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  • 09 Jan 2015 4:25 PM | SSCP Webmaster (Administrator)

    We would like to announce the winners of the SSCP Outstanding Student Teacher Award.  Please join me in congratulating them! We received many impressive submissions, and are thrilled to recognize the achievements of:


    Sophia Choukas-Bradley
    Advisor: Mitchell J. Prinstein, Ph.D.
    University: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    Expected graduation: August 2016
    Current Internship: n/a

    Jena Shaw
    Advisor: Evan M. Forman, Ph.D
    University: Drexel University
    Expected graduation: June 2015
    Current Internship: Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, PA
  • 10 Dec 2014 6:28 PM | SSCP Webmaster (Administrator)

    The undersigned organizations are grateful for the opportunity to respond to the NIMH 2015 Strategic Plan draft. We represent scientists who study psychopathology and its treatment and train the next generation of clinical scientists, and, in some cases, the clinicians who provide science-based treatment. There is much to applaud in NIMH’s recent and proposed initiatives to better understand the “biological basis of complex behaviors.” We agree with the importance of understanding biological factors in mental illness. However, we are deeply concerned with what appears to be a focus on biological factors at the expense of psychosocial/behavioral factors. The Strategic Plan includes a nod to environmental factors as they interact with biological ones, but the overwhelming thrust appears to be a biological one.  Moreover, the plan continues a restrictive approach to funding treatment research, eliminating funding for the sorts of investigator-initiated clinical trials that have led to enormous advances in our ability to successfully treat mental disorders with psychosocial approaches (that are often safer than medication, and often more cost-effective and acceptable to consumers). 

    We believe that it is essential for NIMH to fully support both biological and psychosocial/behavioral research to reduce the burden of mental illness. Increasing the (currently limited) focus on behavioral research in the plan (e.g., more explicitly supporting research on behavioral mechanisms and psychosocial interventions) will lead to the development of novel efficacious and effective approaches to identify, prevent, and treat mental illness, and also dramatically advance what we can learn from biological approaches.  Behavioral factors have played a leading role in reducing morbidity and mortality associated with both physical and mental illnesses, and scientific findings suggest a recursive relationship between environmental factors and biological determinants. This strongly suggests that fully supporting psychosocial research will promote greater efficacy of interventions for the full scope of mental illnesses.

    We know this to be true based on the many ‘success stories’ from prior NIMH-funded research – stories that have significantly advanced our knowledge of how to prevent and treat a wide range of psychopathology.  For instance, NIMH-funded research on Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Borderline Personality has provided an efficacious treatment for a condition previously considered almost completely recalcitrant to intervention.  Research on cognitive deficits in schizophrenia, which led to the identification of specific neuroanatomical and functional abnormalities, has uncovered the biological bases of complex behaviors.  Moreover, the recent success of a guided self-help version of cognitive behavior therapy for eating disorders that requires less than four hours of therapist contact time illustrates the potential for widespread dissemination of a cost-effective psychosocial treatment with enormous benefits to the public health.  Notably, in preparing this comment, we started to compile examples of psychosocial research projects that have transformed our ability to identify, prevent, and treat mental illness – we stopped listing examples after a dozen pages, but could easily have continued. Our point is that these psychosocial approaches have provided tremendous relief to sufferers and have cut morbidity and mortality rates for many devastating mental illnesses, and these results would not have been possible without NIMH support. 

    Moreover, our field is taking many active steps to advance our ability to disseminate and implement, as well as train students in, empirically supported treatments. These include the development of a new clinical science accreditation body (Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System; PCSAS), the development of the Delaware Project (which NIMH has strongly supported) to further training in dissemination and implementation, and a strong focus on mobile health and alternate treatment delivery models. These ongoing efforts are fully consistent with the NIMH strategic plan. Thus, we are well positioned to move the field forward in terms of identifying, preventing, and treating mental illness, but this will not happen without strong NIMH support of psychosocial/behavioral research.

    In summary, clinical psychological scientists stand ready to advance the development and implementation of evidence-based approaches in the community, which will also continue to advance the aims of biological scientists investigating the bases of mental illness. We are ideally positioned to continue to discover and disseminate cost-effective prevention and cures for mental illness, and greatly strengthen the public health impact of NIMH-supported research. We urge NIMH to enable our science to continue to make its contribution.

