News Flash – Update: Division 49 Journal Group Dynamics

Giorgio A. Tasca, Ph.D.
Giorgio A. Tasca, Ph.D.

We are pleased to announce that the 2-year impact factor for the Division 49 journal Group Dynamics has risen to 1.64 for the year 2017. This represents a significant increase from the previous year and puts Group Dynamics within the top 50% of journals in its category. The impact factor represents the number of times journal articles are cited by other scholars in a given year relative to the number of articles published. Congratulations to the editor, David Marcus and his team of associate editors for this achievement.


Call for Nominations: Continuing Education Committee (CEC)

6-15-18 CEC Call for Nominations.jpg


Resilience Builder Program: A Cognitive-Behavioral Group Intervention

Resilience Builder Program: A Cognitive-Behavioral Group Intervention
Mary Karapetian Alvord, Ph.D.

We have been collaborating with Catholic University of America and conducting outcome research in our practice since 2009.  Currently, we are in the third year of conducting a randomized controlled trial examining the effectiveness of the Resilience Builder Program® (RBP; Alvord, Zucker & Grados, 2011), a cognitive-behavioral group intervention, in schools with a student population primarily belonging to ethnic minority communities, low-SES, with prominent learning, behavioral, social, and/or emotional difficulties. Our work was partially supported by a $14,000 grant through the Group Foundation for Advancing Mental Health. To date 119 children have participated in the study. Preliminary results indicated that children who participated in the RBP reported higher levels of emotional control and reduced levels of negative emotion following participation compared to children who were assigned to a waitlist control (Rich et al., in press). The following NPR broadcast highlighted the program at one of the participating schools:

For additional information contact Mary @

Psychologist and Director,

Alvord, Baker & Associates, LLC
Rockville and Chevy Chase, MD



Call for Nominations for Journal Editor of Psychotherapy

The Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy (Division 29) of the American Psychological Association has opened nominations for the Editorship of the Division journal, Psychotherapy. 

Psychotherapy is a highly ranked clinical psychology journal, published quarterly. It publishes a wide variety of articles relevant to the field of psychotherapy. Encompassing the many essential elements of psychotherapy, the journal strives to foster contributions from and interactions among individuals involved with training, practice, theory, and research. Thus, articles in Psychotherapy include theoretical contributions, original research, novel ideas, and examples of practice-relevant issues that would stimulate dialogue and/or debate among theorists, therapists, and researchers. The journal includes the widest scope of orientations to inform the readership. See for more information.

The Editor would lead a very active and able group of Associate Editors and ad hoc reviewers. Qualifications include:

  • Open-mindedness and respect for contributions from all facets of (training, practice, theory, research) and vantage points on (e.g., theoretical orientation, treatment modality, patient population) psychotherapy
  • Extensive experience with the peer-review process at different levels of administration (e.g., ad hoc, editorial board, associate editor)
  • Creative vision for the journal’s short- and long-term future
  • Strong leadership, staff selection, and communication skills
  • Member of Division 29, in good standing throughout the term of the contract​. ​

This will be a 5-year term. Candidates should be available to start receiving manuscripts as the Incoming Editor on January 1, 2020 to prepare for issues published beginning 2021, when their editorial office will assume the masthead (current editorial office will be responsible for publishing the 2020 volume (57)). The new editor will receive manuscripts through December 31, 2024, publishing in the years 2021 (volume 58) through 2025 (volume 62). Editorial responsibilities take 15-20 hours/week. An honorarium, office expenses, and APA support are provided.

Please note that the Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy encourages participation by members of underrepresented groups in the publication process and would particularly welcome such nominees. Self-nominations are also encouraged.

Laurie Heatherington, Ph.D., Division 29 Publication Board Chair, will chair the search. Please address inquiries to her, To nominate a candidate (or yourself), please go to  to enter the candidate’s name and a brief statement of support.

The deadline for accepting nominations is August 1, 2018, when initial reviews will begin. The search committee will contact nominees to assess interest and request additional materials, by mid August, Skype interviews will be conducted at the end of the second week in September, and, if needed, in-person interviews will occur in February. Final decisions will be announced by March 1, 2019.


