Dec. 4, 2018

Accreditation Subcommittee of the Education & Training Committee

by Theresa Kay

The Accreditation Subcommittee of the Education and Training Committee has had a busy few months. Joshua Wolff stepped down from his position as chair, and we thank him for his valuable service in that role. Theresa Kay has taken over as chair and is working hard to get up to speed.

Two, faith-based clinical psychology programs with discriminatory policies toward sexual/gender minorities entered the most recent cycle of the APA accreditation process. The Accreditation Subcommittee investigated the programs thoroughly by looking at their web sites, curricula and codes of conduct and found numerous examples of discriminatory policies that do not align with APA standards and values. We reported our findings to the APA Commission on Accreditation (CoA) via a third-party comment submission.

Additionally, the CoA solicited comments on the topic of implementing regulations related to diversity. The Accreditation Subcommittee collaborated with many APA divisions in a document that we submitted to the CoA. This document included requests for extensive changes. For example, we requested that programs that receive sanctions or commendations from CoA be required to post that feedback on their web sites so that prospective students can be fully informed about programs' accreditation status. Also, we recommended that more confidential mechanisms for reporting grievances to the CoA during site visits be implemented. 

Aging Committee

by Weston Donaldson and Kate Hinrichs

The Aging Committee aims to raise awareness of psychological issues in the adult development and aging of LGBT individuals.

We promote scientific research and education on sexual orientation and gender diversity and aging as well as the dissemination of relevant information to psychologists, students, and the general public.

The Committee seeks to accomplish this mission through efforts to support and facilitate LGBT aging research, the sponsorship of LGBT aging-related programs at the APA annual convention, encouraging the inclusion of LGBT aging research in scholarly publications, promoting representation of LGBT aging issues in related areas of psychological study through liaison with other APA divisions and facilitating Div. 44 liaison to the APA Committee on Aging.

Current or recent projects:

  • Presentation of a Symposium at the 2018 annual convention of the Gerontological Society of America on Providing Culturally Competent End-of-Life Care to LGBT Older Adults.
  • Publications by members in a special issue of the Clinical Gerontologist on LGBT research.
  • Outreach to other division and establishing formal liaisons to these divisions.

Anyone with an interest in the area of Aging and LGBT issues is welcome.

Bisexual Issues Committee

by Amanda Pollitt

The Bisexual Issues Committee (BIC) has had a busy summer and fall this year. We had multiple programming events at convention, including a symposium on “Multiple Ways of ‘B-ing:' Diversity of Bisexuality”, a symposium in collaboration with Div. 35 on “Diversity of Identity Processes among Bisexual Women” and a conversation hour on bisexuality. Overall, the events were well attended. We look forward to next year's convention, where we plan to have a strengths-based symposium on bisexual and plurisexual identities broadly. Many thanks to our hardworking programming chair, Andy Choi, for the success of all these events.

Sept. 23 was Bi Visibility Day and the BIC was busy increasing visibility of bisexuality in psychology. We sent out a News Beyond the Binary newsletter issue; it looks like coverage of bisexuality in the media and in research keeps growing. Our student representative, Melissa Manley, sent out a survey asking for bisexual people's experiences in psychology and found that the most important issues for people were visibility and validation.

Finally, we have had some changes in BIC leadership, as our student representative, Jenna Brownfield, completed her term. Thank you, Jenna, for your hard work and contributions to the committee. We have now welcomed Colleen Kase from the University of Maryland College Park as our new student representative and look forward to working with her. Welcome Colleen.

Clinical Issues Committee

by Shay Caramielloa and L.G. Rollins

The Clinical Issues Committee is focused on providing support for training and professional clinicians as they seek to provide the best possible care for LGBTQ+ individuals.

Current Initiatives

The Committee on Division/APA Relations (CODAPAR): The CIC was able to successfully collaborate with Divs. 17, 22 and 35 on a training video to teach clinicians skills for affirmative assessment of trauma in marginalized communities. The committee co-chairs and division president developed a script to address concerns and important considerations when assessing trauma in a transgender-identified patient. The training video is anticipated to be completed in December 2018.