    Sincerely,

    Bethany Teachman and Mitch Prinstein (President & President-elect, Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology), Dean McKay and Jon Abramowitz (Immediate Past President and President, Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies), Alan Kraut (Executive Director of Association for Psychological Science), and Robert DeRubeis and Dianne Chambless

     

    With endorsement from (in alphabetical order):

    Academy of Psychological Clinical Science

    Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies

    Association for Psychological Science

    Council of University Directors of Clinical Programs

    Society for Family Psychology, Division 43 of the American Psychological Association

    Society for Psychotherapy Research

    Society for Research in Psychopathology

    Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology

    Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, Division 53 of the American Psychological Association


  • 17 Nov 2014 2:56 PM | SSCP Webmaster (Administrator)
    SSCP, ABCT, and Division 12 collaborated on a joint statement for public comment in response to APA's draft Standards and Criteria for Approval of Sponsors of Continuing Education for Psychologists. Please endorse the comment ahttp://apaoutside.apa.org/EducCSS/Public/



    Feedback on CE Standards Revisions

     

    We thank the task force for their good work in revising the Standards and Criteria for Approval of Sponsors of Continuing Education for Psychologists. We recognize that this is not an easy task, and we were pleased to see numerous changes to the standards that will enhance the emphasis on using science to drive the approval criteria. For instance, we appreciated the references to “content that is fully supported by the most current scientific evidence.” Moreover, we were happy to see the added emphasis on assessing participants’ learning from CE programming (vs. only their satisfaction); e.g., Standard E, Criteria 3. We recognize that this can be hard to implement and applaud the inclusion of this criterion. 

     

    We appreciate this opportunity for public comment and would like to propose some additional edits and provide some feedback.  Please see comments below.

     

    Also, we wish to let you know the process that led to these comments. We shared your proposed revisions with numerous organizations, including the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology, Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Division 12: Society of Clinical Psychology, along with multiple other divisions, and asked for comments.  Based on the feedback we received and our own discussions, we then created a document outlining a series of points we wished to raise in response to your proposed revisions. This document was then shared with the memberships of the same set of organizations, and a survey was created to ask their agreement with the points we raised and to solicit further comments. Finally, the document was further revised in response to the feedback, and then sent to the Boards of these organizations to check their approval of the final version.

     

    Notably, over 250 people completed the survey, and levels of endorsement ranged from 79-91% approval, so the points we raise have received broad support from the memberships of multiple organizations.

     

    Please note we would be happy to talk further about any of these points.

     

    Thank you again for your work on this very important issue.

     

    Bethany Teachman and Mitch Prinstein (current President and President-elect of SSCP), Dean McKay and Jon Abramowitz (current President and President-elect of ABCT), David Tolin (President of SCP-APA Division 12, former APA Office of Continuing Education committee member), Terry Keane (President-elect of SCP-APA Division 12), and Jerry Davison (former APA Office of Continuing Education committee member, Past-President of SCP-APA Division 12 and ABCT, and former Chair of COGDOP)

     

    With endorsement from:

    Board of Division 12: Society of Clinical Psychology

    Board of Division 37: Society for Child and Family Policy and Practice

    Board of Division 40: Society for Clinical Neuropsychology

    Board of Division 53: Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology

    Tim Wysocki, President of Division 54, Society of Pediatric Psychology

    Board of Academy of Psychological Clinical Science

    Board of Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies

    Board of Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology

     

    Issue 1. Concern that (what we perceive to be) problematic programs that are not based on strong science will still qualify for approval.

    Current wording. Standard D: Criterion 1.1 states:

    “Program content focuses on application of psychological assessment and/or intervention methods that have overall credible empirical support in the contemporary peer reviewed scientific literature beyond those publications and other types of communications devoted primarily to the promotion of the approach.”

    Comment: Overall, we like the direction of these changes and recognize that it is a considerable challenge to develop wording that simultaneously sets a high bar for needing strong empirical support for programming while also recognizing that not all “good” programming will naturally fit a typical randomized controlled trial (RCT) model. 

    Our goal with these comments is to help ensure that sponsors have strong incentives to offer programming based on the best available science, and to discourage programming that is not grounded in science. Note, we are referring here to programing that is tied to intervention delivery, rather than programming on other topics, such as ethics, legal issues, etc.

    One option would be to recognize that there are likely two categories of intervention programs that could be approved: programs that fit traditional RCT models based on DSM diagnoses or defined problem areas, and programs that build on other forms of science, such as basic research that supports principles of change. In both cases, the programming draws from empirical science, but we recognize that there is more than one form of scientific study that can usefully inform intervention training. For those programs that are designed to target specific diagnoses or broad-based psychopathology, or fit the RCT model, one suggestion is to add a criterion indicating that every sponsor is required to have at least 50% of their intervention program offerings within a given review period be based on the strongest available empirical support for that topic. Note, this language intentionally omits the soft qualifying language, such as “overall credible” empirical support, but still recognizes that available empirical support will vary across topics.

