Promoting an international perspective in psychology

Strategic planning by Committee on International Relations in Psychology (CIRP) results in priority areas of promoting an international perspective within APA and in psychology graduate education.

By Bonnie Kaul Nastasi, PhD

The outcome of strategic planning was the identification of two major priorities to guide the future work of CIRP, beginning in 2014:

  • Promoting an international perspective within APA.
  • Promoting an international perspective in graduate training in psychology.

Recognizing the increasing influence of globalization on all sectors of life, CIRP is committed to exploring ways in which APA can contribute further to the application of psychology to solving global as well as local problems that affect individuals, groups, organizations, communities and societies. Moreover, recognizing the need to prepare future psychologists to work within a global context, CIRP is committed to exploring ways in which a global/international perspective can be integrated into graduate education. Realizing these efforts, of course, requires that CIRP work in collaboration with other APA committees and boards and across APA’s divisions.

A key preparatory task facing CIRP and APA is providing clarity about terminology. A review of literature in psychology and related professions (social sciences, medical and health sciences, business and management) reveals a range of terms relevant to international work such as global, international, transnational, cross-cultural, intercultural, transcultural. Add to that the terms relevant to cultural diversity within the U.S., such as multicultural and cultural competence, and questions arise: What does it mean for psychologists to develop cultural competence from a global or international perspective? What term do we use to convey collaboration or partnerships across national or cultural boundaries? How do we best convey a global perspective that recognizes the potential contributions of psychologists worldwide? How do we facilitate development of a global perspective and identity among psychologists? How do we integrate a global perspective into graduate education programs? What are the implications for defining competencies, conceptualizing graduate curriculum and preparing graduate faculty?

As we enter 2014, CIRP looks forward to the opportunity to answer critical questions relevant to extending the focus of APA to encompass global and local contexts, and to working in partnership with other sectors of APA in ensuring that we are prepared to address the global challenges of the 21st century.

Members of CIRP 2014 include:

  • 2014 Co-chair: Bonnie K. Nastasi, PhD (2012-14)  
    Tulane University
  • 2014 Co-chair: Chryse G. Hatzichristou, PhD (2013-15)  
    University of Athens, Greece
  • Rehman Abdulrehman, PhD (2014-16)  
    University of Manitoba, Canada
  • Silvia S. Canetto, PhD (2013-15)   
    Colorado State University
  • Jean Lau Chin, EdD (2012-14)  
    Gordon F. Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies, Adelphi University
  • Melissa Morgan Consoli (2014-16)  
    University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Arpana G. Inman, PhD (2014-16)  
    Lehigh University
  • Virginia Kwan, PhD (2012-14)  
    Arizona State University
  • Lori Foster Thompson, PhD (2013-15)  
    North Carolina State University


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World Health Organization. (WHO). (2013). Comprehensive mental health action plan 2013-2020. Geneva: WHO.