Knowledge Bank: The CIC is currently working to develop a resource bank on the Div. 44 website for members seeking consultation or resources for their clinical work as well as resources for LGBTQ+ identified clinicians. We are currently seeking resources on clinical issues related to navigating trans identity in the military. This is a particularly troubling time for trans-identified active service members and veterans due to the uncertainty of potential discriminatory government mandates. If you have any resources on this topic that may be helpful for clinicians, please email Shay Caramiello and L. G. Rollings with the subject line “Knowledge Bank.”

Clinician's Corner : The clinician's corner is an opportunity for members of the division to offer their clinical conceptualizations of clinical cases. We are hoping to regularly submit a clinical case to the newsletter and solicit two expert opinions from members of Div. 44. Please email Shay Caramiello and L. G. Rollins if you are interested in being a reviewer for the Clinical Digest.

Committee on Racial and Ethnic Diversity (CoRED)

by Cliff Yung-Chi Chen and Tangela Roberts

The Committee on Racial and Ethnic Diversity (CoRED) seeks to highlight racial and ethnic minority concerns within the LGBTQIA+ population. A standing goal of the committee has been to increase racial and ethnic minority membership and involvement in the Division. CoRED sponsors the Dr. Richard A. Rodriguez Div. 44 Student Travel Award to encourage greater participation in Div. 44 annual APA convention activities by LGBT students of color. The recipients this year were Andrew Young Choi and Mirella J. Flores.

Andrew is a PhD candidate in counseling, clinical and school psychology with an emphasis in quantitative methods in social sciences at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is currently completing an APA-accredited predoctoral internship at the University of Hawai'i, Mānoa Counseling & Student Development Center. 

Mirella is a fifth-year counseling psychology doctoral candidate at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Her research  focuses on the influence of interpersonal violence and discrimination on the mental health of individuals with multiple intersecting marginalized identities, with a particular emphasis on the experiences of transgender people of color and sexual minority people of color. 

Both Andrew and Mirella expressed gratitude for how the travel award afforded them the opportunity to attend APA and make valuable contribution. Andrew stated, “The award allowed me to attend the APA convention and—by providing opportunities to participate in programming, networking, and solidarity related to LGBTQ POC issues—helped rejuvenate my research and practice efforts to advance LGBTQ POC representation and welfare within professional psychology and the larger community.” Mirella stated, “ Being recognized with the Dr. Richard A. Rodriguez Div 44 Student Travel Award serves as an acknowledgment of the importance of my research and advocacy efforts. It also highlights the importance of attention to the intersection of race, ethnicity, sexuality and gender” Congratulations to both Andrew and Mirella!!

The committee also seeks to increase the focus on the intersections of race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation in science and practice. During the 2018 APA Convention, CoRED sponsored a symposium, LGBT POC Moving Through Multiple Minority Stress Toward Social Justice, which featured the work of graduate student scholars. Jacqueline E. Hyman and Jessica L. David, who are both counseling psychology doctoral students at the Indiana University, presented their qualitative research entitled “Stars, Stripes and Rainbows: QPOC in Trump's America.” Staci Ouch, who is a counseling psychology doctoral student at the University of Florida, presented a quantitative research entitled “ Cognitive and Affective Expectation of Stigma, Coping Efficacy and Psychological Distress among Sexual Minority People of Color.” Their impressive work highlighted the importance of integrating the voices and ideas of graduate students into moving our field toward more creative, thoughtful ways of understanding the experiences of LGBTQ POC through the lens of intersectionality.

CoRED met for its annual meeting at APA in San Francisco. President Margaret Rosario joined the meeting, and members discussed issues related to supporting LGBTQ POC graduate students and early career psychologists.

The committee is planning to sponsor a student poster award during the Div. 44 social hours at APA convention in 2019.

The co-chairs for CoRED are Cliff Yung-Chi Chen, assistant professor of school psychology at Queens College of CUNY, and Tangela Roberts, assistant professor of counseling psychology at the Western Michigan University.

Fellows Committee

Dear Div. 44 Colleagues:

I am writing to invite you to consider applying for fellow status in Div. 44. The fellow distinction is a means by which APA recognizes members who have received a doctoral degree in psychology or a related field from a regionally accredited institution and demonstrate evidence of unusual and outstanding contributions to the discipline of psychology. Fellow status requires that an APA member's work has had a demonstrable impact on the discipline that is national or international in scope.

