Social Justice and Public Interest/Public Policy Award for Early Career Professionals


The Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy (APA Division 29) invites nominations for its Social Justice and Public Interest/ Public Policy Award, which honors an Early Career Psychologist (up to 10 years post-doctorate) member of the Society who has made a significant contribution to social justice. 


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


Nominees must demonstrate a sustained commitment to psychotherapy practice or research, community involvement and diversity, as well as evidence of achieving change that supports the disenfranchised, disempowered, less privileged or oppressed groups. Significant contributions may be evidenced via (a) psychotherapy research, development and implementation of an applied psychotherapy community project that promotes social justice and/or public interest/policy, or (b) being instrumental in helping to increase awareness or assisting in the passage of legislative and institutional changes that may impact the profession. Both self-nominations and nominations of others will be considered.


Application materials should include:

  • A letter of nomination (written by either the nominee or the nominator) describing the individual’s impact, role, and activities as a change agent in social justice/public policy/public interest through psychotherapy research or community projects or legislative and institutional changes.
  • A curriculum vitae of the nominee.
  • Three letters of reference for the nominee, written by colleagues, community members/stakeholders connected to the social justice work of the individual being nominated, and/or students/former students. Letters of reference for the award should describe the ways in which the nominee meets the criteria for the Social Justice & Public Interest/Public Policy Award criteria. Letters of reference may include, but are not limited to, discussion of the following behaviors: leadership in implementing new pathways for delivering services to the underserved, historically marginalized, and oppressed populations; contributions to the field via publications and scholarship relevant to social justice and public policy; contributions to the field of social justice and public policy via workshops, activism, and engagement in state, local and national psychological associations; evidence that the nominee’s commitment to social justice provides a larger impact on psychotherapy practice, research and scholarship in the field.


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

Submission Deadline: December 31 (annually)


Social Justice and Public Interest/Public Policy Award for Early Career Professionals

2021 Recipient: Stephanie Budge


Stephanie Budge (she/her/hers) focuses her research and advocacy efforts with transgender, two-spirit, nonbinary, and gender diverse people. She is an associate professor in the Department of Counseling Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received her master’s degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin in and received her PhD in Counseling Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She conducts community-based participatory research that focuses on emotional and coping processes for transgender youth and adults, as well as the effectiveness of medical and psychotherapeutic treatments for transgender clients. She provides clinical trainings nationally and internationally related to LGBTQ issues, focusing on practitioners’ self-efficacy, knowledge, awareness, and skills. At the University of Wisconsin Madison, she promotes transgender advocacy on campus by providing workshops to students, faculty, and staff related to navigating gender identity within a university environment. As a licensed psychologist, she has provided pro-bono therapy to transgender and nonbinary youth and adults. Stephanie is currently an Associate Editor of two journals: Psychotherapy (Division 29’s Journal) and Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity. She is also on the editorial board of the International Journal of Transgender Health.

Social Justice and Public Interest/Public Policy Award for Early Career Professionals

Previous Recipients

2022- No award given

2021- Stephanie Budge, PhD