Lillian Comas-Diaz Student Diversity Paper Award


The Lillian Comas-Diaz 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 Krizia Wearing, Chair, Student Development Committee. E-mail:

Submission Deadline: April 1.

Dr. Lillian Comas-Diaz Student Diversity Paper Award

2023 Recipient: Vineet Gairola

Vineet Gairola is a Ph.D. Candidate in Psychology at the Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad, where his research focuses on ritual practices and processional worship/journeys of devī-devtās (Hindu deities) in India’s Garhwal Himalayas. His research interests focus on cultural psychology, the link between Jung and India, music psychology, psychological perspectives from India, and the correspondence between spirituality, psychopathology, psychoanalysis, and analytical psychology. He is the winner of the APS 2023 Student Grant Competition by the Association for Psychological Science (APS), the Excellence in Research Award by IIT Hyderabad, the Stephen Mitchell Award given by APA (Division 39), the Psychoanalytic Research Exceptional Contribution Award by IPA, the Student Research Award from APA(Division 36), and the Asian Student Membership Scholarship from ANHS. He continues to see the mystical and spiritual experiences prevalent across the Himalaya as a way to encourage a more diverse range of people to understand the psychosocial nuances that such experiences have to offer. He endeavors to bring such profound and hidden psychological nuances from Garhwal within the discipline of psychology and expand the horizons of the discipline itself.

Dr. Lillian Comas-Diaz Student Diversity Paper Award

Previous Winners

2020- Brien J. Goodwin, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Extending the Context-Responsive Psychotherapy Integration Framework to Cultural Process in Psychotherapy

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”