It has been a distinct pleasure to have the opportunity to co-chair the inaugural Div 12 Conference scheduled for Feb 1 – 3 at the Emory Conference Center in Atlanta, GA, alongside my dear friend and colleague, Dr. Richard LeBeau. As the editor of the Clinical Psychologist, I receive submissions from each of the Div 12 sections and can appreciate the broad spectrum of psychologists served by our division. This inaugural conference presents an exciting opportunity to come together as a community and discuss the future of clinical psychological science.
I first became interested in the division as an undergraduate student working under the advisement of Drs. James Herbert and Evan Forman. At that time, I was drawn to the astute work of Dr. Dianne Chambless and Dr. Steve Hollon in their attempts at defining empirically support treatments in our field at a time when much was changing in psychotherapy research (through Section 3, The Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology; SSCP). For those of you who, like me, associate Division 12 with empirically supported treatments, our conference will allow for lively discussions about the future of this difficult work. We welcome your submissions on topics relevant to evaluating, improving, and implementing empirically supported treatments to improve access to patients who are in desperate need of these services. If this is a focus of your practice and research, please consider submitting – we want to hear from you!
Other members of Division 12 reflect the interests of older adults and the frontiers ahead of transforming care to our aging population (Section 2, Society of Geropsychology). We are interested in receiving submissions on the scientific study of mental health among older adults. In particular, we are eager to hear about perspectives on culturally humble practices for mental health providers working with older adults, advocating and educating ourselves about policy changes for a changing landscape of insurance reimbursement (which can disproportionately affect older adults’ access to services) and ethical challenges encountered when working with older adults in mental health. We welcome your innovative submissions on these and other topics related to geropsychology.
Members of Division 12, Section 4 reflect the interests of clinical psychology of women. There is much to be learned from you through conference offerings, including how best to support women who have increased caregiving duties during the pandemic, supporting women in varied employment settings (academia, industry, and private practice) to ensure their professional success, as well as research on the topic of gender effects in psychotherapy outcomes broadly. We have much to learn from you – please consider submitting.
We hope to reflect the goals of Division 12, Section 6 (Clinical Psychology of Ethnic Minorities) in all facets of our conference. We have a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging section of our planning committee that has provided us with feedback on our call for submissions, information to collect during registration, planning for our institutes, and tips to provide to invited speakers to ensure that health equity is considered in all presentations. We welcome submissions on topics related to social justice as psychologists, promoting health equity, and conducting anti-racist research, industry work, and practice. Please consider submitting.
With the state of the world during the time of this writing, Section 7 (Clinical Emergencies and Crises) represents a topic that is at the forefront of our minds. We have much to learn about how to support our international communities who are being exposed to unthinkable trauma and outrageous acts of violence. This section has much to offer our conference to inform how psychologists can serve the needs of our patients and our communities during disasters and crises. We welcome your input and submissions.
Section 8 (Association of Psychologists in Academic Health Centers) provided the inspiration for our conference in light of the amazing success of their meeting, which occurs every other year. We sincerely thank your leadership for your vision and support of our work together. Working in academic medicine continues to evolve with the rest of our healthcare system, and we invite submissions on topics related to providing mental health care in medical clinics, collaborating with healthcare providers across the healthcare setting, and evaluating the success of these collaborations using cost-effectiveness models. These are just some of the many topics that would be of interest to our community.
Section 9 (Assessment Psychology) is an active section that reflects the interests of one psychologist role that often sets us apart from other mental health providers – neuropsychological assessments. Our conference would benefit from submissions on topics related to ethics in assessment and advances in neuropsychological assessment among others, and we welcome such submissions.
Last but not least, Section 10 (Graduate Students and Early Career Psychologists) reflects the future of our division. We are eager for submissions across all content areas from graduate students and early career psychologists, as we want to hear about your vision for the future. We also invite Early and Mid-Career Psychologists to submit an application for our Institutes occurring on February 1, immediately prior to the conference.
Most of all, our desire is to ensure that the programming for our inaugural Division 12 conference reflects the vast interests of our amazing community of psychologists. Please check out our website to submit your ideas – we look forward to hearing from you.
To submit or register, please visit: https://div12.org/scp-conference/
by Lily Brown, PhD
Department of Psychiatry
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA, USA