Div. 44 requires members who receive fellow status to have made outstanding contributions in research, practice, education or policy/advocacy related to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender lives and issues. Again, these contributions need to have had national or international impact.

There are two pathways by which Div. 44 members can achieve fellow status in Div. 44.

1. Initial Fellow Path

Members may apply for initial status only if they are not fellows in any other division of APA. To apply for initial fellow status, members need to use the APA Fellows Online Application Platform . All application materials — including those from applicants and from their endorsers — must be submitted through this platform. An applicant's three endorsers must currently be APA fellows.

All materials for initial fellows, including letters from endorsers, must be submitted to the APA Fellows Platform by Dec. 3, 2018 .

2. Current Fellow Path

A member of Div. 44 who is already a fellow of another division in APA can apply for fellow status in the division. These applicants are known as current fellows. Current fellow applicants are required to submit a curriculum vitae and a letter stating the reasons the applicant meets the APA criteria for fellow status in Div. 44. Applicants for current fellow status have the option of also having a single letter of endorsement sent in support of their application. This optional letter might be especially important when an applicant is applying for fellow status based on activities that are based in educational or policy/advocacy work that are not typically well-represented on traditional CVs. Application materials for current fellow status in Div. 44 should be emailed to the fellows chair, Glenda Russell .

The due date for current fellows applications for the 2018 cycle is Dec. 17, 2018 .

If you have any questions about the process or if you wish to discuss the question of whether to apply for fellow status please feel free to contact me. Also, if you know of Div. 44 members who are not yet fellows but should be, do suggest that they consider applying.

Sincerely,
Glenda Russell
Div. 44 Fellows Committee Chair

International Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity Concerns

by Sharon G. Horne, Matthew Skinta and Armand Cerbone

Greetings from the International Committee. We have a lot of events to report from our international committee that formed three years ago to increase the focus on transnational sexual orientation and gender diversity concerns. First, we are pleased to report that the division was instrumental in supporting APA's endorsement of the IPsyNet Statement on LGBTI+ Concerns of the International Psychology Network for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Intersex Issues (IPsyNet). The division is one of the six members of the IPsyNet Oversight Group, comprised of divisions and APA committees that provide support and guidance for IPsyNet, and in this capacity, the Div. 44 Executive Committee overwhelmingly supported the Statement prior to its endorsement by APA.

The first of its kind, the statement provides a platform of shared values and human rights within the field of psychology as they pertain to LGBTIQ+ concerns on a transnational level. The statement was developed by the policy committee of IPsyNet and chaired by Sharon Horne, one of the co-chairs of the international committee. All IPsyNet members, representing psychology communities around the world, collaborated on its final version. In all, more than 25 psychology organizations have endorsed the statement, including the Russian Psychological Society, the Psychological Society of South Africa, the Lebanese Psychological Association, the Colombian Psychological Association (COLSPIC), the Psychological Association of the Philippines, the Hungarian Psychological Association and many others. In seven points, the statement endorses the development of and support for LGBTIQ+ affirmative and inclusive treatment as well as service provision; challenges claims of LGBTIQ pathology and conceptualizations of abnormality and supports affirmative approaches to therapy for LGBTQ+ people as well as rejects therapies that aim to cause harm to LGBTIQ+ people; asserts the full autonomy of transgender and gender non-binary individuals in affirming their gender identities as well accessing affirmative and transition-related health care as desired; actively supports psychological research and practice that fully consider the intersectionality of LGBTIQ+ identities with other identities such as ethnicity, social class, and religion; advocates for the removal of the stigma of psychopathology from LGBTIQ+ identities and expressions, and opposes the misuse of research related to LGBTIQ+ people that seek to misinform the public and attempts to repathologize LGBTIQ+ people; supports the inclusion of LGBTIQ+ people as experts and as active, equal partners in research and policy development for research and policy initiatives that concerns them; and supports the development of psychological research on the health and well-being needs of LGBTIQ+ people in order to improve public policy and LGBTIQ+ communities.

Psychological associations are beginning to disseminate the statement and utilize it for advocacy purposes within their psychology communities and community mental health agencies and to implement LGBTIQ+ affirmative interventions, education and prevention. More psychological associations signed on to the statement after the official endorsement event at the International Congress of Applied Psychology in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on June 27.

