Division 56, Trauma Psychology, asked the candidates the follow questions.
1. What goals do you hope to accomplish or what agenda to you hope to serve during your presidential year at APA?
I represent a vision for uniting our organization in the middle of extremely challenging times. We have been separated from other people, bearing witness to the psychological trauma experienced by our children, relatives, clients, students, coworkers, and friends. We have experienced tremendous division in our society, with politics and racism dividing and tearing people apart. While struggling to cope, we have watched our loved ones get sick and die from COVID-19.
I am dedicated to uniting, protecting, and advocating for the needs of psychology and psychologists. As a discipline, it is vital that we unite to advance our strategic priorities, which was the focus of Dr. Sandy Shullman’s presidential year. I envision APA as a large diverse organizational umbrella under which all psychologists belong – bringing their rich mixture of race, religion, cultural background, physical difference, sexual orientation, gender identity, political perspective – united by our passion for psychology. Our collective unity will serve as a model for our nation and world.
I have the leadership background which qualifies me to lead in very challenging times, having served twice on the APA Board during both the independent review and the COVID-19 and racism pandemics. I am positioned to lead as we work to elevate science, education, practice, public interest, and applied psychology.
If elected, I will respond rapidly and accurately with the leadership team to current events. I will honor the voices of my colleagues and consider all opinions. I will care about the forgotten and underserved in America and around the world. Together, we will utilize our science and knowledge to benefit society and improve lives.
2. How does your agenda for APA fit with the values and agenda of Division 56 (most of whom are trauma therapists and trauma scientists)?
I have been a member of Division 56 since its inception. In my clinical work, I care for women and children who suffer from the impact of trauma, including sexual and physical and emotional abuse, domestic violence. This is the reason I initially joined Division 56, to be kept abreast of current information in trauma. I have participated in the APA Refugee Mental Health Resource Network in the past with Dr. Elizabeth Carll. My interest in the network stems from the fact that I became a psychologist after noticing that the migrant farmchildren I was teaching in summer school in Indiana were being inaccurately assessed. I wanted to become a bilingual psychologist, and my Intro Psych professor told me I needed to become a psychologist. In Maine, I have been very involved in the provision of health care to migrant farmworkers, helping them develop integrated care on the mobile healthcare vans. I chaired the Maine Migrant Health Program (now Maine Mobile Health Program).
Much of my practice has involved work within or for hospital systems, and I am very concerned about medical trauma, which is an interest of Division 56. I am a scientist-practitioner, a clinical psychologist with minors in developmental and community psychology. I was recently endorsed by Division 42 (Practice) as well as 29 (Psychotherapy). I was trained under a rural specialty. My presidential initiative will focus on the needs of the rural and underserved, extending upon Dr. Jennifer Kelly’s Health Equity initiative and Dr. Rosie Phillips Davis’ Deep Poverty initiative. I have presented on integrated care for the rural and underserved internationally and nationally and am currently a member at large on the Board of Directors of the International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP). The international focus of Division 56 is very important to me. I have been a champion for the needs and concerns of graduate students and ECPs (another focus of Division 56), who are helping with my presidential campaign.
3. Do you personally have research or clinical interests or knowledge in the area of psychological trauma? Please describe briefly.
My clinical interests or knowledge are in working with women and children who have suffered or are suffering/recovering from traumatic events, such as sexual and physical abuse, domestic violence. My research in developmental psychology has examined facial cueing of caregivers to their infants in strange situations, including caregivers identified as abusive or neglectful.
4. What reasons might you give for a psychologist who is primarily committed to Division 56 to vote for you in the coming election?
The interests of Division 56 are my interests and central to who I am. In coming to the role of APA President, the interests of the Division would be part of the fabric of the initiatives I would be prioritizing. I am an inclusive leader and would want to include input from Division 56 in establishing APA initiatives going forward. I have served as Member at Large on the Board of Directors during the Independent Review and during the COVID and racism pandemics, both traumatic events. I have the leadership experience to connect elected and appointed leaders and the membership to move the organization forward in this unprecedented time.
5. What has been the candidates experience or position regarding encouraging the development of educational models, research, and training programs that incorporate trauma information -
a. in the training of psychologists
I have utilized my clinical knowledge in the area of trauma in training predoctoral interns at The Acadia Hospital (private non-profit hospital associated with Eastern Maine Medical Center [EMMC]) and in pediatric obesity consultation for EMMC
b. in the practice of psychology
I have incorporated trauma information in my practice of psychology throughout my career, bringing this to integrated primary care settings and sharing this with CEOs of health centers to extend the reach to impact and inform public health models.
c. in addressing pressing global issues
I have shared this information in international presentations on integrated care in rural and underserved areas in international presentations in Milan, Yokohama, Toronto, Amsterdam, Porto, and Montreal. I have written articles on the impact of COVID and on providing leadership dialogue for health center CEOs as Secretary for the Division 17 newsletter, Professional Practice, for the International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP).
6. What has been their experience or how would they support the integration of trauma informed practice within emerging national healthcare models.
I have served as Federal Advocacy Coordinator (FAC) for Maine for over 15 years, being honored by the APA Practice Organization (APAPO) with the FAC Award. In this role, I have advocated for support for funding for trauma-related initiatives in Practice, Science, Education, and the Public Interest. This experience in advocacy and my passion for the concerns of Division 56 would enable me to effectively support the integration of trauma informed practice within emerging national healthcare models.