Announcements Other Information

GROUP: Call for Articles


GROUP, the journal of the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society, is again looking for articles. We publish papers on any aspect of group therapy, group functioning, and group process. Based on the premise that a couple is a small group, we also publish articles on couple therapy. In addition to formal scholarly papers, we also publish informal articles and book reviews. If you have an idea for an article please contact the editor, Lee Kassan, at


Recognition of Group as a Specialty: Approaching the Finish Line

Nina Brown, Ed.D., LPC, NCC, FAGPA
Nina Brown, Ed.D., LPC, NCC, FAGPA President, Group Specialty Council

It was our pleasure in April 2018 to let you know that CRSPPP was recommending recognition of Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy as a specialty for psychology doctoral, internship and postdoctoral training programs.  While this is certainly wonderful news after the many submissions of petitions for recognition that was not the finish line as the APA Council has to provide the final vote which is scheduled to occur at the convention in August.  We are not able to publicize the specialty until we receive the official notification about COR’s action.  However, there is enough reason now to celebrate the CRSPPP recommendation for recognition and to feel hopeful that the outcome of the vote in August will be positive.

The journey to now has taken a long time and lots of effort from many of the Society’s volunteers as well as the contributions from compensated personnel.  A short recap of the journey begins with the submission in 2010 authored by Sally Barlow and others.  That petition was not approved by CRSPPP and the effort to gain recognition languished until the reformation of the Group Specialty Council in 2014 under the revised standards set by CRSPPP that specified that Councils should be composed or organizations, agencies and the like.  The reformation continued with the election of the Council’s president (Nina Brown) and secretary (Eleanor Counselman), and the development of Council Bylaws which are posted on the Society’s website.

The new Group Specialty Council created and submitted new proposals in 2015 and 2016, which were also rejected by CRSPPP.  It was in 2015 that the Council decided to use a professional writer as the major criticism of the petition was that it appeared to be the work of a committee which was accurate.  A committee had created the proposal.  With the help of funding from The Society, the American Group Psychotherapy Association, the American Board of Group in Professional Psychology, and the International Registry of Group Psychotherapists,  a professional writer was hired and a new petition submitted in 2016.  That petition was rejected because we only described training at the doctoral and internship levels and CRSPPP asked for us to provide how specialty training could occur at the postdoctoral and post-licensure levels.  In addition, APA’s Commission on Accreditation asked for the competencies needed for the specialty at the postdoctoral level as they would align with the new Standards of Accreditation.  (We started this process before CoA developed the SoA so we had to try to align the specialty with two different sets of accreditation standards.)  CRSPPP did not want us to submit a totally new petition, they only wanted the guidelines and other documentation for the postdoctoral and post licensure levels. The latest petition submitted in 2017 and approved by them in 2018 had all of the requested information.

As noted before, many people participated in development of the successful petition and their efforts and contributions are appreciated.  Following are the names of volunteers (in alphabetical order) who were involved in the many different aspects of preparing the petition.

Sally Barlow                                       Marsha Block                                      Richard Billow

Misha Bogomaz                                  Loretta Braxton                                   Gary Burlingame

Eleanor Counselman                           Joel Frost                                            Robert Gleaves

Les Greene                                          Joshua Gross                                      Samuel James

Noelle LaForge                                   *Nicole Millman-Falk                         Tony Shepard

Allen Sherman                                    *Staci Smith                                        Kathy Ulman

Martyn Whittingham                           * Professional writer, contributor

My special thanks are extended to Eleanor, Marsha, Josh and Noelle for their sustained efforts and support through all of these iterations of the petition.  Thanks are also due to Craig Parks and George Tasca as Presidents of The Society who provided support for requested funding, and other actions to support the petition.

I hope to have a celebratory message in September.

We will arrive!

Columns Committee Reports

Expanding our Scope — Reactions to the 2018 Practice Leadership Conference (PLC)

Sean Woodland, Ph.D.
Sean Woodland, Ph.D.

This March I was a first-time attendee at the Practice Leadership Conference (PLC). It was a fantastic opportunity to connect with other psychologists interested in advancing the practice of psychology.  The PLC is full of forward-thinkers who have an eye toward advocacy, with an aim to equip all psychologists with the tools and the courage to advocate for themselves and the profession at large.

As a psychologist employed in a primary care setting, I naturally gravitated toward the talks and workshops related to the practice of health psychology. With that said, I also went in with my group and systems hat on, and believe that the following summary is relevant to all members of our division.

