Statements Provided by the Two Nominees for Psychotherapy Practice Domain Representative of the Society for the Advancement in Psychotherapy
Nominees are listed in alphabetical order.
Dr. Jennifer Gafford
I am honored to be considered for the position of Psychotherapy Practice Domain Representative for Division 29. I am a staunch believer in the effectiveness of psychotherapy and have been practicing in the field for over 15 years, the last seven of which as a licensed psychologist in the state of Colorado.
As the Chief Psychologist for the Denver Sheriff Department, I have the unique opportunity to both provide and oversee the provision of psychotherapy services to incarcerated men and women. As such, my interests lie in the universal mechanisms of change that are evident in my work with our diverse population. I am consistently amazed by the power of the therapeutic relationship and impact of the therapist upon therapy outcomes.
Our robust training program supervises 12 Master’s and Doctoral level students who practice individual and group psychotherapy. My secondary interest in the area of psychotherapy lies in supervision and training. I have certainly witnessed the effects of poor as well as excellent training and supervision and recognize the difficulty of shaping clinicians into highly effective practitioners. I view psychotherapy as an intersection of art and science. I am committed to nourishing that intersection by helping clinicians increase self awareness to develop their own “art” or style as well as integrate “science,” both theory and effective intervention, into practice.
As a representative for Division 29, I will advocate for the advancement of psychotherapy as a critical method for change for people in all situations. In addition, I will advocate for the development of superior methods to help both educators and supervisors in their shaping of new professionals. As a member of the psychology community, I have both a passion and a responsibility to enhance the profession in the development of emerging clinicians.
Dr. Barbara J. Thompson
It is an honor to be nominated to continue to serve as the Practice Domain Representative. In the 20 years that I have been in practice, the landscape of our profession has shifted dramatically, with the advent of HIPPA, evidenced-based treatments, electronic medical records, Obama-care, and ICD-10. Technology has created new vistas and challenging ethical considerations. In addition, therapists are in the forefront in dealing with issues related to trauma and oppression, and there are growing opportunities to embrace and foster diversity. It is rewarding to have a voice in an organization of leaders and advocates for psychotherapists amidst all of these changes.
The Society is facing challenging issues. Our membership is aging, and younger psychotherapists have many options and demands on their resources, which affect membership maintenance and recruiting. Among the tools we have to meet this challenge is maximizing the potential of our newly revised website, which provides a vehicle for sharing resources and connecting therapists in ways we are just beginning to realize. In addition, the Society has opened membership to a broader professional and geographic range of practitioners, providing an opportunity to expand our reach and to be relevant to a larger community of psychotherapists.
As Practice Domain Representative, I will continue to address these concerns. I will promote the Society to non-member therapists nationally and internationally. Working with the Practice Committee, I will reach out to Society members about ways the Practice Domain can better serve their interests and needs, for example, by advocating for increased CE opportunities especially related to skill building and diversity issues.
My commitment to improving the practice of psychotherapy through informed practice, research, teaching and supervision creates a solid foundation from which to serve as the Representative for the Practice Domain.