    To specify what programs would count for this category, an easy guideline is to say that the programming must be on one of the lists of endorsed programs from published lists of treatment guidelines (e.g., the new APA treatment guidelines, the NICE guidelines, Division 12 list, etc.). While we appreciate that using lists of treatment guidelines is an imperfect heuristic, it is one way to ensure strong scientific programming while also keeping the burden low for reviewers and sponsors submitting applications. 

    For the other intervention programming submitted for approval, the principles and components underlying the intervention still need to be based on strong empirical science, even though the program/package may not have a strong empirical basis based on RCTs, etc. This would allow for cutting-edge (but still science-based) programs to be approved, so long as the components or principles are well-tested. For those programs that are not derived from treatment guidelines, the sponsor would have to provide some explanation and citations to argue that the intervention being taught is plausible, both logically and in terms of its congruence with established information and foundational assumptions of psychology and other sciences.Similarly, the presenters would need to explicitly disclose the state of the science for the work being presented. 

    Note that by recognizing these two categories of intervention programs, it is still explicit that both are based on sound, empirically supported scientific principles, so a program that does not have a strong empirical basis (either for the treatment package, or for its components or principles) would no longer qualify for approval.

    We note that many of these same issues also apply to training in assessments, though there are fewer lists of empirically supported assessments to use as a heuristic to guide approval.

    Finally, to achieve the goal of providing sponsors with strong incentives to offer programming based on the best available science, we encourage the task force to consider incorporating bonuses/incentives to encourage more science-based programming. For example, one could imagine CE approval application fee reductions based on the proportion of programming that was clearly based on the best available science, or longer approval terms (e.g., for 5 vs. 3 years), or APA could offer free advertising for science-based programming.

     

    Issue 2. No mention is made of plan to rescind approval for programming that does not meet the guidelines.

    Comment: The standards would be stronger if they included a clear statement indicating that failure to follow the guidelines or inconsistent use of the “most current scientific evidence” will ultimately lead to loss of approval. Although one could argue that loss of approval is implicit in the guidelines, we believe that an explicit statement about this consequence is important to encourage adherence to the guidelines. Note, we believe that adding this potential sanction for non-science based programming would complement the suggestions we made above regarding incentives for sponsors that offer strong science programming.

     

    Issue 3. Lack of clarity in criterion wording.

    Current wording.Standard D: Criterion 1.3 states:

    “Program content focuses on topics related to psychological practice, education, or research other than application of psychological assessment and/or intervention methods that are supported by contemporary scholarship grounded in established research procedures.”

    Comment: We found this wording confusing, and wish to propose a more explicit statement that so-called ‘basic science’ content could be approved: “Program content that can inform psychological practice but is derived from empirical research that does not directly target the application of psychological assessment and/or intervention methods, such as so-called basic science from non-clinical areas of psychology (e.g., social and cognitive psychology).”

     

    Issue 4. Use of term “accurate” will not lead to useful reporting about the scientific support for the presented material.

    Current wording. Standard D: Criterion 2:

    “Sponsors are required to ensure that instructors, during each CE presentation, include statements that describe the accuracy and utility of the materials presented, the basis of such statements, the limitations of the content being taught, and the severe and the most common risks.”

    Comment: It seems unlikely that anyone would say that what they are reporting is inaccurate. Thus, it seems important to more clearly specify that instructors must report on the actual basis of scientific support for the presented material, including use of citations and reporting a summary of both the empirical support for, and the negative or null results of, the content.

     

    Issue 5. Timing of disclosure of conflicts of interest (COIs).

    Current wording. Standard G: Criterion 2:

    “Sponsors must make clearly evident to all potential participants, prior to registration, any known commercial support for CE programs or instructors. Any other relationships that could be reasonably construed as a conflict of interest also must be disclosed… “

    Comment: We suggest requiring disclosure of COIs both when the program is submitted for review and at the time the program begins. In this way, the COIs can be considered by both the CE approval committee and participants. Thus, sponsors would both disclose their COIs when submitting programs for approval, and sponsors would ensure that their presenters report their COIs during CE delivery (i.e., workshops, presentations, etc.).  

     


  • 02 Nov 2014 10:33 AM | SSCP Webmaster (Administrator)

    PRESIDENT-ELECT

    Steven Hollon, PhD – Vanderbilt University


    AT-LARGE MEMBER

    Douglas Mennin, PhD – Hunter College, City University of New York


    DIVISION 12 REPRESENTATIVE

    David Smith, PhD – University of Notre Dame


    STUDENT REPRESENTATIVE

    Andrea Niles – University of California, Los Angeles


  • 22 Oct 2014 9:59 PM | SSCP Webmaster (Administrator)

    Autumn Kujawa

    Advisor: Daniel Klein, Ph.D.

