In this column, I want to highlight all the wonderful work that so many of our colleagues are doing to contribute to the vitality of the Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy (SFAP). It truly is a labor of love, and I want to thank all of you for your vision and enthusiasm.
We have Domains, Standing Committees, ad hoc Committees, and Task Forces to organize all the activities of the organization. Domain representatives are elected, committee chairs and members are appointed. The domain reps and committees within each area work closely together. Each of these areas contribute articles to the Psychotherapy Bulletin highlighting topics that are of particular interest to their subgroups. In this column, I am just providing a shout out to all the domain reps and committee chairs, and I also want to give a shout out to the typically 5 to 10 division members who serve on each committee. And with continued involvement in the Society, we hope to mentor each of these committee members to move up to becoming committee chairs and domain reps.
Before I give shout outs for all the wonderful work that all of our domains/committees are doing, I want to describe our overall initiative to examine ourselves and the SFAP in terms of cultural awareness. In preparation for a session at our October in-person fall Board meeting at which Dr. Stephanie Fryberg will be meeting with us for a day, we spent time at the spring Board meeting talking about our hopes and aspirations for increasing diverse representation and cultural awareness. Based on this challenging and stimulating discussion, all domain/committee areas have been tasked with developing plans for what they can do to make SFAP more inclusive and representative and a home for all.
First, I want to highlight the publications of society. The Publication Board, last year under Bob Hatcher, and now under Terry Tracey, oversee the diverse set of publications that we offer members. Our journal Psychotherapy flourished under Mark Hilsenroth’s incredible tenure and now is in the capable hands of Jesse Owen. We had another record-breaking year for our journal, with the 9th year in a row with over 200 manuscripts submitted! The Psychotherapy Bulletin, under the capable guidance of Joanna Drinane, continues to publish exciting, ground-breaking articles highlighting the range of topics in psychotherapy. Our website, undertaken by the Internet Editor Kourtney Schroeder has been revamped and is user-friendly and chock full of important information.
The Program Committee, with Astrea Greig as Chair and Jamie Bedics as Co-Chair, have had the huge job of putting together the convention program for the August APA convention. We have 15 hours of outstanding programming for this year’s probably virtual convention. We’ll be keeping you more informed about the program as the time grows nearer.
In the area of Professional Practice, we have an active group of practitioners headed up by Barbara Vivino (Domain Rep) and Barbara Thompson (Committee Chair, previously held by Daniel Gaztambide). Their latest project is a series of videos on topics relevant to practice. These appear on the website and cover topics such as race, setting fees, self-care, and reaching underrepresented groups.
The Science and Scholarship area, under the leadership of Patricia Spangler (Domain Rep) and Jenelle Slavin-Mulford (Committee Chair), has been focused on giving out much-needed grants to enhance scholarship related to psychotherapy.
The Education and Training Committee, under the leadership of Marilyn Cornish (Domain Rep) and Eric Sauer (Committee Chair), are thinking about some exciting possibilities of webinars that we could offer free for our members. And relatedly, Ken Critchfield has done a great job as Chair of our Continuing Education Committee.
The Membership Committee, with Jean Birbilis (Domain Rep) and Rosemary Adam-Terem (Committee Chair), have been actively thinking about ways to recruit members. Some wonderful ideas include reduced or free membership for students, who are the future of the organization.
The Student Development Committee, headed by Lei Sun (Domain Rep, recently Carly Schwartzman) has an active agenda and an incredible list of students from the various doctoral programs who are active and eager to get more students involved. This committee is currently reviewing applications for our four student paper awards and two active student awards.
The Diversity group, with Manijeh Baidee and Susan Woodhouse (Domain Reps), and Sheeva Mostoufi (Committee Chair, recently held by Lavita Nadkarni) have been actively involved in developing mentoring programs. They have selected and are currently mentoring two Advocacy and Mentoring Program for Diversity (AMPD) scholars: Ingrid Hastedt and Michelle Joaquin, in their exciting projects.
In the closely related Public Interest and Social Justice area, headed up by Rosemary Phelps (Domain Rep) and Linda Campbell (Committee Chair) in collaboration with Susan Woodhouse, there is a major emphasis on psychotherapy for marginalized populations.
The International group, with Changming Duan as the Domain Rep (Fred Leong retiring), is incredibly active, with Domestic Committee Co-Chair (Lauren Behrman) and International Committee Co-Chair (Maria del Pilar Grazioso) and committee members from all over the world. They are actively involved in mentoring and encouraging representation at international congresses.
The Early Career group, headed by Beatriz Palma (Domain Rep, recently Sara Danitz) and Andres Perez-Rojas (Committee Chair), have likewise been thinking actively about ways to make SFAP warm and welcoming for young professionals. They sponsored the “Gab with the Greats” at the last APA as a way of connecting young professionals with more seasoned professionals. And they are talking about ways of providing mentoring as a way of fostering growth and development.
Bob Hatcher has been Chair of the Fellows Committee for many years. This committee is important so that we can recognize the talent of our members.
We also have had a number of committees and task forces busily working on hot topics. Lillian Comaz-Diaz (along with Fred Leong) is working to develop a series of books on psychotherapy. Stewart Cooper, with the able help of Jeff Barnett, Bea Palma, and Tracey Martin, have developed some needed Bylaws changes, that you will be reviewing and voting on soon. Gerry Koocher graciously agreed to chair the Award Committee and has already ably (in conjunction with a committee) handled a round of awards. Armand Cerbone has agreed to chair a task force to nominate more SFAP members to APA Boards and Committees. Jennifer Callahan has also thankfully agreed to continue on in 2022 as Past-President so that we have a full Presidential Trio.
Thanks also to our Secretary Stewart Cooper (replacing Becca Armetrano) who diligently keeps minutes of all our meetings, to our Treasurer Joshua Swift who manages all our finances with the help of the Finance Committee (chaired by Georita Frierson), and to our Council Representatives Gerry Koocher and Lillian Comas-Diaz. And a major shout out to Tracey Martin who really runs the whole SFAP. What would we do without her?
Finally, for my presidential Initiative, SFAP approved a task force co-led by myself and John Norcross for a project following up on the highly successful three editions of Psychotherapy Relationships that Work. This time we are focused more specifically on Psychotherapy Skills and Methods that Work. The Task Force is co-sponsored by the Society for Counseling Psychology, Society for Psychotherapy Research, and the Society for the Exploration of Psychotherapy Integration. We have a contract with Oxford University Press for a book and an agreement to subsequently publish condensed article in Psychotherapy. We are very excited to have 30 chapters commissioned with experts in the field reviewing the evidence for specific skills (e.g., challenges, advice) and methods (e.g., cognitive restructuring, mindfulness) used frequently across orientations in psychotherapy.
I also want to thank all the Committee members, as it is so important to have so many of you involved.
If you would like to get involved in SFAP, we welcome you and encourage you to contact a committee chair to let them know about your interest and availability (emails are on the website).
Let’s all work to enhance the science and practice of psychotherapy!
Cite This Article
Hill, C.E. (2021). 2021 president’s column 56(2). Psychotherapy Bulletin, 56(2), 2-4.