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Evidence-Based Case Study Guidelines: Group Dynamics

Group Dynamics issues an open call for authors to submit an Evidence-Based Case Study for possible publication. Developing such a series of Evidence-Based Case Studies will be extremely useful in advancing the evidence for group psychology and group psychotherapy. Group practice for this call is defined broadly to include therapy groups, teams, organizations, and other group contexts.

The goal of these Evidenced-Based Case Studies is to integrate verbatim case material from the group with standardized empirical measures of process and outcome evaluated at different times during the life of the group, team or organization. That is, authors should describe vignettes highlighting key interventions, processes, and mechanisms regarding their specific approach in the context of empirical scales.

Such an investigation will provide much needed information to bridge the gap between research and practice. Evidence-based case studies will also provide an important model of how to integrate basic research into applied work in therapy, team, and organizational contexts. This will open an avenue for publication to those in full time private practice, those who work primarily as consultants, or organizations and teams that integrate research measures into their applied work. Finally, this approach to studying group phenomena may provide a list of systematic case studies from various forms of treatment and interventions that meet the American Psychological Association’s criteria for Evidence-Based Practice (APA, 2006) as well as the Clinical Utility dimension in the Criteria for Evaluating Treatment Guidelines (APA, 2002).

Authors who are interested in preparing an Evidence-Based Case Study must follow these guidelines:

  1. The report must include the assessment (from the individual group member or independent rater perspective at the group level, but not only the therapist/leader) of at least two standardized empirical outcome measures related to team, organization, or group objective. Optimally, such a report would include several outcome measures assessing a wide array of functioning such as: global functioning, team or organizational objectives, target symptoms, subjective well-being, interpersonal functioning, social/occupational functioning, and measures of personality,
  2. The report must also include at least one empirical process measure (e.g., therapeutic alliance, session depth, emotional experiencing, team functioning, organizational cohesion) evaluated on at least three separate occasions.
  3. At minimum, specific outcome data should be presented using standardized mean difference (i.e. effect size) and clinical significance methodology (i.e. unchanged, reliable change, movement into functional distribution, clinically significant change, and deterioration [see Jacobson et al. 1999]). Group Dynamics encourages submission of both successful and unsuccessful cases. In addition, it might be instructive to compare and contrast the technical interventions that occurred during a positive change case with that of an unchanged or deteriorated case from the same approach.

The Evidence-Based Case Study section is not necessarily for advanced statistical time series analyses of process or outcome data, although such articles would be welcomed. Simple analyses of standardized outcome measures by way of clinical significance and effect size methods are sufficient.

  1. Verbatim vignettes with several group participant and therapist/leader turns highlighting key interventions, processes, and mechanisms of change must be provided. Discussion of any therapeutic or group-level interventions should not be presented only from a global or abstract perspective.
  2. Manuscripts must be within the journal word limit as indicated on the journal web site.
  3. Appropriate informed consent must be obtained from participants, and the study must be approved by an internal review board. The author must indicate that vignettes were sufficiently de-identified to protect confidentiality and privacy.

The following provide examples of what an Evidence-Based Case Study article might look like:

Granasen, M. & Andersson, D. (2016). Measuring team effectiveness in cyber-defense exercises: A cross-disciplinary case study, Cognition, Technology & Work, 18, 121–143.

This study reported on simulated exercises to assess team functioning and effectiveness in repelling cyber attacks. Team performance (outcome), team cognition (processes within teams) were assessed and reported. The authors provided recommendations to enhance team performance. However, missing from this case study were vignettes to illustrate the concepts.

Maxwell, K., Callahan, J. L., Holtz, P., Janis, B. M., Gerber, M. M., & Connor, D. R. (2016). Comparative study of group treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder. Psychotherapy, 53, 433-445.

The authors assessed a new potential group treatment for PTSD compared to cognitive processing therapy  (CPT) as a pre-cursor to a randomized controlled trial. Two groups from each treatment type were compared. The authors measured outcomes but did not provide process measures. Several clinical vignettes illustrate the treatments.

