Psychotherapy Bulletin

Psychotherapy Bulletin

2020 President’s Column 55(4)

To say that 2020 has been remarkable would be an understatement. It has demanded much of us, across every role we occupy in our diverse lives. Despite the personal and professional challenges your division leadership team has encountered, they have worked hard to model resiliency and accomplish a great deal on behalf of the Society this year. This column shines a light on some of those achievements and is dedicated to them. In addition to working closely with the Officers, Gary VandenBos (President-elect), Nancy Murdock (Past President), Rebecca Amentrano (Secretary), Joshua Swift (Treasurer), Lillian Comas-Diaz (Council Representative) and Gerald Koocher (Council Representative), and Tracey Martin (Central Office Administrator), it has been my absolute pleasure to work with the Domain Representatives and Committee Chairs over the past year. If they were in need, I would share my toilet paper with any one of them!   

The Diversity Domain (Representatives Manijeh Badiee and Susan Woodhouse, with Committee Chair Sheeva Mostoufi and 2020 Presidential Task Force Chair Rosemary Phelps) launched the inaugural cohort of the Advocacy and Mentoring Program for Diversity (AMPD), recognizing Ingrid Hastedt and Michelle Joaquin as the first AMPD Scholars. Getting the opportunity to learn from them was a truly delightful experience and has me excited for the future of the profession. The Diversity Domain also curated a wonderful contribution to the Bulletin earlier this year on working with clients with disabilities. The Public Interest and Social Justice Domain (Representatives Lavita Nadkarni and Linda Campbell) were instrumental in developing content for the website that has been timely and responsive to the needs of 2020 with topics on collective action and healing, pandemic implications for internship trainees, facing discrimination, taking about race in academia, and identifying actionable steps psychotherapists can take in response to the racial pandemic.

The shift of the APA Convention to a virtual-only event, with only a matter of weeks for the Society to rapidly pivot content, was masterfully tackled by Program Committee Chair James Boswell and Associate Chair Astrea Greig. In all, 26 posters, 8 symposiums, 1 skill-building session, and 1 discussion were able to make the leap to virtual programming through the support and guidance of James and Astrea. As the 2021 Program Chair, Astrea has already begun laying groundwork for a successful convention in any form it must take.   

The Psychotherapy Practice Domain (Representative Barbara Vivino and Committee Chair Daniel Gaztambide) persisted despite the challenges with carrying out a survey of psychotherapy needs and did a virtual presentation to the Monterey Psychological Association on politics in mental health practice. They also have continued to build the Division’s web presence and to contribute to the Bulletin with features on decreasing practitioner isolation, setting and reimagining fee schedules, and examining race in psychotherapy.

In addition to submitting multiple Bulletin articles (dealing with high risk situations; videoconference nuances with respect to boundaries and presence; use of countertransference in the pandemics), The Early Career Domain (Representative Beatriz Palma and Committee Chair Sara Danitz-Steinhart) re-titled and shifted online to host a successful “Gab with the Greats” networking event to connect students and early career professionals with notable psychotherapists. 

The Education and Training Domain (Representative Marilyn Cornish, Student Representative Carly Schwartzman, and Committee Chair Eric Sauer) presented at the convention’s virtual poster session to help current students understand how to get involved with the Society. They also recruited feature articles in the Bulletin on the use of online dating services by mental health professionals and the experience of working with clients’ traumatic content in psychotherapy. The Continuing Education Committee (Chair Ken Critchfield) worked closely with Central Office (Administrator Tracey Martin) to secure renewal as an approved CE provider. Moving into 2021, they will be working on securing permission to offer home study CE credits. 

The Membership Domain (Representative Jean Birbilis and Committee Chair Rosemary Adam-Terem) continue to innovate in connecting with new and potential members, proposing new pathways to be launched in 2021 (more to come on that next year!). Across the current year, they have revised the membership application, created a website feature, “Why Join?” and have been interviewing psychotherapists for inclusion in a longer, forthcoming, video of the same name. 

A subcommittee structure with five active workgroups was developed and mobilized by the International Affairs Domain (Representative Frederick Leong and Committee Co-Chairs Changming Duan and Patrick Leung). The workgroups include conference--programs, conference--social, international research, connection with international students, and future collaboration/relationship building. Look to 2021 for the launch of their Bulletin series on the theme of “Psychotherapy Around the World.” 

The Science and Scholarship Domain (Representative Patricia Spangler and Committee Chair Jenelle Slavin-Mulford) continued their focus on dissemination throughout the pandemic publishing new works in the Bulletin this year on psychotherapist characteristics as predictive of alliance, the rationale of looking at psychotherapist effects, and exploring mechanisms of change in functional analytic psychotherapy.    

The Finance Committee, Chaired by Georita Frierson, worked with Division Treasurer, Joshua Swift, to review investment strategies and update reporting procedures to the Board to provide greater transparency. At the same time, the Fellows Committee, Chaired by Robert Hatcher, identified 6 new Fellows who have been approved by APA: Kenneth Critchfield, Jacqueline B. Persons, P. Scott Richards, Kirk Schneider, K. Mark Sossin, and Robert H. Woody. It is truly our honor to recognize the achievements of these Fellows. 

Bob Hatcher deserves a special place of gratitude for his extra service this year, stepping in to Chair Publications. The Society’s flagship publication, Psychotherapy has had anotherextraordinary year under Mark Hilsenroth’s Editorship. This year has been the year of long good-bye knowing that his term as Editor-in-Chief concludes with the final issue of 2020. True to what we know of Mark, he has continued working tirelessly in making a smooth transition to Jesse Owen as the next Editor-in-Chief, effective issue 1 of 2021. We cannot thank Mark and his Associate Editors, Jamie Bedics, Stephanie Budge, Cheri Marmarosh, and Jesse Owen, as well as all of the Psychotherapy editorial board, enough for their care and expertise. The 2-year impact factor reached an all-time high (3.191), as did the 5-year impact factor (3.367), with a record number of prior year citations (3,204). As a longtime reader, I can say that Psychotherapy is not only a top-notch journal, it is a journal that continually captures content worth savoring. The Society can thank Editor Joanna Drinane, Associate Editor Stephanie Winkeljohn Black, and Editorial Assistants Salwa Chowdhury and Kate Axford, for making Psychotherapy Bulletin seem effortless with every issue published on time….during a pandemic!! Kourtney Schroeder became Internet Editor this year and put together a wonderful team with Zoe Ross-Nash as Website Content Associate Editor and Olivia Carelli as Social Media Consultant. In their first year as a team, they met a goal of 40% of authors from Psychotherapy and Psychotherapy Bulletin contributing companion pieces to the website and saw a 43% increase in website users compared to the prior 6 months. 

Thank you to the entire leadership team of the Society of allowing me the opportunity to serve you this past year in advocating and facilitating your initiatives across 2020. I will think of you all, and our most unusual year, with every sip of yerba from my purple mate cup.  

Cite This Article

Callahan, J. (2020). 2020 President’s column 55(4). Psychotherapy Bulletin, 55(3), X-X.

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