Candidates for APA President
Laura Barbanel, EdD, ABPP, is professor and program head of the graduate program of school psychology at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. She has also served as deputy dean for Graduate Studies in Education at Brooklyn College. She developed a bilingual/multicultural specialization in school psychology, which serves as a model. She maintains a clinical practice, with expertise including clinical issues associated with infertility, family problems, grief and trauma. She is on the faculty of the Manhattan Institute for Psychoanalysis and an adjunct faculty member of the Derner Institute of Adelphi University. Barbanel is a fellow of APA and a diplomate of the American Board of Professional Psychology in psychoanalysis. Her research interests are in the psychological issues related to immigration. She has taught internationally and organized several international conferences.
Leadership: Service in governance includes service in a number of Divisions (16, 29, 39, 42, 45) as well as in the New York State Psychological Association. She has held a number of elected positions in APA, including the Council of Representatives, Finance Committee (associate chair), Policy and Planning Board, and the Board of Educational Affairs. She was on the Task Force on Sexism in Graduate Education in Psychology and liaison to the Task Force on Recruitment of Minorities into Psychology. She spearheaded the Task Force on Early Education and Care and was liaison from the Board of Directors to the Multicultural Guidelines Writing Group and the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards.
Involved in disaster relief through New York State Psychological Association's Disaster Response Network, she has been active in the relief work following Sept. 11. Her work in the disaster and its aftermath has been widely published, including by the APA Monitor. She is a member of APA's Board of Directors and on its subcommittee, Psychology's Response to Terrorism, a task force on psychological resilience in the face of threat is its priority.
Advocacy: She has been involved in advocacy efforts for psychology both on the state and national level, most notably as a founder of WPLA, a women's psychology PAC. She has long participated and gotten students to participate in advocacy efforts.
Innovation: Barbanel has worked on the expansion of roles for psychologists, particularly the delivery of psychological services as health care. She has developed several innovative programs for the delivery of psychological services, including a firehouse project with the New York City Fire Department.
Summary: Years of increasing responsibility at a university, including teaching, supervision, research, administration, curriculum development, and grant writing and management; experienced in psychological consultation with individuals, schools and other agencies; implemented programs for multicultural understanding; delivered workshops for school personnel in the United States and abroad on a variety of educational topics; sought as a trainer of psychologists on family issues, most notably on working with parents of difficult children, school violence, and grief and trauma.
The breadth of her experiences as a psychologist and as an administrator, the depth of her understanding of APA and the creativity of her vision for psychology, make her uniquely suited for the role of president of APA.
Barbanel's candidate statement
Sept. 11 became an integrating force in my professional life. As a New Yorker and a psychologist who believes in the importance of psychology in everyday life, the focus of my teaching, my practice and my APA activities turned to work related to this disaster. The November Monitor on Psychology describes the work of psychologists in this disaster. My work includes work with victim's families, first responders (firefighters), people who lost jobs, who lost homes, and psychologists who work with children and families affected. All of this has reinforced for me the importance of psychological services to the health of our citizens. It has given me the opportunity to be on the cutting edge of developing programs to assist in the healing.
Psychology has met the public need and been recognized by the public in a way that it never was in the past. Psychology has been recognized because it represents health. APA, as the representative of psychology as a profession and as a science, has to have as its agenda, the development of the appropriate responses to the current psychological needs. The Board of Director's subcommittee on psychology's response to terrorism, of which I am a member, was set up to do this. A task force on psychological resilience is the priority of this subcommittee.
Healing and assisting in building psychological resilience is the agenda that I would like to foster as president of APA. It is, more broadly, the agenda of bringing psychology into everyday life. This agenda includes all of the family that is psychology; science, practice, education and public interest.
As a practitioner, an academic and a trainer of several generations of psychologists, with a long history of involvement in advocacy for public interest and science, I am certain that I can advance this agenda.