In other news, the international committee is working on the Div. 52 (International) Four Corners Webinar series. In this webinar, we will highlight sexual orientation and gender diversity concerns in four different countries of the world. As part of the series, we will be posing questions about the role of SOGD concerns in psychological organizations, as well as the challenges and successes of working on advocacy and inclusion for LGBTI individuals within these countries. We will be sharing more details on this exciting project in an upcoming newsletter – please stay tuned.

There are some leadership changes in the works on the committee as well. Sharon Horne, one of the co-chairs, will be stepping down from the committee this year. Sharon received a Fulbright Scholarship to study the role of affirmative local and transnational LGBT guidelines and statements on mental health treatments and will focus for the next two years on the influence of these as well as harmful practices in sexual orientation and gender identity change efforts, in Colombia, South Africa, and the Philippines. We welcome Matthew Skinta as an incoming co-chair. Matthew has a great deal of experience working on SOGI concerns in Hungary and other former Soviet countries, and he recently gave a multi-day training in Argentina and completed a month-long, live webinar on LGBT issues for Russian psychologists. We welcome Matthew, who joins Armand Cerbone as a co-chair.

There are many opportunities for students, early career professionals, and other division members to get involved in the international committee. The committee is preparing for several upcoming projects including translation to other languages of key division documents and webinar subtitles to increase accessibility for international members; increasing convention programming collaborations with other divisions and special sections interested in SOGD concerns; outreach to international affiliates and international students; highlighting activities on the division website and creating a committee page in order to link our committee to other international communities, such as Div. 52, IPsyNet, APAGS, Div. 17's international section and other groups; expanding international concerns to LGBT refugee issues as well as anti-LGBT policies and their impact on mental health; and feature our international members and collaborators around the world either in the 44 newsletter or other venue. We hope you'll join us in some of these plans.

Please email to Matthew Skinta or Armand Cerbone for upcoming international committee events and to learn how to get involved in international issues in Div. 44.

Public Policy Committee Update

by Nick Grant and Michèle Schlehofer

The Public Policy Committee (PPC) has been working on several initiatives, which we are pleased to update the membership on. We had a successful pre-convention workshop on LGBTQ Advocacy at the APA's convention in San Francisco last August. Co-sponsored by Div. 9 (the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues) (SPSSI), this full-day workshop provided advanced advocacy training to approximately 40 people. Feedback from the workshop evaluations found that the workshop was well-received and informative.

Since returning from convention, our committee has continued to work on various advocacy initiatives. In September, the Veterans Health Administration had an open comment period on a proposal to amend the VA medical benefits package to eliminate the exclusion of gender alteration procedures. In response, we developed a resource guide and distributed a call to Div. 44 members to submit feedback during the open comment period. Thank you to those of you who submitted comments.

Several Public Policy Committee members also recently participated in a Human Rights Campaign webinar on pressing state-level anti-LGBTQ legislation. Although the PPC is charged with influencing federal legislation, our committee assists psychologists working at the state level when possible. To further assist psychologists conducting advocacy at the state level, we are in the process of developing four fact sheets addressing common LGBTQ-related legislative needs, as identified in the webinar: protections for trans youth, bans for conversion therapy, adoption and foster care placements and religious refusal and religious freedom laws. Once developed, fact sheets will be distributed via the listserv and posted on the division website.

The PPC always welcomes new members, regardless of career stage or level of prior experience in policy work or advocacy. If you have interest in joining the committee, please let us know by emailing either Nick or Michèle .

Consensual Non-monogamy Task Force

by Amy Moors and Heath Schechinger

As co-chairs of the Consensual Non-Monogamy Task Force, we couldn't be more excited to join Div. 44. Finding love and/or sexual intimacy is a central part of most people's life experience, but the ability to engage in desired intimacy without stigmatization is not a liberty for all. This task force seeks to address the needs of people who practice consensual non-monogamy, including their intersecting marginalized identities.