Tasca, G. A., Foot, M., Leite, C., Maxwell, H., Balfour, L., & Bissada, H. (2011). Interpersonal processes in psychodynamic-interpersonal and cognitive behavioral group therapy: A systematic case study of two groups. Psychotherapy, 48, 260-273.

Outcomes were measured outcomes pre- and post-treatment (effect sizes and reliable change indices) comparing two group therapists who were highly adherent to their specific treatment approach. The authors measured interpersonal processes at three time points from observer ratings of video recordings. Outcomes were measured using standardized scales. Clinical vignettes illustrated the differing interpersonal styles between the two group therapists.

Authors who have conducted an effectiveness or efficacy trial on a particular type of intervention in which they collected standardized process and outcome measures in addition to the use of audio/videotape of sessions should consider submitting an Evidence-Based Case Study. Likewise, a clinician in private practice, or a team or organizational consultant who would like to add these elements at the start of a new or existing group or team should also consider submitting an Evidence-Based Case Study.

Group Dynamics will begin accepting submissions for Evidence-Based Case Studies starting January 2019.  Anyone who may have an interest in submitting an Evidence-Based Case Study is encouraged to contact the editor.

References

American Psychological Association, (2002). Criteria for evaluating treatment guidelines. American Psychologist, 57, 1052–1059.

American Psychological Association, (2006). Evidence-based practice in psychology. American Psychologist, 61, 271–285.

Jacobson, N., Roberts, L., Berns, S., & McGlinchey, J. (1999). Methods for defining and determining the clinical significance of treatment effects: Description, application, and alternatives. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 67, 300–307.

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Training and Education Webinar Series

Division 49 Fall Training and Education Webinar Series

Join us for the Fall Training and Education Webinar Series which will highlight chapters from the recent publication:  The College Counselor’s Guide to  Group Psychotherapy.  (2018).  New York:  Routledge Press.  https://www.amazon.com/College-Counselors-Guide-Group-Psychotherapy/dp/1138681962/ref=mt_paperback?_encoding=UTF8&me=

Advertising and how to sign up for this Zoom Webinar Series will be coming out on the Division 49 membership listserv and website in late August/early September

The Art of the Sell: Marketing Groups Scott A. Kaplan September 26 noon EST

Dr. Scott Kaplan will focus on how to use marketing and networking to build a thriving group program in educational environments and other clinical settings. He will identify the goal of marketing, the effectiveness of group counseling, how to create a positive group culture,  information about diversity and cultural issues relevant to marketing efforts, how to “sell” group to clients, marketing and networking strategies and techniques, and different types of advertising.  Come join in the presentation and discussion.

Racial and Social Justice Implications on the Practice of Group Psychotherapy Michele Ribeiro and Marcée Turner October 17 noon EST

Drs. Michele Ribeiro and Marcée Turner will highlight larger system level issues, such as events of a socio-political and socio-cultural nature, and their implications on various levels of the group including the organizations we work in, the staff we work with and the therapy groups we facilitate.  They will invite discussion on how to subsume a social justice advocacy role in minimizing bias and oppression and creating structural changes that affect multiple systems and therapy groups in more positive and equitable ways. Come join in the presentation and discussion.

November:  TBD

Group Co-Facilitation: Creating a Collaborative Partnership Wendy Freedman and Leann T. Diederich December 12 noon EST

Drs. Wendy Freedman and Leann Diederich will focus on co-facilitating groups in college counseling centers and other clinical settings. They will examine the benefits of co-facilitation and variables that contribute to co-leader satisfaction and efficacy.  To maximize the likelihood that groups will run successfully, the presenters will highlight the importance of pre-group and ongoing co-facilitator meetings and provide specific recommendations how to coordinate facilitation approaches and plan the nuts and bolts of the group. They will lead a discussion on identifying methods to create collaborative, effective, and trusting co-leader working relationships.

 

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Group Psychotherapy Column: Civilizations Die From Suicide not by Murder 

“Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder” — Arnold Toynbee, Historian

Tevya Zukor, Ph.D.
Tevya Zukor, Ph.D.

