Early Career Practitioner Award


The APA Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy (APA Division 29) invites nominations for its Early Career Awards for Distinguished Contributions to the Advancement of Psychotherapy, which recognize contributions made through one’s early career to the advancement of psychotherapy practice as well as to the Society.


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.


  • Must be or become a member of Division 29 (note that there is a $40 membership fee and it is not a requirement that you be a member of APA – https://societyforpsychotherapy.org/why-join/).
  • Nominee must be within 10 years of receipt of post-graduate degree
  • Nominees must be engaged in psychotherapy practice at least 75% of their time. (This can include independent practice, group practice, Community Mental Health Centers, VAs, counseling centers, other settings where nominee’s primary role is in providing psychotherapy services.)


Application materials should include:

  • A nomination letter written by a colleague or themselves that (a) indicates the award category to which the nomination applies, and (b) outlines the nominee’s relevant contributions through early career. It should be clear how the nominees’ early career (up to 10 years post-doctorate) contributions have made a significant impact.
  • A curriculum vitae (CV) of the nominee.
  • Three letters supporting the nomination.


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)


Early Career Practitioner Award

2023 Recipient: Natalia Baez-Powell, PsyD & Julia Mackaronis, PhD

Natalia Báez-Powell (she/her/ella) is a queer, Latinx, licensed clinical psychologist living in the United States. Her work in relational psychodynamic therapy with young adults focuses on issues of relationships, identity development, racial and sexual trauma, and immigration. She provides forensic assessments for individuals seeking asylum in the United States and is passionate about social justice, seeking to make therapy and training more accessible across populations.

Julia Mackaronis is a licensed clinical psychologist who completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Utah in 2014, and her fellowship in Interprofessional Couple and Family Health at the VA Puget Health Care System – Seattle Division in 2015. She lives on the coast of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, and works as the lead mental health provider for the Roger Saux Health Center of the Quinault Indian Nation. Julia also spends time on research collaborations, freelance consultation, clinically-oriented writing, and is an active member of multiple professional organizations, including having served as president of the Washington State Psychological Association in 2020. Julia identifies as a generalist, with specific areas of expertise include working with couples, trauma, sexuality, and members of the queer community. She works by integrating behavioral, acceptance, attachment, and interpersonal processes, and is passionate about the craft of psychotherapy.

Early Career Practitioner Award

Previous Recipients

2022- Leigh Ann Carter, PsyD

2021- No award given

2020 – Sheena Demery