Within our first year, our initial team (Heath Schechinger, PhD; Amy Moors, PhD; and Michelle Vaughan, PhD) accomplished several key projects, including creating brochures for mental and medical healthcare providers, suggesting language for assessing relationship style on demographic forms , designing a tool to highlight inclusive clinical practices and contributing to a polyamory research list . We also successfully petitioned the APA Psychologist Locator to add “consensual non-monogamy” as a search term on their therapist locator website, making it easier to access culturally competent care. We also published the largest study to date addressing effective therapy practices with clients engaged in consensual non-monogamy in the Journal of Clinical and Consulting Psychology .

Additionally, we have given presentations at national conferences, written a blog post about what therapists need to know about consensual non-monogamy and had our work with the task force featured by a number of outlets, including Vogue Australia , Goop , Time Magazine , Fatherly Magazine , National Coalition of Sexual Freedom , Polyamory in the News and Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality . We are currently in the process of being interviewed for several more.

Most recently, we are in the process of recruiting a diverse group of activists and scholars from across the world to volunteer for the task force and have had over 200 people sign up for our mailing list and/or sign our petition to support relationship diversity. Currently, we have welcomed eighteen professionals to co-lead our 12 initiatives and are in the process of extending invitations to over 40 professionals who have applied to serve as contributors to these projects. Our current co-leads include: Dawn Brown, Deana Richards, Leonore Tjia, Bree Zimmerman, as well as Roberto Abreu, Apryl Alexander, Daniel Cardoso, Stephen Forrssel, Sharon Flicker, Lisa Dawn Hamilton, Rachel Ann Kieran, Jen Rafacz, Christopher Stults, Ashley Thompson, Michelle Vaughan, Geri Weitzman and Ryan Witherspoon.

We also have an Advisory Board to create a network of advisors/mentors that can provide advice or feedback to us and the co-leads on projects relevant to their expertise. Our Advisory Board includes activists and scholars with a wide range of expertise and skills, including Dossie Easton, Alam Macroberts, Cunning Minx, Susan Wright, as well as Dave Deleshal, Justin Lehmiller, Jes Matsick, Charles Moser, John Sakaluk, Eli Sheff and Richard Sprott. We are also fortunate to receive administrative support from Ashley Ramos.

The CNM Task Force is excited about all the enthusiasm and support we've received and are thrilled to see what kind of change we can make in the community. If you're interested in getting involved, we invite you to join our mailing list when you sign our petition to support relationship diversity . You can also follow us on Twitter or Facebook for relevant resources and prevalent updates. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email us. We look forward to growing as an integral part of Div. 44.

Task Force on Racism

by Kimberly Balsam and Carlton E. Green

The Task Force on Racism was formed to address racism and white privilege within Div. 44. During Kimberly Balsam's tenure as division president, she emphasized racial diversity and inclusion as key components of her Presidential Initiatives. Balsam initiated conversation about ongoing anti-racism work with other division leaders, which lead to the formation of the task force. This action-oriented group consists of Div. 44 members and students representing diverse racial, ethnic, sexual orientation and gender identity backgrounds. Kimberly Balsam, PhD, and Carlton E. Green, PhD, are currently serving as the co-chairs.

The task force is working to create a Div. 44 community where LGBTQ people of color see their concerns being addressed and their identities being represented. The work of the task force could increase membership of and leadership by LGBTQ people of color in the division. Task force members are working to promote cultural and structural change within the division with respect to race and racism in the areas of policy, procedure, leadership and programming. For instance, the members have been actively engaged in exploring how to cultivate a racially diverse leadership pipeline within Div. 44, while also considering how to address any racial bias and discrimination that may negatively influence the experiences of leaders of color.

At the 2018 APA convention, the task force sponsored a two-hour, interactive workshop entitled “Dismantling Racism within LGBTQ communities: A Skill-building Workshop for White Allyship.” The workshop, which was attended by almost 40 people on Sunday morning, presented LGBTQ participants and allies with the opportunity to engage in conversations about race and racism and to practice skills for managing challenging race-related interactions. Notably, the task force also helped to shape the January 2018 Executive Board midwinter meeting diversity training by providing input on the speaker and topics to be addressed.

Future plans for the task force include conducting focus groups with LGBTQ people of color to understand their reasons for affiliating (or not affiliating) with the division; developing and offering additional anti-racism, allyship-building learning opportunities; and, providing guidance related to cultivating leadership and mentoring among LGBTQ people of color.

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