The summer has started with the tragic deaths by suicide of two prominent celebrities – fashion designer Kate Spade and Chef Anthony Bourdain.  While tragic, I didn’t have much of a personal reaction to the death of Kate Spade. As anyone who has seen me in person can attest, I don’t know much about the world of fashion; it has just never been an area of interest for me. However, having spent the last decade and a half in collegiate mental health, I am acutely aware of how prevalent thoughts of suicide are for many people; especially those who feel that their livelihood is dependent on crafting a carefully sanitized public image. While Ms. Spade’s death was sad and tragic, the personal impact on me was initially minimal.

While Ms. Spade’s death was sad and tragic, the personal impact on me was initially minimal.

The loss of Anthony Bourdain was different.  I had the chance to meet him a few years ago when he spoke on the campus where I was working at the time.  While our conversation was brief and overall insignificant, it has always been a cherished memory. For years, I have admired and respected Mr. Bourdain for who he was – a cantankerous, but insightful, man who did not apologize for the many years of self-destructive behavior in his youth and who passionately believed in equality and social justice. In many ways, Mr. Bourdain represented who I wanted to be – a person who could utilize their self-defeating and self-sabotaging behaviors of the past to advocate and shape a better existence in both the present and the future; a man who recognized his own flaws, but did not let that silence him from trying to make the world a better place.

Anthony Bourdain’s death hit me hard.  My mind flashed back to that fleeting conversation I had with him; not the content of the conversation (which has long ago been lost to memory), but rather to the vibrancy and enthusiasm of the person I admired.  I thought, with great sadness, about the people who were closest to Mr. Bourdain and the profound sense of loss they were experiencing.  I thought of the multiple times, both personally and professionally, when I have been confronted with the immediate aftermath of a completed suicide. There is a profound sense of shock and incongruence of those scenes – the dichotomy that one life has suddenly, and violently, ended while thousands of others continue uninterrupted and unaware of the tragedy that has occurred next to them.

I also thought about the work that we do as mental health professionals; where our “Prime Directive” is to keep people alive and safe. It’s a world that is actively avoided by many people.  Our jobs requires a certain type of empathy for pain and struggle that many find too overwhelming. We often work with clients who are teetering on the line between life and death. It’s a scary place for one to find themselves; both for the client and the clinician.  Yet, as mental health professionals, we have a sacred obligation to help shepherd even the most hopeless and despondent of souls towards finding their meaning and purpose once again. For many clinicians, this is both the most stressful and anxiety-inducing part of our jobs, but also the most rewarding.  There is no greater honor than being able to assist someone in finding their way out of the darkest place of their life.   There is no amount of monetary compensation or praise from others that can beat the feeling of knowing that we were in the right place, at the right time, and with the right set of skills to prevent an unneeded death.

At the risk of being biased, the work we do as mental health professionals is some of the noblest in the world. We engage in our trade to try and prevent tragedy whenever there is a risk. We are on the front lines of the fight many people have between life and death. High-profile suicides tend to remind us of the true stakes of our work. From one colleague to another, I offer my deepest and sincerest THANK YOU for all that you do to help those in despair.  What we do is meaningful and profound, even though it is rarely glorious.  Sometimes it is important to hear that sentiment out loud.

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Editor’s Column: Reviewers for The Group Psychologist

Summer is here! For many that means a change in routines, like taking some longer weekends and traveling in the (typically) nicer weather, seeing fewer students or clients at work, or simply enjoying longer hours of daylight. For many of us, it also means an annual gathering at the APA Convention, this year in the beautiful state of California, with a return to San Francisco. Greeting old friends and welcoming newcomers in to our Society is always a highlight of the convention, and this year promises to be another great one.

The Programming Chair, Debra O’Connell, has put together a wonderful program with a range of skill building sessions and symposia. In addition to mingling with the many familiar faces of the Society at these events (and our famous hospitality suite social hour), we’ll also have an opportunity to recognize the achievements of and have a conversation hour with a well-known group psychotherapist, Dr. Irvin Yalom. This year, the Society is honoring Dr. Yalom with a Presidential Award for Lifetime Achievement. It’s likely that everyone reading this column has been influenced directly, or at the very least indirectly, by Dr. Yalom’s influential body of work. If you are not able to attend the award ceremony for Dr. Yalom, the Society will be live streaming the event, so stay tuned for further details on that through the listserv. You can read more about what reflections this Presidential Award brings up in our current President’s column.

