, please submit your best work, especially as if it relates to our incoming President’s 2019 theme—Psychotherapy for the future: Promoting growth through interventions designed for diverse clients and settings. This is such an important focus, and I am already looking forward to Division 29’s sessions.

Again, these are just some of the currently salient agenda items and initiatives that I have extracted from the constant motion of our Education and Training, Practice, Science and Scholarship, International Affairs, Social Justice and Public Interest, Membership, Early Career, Diversity (Rosemary Phelps), and Student domains. A big “thank you,” to our past, present, and future Board members for keeping these wheels in motion. And, of course, such motions are invariably supported by our tireless and gifted administrator, Tracey Martin. Thank you, Tracey, for helping me navigate this year!

It has been an honor and an absolute pleasure to serve our Division, and I look forward to my next role as Past-president, and to (hopefully) other future roles.

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). President’s column: Entering the 2018 stretch. Psychotherapy Bulletin, 53(4).



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