Candidates for President-elect
It is a real honor to be nominated as a candidate for the role of President-Elect of the Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy. I have been involved with the Society for several years now as a member, board member, and committee chair, and consider it my professional home. As a psychologist in independent practice in Honolulu, Hawai`i for over 30 years, and an adjunct faculty member of the Clinical Studies Program of the Psychology Department at the University of Hawai`i, I don’t imagine that many will know me, so I will try to introduce myself here.
In my practice, I am a generalist dealing with individuals, couples, and families in psychotherapy, and I also work with elderly and disabled patients in long-term care facilities. Each type of work involves different ethical and cultural considerations. I have developed experience with issues arising from contested divorce, child custody, and conflictual parenting matters. I have sought out training in these areas throughout my career and try to remain current with developments in the field through journals and conferences. I have had the opportunity to work with many families going through these large transitions as a psychotherapist, custody evaluator, parenting coordinator, and educator to the Family Law Section of the Hawai’i Bar Association. As the chair of the Hawai’i Psychological Association’s Ethics Committee, I have dealt with complaints and questions about psychologists’ actions and inactions in these highly contested cases and have conducted several professional educational workshops with esteemed colleagues for psychologists practicing in this arena. I have served as an expert witness to the Family Court on divorce, custody, and domestic violence.
To combat the potential for isolation as a sole private practitioner, I have been actively engaged in the profession of psychology at the State and National level. In addition to seeking my own continuing education, I consider providing workshops and talks to my colleagues an important aspect of protecting the profession and the public from the issues arising from lack of contact with other professionals.
I have been involved with the Hawai`i Psychological Association in multiple roles including President, and currently serve as chair of the Ethics Committee and the Continuing Education and Convention Committee. This has given me the opportunity to consider a broad range of issues, particularly those arising in rural communities and in diverse multicultural settings. I am currently also serving on the Hawai`i State Board of Psychology, towards the end of my second term, and am a past chair.
Within APA, I served as Hawai`i’s delegate to the Council of Representatives, member and co-chair of the Rural Health Committee, and member of the Continuing Education Committee. Within the academic community in Hawai`i, I teach as a clinical faculty member in the psychology department, and served for several years as one of two psychologist members of the Kapi`olani Medical Center for Women and Children’s IRB, reviewing medical research proposals, focusing on the protection of vulnerable populations.
Working as a full-time psychotherapist in Hawai’i provides me with a very diverse perspective on individuals, families, parenting, and the role of culture in psychotherapy. The population of Hawai’i is the most ethnically and culturally diverse in the nation; there is no distinct majority group. About 39% are of Asian ancestry (Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, Korean), 25% Caucasian from all over the world, 10% Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islanders, 9% Hispanic, under 2% African American, and less than 0.5% Native American or Alaska Native; and about 25% of all Hawai`i residents are of multi-ethnic background. In addition, Hawai`i - outside of the main city of Honolulu and the larger towns on each island - is a rural, multi-island community with all the additional challenges of isolation and lack of access to resources. Psychologists strive to adjust these special circumstances while remaining ethically centered.
If I were fortunate enough to be selected as President-elect, I would wish to focus of the issues of promoting public knowledge of psychotherapy and increasing access to care within a multicultural framework.
Thank you for considering me for this role.
We ask our clients to reflect on their motives for their actions so it’s only fair that I reflect on my motives for running for president and try to be honest so that you know what you’re getting if you vote for me.
When I was asked to run for president I was flattered but ambivalent. On the one hand, I have a lot going on in my life and don’t need to add another thing. Although supposedly semiretired, I am busier than ever with research projects and enjoying them immensely. My research is intellectually stimulating and I think I can make a difference in adding to the science base of psychotherapy.
On the other hand, I am not doing much for the profession of psychotherapy right now. I have enjoyed being president of the Society for Psychotherapy Research and editing two journals, so I know that I like contributing on this larger level. In the long run, I decided that I have something to offer if I were to become the President and decided to run.
I would like to:
- Think of ways to help practitioners feel less isolated and more a part of the community of Division 29
- Build more resources for clients and the lay public
- Advocate for changes to continuing education requirements
- Advocate that therapists engage in lifelong supervision
- Advocate for a new initiative on Psychotherapy Techniques that Work, similar to Norcross’s excellent work on Psychotherapy Relationships that Work
Candidates for Secretary
I am honored to be nominated for re-election as Secretary of APA Division 29. I have greatly appreciated the opportunity to serve in this leadership role since 2018 and to bring an early career psychologist perspective to our Division’s Executive Board. It would be a privilege to do so for another term. My commitment to the integration of psychotherapy science and practice began as a graduate student at UMass Amherst where my work focused on the influence of patient expectations on psychotherapeutic change. In my current position at VA Boston, I remain dedicated to the advancement of psychotherapy through my work adapting treatments for use in integrated medical settings, educating and consulting with staff, providing patient care, and supervising clinicians-in-training. I also teach psychotherapy courses and maintain active involvement in other psychotherapy-oriented professional associations.
I feel particularly indebted to Division 29 for awarding me the 2012 Donald K. Freedheim Student Development Award, as well as publishing my work in the Division’s journal, Psychotherapy, and the Division-sponsored book, Psychotherapy Relationships that Work. Thus, I am enthusiastic about the prospect of continuing to give back to the Division through this leadership position. In a second term as Secretary, I would build on my contributions, including maintaining our Society’s records, developing a new Division logo, and organizing our Board diversity retreat.
Beyond Division 29, I have utilized my strong organizational skills in diverse administrative contexts, such as coordinating multi-site research trials, implementing national VA health initiatives, and organizing international research meetings. If re-elected, I will aim to streamline voting procedures and increase student and early career psychologist membership. I would also continue to bring great enthusiasm to the position, as I strongly believe in the Division’s mission to advance the science, practice, and teaching of psychotherapy. Thank you for your consideration!
