Reflections on the Inaugural Society for Clinical Psychology Conference

A few months have passed since the conclusion of our inaugural SCP conference. In future issues, we will have the pleasure of hearing from some of our speakers about continuing their conversations that were initiated at the conference. For this issue, I want to take a moment to extend our sincere thanks to the many SCP members who supported the endeavor.

First and foremost, I would like to thank my conference co-chair, Dr. Richard LeBeau. Dr. LeBeau’s tireless effort and attention to detail was invaluable throughout the planning and execution of the conference. Next, I would like to thank our past president Dr. Kim Penberthy and our current president Dr. Donna LaPaglia for spearheading and supporting this initiative. Our executive director, Tara Craighead, spent countless hours in preparing for and running the conference and deserves tremendous thanks.

Our planning committee was phenomenal. Dr. Lucas Zullo, Dr. Tori Knox-Rice, and Dr. Gabriela Gibson-Lopez planned and executed an outstanding Institutes Workshop on day 1 of the conference, which attracted early and mid-career scholars and clinicians as well as mentors who were on hand to provide words of wisdom. They coordinated excellent and thoughtprovoking lectures from Dr. Jennifer Wisdom and Dr. Kristina Hallett on leadership skills and the ethics of self-care. They wrapped up the event with an outstanding panel focused on promoting diversity in the future of clinical psychology. Overall, the institutes workshop was a major success and we are grateful for your leadership.

The conference as a whole was supported by several committees that contributed in myriad ways. The Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging committee was led by Dr. Isabelle Lanser and Dr. Carolyn Ponting.

They coordinated a huge effort to promote equity throughout the conference. The digital media committee was led by Dr. Andrew Guzick, Dr. Elle Markman, and Dr. Ana Bullock. They coordinated a massive advertising initiative to spread the work widely about the conference.

We were fortunate to welcome four remarkable keynote speakers: Dr. Michael Otto, Dr. Vonetta Dotson, Dr. Barbara Rothbaum, and Dr. Lynn Bufka. These keynotes provided thoughtful insights about the history and future of clinical psychological science, and we owe a debt of gratitude to our keynotes for presenting.

The line-up of individual and group presentations in the form of symposia, clinical round tables, and poster presentations was phenomenal. Presenters discussed a wide-range of topics, including artificial intelligence, cultural adaptations of therapy, suicide prevention, assessment considerations, defining evidence-based practice, and many others. We were overjoyed to see representation from each of the SCP sections.

Special congratulations to the winners of our poster awards, Nicholas Bellamy, Luke Childers, Brooke Holsinger, Danae Papdea, Jack Rubacka, Doah Shin & William Turner. Special thanks to Dr. Johanna Yost and Dr. David FitzGerald who supported us in the poster session and in many tasks in the conference.

This event could not have happened without the  generous support of our sponsors. We thank our premier sponsors: the National Register of Health Service Psychologists; Pearson; and the Child and Adolescent Mood Program (CAMP) at Emory University School of Medicine. Our champion sponsors include: the American Board of Clinical Psychology and the American Professional Agency. A special thanks to hogrefe, our collaborator sponsor, and to the Georgia Psychological Association, Coalition for the Advancement and Application of Psychological Science, WPS, and the American Board of Professional Psychology.

The success of the conference was a group effort that would not have been achieved without such an amazing community. I hope that you will consider coming for future conferences – we expect that our second conference will be in 2026 at Emory! Stay tuned for more details.

by Lily Brown, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA