Award for Distinguished Contributions to Teaching and Mentoring


The Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy (APA Division 29) invites nominations for its Award for Distinguished Contributions to Teaching and Mentoring, which honors a member of the Society who has contributed to the field of psychotherapy through the education and training of the next generation of psychotherapists.

Funding Specifics

The awardee will receive a cash honorarium of $500 and up to $500 reimbursement for qualified expenses to attend the Society’s Awards Ceremony held at the annual APA Convention.

Eligibility Requirements

  1. Membership in the Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy
  2. Contribution to the field of psychotherapy through the education and training of the next generation of psychotherapists
  3. Evidence that the individual exerted a significant impact on the development of students and/or early career psychologists in their careers as psychotherapists

Both self-nominations and nominations of others will be considered.

Nomination Requirements

  1. a letter of nomination describing the individual’s impact, role, and activities as a mentor;
  2. a vitae of the nominee; and,
  3. three letters of reference for the mentor, written by students, former students, and/or colleagues who are early career psychologists. Letters of reference for the award should describe the nature of the mentoring relationship (when, where, level of training), and an explanation of the role played by the mentor in facilitating the student or colleague’s development as a psychotherapist. Letters of reference may include, but are not limited to, discussion of the following behaviors that characterize successful mentoring: providing feedback and support; providing assistance with awards, grants and other funding; helping establish a professional network; serving as a role model in the areas of teaching, research, and/or public service; giving advice for professional development (including graduate school postdoctoral study, faculty, and clinical positions); and treating students/colleagues with respect.

Submission Process & Deadline

Submission Process: All items must be sent electronically in one PDF document. Submit applications to Michael Constantino, at [email protected]. Incomplete or late application packets will not be considered.

Submission Deadline: January 31 (midnight).

Award for Distinguished Contributions to Teaching and Mentoring

2016 Recipient: Dr. Charles Gelso

Dr. Gelso received his doctoral degree from Ohio State University in 1970. After working at the University of Maryland counseling center for 12 years, he joined the Psychology Department as a fulltime professor in 1982 and became an Emeritus Professor in 2013. His theoretical, research, and clinical interests focus on the patient-therapist relationship in psychotherapy.

Dr. Gelso states: “I have theorized that all therapeutic relationships consist of a working alliance, a personal or ‘real’ relationship, and a transference-countertransference configuration. Although these components all are rooted in psychoanalytic theory, my attempt has been to theorize about and empirically investigate their operations in diverse psychotherapies. I have empirically studied all of the elements of this tripartite model and my research program along with clinical experience has allowed me to write book-length treatments of two of the components: countertransference (Gelso & Hayes, 2007) and the real relationship (Gelso, 2011). I am now beginning a book on how the tripartite model operates in the practice of psychotherapy. My other main area of interest is research training in applied areas of psychology, particularly clinical and counseling psychology. Here I have developed a theory of the ingredients of training that, when present, facilitate graduate students’ interest in, self-efficacy about, and production of research during their graduate training and afterwards. The product of over three decades of research on this theory has been presented in a recent publication (Gelso, Baumann, Chui, & Savela, A., 2013). I have also conducted individual psychotherapy throughout my career, and I currently see patients through my private practice. My approach to treatment is psychodynamic, although I do integrate other theories as is indicated.”

Dr. Gelso has chaired 35 dissertation committees, chaired 27 thesis committees, and chaired seven undergraduate honors theses. His teaching and research have influenced a generation of young psychologists.

Along with many other awards and honors, recently Dr. Gelso has received the Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring Award, 2011-2012, Society for Counseling Psychology; the Lifetime Contribution Award for Psychotherapy Research, 2012, Society for Psychotherapy Research; and the James Cosse Distinguished Service Award, 2013, American Academy of Counseling Psychology; and the SAP Distinguished Psychologist Award, 2003. Dr. Gelso has also served as the editor of the Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy’s peer-reviewed journal, Psychotherapy, and the Society has named one of its grant programs in his honor: the Charles J. Gelso Psychotherapy Research Grant.

Award for Distinguished Contributions to Teaching and Mentoring

Previous Recipients

2015 – no award given

2014 – Mark Hilsenroth

2013 – Laura Brown

2011 – Jeffrey E. Barnett

2010 – Louis Castonguay

2009 – Marvin Goldfried

2008 – Mathilda B. Canter