Student Diversity Paper Award


The Diversity Award for the best paper on issues of diversity in psychotherapy. The APA defines diversity as individual and role differences, including those based on age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, disability, language, and socioeconomic status.

Funding Specifics

Cash prize of $500 for the winner.

Benefits of Applying

  • Cash prize for the winner.
  • Enhance your curriculum vitae and gain national recognition.
  • Certificate and check presented at the Division 29 Awards Ceremony at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association.
  • Abstract will be published in the Psychotherapy Bulletin, the official publication of the Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy.

Proposal Requirements

  • Papers must be based on work conducted by the first author. The paper must be written, and award application be submitted, no more than two years post-graduate degree. Papers can be based on (but are not restricted to) a Masters thesis or a doctoral dissertation.
  • Papers should be in APA style, not to exceed 25 pages in length (including tables, figures, and references) and should not list the authors’ names or academic affiliations.
  • Please include a title page as part of a separate attached MS-Word or PDF document so that the papers can be judged “blind.” This page can include authors’ names and academic affiliations.
  • Also include a cover letter as part of a separate attached MS-Word or PDF document. The cover letter should attest that the paper is based on work that the first author conducted while in graduate school. It should also include the first author’s mailing address, telephone number, and e-mail address.
  • All applicants must be members of the Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy. Join the Society here.
  • Applicant must specify for which award he/she is applying. Applicants can submit multiple papers for awards, but an individual paper may only be submitted for a single award.
  • Papers that have been published will be considered, but submissions should be in final manuscript format (such as a word document).

Submissions should be emailed to:

Submission Process: Email materials to Lei Sun, Chair, Student Development Committee. E-mail:

Submission Deadline: April 1.

Student Diversity Paper Award

2020 Recipient: Brien J. Goodwin

Title: Extending the Context-Responsive Psychotherapy Integration Framework to Cultural Processes in Psychotherapy

Author: Brien J. Goodwin
Institution: University of Massachusetts Amherst

Brien J. Goodwin is a sixth-year PhD student in the Clinical Psychology program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst who is starting his pre-doctoral internship this fall at the Institute of Living. His Master’s thesis examined the association between early-treatment patient motivational language and proximal treatment outcomes. His dissertation examines in-session interpersonal micro-processes that differentiate therapy dyads known to possess high versus low relational attunement. Other projects have focused on corrective experiences in psychotherapy, existential isolation, resistance, patient preferences, patient outcome expectation, cultural processes, and mediators of the alliance-outcome association. His clinical interests include context-responsive individual, family, and group psychotherapy in inpatient and forensic settings with people of all ages. His empirical and conceptual work has been disseminated in peer-reviewed publications, book chapters, and professional conferences.

Paper Abstract: 
Psychotherapist competence in attending to cultural processes has long been considered an ingredient of successful treatment. Although some research findings support a positive association between clinician multicultural competence (MCC) and client improvement, others suggest that MCC may not be a skill that therapists uniformly acquire and then stably maintain. Rather, MCC is likely more fluid and contextualized, potentially rendering within- therapist variability across their patients and within-dyad variability across different moments in a given case. With such variability in perceptions and actual behavioral manifestations of
therapist MCC, it may be important for clinicians to heed contextual markers that call for flexibility and evidence-informed responsivity. To this end, we extend Constantino, Boswell, Bernecker, and Castonguay’s (2013) context-responsive psychotherapy integration (CRPI) framework, a pantheoretical, if-then approach to responding to common clinical process markers with modular, evidence-based therapeutic strategies. Specifically, we present a therapy case supporting that clients’ social and cultural identities can serve as both specific client contexts in themselves, and also as unique factors that may influence other important therapeutic contexts (e.g., lowered client outcome expectation, alliance ruptures, client change ambivalence/resistance to treatment) that require context-relevant therapist responsivity. With this case, we provide examples of both successful responsivity and missed opportunities.

Student Diversity Paper Award

Previous Winners

2019- Alayna Park, University of California, Los Angeles, "Provider Perceptions About Engaging Undeserved Populations in Community Mental Health Services"

2018 – Katherine Morales, University of Maryland, College Park, Therapist Effects Due to Client Racial/Ethnic Status when Examining Linear Growth for Client- and Therapist-Rated Working Alliance and Real Relationship"

2017 – Hui Xu, Arizona State University, "Cultural Congruence with Psychotherapy Efficacy: A Network Meta-Analytic Examination in China"

2016 – Graham Danzer, Arizona State University, “White Psychologists and African American Historical Trauma: Implications for Practice”

2015 – Marilyn A. Cornish, PhD., paper completed during doctoral studies at Iowa State University, “When Religion Enters the Counseling Group: Multiculturalism, Group Processes, and Social Justice”

2014 – Jackson J. Taylor, MA, Derner Institute, Adelphi University, “From a LInear Match Equation to the Intersubjective Sphere: Negotiating Identities of the SExual Kind”

2013 – Joan DeGeorge, University of Massachusetts – Amherst, “Individual Differences in Psychotherapy Change Among Ethnic Minority Patient”. Additional Authors: Michael J. Constantino, Samuel S. Nordberg, David Kraus

2012 – Kristin Miserocchi, ”Methodological Review of Constructs of Whiteness in the Counseling Literature”

2011 – Dana Lea B. Nelson, MS, Penn State University, “Challenging Stereotypes of Eating and Body Image Concerns Among College Students: Implications for Diagnosis and Treatment of Diverse Populations”

2010 – no award given

2009 – no award given

2008 – Arien Muzacz, City College of the City University of New York, Older Adults, Sexuality and Psychotherapy: Implications for Ethnic and Sexual Minorities

2007 – Peter D Panthauer, Derner Institute, Adelphi University, “Therapy with Lesbian Couples”

2006 – Shin Shin Tang, University of Oregon

2005 – Roger Karlsson

2004 – no award given

2003 – no award given

2002 – Durriya Meer

2001 – Arieahn Matamonasa, Fielding Institute

2000 – Paula Domenia-Lake, U of Maryland, College Park

1999 – Peony Fhagen-Smith

1996 – Nnamdi Pole and Jennifer Treuting

1990 – 1st Place ($350): Marisol Munez, Florida State U. “Toward the psychological empowerment of ethnic minority clients: a competence paradigm for psychotherapy practice.”

2nd Place ($150): Gayle Y. Iwamasa, M.S., Purdue U. “Cultural psychotherapy model”