Committee Reports

Continuing Education Committee report

This committee focuses on professional development and providing military psychologists the opportunity to participate in high-quality continuing education programs

By W. Brad Johnson, PhD, Freddy Paniagua, PhD, ABPP, and Carrie H. Kennedy

The enhancement of professional development among the Division 19 memberships is a major objective of this division. Under the directive of our immediate past-president (Armando Estrada, PhD), the Division 19 Continuing Education Committee was created in the summer of 2010. The main goal of this committee is to provide military psychologists (those associated with all the components of the Department of Defense and the Veteran’s Administration), and psychologists with interests in military populations, the opportunity to participate in high-quality continuing education programs. These programs will be designed both to generate required CE credits for licensing renewal, and simultaneously keep psychologists on the cutting edge with regard to major research and clinical developments in their specialty area.

After extensive consultations with the APA-CE accreditation office and Division President Estrada, and several formative discussions among members of the CE Committee (John Ashburn, Brad Johnson, Carrie Kennedy, Freddy Paniagua, Randy Reese, and Morgan Sammons), the committee decided to focus on the following objectives:

  1. Develop high-quality CE opportunities in association with the annual APA convention. Ideally, this will include at least one formal pre-convention workshop (4-hours of CE credit) designed to appeal to the interests of both military psychologists and civilian psychologists who work in military settings or serve military populations in various ways. It will further include sessions (workshops and symposia) in the regular division program that will include a CE option.

    We are pleased to report that the Division 19 CE Committee will sponsor a pre-convention workshop for the APA Annual Convention in Orlando. This four-hour workshop will be provided by Heidi S. Kraft, PhD, entitled “Providing Mental Health Care In and After Combat: Challenges, Rewards, Risks, and Growth.” Dr. Kraft is a former Navy Psychologist and the author of Rule Number Two (2007, Little, Brown & Co.) about her experiences during deployment with the Marines in Iraq. She is in high demand as a speaker. Her 4-hour workshop will emphasize the challenges, risks, and rewards of providing mental health care in a combat zone. She will give particular attention to the clinical, ethical, and personal challenges unique to deployed settings.

    In addition, the CE Committee submitted a two-hour symposium proposal for APA Orlando with the title: “When Everyone is a Potential Client: Boundaries and Multiple Roles During Military Deployments.” Presenters include Shannon Johnson, PhD, Bret Moore, PsyD, Heidi Kraft, PhD, and Jeff Case, PhD, all psychologists with significant experience with deployment to combat zones. The discussant is Gerry Koocher, PhD, past APA president and an expert in the field of professional ethics. We are pleased to announce that this program has recently been accepted and will afford two hours of ethics-related CE credit for Division 19 members and others interested in the topic of multiple roles and boundaries in embedded contexts.

  2. Develop high-quality CE opportunities in association with an APA-accredited provider of continuing education. The CE Committee plans to explore and develop partnerships with existing providers of professional CE programs. These may include online programs and formal workshops and trainings delivered on topics and in geographical locations likely to appeal to Division 19 members.

  3. Develop high-quality CE opportunities for psychologists who are deployed or serving in remote locations. The committee discussed the novel idea of developing a network of Division 19 psychologists—with expertise in specific areas of military psychology—who might be willing to offer CE workshops to small groups of psychologists when they travel as part of their work or while deployed. So, a psychologist tasked with work-related travel overseas might arrange to offer a CE workshop (approved by APA) during his or her visit. This will provide much needed CE credits to psychologists who may not be able to travel for face to face CEs due to deployment, remote duty stations and/or command travel funding issues (an increasing problem). The committee is currently in discussion with a group of deployed providers.

After careful consideration, the Division 19 Continuing Education Committee recommended that the division take the following steps moving forward:

  1. Make the Continuing Education Committee a permanent committee within the division. We propose that the committee consist of 3 members serving staggered 3-year terms. One new member will be appointed each year. During his or her third year as a member of the committee, that member will serve as chair.

  2. Make the offering of high-quality preconvention and convention CE-credit workshops and symposia a top priority such that military and VA clinical psychologists become accustomed to participating in division-sponsored CEs annually.

  3. As time and resources allow, pursue additional avenues for delivering high quality CEs, such as through online programs and other mechanisms for deployed or isolated psychologists.

Additional information regarding the CE Committee may be obtained from CE Co-Chairs: Freddy Paniagua, PhD and CDR Carrie H. Kennedy, PhD

Continuing Education Committee

  • John Ashburn

  • W. Brad Johnson

  • Carrie H. Kennedy

  • Freddy Paniagua

  • Randy Reese

  • Morgan Sammons