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Membership Information

Div. 18 is entirely volunteer-driven. If you are interested in becoming part of the division leadership team, we offer participation in advocacy, governance/policy activities of the division, continuing education, convention program, membership, newsletter, section affairs and student affairs.

Members of Div. 18 help train more than half the clinical and counseling psychologists in the nation by providing the internship sites and administering the internship programs. Its members develop and implement mental health treatment programs for millions of people in inpatient and outpatient settings, as well as community support systems. Through the work of its members Div. 18 has the potential to directly or indirectly touch the lives of most people living in the United States.

The Division of Psychologists in Public Service (Div. 18) was established in 1946 as a founding division of APA. It was created in response to the needs of the public in such areas as psychological practice, research, training, program development and outcome evaluation. Among its goals, Div. 18 works to protect and advance the profession, foster ethical practice, advocate for persons with mental illness and promote quality care.

Public service psychologists are practitioners, researchers, university professors, legislators, program developers, clinical coordinators, managers, administrators and more. Their clients include consumers of mental health services, managers, administrators, policy makers, elected officials and the public. They work in a variety of settings, including state hospitals, community mental health systems, VA medical centers, criminal justice systems, police and public safety settings, state legislatures and in academic institutions. In general, the services they provide are as varied as the persons they serve and the places they work.

The division board includes the president, past president, president-elect, secretary-treasurer, members-at-large, representatives to the APA Council, student representative, newsletter editor, membership chair and six section chairs. To be a member of the Board of Directors, one must also be a member of APA. The one exception is the student representative. The Board of Directors meets twice a year, and the sections typically meet annually at the APA Annual Convention.

The student applicant fee is $25. The non-student applicant fee is $49.

Division Sections

Members of Div. 18 are encouraged to join the specialty section that most reflects their interests. A chair, who is also a member of the Div. 18 Board of Directors, heads each section. Div. 18 has seven specialty sections.

State, Provincial or Territorial Psychological Association (SPTA)

Most laws governing psychology are written by local legislators. Join your SPTA to help protect and advance psychology in the public sector.


  • Psychological Services
    This is the official journal of APA Div. 18. Division members and their colleagues are strongly encouraged to submit articles for review and to invite their institutions to subscribe to the improved quarterly.

  • Public Service Psychology
    This is official newsletter of APA Div. 18 which is distributed three times each year. Each issue is filled with original articles by division leaders highlighting and promoting the goals and accomplishments of the division.

Email Lists

Members of Div. 18 have two ways of receiving information about division news via email lists: Pubserv and PubservDirect.

Date created: 2011
Special Interest Sections