Attending the annual convention is a great way to connect with others who firmly believe in the power of groups. The importance of groups to address societal level issues is highlighted in Dr. Martyn Whittingham’s column. One such key societal issue group psychotherapy can help combat is loneliness. As Dr. Whittingham describes, the UK has recently appointed a Minister of Loneliness, to help address the physical and mental health challenges created by loneliness. For more discussion on how social support can help buffer the stress on societies and individuals, be sure to check out Dr. Whittingham’s column.

In closing, we wish you the best this summer has to offer. May it be filled with connections with valued colleagues, creations of new memories to cherish, and adventures of whatever sort you are ready to take on!

Tom Treadwell, EdD, T.E.P. C.G.P.
Tom Treadwell, Ed.D., T.E.P, C.G.P.
Editor

Leann Diederich, Ph.D.
Leann Terry Diederich, Ph.D.
Associate Editor

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April 2018 – Vol. 28, No. 1

April 2018 – Vol. 28, No. 1

Welcome

President’s Column
George Tasca, Ph.D.

President-Elect’s Column
Martyn Whittingham, Ph.D.

2018 Mid-Winter Meeting Summary
Joe Miles, Ph.D.

Editor’s Column
Tom Treadwell, Ed.D., T.E.P, CGP and Leann Terry Diederich, Ph.D.


Division 49 Executive / Standing Committees and Task Forces 

Division 49 Leadership


Election

Division 49 Candidates


News

2018 Division 49 APA Programming
Debra O’Connell, M.S.


Columns

Group Psychotherapy Column
Tevya Zukor, Ph.D.


Early Career Psychologists 

Early Career Group Psychologist Column
Misha Bogomaz, Psy.D.

Early Career Update
Early Career Psychologist Task Force

Polarizing Political Topics in Groups
Early Career Psychologist Task Force


Brief Articles

Prevention Corner: Using Group-Prevention to Target School Climate
Shana Ingram, B.A.

Dr. Yalom to Receive Lifetime Award
Martyn Whittingham, Ph.D.


Committee Reports

Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy Specialty Council
Nina Brown, Ed.D.

Committee for the Advancement of Professional Practice Highlights

Committee for the Advancement of Professional Practice
Sean Woodland, Ph.D.

Group Specialty Council: Thanks!

Treasurer’s Report
Amy Nitza, Ph.D.


Other Information

University of North Florida Counseling Center Internship
Misha Bogomaz, Ph.D.

Travel Grants

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Polarizing Political Topics in Groups

Polarizing Political Topics in Groups

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Using Group-Prevention to Target School Climate

Shana Ingram, BA
Shana Ingram, BA

Using Group-Prevention to Target School Climate

Bullying is not a new phenomenon, but its presence in our schools and its harmful effects not only in childhood and adolescence but throughout life is one of the most pressing reasons behind finding and implementing successful, sustainable prevention programs. If children do not feel safe in school, how can they be expected to learn? Providing a safe, supportive school environment is crucial in fostering academic and socioemotional success (Cohen, McCabe, Michelli, & Pickeral, 2009). This school environment, also known as school climate, reflects the quality of life experienced while at school and consists of students’, parents’, and other school personnel’s experiences (National School Climate Council, 2012). Research has shown that positive school climates promote academic achievement and social development (McEvoy & Welker, 2000), while negative school climates lead to increased aggression (i.e., bullying, assault), lower levels of academic achievement, and truancy (Astor, Guerra, & Van Acker, 2010). Regarding the prevalence of bullying in schools, recent statistics from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Educational Statistics [NCES] show that, in 2015, approximately 21% of students between the ages of 12 and 18 experienced bullying while at school. Overall, 13.3% reported verbal harassment and 5.1% reported physical harassment. While females reported higher rates of overall bullying, specifically bullying relating to verbal harassment, males reported higher rates of physical assaults. Based on this study, bullying appears to occur more during middle school. Also, Black and White students reported more instances of bullying than Hispanic students.