Advancing Practice Together 

The theme of this year’s PLC was “Advancing Practice Together.” This has been a major focus of Dr. Arthur Evans since he became the CEO of APA, urging us as members to think more broadly about our value as psychologists, and to continually assert this value as the practice landscape continues to evolve in turn.  In an introductory workshop Dr. Evans stated that we can no longer define ourselves as only psychotherapists if we desire to advance the discipline.  Rather, we must clearly define the unique contributions that practicing psychologists make to healthcare, and to focus on the skills we can bring to many different settings.

Dr. Evans listed three areas unique to psychologists which we can better leverage: 1) training as scientist practitioners, 2) conceptualizations of problems, and 3) the ability to develop expertise in a wide range of specialty areas.  Dr. Evans contends that making these areas more visible to other professionals in the settings in which we now and will yet work will prepare us to adapt well to current and future healthcare trends. Psychologists in the future will find themselves increasingly accountable for the results produced by interventions, and will be called upon in innovative ways to serve the private and public sector alike. Will we be ready to step in?

Improving the Leadership Group 

Another theme that permeated the Practice Leadership Conference, as the name suggests, was leadership, be it in our practice settings, our state associations or divisions, and in our communities.  The mood of the conference was one toward psychologists taking the lead in forsaking isolationism in these settings, broadening and deepening collaboration with a range of organizations and professionals outside the discipline.  For example, APA currently has worked with the American Diabetes Association to create a clinician education program with the effort of training psychologists to help diabetes in behavior change.  It was noted that the rate of depression in individuals with diabetes is twice that of the normal population.

The PLC also encouraged better leadership of our various boards.  One speaker, Eloiza Altoro, spoke extensively on this topic.  Ms. Altoro is an organizational consultant with a clinical psychology background.  She emphasized that high-functioning boards find the “sweet spot” where personal purpose, organizational purpose, and role purpose converge.  Successful boards are team-oriented and transparent, and are as flexible as they are formal.  On the other hand, relationships in boards (and of course, groups!) break down when there is a lack of trust, misinformation, and lack of strategic direction.  Another symptom of poorly-functioning boards is constant turnover.

The attendees at PLC were also encouraged to become leaders in their communities.  This was communicated most clearly by Dr. Jessica Henderson Daniel, new president of APA.  A main pillar of her presidential term is the “citizen psychologist” initiative, which aims to encourage psychologists to be more active in community settings, and to recognize psychologists who are already highly involved at home.  She publicly recognized two such psychologists during a town hall meeting, and reports excitement to honor more.

Advocacy and Activism 

The final theme at the PLC was advocacy.  This was culminated the final day of the conference with visits to Capitol Hill.  Tagging along with the delegation from my home state of California, I had the opportunity to go to the offices of three different California representatives to advocate for causes important to the practice of psychology. This included asking for co-sponsorship of the Medicare Mental Health Access Act, advocating for maintenance and expansion of Medicaid, and advocating for understanding of gun violence as a multifaceted phenomenon.

While it was indeed exciting to participate in his political process, perhaps the most moving piece of advocacy came during the above-mentioned town hall meeting.  The first speakers to get up were the delegates from APAGS, APA’s graduate student group.  They called for greater diversity and inclusion, and were quite courageous in communicating the ways in which they felt that they had been marginalized throughout the proceedings.

In Closing

As leaders in group psychology and group psychotherapy, I believe it is incumbent upon the division to continue to have a voice and a presence at this conference.  Perhaps it could take the form of leading an intergroup dialogue, or a workshop to help psychologists gain a better understanding of group leadership.  Or, in the spirit of advocacy, having a voice to communicate to leaders in the field the importance of understanding the complexities of group treatment in an ever-changing healthcare system. Furthermore, advocating for furthering research in group psychology and group psychotherapy also has a place at the proceedings, as there’s a definite focus on enhancing the productivity, collaboration, and overall success of the professional groups in which we regularly are found.  In short, the PLC needs experts in group!  And notwithstanding this need for more group expertise, the PLC is also a great conference for anyone generally interested in leadership, advocacy, or in advancing the practice of psychology.

For questions or more information on the PLC, please contact Sean Woodland, PhD at


Leadership Minutes

April 2018 Spring Check-In Board Meeting Summary

6-15-18 April Board Meeting Update

Committee Reports

Report from the winter meeting of the APA Council of Representatives

Sally Barlow, Ph.D.
Sally Barlow, Ph.D.

