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.


Nominees should be 10 years or less post-doctoral degree. Nominees must be primarily engaged in psychotherapy at least 75% of their time. This can include (for example) independent practice, group practice, Community Mental Health Centers, VAs, counseling centers, other settings where nominee’s primary role is in providing psychotherapy services.


As the nominee begins his or her career, nominees demonstrate excellence in the art and practice of psychotherapy through their work and commitment to growth as a therapist, this may be demonstrated in at least two of the following areas, the psychotherapist:

  • Demonstrates a consistent, strong foundation of therapeutic skillfulness (e.g., in building, maintaining and repairing a working alliance across differences)
  • Shows leadership in delivering services to the underserved, historically marginalized, and oppressed populations.
  • Demonstrates the ability to effectively implement innovative, creative or novel approaches to treatment (e.g., providing in-home intervention, use of creative modalities to meet special needs, creative interventions, flexibility in adapting interventions).
  • Is consistently recognized for good work by their local referral networks.
  • Helps others become more effective psychotherapists through supervision and consultation.
  • Contributes to the field via publications and scholarship relevant to the practice of psychotherapy.
  • Contributes to the field of psychotherapy via workshops, activism, and engagement in state, local and national psychological association.


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.
  • Supporting documentation. Materials submitted should evidence the nominee’s commitment to growth as a therapist (e.g. learning from mistakes, modifying their approach, use of self-care). Nominees can demonstrate the above criteria in at least two or more of the following ways:
    • Recommendations letters and nominations may come from Graduate students, peers/colleagues/collaborators (e.g. psychiatrists)
    • A de-identified case example that illustrates their case conceptualization, formulation, intervention, and outcome.
    • A summary of how their practice, how they think, and what knowledge base they use has evolved over time. e.g. How keeping abreast of current trends in research and practice has changed how they work.
    • If available, de-identified outcome data on their clinical work using established outcome measures, along with a brief description of how this data informs or enhances their practice.
    • A reflection paper on how they plan and/or wish their career would unfold over the next 20 years.


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

2020 Recipient: Sheena Demery


Early Career Practitioner Award

Previous Recipients

2020 - Sheena Demery