As the practice, education, and training of psychotherapy along with practice-based and conceptual scholarship have been the central cornerstones of my career, it is an honor and privilege to stand among highly qualified others for election to serve as Secretary for the Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy. The Society and the American Psychological Association and the world at large are amid significant transformations. Within SAP, the numerous initiatives and member facing services require tremendous coordination and creativity. Externally, an ethics code undergoing revision, a new consensually- developed strategic plan are just a few of the transformative processes that contextualize psychotherapy. Developments in technology and AI will provide yet undreamed-of possibilities. Moreover, changes in the context and funding for both the practice of and research on psychotherapy remain in state of high fluidity. As the secretary role provides essential support to SAP, understanding such perspectives are helpful.
I believe that my experiences on the Governance Board of Division 29 as well as Executive Boards of Divisions 17 (Counseling) and 13 (Consulting) along with my APA roles [past Chair of the APA Board of Professional Affairs, past Chair of the APA Membership Board, a member of the APA Board of Directors these past three years, and now a member of the Policy & Planning Board] have given me the knowledge and skills, as well as the connections with key groups and individuals, to enable me to be effective in supporting, advancing and advocating for the priorities of the Society. I pledge to support the further development of the many awesome programs and resources the Society is currently offering and has plans to expand upon. Leveraging new technologies – those that exist and those to come in the near future -- offers significant promise for yet further advancement.
I am honored and excited to be nominated for Secretary of the Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy (SfAP). I was initially drawn to the Society because it fit with my personal focus on psychotherapy practice, training and supervision, and psychotherapy research. After I received my Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Maryland, I embarked on a varied career path that has included running acute care clinical programs, teaching graduate level counseling, providing supervision to doctoral students and spending over 25 years in private practice. In addition, I have collaborated over the years on many psychotherapy research studies on varied topics including misunderstanding events, client reactions, self disclosure, and therapist needs.
In the past 8 years, I served on the SfAP Board as the representative of the Professional Practice domain and more recently as a member of that Committee and the Membership Committee. Working with the Society has given me the opportunity to be a voice for other psychotherapy practitioners and to witness a wonderful transition as the Society became more diverse, expanded our membership to international members and non-psychologists, and upgraded our website. I have been amazed at how much expertise, knowledge, and resources SfAP has to offer practitioners.
If elected as Secretary, I would continue to work toward making our Society and the resources we have more accessible to other psychotherapists, psychotherapy researchers, and trainers/supervisors by encouraging current and relevant material on our website, promoting an expanded membership, and facilitating practice-rich continuing education offerings. I believe that my passion about psychotherapy, experience and commitment to improving the practice of psychotherapy creates a solid foundation from which to serve as Secretary for the Society.
Candidates for International Affairs Domain Representative
I never see myself as a leader but a team player. I enjoy working in groups with colleagues pursuing meaningful professional activities. In the past few years as the Chair of our Society’s Committee of International Affairs, I have the opportunity of working with a large group of SAP members toward internationalization. Our committee, composed of eleven psychotherapy scholars and two graduate students from 6 countries, reached several goals including bringing SAP to one international conference outside the U.S. per year, building an international liaison program, organizing one international program for APA convention each year, and establishing partnership with non-U.S. based professional entities to enlarge SAP presence in other countries (we have successfully built one such partnership). These achievements were exciting, but the joy of doing so with great colleagues is no less significant. Thus I want to help build international relationships for more SAP members. As our current domain representative is retiring from the position, I want to step up and run to fill the vacancy, so we can keep the momentum about carrying out a number of new committee initiatives including connecting SAP members with diverse expertise with the need internationally.
I am a Chinese American woman, and received a doctoral degree in counseling psychology and social psychology from University of Maryland. I started my professional career in University of Missouri at its counseling center and in its academic department, then joined counseling psychology faculty at University of Missouri Kansas City. Currently I am a professor of counseling psychology and Director of Training for our APA accredited doctoral program at the University of Kansas. I have been involved in various service roles within APA, including being a council member, a commissioner on the Commission of Accreditation, and a member of the Committee on International Relations in Psychology (CIRP).
Candidates for Public Interest and Social Justice Representative
“How much does psychotherapy cost? Who has access? How do practitioners from diverse backgrounds think about healthcare? What kind of healthcare system best addresses our nation’s mental health needs? As Social Justice Domain Representative, I will tackle these questions and position our Division as a leader in discussions of healthcare reform within APA and society at large.
My work in APA governance has focused on addressing the needs of practitioners and the communities they serve through attention to public policy, clinical practice, and social justice.
As liaison of Division 39 (Psychoanalysis) to the Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs from 2013 to 2020, I helped craft policy on research, training, and practice across APA, while providing feedback to APA agenda items to enhance their cultural inclusiveness and address questions of racial and economic equity.
More recently, I served as Chair of the Professional Practice Committee of Division 29 (Psychotherapy) from 2019-2020, where I developed programming on building a sustainable, socially conscious private practice within our broken healthcare system.
As a practitioner I serve predominantly patients of color, and provide consultation to human rights organizations on racial trauma, burn out, and vicarious traumatization. Lastly, I train future psychotherapists at the New School for Social Research in New York City, where I’m also an activist and artist in the Puerto Rican community addressing issues of mental health, race, and economic justice.
As Domain Representative, I will form a taskforce exploring the impact of our healthcare system on psychotherapy. This will involve a mixed-methods study combining an evidence-informed review of research, alongside a brief interview with practitioners on their experience with the healthcare system, and what they believe will need to change. That way, we can begin to imagine what a different and better system can look like to provide psychotherapy for all.”