The winter meeting was held in Washington DC from March 9-10 covering many topics including:

  • Council approved a joint 501(c) 3/501(c) 6 organization membership agreement, a move that will increase APA’s capacity to advocate for a full range of issues. At membership renewal time this year, all APA members will become part of both a c3 and a c6 organization.
  • Council voted to amend minutes of its February 24-25, 2017 meeting— “Council voted to adopt as APA policy the APA Clinical Practice Guidelines for Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Adults and approved March 2022 as the expiration date for these guidelines. Council also requested that a Professional Practice Guidelines [that addresses other issues, including those relevant to psychological practice with individuals] related to issues important to treatment of individuals who have Posttraumatic Stress Disorder be developed [in an expeditious fashion] as expeditiously as possible.”
  • Council approved pursuing accreditation of master’s level programs in health service psychology in areas where APA already accredits. This will be a multi-year project that will require council approval for a plan of implementation. Much debate preceded this vote. Two take-aways are 1) the exact title has yet to be decided, and 2) there should be standards for the scope of practice of master’s level practitioners.
  • Council vote to receive a comprehensive report from the Council Diversity Workgroup. This will include recommendations for more inclusion of diversity at all levels of process and procedure. This workgroup is led by Clinton Anderson and his team in Public Interest and will take the next 6 months to develop a workable framework.
  • Council adopted the Clinical Guideline for Multicomponent Behavioral Treatment of Obesity and Overweight Children and Adolescents: Current State of the Evidence and Research Needs as policy of the association. This was preceded by very emotional debate about the painful aspects of being labelled “obese” while still focusing on the positive aspects of better treatment for this global phenomenon.
  • Council adopted as APA policy a resolution on Pregnant and Postpartum Adolescent Girls and Women with Substance Related Disorders. In part, this policy affirms that substance-related disorders manifest as behavioral and biomedical health problems, and recommends providing rehabilitative services rather than criminalizing pregnant women and girls’ substance use by prioritizing substance treatment.
  • Council received as information an update on the new business in progress item, “Archiving the 2015 Resolution on Violent Video Games Due to Inconsistent Evidence-Based on Effects (NBI 35A/Aug 2017).
  • Council received three ethics updates as information. An update on the Board of Directors’ consideration of recommendations stemming from the Report to APA Commission on Ethics Processes; an update on a new selection of the new Ethics Code Taskforce; and an update on a new business item, “Resolution to Amend Council’s 2009, 2013, and 2015 Resolutions to Clarify that Psychologists May Provide Treatment to Detainees or Military Personnel in National Security Settings”.
  • Council decided to rescind the 1991 Resolution on the use of anatomically detailed dolls for forensic evaluations, urging those who conduct such evaluations to be competent in their use, provide more research about the variety of such dolls available for purchase, and bring the standard of assessment into a more uniform practice.
  • Council agreed to adopt as APA policy the Guidelines on Core Learning Goals for Master’s Degree Graduates in Psychology and approved March 2028 as the expiration date for these guidelines.
  • Council met in Executive Session to discuss ongoing litigation. Our very competent attorney, Deanne Ottaviano reminded us that we cannot discuss (or report on) anything regarding this litigation. I can report on the Amicus Curiae briefs, which include the recent cake decision as well as 4 others.  If you want details (lots of legal language I am not competent enough to represent here) contact me at


For those interested in the full minutes check out this link:

Thank you for allowing me to represent our Society of Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy.  Sally Barlow



Announcements APA Programming Awards

Dr. Yalom to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award and Give Live Interview in San Francisco

Martyn Whittingham, Ph.D.
Martyn Whittingham, Ph.D.

We are delighted to announce that Dr. Irv Yalom, author of the seminal text, Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy (2005), now in its fifth edition, will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from Division 49 at the 2018 APA National Convention in San Francisco.  His writing on group also includes other world-renowned titles such Inpatient Group Therapy (1983) and a work of fiction, The Schopenhauer Cure (2006). Dr. Yalom has also produced several videos on group psychotherapy that have served as teaching aids worldwide for decades. His writing, videos, theorizing and research have had a profound impact on group therapy around the world, and this award recognizes both the depth and breadth of his contributions to group.

After receiving this award, Dr. Yalom will then give a live interview, answering questions about his lifetime in group. We are asking for your contributions to this!  Please go to our Facebook page, twitter feed and email address and submit questions you want Dr. Yalom to answer.  We will then select some of the questions to ask him from these contributions.

We look forward to seeing you in San Francisco and hope you can make it to this award ceremony and interview.