In 1996 clinical psychology will celebrate its 100th anniversary. Although its roots can be traced much earlier, it was in 1896 that Lightner Witmer, a former student of Wilhelm Wundt, established the first psychology clinic at the University of Pennsylvania. In this clinic a team approach was utilized to provide assessment of and treatment for behavioral and academic problems of children. Witmer described the formation of this clinic and this new form of psychological practice, which he labeled clinical psychology, to colleagues at the 1896 meetings of the American Psychological Association. APA was then four years old. Historical records tell us that Witmer's presentation was met with relative silence. Members of APA in 1896 considered themselves to be scientists, and saw the role for psychology described by Witmer as inappropriate, or, at the least, premature given the absence of a scientific foundation for the practices he espoused and administered.
A century later, APA continues to be characterized by conflict between clinical psychologists who view themselves essentially as scientists and those who consider themselves primarily to be practitioners. Indeed, even the nature of the controversies has changed little since Witmer's address. Proponents of various psychological assessments and treatments are confronted with demands to examine and disseminate more fully the psychometric properties of their assessment procedures and the validity of their interventions. In fact, the level of this strife has apparently been sufficiently high to cause a president of APA to call for the censure of any APA member who publicly criticizes psychological measures or interventions. Recent arguments about prescription privileges for psychologists have similarly divided APA members along scientist-practitioner lines.
It is critical to note, however, that in one very important way, the current situation is starkly different from the situation 100 years ago. The majority of APA members now identify most strongly with the practitioner role. The presence of more science-oriented psychologists in APA has been dramatically attenuated by the significant migration of scientists to what is seen as a more conducive and promising home at APS. While APS may indeed be a more comfortable and tranquil environment than APA for psychologists with a strong science orientation, APA now, perhaps more than ever before, needs the forceful voice of clinical scientists. And that voice will, and must, come from members of SSCP, the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology.
At this year's APA convention in August in Toronto, SSCP will have the dual responsibility of organizing speakers and symposia for the regular convention program, and showcasing our strength in clinical science for a special centenary celebration of clinical psychology. Thomas Oltmanns has agreed to serve as SSCP program chair for this year's APA convention, and I will bring you more details about the centenary celebration as they become available. At this time in our history we must remain active as the voice of clinical science within APA -- I hope you will agree and take up this charge.
1. The committee in charge of planning the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of clinical psychology by Lightner Witmer at the University of Pennsylvania has determined that they cannot obtain a suitable hotel in Philadelphia for the planned celebration in Oct. 1996. In light of the short amount of time remaining to plan a major conference, the board decided to have the major celebration in conjunction with the APA meeting in Toronto in August, 1995. There may be some small event in Philadelphia in 1996 to mark this centennial. Accordingly, SSCP events being planned for Philadelphia will now have to be folded into the Toronto convention. members whom this concerns should contact the Toronto SSCP program chair, Tom Oltmanns, or SSCP president Ian Gotlib.
2. Lynn Rehm indicated he has served as SSCP's liaison to the Assembly of Scientist- Practitioner Psychologists, a caucus of APA Council, but will no longer be able to attend. He requested that someone else serve in his place. The SSCP board will consider at its January meeting whether to be a member of this caucus and, if so, will decide at that time upon a representative. Any SSCP members on Council who would, in that event, be willing to be our caucus representative should let Dianne Chambless know (firstname.lastname@example.org).
3. Work continues on a number of task forces of interest to SSCP members: (a) The book on treatments that work edited by Peter Nathan is underway and will be published by Oxford University Press; (b) the Task Force on Psychological Interventions chaired by Dianne Chambless is compiling additions to its effective treatment list and has published a list of training resources for empirically-validated treatments (available from Central Office or electronically from Sheila Woody [SWOODY@MINERVA.CIS.YALE.EDUI); (c) the Task Force on Effective Psychosocial Interventions: A Lifetime Perspective chaired by Suzanne Bennett Johnson is proceeding with its review of treatments and prevention programs; and (d) the Task Force on Assessment for the 21st Century chaired by Will Grove is working on devising a model curriculum.
4. SSCP members got the good news that one of our own will be President-Elect of Division 12: Lynn Rehm.
5. A difficult issue addressed by the board was whether to apply to the Commission for the Recognition of Specialties in Psychology for recognition of clinical psychology as a specialty within APA. In general the board members seemed opposed to the notion that clinical psychology needed such recognition, in that we believed that specialties were something narrower (e.g., behavioral medicine) and that clinical psychology had preexisting status. The board ultimately voted to make such application for a pragmatic reason -- that other groups might pre-empt the field of clinical psychology if we did not claim it for our own.
