Presidential Column

President’s Column: Spring 2023

By J. Kim Penberthy, PhD, ABPP

I hope you are enjoying the longer days and increasing sunlight as we move into the spring of 2023!

I am writing this month to provide additional information and updates regarding one priority for my presidency, which is to develop a strategic plan for SCP for the next three years. Strategic planning is important in any organization and plays an important role by providing a framework for setting goals and priorities, allocating resources and guiding decision making.

Specifically, I hope to use strategic planning to:

  • (re)Define our mission and vision: clarify our purpose, identify values, and define long-term goals and objectives
  • Identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats: we can assess our internal and external environment, identifying threats and opportunities
  • Set priorities and allocate resources: identify our most important goals and allocate resources to achieve them. We need to look at the future for our field and not just keep up, but get ahead and be leaders!
  • Monitor progress and adjust course: track progress toward goals, identify areas where progress is lagging, and make corrective adjustments
  • Foster collaboration and engagement: provide a shared understanding of the organizations’ mission and goals and encourage participation from all sections, members, affiliates, advocates, and supporters!

The SCP board held a preliminary strategic planning meeting lead by Dr. Michael Otto during our mid-winter board meeting that occurred in Nashville in early February 2023 and determined five areas for us to focus on. We thus developed five workgroups to collect information and pull together the issues, topics, questions and needs in these areas by early June 2023. These workgroups are led by your colleagues and associates and consist of a leader of the workgroup, an executive committee member liaison, and workgroup members from within and without the society. These workgroups are currently active and doing the important work of researching and developing the key areas for us to focus upon in our next three years. They are charged with researching and identifying these areas, developing strategies to address them, but not answering them – that work will be done by the strategic planning group and our society! I mention these individuals because I want to say thank you to these leaders and be very transparent with the society about the process. As such, I will share some of the details of our work for strategic planning.

The five workgroups are:

  1. Clinical Psych Identity and Future – (board member responsible for launching the workgroup is Dr. Kim Penberthy and the lead for the workgroup is Dr. Danny Wedding)
  2. Innovations & Products – (board member is Dr. Donna LaPaglia and lead is Dr. Amy Williams)
  3. IDEAS: inclusion, diversity, equity, accessibility, sustainability – (board member is Dr. Kalyani Gopal and lead is Dr. Kenya Key)
  4. Assessment and practice (board member Dr. Paul Arbisi and lead is Dr. Jordan Wright)
  5. Marketing and Communications (board member Dr. Damian Grasso and lead is Dr. Gimel Rogers)

Ever since I joined SCP as a member decades ago, I wondered why our society did not have a conference of its own. I routinely attend other conferences relevant for clinical and health psychologists, such as APA, ABCT, ADAA, APAHC and have always thought that having our own conference would be a logical and worthwhile event.

Interestingly, it became clear during our preliminary strategic planning meeting that a Society of Clinical Psychology Conference would help address every one of the areas of concern in our strategic planning. Thus, I am happy to announce that we have decided as a board to hold our first SCP Conference! It will be in Atlanta, Georgia in conjunction with our midwinter board meeting in February, 2024. This will be our first division wide conference and we are thrilled with the idea of us all being together and celebrating all of our sections and the entire division! We already have co-chairs for the conference who are working hard to develop a committee. These co-chairs are Dr. Lily Brown and Dr. Richard LeBeau. More details will be forthcoming and we hope that if you have ideas and suggestions, you will reach out!

Your support and participation is important for the workgroups, the strategic planning and the proposed SCP conference! I want to keep our members informed and involved. If you wish to get involved in anything you read about in this letter and if you have any thoughts, ideas, feedback, please feel free to reach out to me!

Thank you for all you do,



Kim Penberthy, Ph.D., ABPP

President, The Society of Clinical Psychology