Candidates for APA President
Of his life, Ragusea states:"My father, Tony, was Italian, as was my mother, Marie, and my sixteen aunts and uncles. From all their happy unions came my 22 cousins, and everybody lived on Randall Avenue in the Bronx. This was the world into which I was born, March 26, 1947. I have lived in New York, Ohio, Iowa, Texas, Pennsylvania and Florida while working as a professional waiter, chef, actor, director, teacher and, for a quarter century, as a psychologist. Being a father and husband are the most important elements of my existence. I am incredibly proud of my two talented sons, and I've loved my wonderful wife for 33 years. But, being a psychologist is the focus of my life."
Education: Stephen A. Ragusea, PsyD, ABPP, received his doctorate from the APA-approved program in clinical psychology at Baylor University.
Practice: Since 1980, Ragusea has worked in a large group practice as a clinical psychologist at the Child, Adult and Family Psychological Center in State College, Pa., and recently in Sugarloaf Key, Fla. Experience was gained at community mental health centers, as well as state and community hospitals. He was founding CEO and clinical director of a 92-bed private psychiatric hospital.
Research: Since 1995, Ragusea has served as founding chair of Pennsylvania's Practice-Research Network, an effective model uniting practitioners and research psychologists to conduct clinically relevant and scientifically rigorous psychological research. See: Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice (Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 155-167).
Public service: Ragusea was appointed to the Pennsylvania Board of Psychology by Gov. Tom Ridge in 2001.
Teaching: Ragusea has served on the faculty at Penn State University and Harvard Medical School and presented numerous workshops across North America on topics such as family therapy, forensic psychology, medical psychology, the need for prison reform and the importance of developing practice-research networks.
Publications: He has published more than 40 articles and book chapters related to professional psychology and serves on the editorial board of Professional Psychology: Research and Practice.
Broadcasting: Ragusea has appeared as a psychologist on television and radio shows broadcast throughout the Northeast.
Pennsylvania Psychological Association (PPA): Ragusea is a Fellow of PPA and has served as PPA's president, Clinical Division president, Hospital Practice chair, PennPsyPAC board member and founding chair of PPA's Practice Research Network. He has also served on numerous PPA task forces and working groups.
American Psychological Association: Ragusea is a Fellow of APA and served on the Council of Representatives for 6 years, where he also functioned as chair of the State and Provincial Caucus. He has also served on numerous APA task forces and working groups, including the Presidential Task Force on Envisioning and Accessing New Professional Roles. See: Professional Psychology: Research and Practice (Vol. 32, No. 1, pp. 79-87).
Certifications: ABPP Diplomate in Family Psychology, ABPN Diplomate in Neuropsychology, ACFP Certificate in Forensic Psychology, American Red Cross Certificate in Disaster Mental Health Services.
Honors: Award for Distinguished Service to Psychology conferred by PPA, Karl F. Heiser Presidential Award for Advocacy conferred by APA.
Ragusea's candidate statement
Sometimes all of us, even psychologists, feel powerless to effect change in our troubled world. But psychologists are powerful and involved in a world-altering revolution. APA should advance that revolution.
For most of human history, people didn't think about personal and interpersonal issues in psychological terms as we do today. Psychological problems, as well as the family and social dysfunction that inevitably accompany them, went essentially unaltered throughout the millennia of human civilization. That was reality. But, today, psychologists are changing that reality.
Through psychological intervention, we are using our power to effect change in the lives of the people we heal today as well as the lives of their children's children. I contend that psychologists--clinicians and the researchers who guide clinical judgment--are changing the course of human history. This perception is both grandiose and accurate. Psychologists must learn to utilize psychology's power more effectively and more wisely.
We must build upon the strengths of our existing science while expanding into a rapidly arriving future full of social and technological change. Telehealth, psychopharmacology and online therapy are just the start. Beyond these beginnings are such challenges as the psychological impact of genetic engineering and the decision-making process involved in genome manipulation. Psychologists must be ready to meet these challenges.
We must broaden our vision and expand the scope of our practice past the narrow view of the consulting room. The front page of any newspaper provides a quick glimpse of the ways in which society needs doctors of behavior, psychologists. It is our destiny to respond to these pressing human needs.
I want to help psychology move into that future. During this campaign, I will share my ideas about how, if elected president of APA, I hope to lead psychology into tomorrow.