Candidates for APA President

Since 1986, I have provided strong and caring leadership with integrity and passion.

I am a veteran chair of boards, committees and presidential task forces, including APA’s Council of Representatives and Board of Directors, and a past president of Div. 44 (Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues). In these posts I have successfully sought consensus with respect for divergent views and diverse groups.

An ardent advocate for independent practice, I have maintained a successful practice free of managed care in Chicago for over 30 years. As president of the Illinois Psychological Association, I made prescriptive authority for psychologists the top legislative priority; introduced mandatory continuing education that will soon become Illinois law; secured voting rights for graduate students in governance; and promoted multicultural competence as vital to the future of professional practice. I directed behavioral health services in the Midwest’s largest community health center for LGBT patients, where I was the first director to promote integrated care.

During 15 years of leadership in graduate education, I played a prominent role in the development of a rigorous curriculum for the Illinois School of Professional Psychology and introduced the first course on sexual orientation in Chicago. On the secondary level, I served as director of guidance in a K–12 laboratory school in south Florida. While a teacher in the Boston Catholic schools with no contracts or benefits, I collaborated with three other teachers to form the first archdiocesan teachers union.

On a global front, I co-chaired the world’s first international conference on LGBT psychology and continue to chair the international network of associations that sprang from that meeting. That network disseminates scientific information about sexual orientation on six continents hoping to influence social and health policy for LGBT people. APA’s Guidelines for Psychotherapy with LGB Clients that I co-authored have been adapted by several countries and translated into several languages.

Besides awards for outstanding contributions to clinical psychology and education from local and national associations, I am a fellow of five APA divisions. I am ABPP-certified in clinical psychology and hold the ASPPB Certificate of Professional Qualification. I am the 2010 recipient of the Stanley Sue Award for Distinguished Contribution to Diversity in Clinical Psychology.

It may be evident that I am an activist for psychology because I see the impact for good that psychology has on the lives of people. It may be equally evident that I am an advocate for social justice, but justice that is bolstered by robust research. I have seen in my lifetime how convincingly our science supplants ignorance with understanding, how effectively it replaces intolerance with respect and positive regard, and how profoundly it eradicates injustice from public policy.

I have learned from years of clinical counseling that leadership requires constant collaboration, keeping my own counsel, listening thoughtfully and disagreeing respectfully when necessary, and accepting responsibility for my decisions.

I want to do more. I believe I am prepared. With your support I can and will.

Cerbone’s candidate statement

This is what I believe about psychology. This is who I believe we are as psychologists.

I believe strongly that our science is the bedrock upon which psychology bases its education, practice and public policy. Together they form an irresistible force that over time redefines our understanding of ourselves, improves individual and collective health and well-being, and informs sound public policy. The more psychology is respected as a STEM science, the brighter its future will be.

I believe that practice will thrive most when it collaborates with other health-care professionals, whether in burgeoning health-home venues or in traditional independent practices. At the same time, practice must be resourceful and resilient to adapt to market forces.

I believe that multiculturalism is the future of our nation and cultural competence the future of professional practice. The world has flattened creating domestic and international needs that psychologists must rise to meet, as well as generating opportunities that favor psychologists’ skill sets and science.

I believe that at its best our training and education equip us for a rapidly changing world that demands responsible service outcomes based on reliable research. We must always ensure they are ever at their best.

I believe that implementing our first strategic plan and its core values can help us realize these beliefs. It will change the way we govern ourselves and improve our value to the world outside our doors.

There is no other discipline that takes every aspect of human experience as its focus of study and applies its considerable resources to the alleviation of suffering and the expansion of the human spirit. This explains our diversity and defines what we hold in common. Such is psychology and such is the work of APA. This is an enterprise worthy of our passionate commitment and tireless endeavor.