Although there have been many programs that have worked to address socioemotional concerns in school systems, the majority of these programs have been found to be ineffective for a variety of reasons. However, the Safe and Welcoming Schools project at the University of Georgia focuses on improving school climate using prevention methods that are tailored to the school’s needs, and early findings related to the program’s effectiveness have been encouraging (Raczynski, n.d.).

I would like to invite others to share their experiences with programs that have effectively used prevention to target school climate and/or bullying within secondary schools.    

Shana Ingram seingram526@gmail.com

 

 

 

References

 

Astor, R. A., Guerra, N., Van Acker, R. (2010). How can we improve school safety research? Educational Researcher, 39, 69-78.

Cohen, J., McCabe, E. M., Michelli, N. M., & Pickeral, T. (2009). School climate: Research, policy, practice, and teacher education. Teachers College Record, 111(1), 180-213.

McEvoy, A., & Welker, R. (2000). Antisocial behavior, academic failure, and school climate: A critical review. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 8(3), 130-140.

National School Climate Council. (2012). School climate. Retrieved from http://www.schoolclimate.org/climate/

Raczynski, K. (n.d.). The Safe and Welcoming Schools Partnership: A university-school district collaboration for improving school climate. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/pi/families/resources/safe-schools/university-school-district.pdf

U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2017). Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2016 (NCES 2017-064), Indicator 11.

 

 

 

 

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Group Psychotherapy Column

Tevya Zukor, Ph.D.

Directions to Neverland:
Second star to the right and straight on ‘til morning.

The night air was cold. I could see the condensation of my breath billowing before my eyes with each exhale. As it was past midnight, the neighborhood was eerily quiet. There were only a few lights on; dotting the porches of nearby houses in the placid stillness.

Earlier in the evening, I had forgotten to take the trash to the curb for early-morning pick-up. As I was preparing for bed, I remembered this chore, which explains why I was outside in little more than a pair of slippers and a bathrobe.

It had already been a tough day.  I was feeling particularly down about recent life circumstances.  I had just learned of the death of my ex-father-in-law; who had been an extremely kind and caring man. Some of my closest friends had been more distant due to their changing life circumstances. I had some clients who were struggling to make progress in their lives and I was feel powerless to affect change. As far as reasons for melancholy, it was the usual suspects and while the feelings were unpleasant; they were neither debilitating nor overwhelming.

These were some of the dark thoughts swirling through my mind that night as I stood on my porch; feeling literally and figuratively exposed to the frozen wind. I observed the quiet all around me and for a brief, fleeting moment; I felt a deep, profound sense of isolation and aloneness.  In that instant, the world started to shrink into nothing and that great existential loneliness of finite existence started to take root.

During that moment of reflection; surrounded by a self-made cauldron of anxiety, depression, and fear; I looked up into the heavens and stared at the stars. I saw the constellations in the night sky and followed the handle of the Big Dipper to Arcturus and then found the brightest star of Spica.

Despite the frigid temperature, I noticed a momentary warmth pour over me. My mind went back to a time when I was young, first learning about the cosmos and the galaxy.  I was transported back to the time when I was sitting in my high school planetarium as a teenager, listening to the teacher explain how one can always find the stars Arcturus and Spica as long as one can locate Ursa Major in the night sky. I thought about the hundreds, if not thousands, of times since that high-school day where I have looked at the night sky, followed a gentle path with my eyes, and mumbled, “Arc to Arcturus; spike to Spica.”

In that moment while physically standing alone on my porch in the middle of the night, my mind was transferred back to a moment in college.  I had met a young woman that I wanted to impress with my wit, intelligence, and charm.  I flashed to the memory from nearly two decades ago when as a freshman at James Madison University, this woman and I drove an hour outside of town to find a field that was not so light-contaminated. We sat on a warm fleece blanket, which I had draped over the hood of my car. We spent much of the evening embraced in a hug of friendship and watched the universe unfold before our eyes.  It was a magical night and one I remember fondly after all of these years.

