Distinguished Psychologist Award for Contributions to Psychology and Psychotherapy


The APA Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy (APA Division 29) invites nominations for its Distinguished Psychologist Award, which recognizes lifetime contributions to psychotherapy, psychology, and the Society.

This award was established in 1970 as the Distinguished Professional Award in Psychology and Psychotherapy. At the Mid Winter meeting in 1984, the Board of Directors changed its name to Distinguished Psychologist Award for Contributions to Psychology and 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.

Nomination Requirements

  1. A nomination letter outlining the nominee’s career contributions (self-nominations are welcomed)
  2. A current Curriculum Vitae.

Submission Process & Deadline

Submission Process: All items must be sent as electronic files in PDF format. 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 Psychologist Award for Contributions to Psychology and Psychotherapy

2024 Recipient: J. Christopher Muran PhD

Dr. Muran is Dean and Professor at the Gordon F. Derner School of Psychology, Adelphi University, where he served as training director for the doctoral program in clinical psychology (2009-2021). He completed postdoctoral training in cognitive therapy (University of Toronto) and psychoanalysis (New York University). He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association (Divisions 12 and 29) and on its Advisory Steering Committee for the Development of Clinical Practice Guidelines. He is past president of the international Society for Psychotherapy Research, past editor of its journal Psychotherapy Research, and recipient of its Distinguished Career Award. He is also recipient of the Alfred M. Wellner Lifetime Achievement Award for Research Excellence from the National Register. He currently serves on the editorial boards for the Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology and Clinical Psychology: Science & Practice. Since 1990, Dr. Muran has been Principal Investigator of the Psychotherapy Research Program at Beth Israel Medical Center (now Mount Sinai Beth Israel), which has been funded by grant awards from the National Institute of Mental Health. He was Chief Psychologist at Beth Israel for 15 years (1994-2009) and is on faculty at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He was also appointed to the faculty of New York University Postdoctoral Program in 2021 and held the Horst Kächele Chair (visiting professorship) at International Psychoanalytic University/Berlin in 2022. Dr. Muran has published over 175 papers and 10 books, including Therapist Performance under Pressure: Negotiating Emotion, Difference & Rupture (2020; with Catherine Eubanks), Practice-Oriented Research (2016; with Louis Castonguay), The Therapeutic Alliance: An Evidence-Based Guide to Practice (2010; with Jacques Barber), Dialogues on Difference: Diversity Studies of the Therapeutic Relationship (2007), Self-Relations in the Psychotherapy Process (2001), and Negotiating the Therapeutic Alliance: A Relational Treatment Guide (2000; with Jeremy Safran).

Distinguished Psychologist Award for Contributions to Psychology and Psychotherapy

Previous Recipients

2022- Dennis Martin Kivlighan, Jr., PhD

2021- Mark J. Hilsenroth

2020 – Jean Carter

2019 – Armand Cerbone

2018 – Jacques Barber

2017 – William B. Stiles 

2016 – Jeffrey J. Magnavita

2015 – Douglas Snyder

2014 – Lorna Smith Benjamin

2013 – Les Greenberg

2012 – Paul L. Wachtel

2011 – Jack C. Anchin

2010 – Jeffrey E. Barnett & Judith Jordan

2009 – Norine Johnson & Jon Carlson

2008 – Bruce E. Wampold

2007 – Gary VandenBos & Carol Goodheart

2006 – Louis Castonguay

2005 – Gerald Koocher

2004 – John C. Norcross & Wade H Silverman

2003 – Clara Hill & Charles J Gelso

2002 – Ronald F. Levant & Frank Dattillio

2001 – Lenore E Walker & Michael J Lambert

2000 – Marvin R Goldfried & Linda F Campbell

1999 – Ellen McGrath

1998 – David Orlinsky

1997 – Alvin R. Mahrer

1996 – Norman Abeles & Alice K. Rubenstein

1995 – Stanley Moldawsky & Harry Sands

1994 – Rachel Hare-Mustin

1993 – Patrick H. DeLeon

1992 – Arnold A Lazarus

1991 – Donald K. Freedheim

1990 – Tommy T. Stigall

1989 – Jack G. Wiggins

1988 – Ernst G. Beier

1987 – Mathilda B. Canter

1986 – Ronald E. Fox

1985 – Stanley R. Graham

1984 – Robert A. Harper

1983 – Herbert J. Freudenberger

1982 – Arthur L. Kovacs

1981 – Carl N. Zimet

1980 – Jules Barron

1979 – Max Siegel

1978 – Jack D. Krasner

1977 – Gordon F. Derner

1976 – Nicholas A. Cummings

1975 – Sidney Jourard (Posthumous Award)

1974 – Haim Ginott (Posthumous Award)

1973 – Albert Ellis & Hans H. Strupp

1972 – Carl R. Rogers

1971 – Victor Raimy

1970 – Eugene T. Gendlin