Dianne L. Chambless
SSCP Representative to the Division 12 Board
This summer SSCP joined the World Wide Web. The Web is a very exciting use of the internet and is rapidly growing in popularity. At the heart of this particular system of connections is communications software that allows the rapid transfer of text, graphics, and sound. In addition, information from a variety of sources can be linked and indexed in a hypertext fashion. In practice, this means that the computer user can leap from document to document and literally from country to country following a trail of information connected by "hot links." On the SSCP WebPage you will find the names of our officers and committee chairs, membership information and application forms, copies of past issues of Clinical Science, current academic and research employment opportunities, announcements of APA Fellowship programs, and links to other psychology, research, and funding resources.
Since announcing the SSCP WebPage on SSCPNet, there has been a slow (compared to ESPN, Microsoft, and the BeerPage any way), but steady stream of visitors. The page is accessed approximately 30 times a week, most often to view the job ads. The system is up 24 hours a day and can handle 16 simultaneous logons. This means there is a lot more room for use and plenty of opportunity to make suggestions for increasing the interest and utility of this medium.
To access the SSCP WebPage you need a connection to the internet and web browser software. Access is provided by many academic, government, and business employers and can be purchased by individuals through national and local communications companies. America Online and Compuserve have browsers built into their software. Mosaic, Netscape, and Quarterdeck sell reasonably priced browser software. Most newsstands and bookstores will have a whole section devoted to the internet and world wide web for those of you who would like to learn more. If you're already connected and have the software, point your browser to http://www.sscp.psych.ndsu.nodak.edu. Please click on my name at the bottom of the page (or see my email address elsewhere in this issue) to send me feedback and suggestions. Blissful browsing!
Howard Berenbaum has stepped down as chair of the Membership Committee. Taking over, for a two-year term, is Karen Rudolph. Karen can be reached at:
Martin E.P. Seligman, Ph.D., Past-president and Nominations and Elections Chair, announces the results of the 1995 elections. The new President-elect Designate is Lynn P. Rehm, Ph.D. from Houston, Texas. Dr. Rehm is currently Director of Clinical Training at the University of Houston and has held numerous leadership positions at the APA, Division 12, and state association levels. He will assume the presidency in January, 1997.
Janet R. Matthews, Ph.D., Loyola University, New Orleans, is the new secretary-elect of Division 12. Dr. Matthews was recently elected to the APA Board of Directors and has held offices in several Division 12 sections, other APA divisions, and the Southwestern Psychological Association. She will become the Division 12 secretary as of January 1, 1996.
Newly elected Representatives to the APA Council (2/96-2/98) are Thomas H. Ollendick, Ph.D., Charles D. Spielberger, Ph.D., and Laura C. Toomey, Ph.D. Dr. Ollendick is Professor and Director of Clinical Training at Virginia Polytechnic and maintains an active private practice. He is a past president of Section 1 (Clinical Child Psychology). Dr. Spielberger is a past president of APA and Division 12 and is Distinguished University Professor and Director of the Center for Research in Behavioral Medicine and Health Psychology at the University of South Florida. Dr. Toomey has 35 years of practice in public and private institutions and 22 years of service and leadership in the APA, regional psychological associations and state associations. She was Division 12's first treasurer and served two additional terms in that office.
John C. Linton, Ph.D., Division 12 Fellows Committee Chair, reports that Division 12 had the most nominations for initial Fellowship status of any APA division. Ten Division 12 candidates were elected to initial APA Fellow status, effective January 1, 1996. The following are SSCP members elected to Fellow status:
Deborah C. Beidel, Ph.D.
Marsha M. Linehan, Ph.D.
Arthur C. Houts, Ph.D.
In addition, the following SSCP members who were already Fellows in other APA divisions were approved for Fellow status in Division 12:
Peter M. Monti, Ph.D.
J. Gayle Beck, Ph.D.
Ronald L. Blount, Ph.D.
Jay L. Lebow, Ph.D.
Bruce A. Thyer, Ph.D.
Rudy E. Vuchinich, Ph.D.
The members of the 1995 Division 12 Fellows Committee are: Janet R. Matthews, Ph.D., Barbara S. McCrady, Ph.D., Thomas F. Oltmanns, Ph.D., J. William Worden, Ph.D., Gayle E. Wyatt, Ph.D., and John C. Linton, Ph.D. (Chair).
John C. Linton, Ph.D., Fellowship Committee Chair, reminds Division 12 members that the Committee is accepting applications for APA Fellow status through Division 12. Applicants must be members of the Division for at least a year and must show evidence of having made distinguished or unusual contributions to the field of Clinical Psychology. The candidate's work must have had important impact beyond his/her local geographic area. Impact may be shown via publications, endorsement letters, previous awards, and other means. Application materials include details and instructions about the application process. The deadline for receipt of 1996 applications (including all materials and endorsement letters) is February 15, 1996, so those interested should obtain applications now.
Division 12 members who are APA Fellows in other APA divisions must document contributions and impact to Clinical Psychology, but the process is simpler than for those who are applying for initial Fellow status.
For Division 12 Fellow information and application packets, contact:John C. Linton, Ph.D.,
Division 12 Members who are interested in running for Division 12 offices should note that the official Call for Nominations for the Spring, 1996, elections will be mailed (third class) in late November. Candidates will be selected for these offices: President-elect, Treasurer (1997-1999), and the number of APA Council Representatives to which the Division is entitled, following the Fall apportionment vote (3-year terms, beginning 2/97).
