Candidates for APA President
I received my doctorate from the scientist-practitioner counseling psychology program at the University of Texas at Austin in 1978. Currently in independent practice in Austin, my scholarship is on ethics, multicultural psychotherapy, psychology of women, supervision and training. I have provided leadership service to our profession for three decades.
Background: I first taught English and political science in middle school. While working on a master's degree in counseling, I was encouraged to apply to UT's counseling psychology doctoral program. A first generation college student, I had never considered obtaining a doctorate until receiving encouragement! Involvement as a member of the first cohort of the APA Minority Fellowship Program provided a powerful socializing process into the profession and incentive to contribute.
After graduation, I served as a psychologist in the university counseling center, directed the internship training program, and taught in the counseling psychology doctoral program at Colorado State University, and later the University of Texas. After 13 years, I embarked upon full time independent practice, while continuing active involvement in scholarship, mentoring, professional leadership and advocacy.
Leadership: I currently serve on the APA Board of Directors and have served in various roles in APA governance, including as member or chair of a dozen APA boards, committees and task forces (see my Web site.) I have learned much from colleagues and APA staff about how to get things done.
My experiences initiating new major projects include co-founding the National Multicultural Conference and Summit as well as Divs. 45, Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues (served as its first council representative) and 56, Trauma Psychology (I served as its first treasurer). I am a past president of APA Divs. 17 (Society of Counseling Psychology) and 35 (Society for the Psychology of Women), and the Texas Psychological Association. I served as a council representative from Divs. 17, 42 (Psychologists in Independent Practice) and 45. I have advocated for psychology at the state (and received the Heiser Award) and national legislative levels (and received the AAP Advocacy Award). I have helped organize several national conferences.
All of these activities have honed and broadened my values, perspectives and leadership skills and taught me how to work with a wide variety of colleagues.
Scholarship: Co-author of three books including "Ethics in Psychotherapy and Counseling" (Pope & Vasquez), "How to Survive and Thrive as a Therapist" (Pope & Vasquez), and "APA Ethics Code Commentary and Case Illustrations" (in press, Campbell, Vasquez, Behnke & Kinscherff), over 65 journal articles and book chapters, and served on editorial boards of 10 journals. I am writing a book on multicultural therapy for an APA Theories of Psychotherapy Monograph Series.
Honors: Fellow of APA Divs. 1, 17, 35, 42, 44, 45, 49, 56 and member of Divs. 9 and 31; Diplomate in Counseling Psychology from the American Board of Professional Psychology; Distinguished Practitioner of Psychology in the National Academies of Practice; recipient of over 30 awards for distinguished service, advocacy and mentoring.
Vasquez's candidate statement
APA faces significant challenges including economic, communication and demographic changes.
The economic crisis must be addressed by applying discipline in making decisions about budgets, while maintaining responsibilities to promote research, training and practice expansion, e.g., IRB reform and continued support for prescriptive authority. We must find diverse sources of revenue without raising member dues.
A new governmental administration means that we must seize the opportunity to make psychology a national priority through:
• Research granting agencies;
• Ensuring mental health parity, integrated health care, and appropriate levels of compensation for services in the reform of the health-care system;
• Emphasis on the value of psychology training grants;
• Funding and debt reduction programs to help relieve student and early career psychologists' financial burdens.
Working together on these goals will help all of us; we are strong in our united identity. We can also look for opportunities to collaborate with other organizations.
We can improve how we communicate our research to the public and policymakers. Psychological science can play a key role in helping with education, health care, businesses, accessibility for people with disabilities, conflict resolution, prejudice and discrimination, and helping those in need. We can utilize emerging technologies to create new ways to communicate among ourselves.
Society is undergoing significant global and demographic changes. We must ensure that psychology welcomes diverse people into the profession, in positions as researchers, practitioners, consultants, educators and leaders. Diversity is not just an abstract term or cliché. It is a foundation of resilience, a fountain of creativity and ideas, one of our basic values and a vital resource.
I have the passion, energy and commitment to work with all members of APA so that together we can accomplish these goals and transform challenges into opportunities. Please visit my Web site.