Distinguished Award for the International Advancement of Psychotherapy


Concurrent with the formation of the International Domain and the International Affairs Committee within the Society, this award was established in 2017 in recognition of individuals who have made distinguished contributions to the international advancement of psychotherapy.

Funding Specifics

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

Eligibility Requirements

The criteria for receipt of this award are broadly defined as significant and sustained contributions to the international advancement of psychotherapy which is consistent with the international dimension of the Society’s mission, i.e., the Society is an international community of practitioners, scholars, researchers, teachers, health care specialists, and students who are interested in and devoted to the advancement of the practice and science of psychotherapy.

Nomination Requirements

  1. Membership in the Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy (including non-APA Affiliate Members who are not members of APA).
  2. Sustained and significant contributions to the international advancement of psychotherapy in practice, research and/or training in psychotherapy.
  3. These contributions must be in the international arena and a significant part of the contribution must be within the division OR the contributions should represent a significant collaboration with individuals from the international community and promotes the ideas and practices of that community.

Application materials should include:

  1. A nomination letter outlining the nominee’s contributions to the international advancement of psychotherapy (self-nominations are welcomed).
  2. Two or more supporting letters.
  3. A current Curriculum Vitae.

Submission Process & Deadline

Submission Process: All items must be sent electronically in one PDF document. Letters of nomination outlining the nominee’s credentials and contributions (along with the nominee’s CV) should be emailed to the Chair of the Professional Awards Committee at SAP.AwardsCommittee@gmail.com

Submission Deadline: December 31 (annually)


Distinguished Award for the International Advancement of Psychotherapy

2022 Recipient: Héctor Fernández-Álvarez

Héctor Fernández-Álvarez, Ph.D. received his licenciatura degree in psychology at the University of Buenos Aires in 1967 and earned a doctoral degree from the National University of San Luis, Argentina, in 1995 and a Doctor Honoris Causa degree in 2021. Dr. Fernández-Álvarez’s career spans five decades, including multiple academic appointments throughout Argentina and visiting professorships in Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, Panama, Paraguay, Spain, and Uruguay.

In 1977 Dr. Fernández-Álvarez together with other mental health professionals founded the Aiglé Foundation, a non-governmental organization. They sought to build bridges through systematic, close contact and collaboration with psychologists overseas to bring to Argentina the latest developments in psychotherapy taking place outside of Argentina. Since that time, Aiglé has continued to grow and presently has centers throughout Argentina as well as in Guatemala and Spain. He is currently Honorary President of the organization.

Among the significant contributions by Dr. Fernández-Álvarez, his Cognitive- integrative model of psychotherapy figures most prominently. He has inspired colleagues in the region to explore and advance psychotherapy integration and has joined forces with these colleagues to found associations that support integrative treatment approaches in Argentina and Latin America. Another significant contribution by Dr. Fernández-Álvarez and Aiglé concerns the training of mental health professionals. Aiglé has become the destination for research-based, leading-edge psychotherapy training in Latin America. The multiple educational and training opportunities available through Aiglé have been provided through agreements with Argentine universities. In terms of education, Fernández-Alvarez received the recognition of Emeritus Professor after 40 years of teaching service at the Universidad de Belgrano, Argentina. He has written 18 books and numerous articles.

Dr. Fernández-Álvarez in Aiglé developed a mental health care program and has organized multiple community-based activities. One of these programs focuses on providing care treatment to people experiencing food and housing insecurities.

Dr. Fernández-Álvarez’s was President of the Interamerican Society of Psychology, President of the Latin American chapter of the Society for Psychotherapy Research (SPR), and Coordinator of the Education and Training Committee of the Society for the Exploration of Psychotherapy Integration (SEPI). He was recipient of the American Psychological Association’s 2016 Award for Distinguished Contributions to the International Advancement of Psychology. Dr. Fernández-Álvarez received the Interamerican Psychologist award from the Interamerican Society of Psychology in 1999 and the Sigmund Freud Award from the city of Vienna in 2002. Moreover, he received the Senior Career Award from the Society for Psychotherapy Research in 2013. In 2021 he was one of 200 graduates from Universidad de Buenos to receive a Special Acknowledgment in the Bicentenary of the university.

ase doctoral training in integrative behavioral healthcare, substance use prevention and treatment, and telepsychology. As part of this grant, he serves as the codirector of the Telepsychology Training Clinic (TPTC) housed in the College of Education at the University of Iowa. The TPTC is a community-based training clinic that provides free and accessible mental health services to underserved and underinsured rural Iowans.

In addition to his role in the counseling psychology program, Dr. Kivlighan is a visiting associate professor in Internal Medicine, Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Blood & Marrow Transplantation at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics. Within this role he conducts process and outcome research on integrated behavioral health services and group therapy for the Behavioral Oncology Program at the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center (HCCC). He also provides clinical services to cancer patients and caregivers within the HCCC Behavioral Oncology Clinic, including group therapy and integrated behavioral health consultation services.

2022 Recipient: Guangrong Jiang

Dr. Guangrong Jiang is an emeritus professor at Central China Normal University and the founder of Hubei Oriental Insight Mental Health Institution, an NGO that focuses on mental health promotion and psychotherapy advancement through research, training and service. Dr. Jiang has been one of the prominent pioneering leaders in the field of counseling and psychotherapy and mental health in China and a well-known scholar in psychotherapy research and psychological science in the past 30+ years. His current scholarly interest areas include public mental health literacy and psychological help-seeking behavior, process-outcome research in counseling and psychotherapy, psychological autopsy research for suicide among college students, self-injury behaviors of adolescents, and models of school guidance in middle schools. In each of the above areas, he has produced significant original research results, authored or co-authored over 100 journal articles, and edited or co-edited over 20 books in total. Dr. Jiang has been a leader in promoting localization of psychotherapy in the Chinese cultural contexts. He has developed theories and empirical research in connecting western psychotherapy theories/practice with Chinese culture, and promoting culturally fit population mental health education in China. Through running Oriental Insight, Dr. Jiang actively pursues international collaboration with overseas scholars/practitioners and organizations (Oriental Insight has had active collaborative relationship with Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy) to enhance culturally relevant and scientifically sound training, research and service for Chinese, and allow the world to enjoy the humanistic spirit of oriental culture and recognize the influence of indigenous Chinese psychology.

Distinguished Award for the International Advancement of Psychotherapy

Previous Recipients

2021- Fred Leong

2020 - No Award Given

2019 - Robert W. Resnick

2018 - Rod Goodyear