    University: Stony Brook University, Clinical Psychology Ph.D.

    Expected graduation: 2015

    Current Internship: University of Illinois at Chicago


    Catharine Fairbairn

    Advisor: Michael A. Sayette, Ph.D.

    University: University of Pittsburgh

    Expected graduation: 2015

    Internship: Ann Arbor VA/University of Michigan


    Cheri Levinson

    Advisor: Thomas L. Rodebaugh, Ph.D.

    University: Washington University in St. Louis

    Expected graduation: 2015

    Internship:University of North Carolina School of Medicine


    Quetzal Class

    Advisor: Brian M. D’Onofrio, Ph.D.

    University: Indiana University Bloomington

    Expected graduation: 2015

    Internship: Indiana University School of Medicine


    Stephanie Gorka

    Advisor: Stewart A. Shankman, Ph.D.

    University:  University of Illinois at Chicago

    Expected graduation: 2016


  • 14 Jun 2014 10:50 PM | SSCP Webmaster (Administrator)

    The Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology (SSCP) invites nominations for four positions for the SSCP Executive Board: President-Elect; Representative to the Board of Directors of Division 12; Member-At-Large; and Student Representative.

    Descriptions of the duties of each position are listed below.

    All terms of office will begin January 1, 2015. Please see our website for a list of current and past Board members.

    •           The Presidential cycle is 3 years: 1 year each as President-Elect, President, and Past-      President.

    •           The Representative to the Board of Directors of Division 12 is a 3-year term.

    •           Each Member-At-Large and Student Representative serves a 2-year term.


    Each candidate will be asked to submit a brief (~100-200 words) statement about their qualifications and their interest in running for a position on the SSCP Board. We will provide these statements to members with the election ballot.

    NOTE: All SSCP members are invited to submit nominations for any position, but only full members are eligible to vote for SSCP President and Members-at-Large; only student members are eligible to vote for Student Representatives. Submit nominations, including self-nominations, to Michelle G. Craske (craske@psych.ucla.edu) by August 31, 2014, with "SSCP Nominations" in the Subject Line.

    Nomination committee members:

    •           Michelle G. Craske, Past President (Chair)

    •           Bethany Teachman, President

    •           Mitch Prinstein, Member-at-Large

    •           Rosanna Breaux, Student Representative

     

    Annual Duties for SSCP Board Members

    President

    Per the bylaws, "Perform such duties as are customarily incident to this office" (e.g., create ad hoc committees; appoint ongoing committee members and committee chairs, liaisons, Clinical Science Newsletter Editor, etc.; assign tasks to Board members). These duties include but are not limited to:

    •           Determine meeting day/time of monthly Executive Board telephone meetings

    •           Prepare agenda and lead discussion for monthly Executive Board telephone meetings – Chair annual meeting of members at APS or APA

    •           Report on year's activities to members

    •           Compile meeting notes as President-Elect

    •           Oversee award processes (i.e., student poster competition at APS, Dissertation Awards, Distinguished Scientist Award, Outstanding Mentor Award)

    •           Contribute two or more columns to newsletter, Clinical Science

    Deliver Presidential Address at the APA or APS convention

    •           Select Program Chairs for SSCP presentations at APS and APA and work with them on program (begin task as President-Elect; complete during Presidential year).

    •           Head Nomination Committee for new officers (as Past-President)

    Representative to the Board of Directors of the Division (must be a member of Society of Clinical Psychology (Division 12) of APA).

    •           Perform the duties specified in Article V of the bylaws of Division 12

    •           Serve on the Section's Executive Board

    •           Submit a report on Section activities at each Division Board meeting

    •           Submit a report following each Division 12 Board meeting to the Section’s Executive Board and newsletter editor.

     

    Members-at-Large

    •           Participate in monthly SSCP Executive Board telephone meetings

    •           Oversee award processes (e.g., Early Career Researcher Award)

    •           Perform duties as assigned (e.g., form and chair an ad-hoc committee on a particular topic or issue).

     

    Student Representative

    •           Participate in monthly SSCP Executive Board telephone meetings

    •           Represent the opinions and interests of SSCP student members to the Executive Board

    •           Advertise SSCP to potential student members

    •           Report on student issues and initiatives at annual SSCP members meeting

    •           Report on student issues and initiatives in the SSCP Newsletter, Clinical Science

    •           Oversee the SSCP Student Website, listserv, and social media pages.


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