Editor’s note

Read about highlights of this issue.

By Heather M. Pederson, PhD

Welcome to the 2014 spring issue of The Family Psychologist (TFP). This year we will focus on the presidential theme: increasing the visibility and influence of family psychology in the larger field of psychology. In her president address, Erika Lawrence opens the conversation by highlighting some of her proposed efforts to get our division recognized and networked within and outside of APA. Following, Vice President of Practice Corinne Datchi offers several ideas for how we can advance our specialty, including the launch of a national couples and family psychology (CFP) directory to publicize CFP practitioners on the division website, as well as free clinical case consultations on topics relevant to engage our division and other specialties.

Chiming in with Corinne, Vice President of Research Galena Rhoades discusses how family psychologists can have a voice in the larger arena of psychology. She makes the case that for family psychologists to have influence, researchers need to make their own public statements about the implications of their research findings for policy. Vice President of Education Susan Regas describes how she and the faculty in the Family/child and Couple Clinical Psychology (FACE) program at the California School of Professional Psychology “turn the tables” and engage student therapists to do self-reflection and work on their own emotional and relational functioning. She argues that turning the focus to therapist health and development is crucial if we want to advance couples and family treatment approaches. Vice President of Public Interest and Diversity Joseph Cervantes used his address to suggest that our division create a subspecialty with competency guidelines in ethnic and cultural diversity, which can be housed as separate or part of the existing Diplomate in Couple and Family Psychology.

For its feature article this issue, TFP had the opportunity to interview authors of the 2nd edition of the book, Reconcilable Differences. In “Interview with the Authors,” Andy Christensen, a developer of Integrative Behavioral Couples (IBCT) and his colleague Brian Doss, tell us about their vision of the updated couples self-help book that is based on the IBCT model. The self-help format of an evidence-based couples therapy represents one way that family psychology can become more widely available and popularized, complementary to Erika’s presidential theme for the issue. 

This issue contains important information about Div. 43’s elections, and news from the APA Council. Please review the candidate statements and expect an email with a unique link to the ballot in mid-April, announcing the opening of the election. The election will run through May 29.

This issue is also my first opportunity to serve as editor of the bulletin, as well as to introduce the new associate editor, Dr. Kendra Campbell. Kendra was the society’s Student Representative from 2009 to 2011, and she wrote and edited many columns for the Student Corner during that time. She is currently Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Her doctorate is from Seattle Pacific University, and she completed a postdoctoral fellowship specializing in primary care psychology at the San Francisco VA Medical Center. Her clinical and research interests focus on family relational issues and integrated healthcare. In her current position, she serves as tenure-track faculty for the University of Alaska’s Clinical-Community PhD program where she teaches, advises, and conducts research under her Family and Preventative Health Lab. As her background suggests, she will be valuable part of our editorial staff and we are glad to have her.

The associate editor position is relatively new to TFP, and is one of four of the editorial staff (others: editor, senior consultant and assistant editor) whose role is to promote early career psychologists and students’ engagement and affiliation in the division. We work to encourage that ECPs and students of family psychology use the newsletter as a publication venue to highlight issues of special concern in feature articles, to co-author on topics of their choice with Board members in their vice president addresses, to review materials for teaching and clinical practice, and to provide information about continuing education.

It is our hope that TFP will continue to be a resource for the members of the Society for Family Psychology as well as a forum for discussion. With this goal in mind, the editorial staff encourages you to submit articles, book reviews and announcements for the summer issue of TFP by June 15. This upcoming issue will include the schedule and objectives of the 2014 APA convention program, and the theme will continue with the exploration of increasing the visibility and influence of family psychology in the larger context of psychology. Authors may send articles and reviews directly to the editor.