- Please describe your contributions to the professional practice of psychology, including any positions held and past or current committee work in Division 42.
My wife and I have maintained small independent clinical practices as licensed psychologists in California for over 30 years. My practice is much smaller than hers since I’m a full time college professor at Santa Clara University and an adjunct clinical professor in psychiatry at Stanford University. For decades, I have provided countless daylong CE workshops for psychologists renewing their license regarding ethical, legal, and professional issues. I have published many articles, chapters, and books on clinical practice issues. My textbook with John Wiley & Son, Contemporary Clinical Psychology (now in a 4th edition), highlights clinical practice issues more than any of the competing texts. Additionally, I am the editor-in-chief of APA’s journal, Spirituality in Clinical Practice, and have published widely on the topic of religion and spirituality in professional clinical practice. I am not a member of Division 42 and therefore have not served on their committees.
- The recent reorganization of the Association into APA (c3) and APASI (c6) is a critical issue affecting the ability to advance, defend, and protect the practice of psychology. What concrete measure(s) would you implement to address this issue on behalf of practice constituents, particularly to address the significant budget deficits at APA and how services for practicing psychologists will be maintained when budget revisions occur in-light of the remarkable staff reductions made in June 2020?
I am well aware of the APA (c3) and (c6) reorganization and actually served on the APA Presidential Working Group on an Expanded APA Advocacy Model that put this merger proposal before Council for adoption. Given APA’s current financial challenges and significant staff reductions, we clearly will need to do much more with less. It will be critical to leverage the skills and talents of our Advocacy office, Professional Practice office, the SPTAs, relevant division leaders from Division 42 (as well as Divisions 12, 17, 31, 38, 39, and others) to work synergistically and strategically. The APA presidency is a one-year position and to avoid unnecessary whiplash between APA presidents it is critical to work with humility and the goodwill efforts of those who are actively pursuing these advocacy efforts. I believe that I have the energy, skill, and media experience to help and to serve.
- Please provide your position and how you intend to address each of the following APA governance concerns: a) improved transparency of the APA Board of Directors (BoD) with APA Council and b) the continued effects of the Good Governance Project, particularly the delegation of fiscal and operational responsibilities exclusively to the APA BoD, given how the current APA procedures have resulted in very large deficits in the last two fiscal years.
It has been sad and disturbing to witness the tensions and distrust between at least some Council members and both the board and staff during the past number of years while I have served on Council and on CLT. We must maximize transparency, trust, and goodwill between all relevant parties. I am well aware that a divided house will surely fall. We need to be preemptively more inclusive about these fiscal conversation and decisions with each step we take. I am well aware that we have many challenges and risks. We also have had unexpected financial challenges (e.g., the impact of COVID-19). Being divisive and mistrustful with each other will never end well or serve our mutual interests or the goals of the association. We have many voices but one APA. I have been known to be a peacemaker and someone who can successfullybring diverse and antagonistic parties together.
- What do you see as additional vital area(s) facing the practice of psychology? How do you plan to confront these areas during your presidency?
There are so many difficult issues that it is hard to keep tract of them all. These issues certainly include (1) the viability of maintaining independent practice, (2) insurance reimbursement, (3) telehealth issues and trends, (4) licensing laws and challenges with jurisdiction boundaries, (5) challenges associated with master level professionals such as marriage and family therapists and licensed professional counselors. The list goes on! I am well aware that the APA presidency position is for only one year. Therefore, I would see how I could humbly be of service to the APA associated stakeholders and experts (including division leaders and APA staff) to find out how we can collaboratively work together synergistically and energetically to make progress on these very important and critical issues together. We need to have a big impact and we need to work closely together with each other in kinship to do so.