As I wrestled with my place in the world; standing alone in my slippers and bathrobe with my eyes turned to the stars; I reflected on the many previous times I have found solace in the peacefulness of a night sky. Far from being alone, all of a sudden I felt connected.  I was connected to all the past versions of me who had stared at those very same stars while trying to sort out complicated thoughts.  I found myself connected to people thousands of years old, from civilizations that have long since crumbled.  The stars I saw were the same stars those nameless, faceless people saw when they gazed into the night sky during their lifetime.  Even though we would never know each other’s names or even directly know of the other’s existence; we had a common, shared experience. We were bonded through space and time.

Even the giant, combustible balls of gas we call stars highlight the shared journey we have in common.   Due to the limitations of the speed of light, we never see a star in real-time.  Instead, the light particles necessary to produce those images have traveled many thousands of years before they are visible to us. If at any point in that cosmic journey, another celestial object moves into that path of light, we will never see the star.   It means that even the shared human experience of gazing up at the same sky of our ancestors requires a very particular set of events to occur in a very particular order. These events were set into motion billions of years ago and will likely continue for billions of years into the future.

It was a profound realization. My temporary existential crisis of the night had uncovered something remarkable – It is impossible to be alone in the world. As an individual, one cannot see and accomplish everything that one desires in a lifetime.  However, when considered as part of a collective known as human beings – part of a truly Large Group – the confines of living a single life fade in importance as we recognize the unfettered accomplishment of the group. Maybe the true human condition is learning that we will often feel weak when we view ourselves as just one of many, but we have strength in our groups. It forms the foundation for all of our accomplishments. As long as we identify with the “human” sub-group, we can never be alone – sometimes, we can just feel temporarily disconnected.

 

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Election Slate for Division 49

Election Slate for Division 49

President-Elect

Cheri Marmarosh
Nathaniel Wade

At-Large/Education and Training

Joshua Gross
Michele Ribeiro

Student Representative

Angela Galioto
Meredith Tittler

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November 2017 – Vol. 27, No. 3

November 2017 – Vol. 27, No. 3

Welcome

President’s Column
Craig Parks, Ph.D.

President-Elect’s Column
Giorgio Tasca, Ph.D.

Editor’s Column
Tom Treadwell, Ed.D., T.E.P, CGP and Leann Terry Diederich, Ph.D.


Election

George Tasca Named Editor of Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice  


News

Division 49 Members: Proposals for APA Programming


Columns

Group Psychotherapy Column
Thomas Treadwell Ed.D., CGP, Deborah Dartnell, MA, MSOD, Ainsley Stenroos, MA, & Brittni Gettys, BA

Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy Diversity Column
Joe Miles, Ph.D.


Early Career Psychologists 

Early Career Group Psychologist Column
Misha Bogomaz, Psy.D.

Division 49 Mentorship Program
Rosamund Smith, MS

Call for Mentors
Keri Frantell, MS


Brief Articles

Prevention Corner: Preventing Stigma and Suicide Through Mental Health Awareness
Shana Ingram, BA

How Groups Can Make a Difference for Hispanic Immigrant Children
Elaine Clanton Harpine, Ph.D., Thomas Reid, Ph.D., William D. Harpine, Ph.D., Adam Pazda, Ph.D., Shana Ingram, B.A. & B.S., and Collytte Cederstrom


Book Review

The College Counselor’s Guide to Group Psychotherapy: A New Resource for the Practice of Group Psychotherapy in College Counseling and other Group Settings
Michele D. Ribeiro, Ed.D., CGP

The Spirit of Dialogue: Lessons from Faith Traditions in Transforming Conflict
Mark Floyd


Committee Reports

Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy Specialty Council
Nina Brown, Ed.D. and Eleanor Counselman, Secretary

Council of Representatives
Sally Barlow, Ph.D.

Committee for the Advancement of Professional Practice
Leann Diedrich, Ph.D.


Other Information

Division 49 Awards

Doctoral Internship Program
Misha Bogomaz, Psy.D.

Call for Papers: Special Issue for Psychology of Violence

Visionary Grants