The Division 12 Task Force On Psychological Interventions has compiled a resource listing of published and unpublished manuals for empirically validated treatments. The list is available from the Division 12 Office, PO Box 22727, Oklahoma City, OK 73123- 1727. Enclose $1.50 for shipping and handling. The Full Report Of The Task Force On Promotion And Dissemination Of Psychological Procedures (published in The Clinical Psychologist, Volume 48, No. 1) is available from the Division 12 Office. Please enclose $2.00 ($4.00 foreign) for shipping and handling.
As many of you are aware, several states have modified their licensing laws or regulations such that clinical scientists, especially new Ph.D.s, are met with serious obstacles to state licensure. The barrier is a requirement for lengthy full-time post-doctoral training. Individuals or their representatives who encounter these obstacles often fight the battle alone at the state level. After gathering information from SSCP members and state licensing boards, the SSCP Executive Committee drafted a letter aimed at state licensing boards and petitioned several groups to be co-signatories. We were successful in obtaining permission from the American Psychological Society, both Division 12 and the Board of Scientific Affairs of the American Psychological Association, and the Academy for Training in Clinical Science to join us.
At this point, the following letter, written from the perspective of the clinical director of a training program, can be sent to a state board with support from these societies. We would appreciate it if members who use the letter notify Jack Blanchard or one of the members of the SSCP Executive Committee about the success or failure of the letter. We will keep members posted as we hear about its effect. Good luck.
November 1, 1994
Dear State Board,
It has come to our attention that recent changes in licensing requirements for clinical psychologists in several states impose serious constraints on the licensing of clinical psychologists who work in university settings. Most academically-based clinical psychologists already hold licenses in their states, but young assistant professors seeking licensure for the first time are facing unnecessary obstacles in the pursuit of their chosen careers due to licensing requirements that cannot be fulfilled in a reasonable manner.
We expect that recent changes (detailed below) reflect honorable attempts on the part of state boards to protect their publics and that since academic clinical psychologists represent only a small minority of practicing psychologists in any respective state, changes may have been made without recognition of the long-term consequences that such changes could have on the field. In order to avoid serious problems in the future, we ask that your board examine these potential problems in consultation with XXXX, the Director of Clinical Training at the U. of XXX.
Two changes that have been made in some states--either to changes in state regulations or in the interpretation of state regulations--are most problematic. The first involves the time frame within which supervised clinical experience can be obtained. Some states now require that practical experience be obtained during a specified time-frame (e.g., one year of full-time practice or two years of half-time practice). Because newly hired university professors have full-time commitments, supervised psychotherapy experience, by necessity, can be obtained only on a part-time basis.
The requirement of full-time experience does not necessarily present a problem as long as experience includes research and teaching related to practical applications of clinical psychology. However, the second related change involves the nature of the experience. Certain states, for example, have disallowed clinical research and teaching from eligible experience which is allowed to fulfill the requirement. This is problematic, not only due to resulting logistical problems, but for important conceptual, evidential reasons. There is no reason to believe that research and teaching experience is of less value to young practicing clinicians than face-to-face therapy. On the contrary, first-hand knowledge of research on interventions, graduate teaching of therapeutic methods and psychopathology are likely to be unmatched in their enhancement of individual competence in application.
The greatest strength of clinical psychology is that it offers the public treatments that are grounded in scientific principles of human behavior. The irony in the noted changes, of course, is that clinical psychology is distinguished from other therapeutic approaches precisely by virtue of its scientific base; clinical psychology is an applied science. Subsequently, restrictions imposed on the licensing of junior faculty members embarking on careers in clinical science --the very professionals who will train future generations of clinical psychologists--will ultimately inflict serious harm on the profession and the practice of clinical psychology. We sincerely hope that you will work will us to remedy the situation.
Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology
Clinical Psychology Division, (Division 12),
American Psychological Association
American Psychological Society
Board of Scientific Affairs, American Psychological Association
Congressional representatives, Chairs, Departments of Psychology
Welcome new members! Greetings more seasoned members. We hope that all is going well with your graduate studies. All is well at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. But, we would like to hear from you. Please send us your thoughts about life as a graduate student, issues of concern to students in Clinical Psychology, and ideas about how SSCP can better serve students. Below you will find our mailing address and our e-mail addresses.Ernestine Briggs
We look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you to all those who participated in the 5th Annual SSCP Student Poster Session. All of the submissions were excellent. We would also like to thank those individuals who helped to organize this year's event and make it a success.
We would like to congratulate this year's winner, Robin MacFarlane. A summary of her paper is listed here .
That's it. If you have any questions, please write one or both of us.
Robin MacFarlane received her undergraduate degree at the University of Rochester and is currently completing her doctorate at the University of Iowa and her predoctoral internship at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. Her current clinical and research interest is in personality disorders.