Discovering My Professional Home
When guiding graduate students through their academic journeys, I consistently emphasize the importance of finding a "professional home" – an organization that not only advocates for their desires and requirements but also offers a supportive community and a wealth of information. Any one of my past students will attest to the fact that I talk with pride about finding my professional home in Division 29.
My introduction to Division 29 dates back to 2013 when, as a graduate student, I eagerly applied for a position involving the division's website. This marked the beginning of my association with Dr. Jeffrey Barnett, the then Chair of Publications & Communications (P&C) Board, who warmly took me under his wing and provided invaluable mentorship. However, it wasn't just Dr. Barnett; I formed collegial relationships and lasting friendships with others, creating a sense of belonging. I found myself in a space where individuals were genuinely invested in my success as both a student and an early career psychologist. These were professionals focused on building connections before productivity, fostering a welcoming atmosphere that left hierarchy at the door.
In 2014, I assumed the role of Associate Editor, progressing to the position of Editor three years later. During my tenure, I spearheaded a major website redesign, transforming the Society's website from a stagnant bulletin board to an independent publication. This platform began featuring quality articles from esteemed luminaries and students in the field of psychotherapy research, practice, and policy that were published every other week. As my term concluded, stepping away from a leadership role was bittersweet, akin to leaving home for a while to embark on a journey of self-discovery—the "college years," if you will.
In October 2022, almost three years later, I was approached by President Jean Birbilis, who invited me to join the P&C once again. Thrilled to return to an advisory role overseeing the journal (Psychotherapy), newsletter (Bulletin), website (www.societyforpsychotherapy.org), listservs, and social media, I gladly accepted. Less than a year later, I was nominated and appointed as the Chair of the Board—a position that felt like returning home. It became a warm space for genuine and authentic relationships, and this time, I not only enjoy the privilege of receiving mentorship but also have the opportunity to extend it to others.
News & Updates from the P & C Committee: Looking to the Future
As the Chair of the P&C Board, I am thrilled to share the remarkable success of our publications in the past year and the exciting changes on the horizon for 2024.
1. Success of Our Flagship Psychotherapy Journal
Under the guidance of Editor Dr. Jesse Owen, the Psychotherapy journal has maintained its exponential success. With a high 5-year impact factor (4.6) ranking 75/131 in the Clinical Psychology portfolio, the journal's revenue continues to contribute significantly to the division's overall success. To further enhance scientific rigor, we will be enlisting statistical consultants on an as-needed basis for manuscripts under review. We extend our deepest gratitude to our over 80 Editorial Board volunteers (https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/pst) and eagerly anticipate thanking you all at APA's annual luncheon in August 2024.
2. Streamlining How You Get Content & Articles
We remain committed to providing expert-written, quality content that is free and accessible for both members and non-members through our website and newsletter. Accepting content for our esteemed Bulletin will now occur on an ongoing rolling basis (submit articles to https://sapwebsite.wufoo.com/forms/sap-author-submission-form/), published on our website after acceptance. All articles will continue to be featured in our newsletter PDF (https://societyforpsychotherapy.org/psychotherapy-bulletin-archives/). Ensure you're signed up for our newsletter here: https://societyforpsychotherapy.org/sign-up-for-our-societys-electronic-newsletter/
3. New Roles and Responsibilities
Current Website Editor, Dr. Zoe Ross-Nash, will now assume the role of Editor of Electronic Communications. She will oversee an Associate Editor of Content (incoming Lacy Sohn) responsible for soliciting and reviewing articles, as well as an Associate Editor of Social Media (Yashvi Aware will continue in this role). The Associate Editor of Content will collaborate with the Assistant Editor of the Website (incoming Sarah Bondy) and Assistant Editor of Newsletters (Deanna Young) to publish and distribute content.
I should note that the role of Editor of Electronic Communications is no small feat. Managing the daily updates to the website across 8 domains and 14 committees, soliciting and reviewing content for the website, maintaining listservs, putting together the enewsletter, and ensuring high website performance that reaches over 400,000 individuals per year. A huge thank you to Dr. Ross-Nash for her esteemed leadership.
4. Gratitude for Outgoing Editors
We express our heartfelt thanks to outgoing 2023 Associate Editor of Content, Dr. Sheela Joshi, and the 2020-2023 Bulletin Editor, Dr. Joanna Drinane. As we bid farewell to Dr. Drinane, we reflect on her dedication and hard work in curating content for our psychotherapy newsletter, which has been nothing short of exceptional. Her insightful features, scientific updates, and opinions/commentary have enriched the quality of our newsletters and played a pivotal role in fostering connection among our readers. Thank you, Dr. Drinane, for your time, effort, and expertise. We wish you all the best in your future endeavors.
5. Enhanced Divisional Connection and Engagement
Stay tuned for exciting updates on how we plan to revitalize our listserv, fostering increased networking, information exchange, and overall engagement across our various domains. In the meantime, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
A new website will also make its debut next year as we move into 2024 seeking to give a refresh, keeping the website lively, engaging, and dynamic.
A special thank you to our P&C Board members—Drs. Changming Duan, Michelle Collins Greene, Bob Hatcher, and Bruce Liese; division administrator and institutional backbone, Tracey Martin; outgoing Society President Dr. Jean Birbilis; and the Executive Committee and Committee Chairs.
For those still seeking their professional home, reach out to me. We are always eager to welcome members looking to get more involved and engaged. My hope is to share the profound sense of "home" that I have cherished over the years with others.
Cite This Article
Ellis, Amy E. (2023). A message from the society’s publications & communications board chair. Psychotherapy Bulletin, 58(4), 5-6.