Free Videos on Demand: Report Writing, Primary Care Practice

Posted in Graduate School, Training Issues

New from APA’s Education Directorate – two free training videos for students, one on report writing and the other on primary care practice. These videos will be particularly relevant to trainees in clinical, counseling, and school psychology programs:

  1. Psychological Report Writing: Resources, Research, and Strategies. This video introduces the challenges, problems, research, and resources associated with report writing. The primary focus is on six core principles of an optimal report. Each of the principles are accompanied by clear, specific strategies on how they can be achieved along with case and report examples. Presenter: Gary Groth-Marnat, Ph.D., ABPP, ABAP.
  2. Competencies for Psychological Practice in Primary Care. This video familiarizes viewers with the recently developed Competencies for Psychological Practice in Primary Care along with examples of how these competencies are demonstrated in the primary care setting.  The workshop concludes the benefits and opportunities to advance primary care psychology practice through the use and dissemination of thee competencies. Presenters:  Barbara Ann Cubic, Ph.D., Christopher Hunter, Ph.D., Benjamin Miller, Ph.D., and Nancy Ruddy, Ph.D.

To view these videos, click the links above, add them to your cart, and then proceed to create an account. Once registered, you will see the videos in your “Available Products” under “My Dashboard.”

If you watch one of these videos, let us know what you think in the comments! We just might reward one lucky commenter with an  APAGS internship workbook or APA spiral-bound style guide.

Improving Life for People with Schizophrenia Using my APAGS Grant

Posted in Graduate School

Imagine you had a hard time learning from a behavior that brought rewards. This very dilemma is a reality for people with schizophrenia.

If you know something about Skinner’s contributions to reinforcement learning, you know that human behavior is shaped by outcomes. Quite simply, behaviors that result in positive outcomes (rewards) should increase in frequency over time, while behaviors that result in negative outcomes (punishments) should decrease over time.  But imagine for a second that you had a hard time learning from a behavior that brought rewards. Would you be more likely to engage in that behavior in the future?

This very dilemma is a reality for people with schizophrenia. Such individuals have difficulty learning from behaviors that result in rewarding outcomes and in turn, engage less in those types of behavior. Decreased social engagement is the most common manifestation of motivational impairment in people with schizophrenia and a leading cause of disability in this illness — even though the mechanisms underlying this problem remain unclear.

Through the generosity of APAGS’s Basic Psychological Science Research Grant [next deadline: 12/3/14], participants in my study will use a novel social reinforcement-learning paradigm to interact with virtual players. To investigate learning, virtual player behavior will be designed to result in either positive (rewarding) or negative (punishing) social outcomes.

My proposed research seeks to investigate the following questions:

  • How do people with and without schizophrenia learn from social interactions with positive and negative outcomes?
  • Can utilizing a social partner’s emotional display facilitate learning from social interactions?

Hopefully, results will increase our understanding of the mechanisms underlying decreased social engagement among people with schizophrenia. My goal is improve the quality of life and social well-being of people with schizophrenia through tested interventions. Given that motivation is also a prominent feature in depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety, these findings may also shed light on potential targets for a transdiagnostic approach to treatment.

Tim Campellone picFor more information on this project, please feel free to contact me at or visit our lab website.

Editors note: This post was written by Basic Psychological Science Research Grant winner Tim Campellone, a doctoral student in the Department of Psychology at University of California, Berkeley.


I Love Nadine Kaslow!

Posted in Graduate School

I love Nadine Kaslow. There, I said it. It’s true. I do.

And so do you.

On New Years Day this year, Nadine Kaslow, PhD, ABPP took the reigns of APA as its 2014 President. If you don’t know Nadine (she’ll tell you to call her Nadine), you’re missing out. Her list of awards, publications, and leadership roles would make your brain explode. So, to keep your noggin from cloggin’, I distilled the best parts for you. I present to you: 3 Reasons Why I Love Nadine.

1. She Loves YOU

Nadine is as student-oriented as they come. Every APA President chooses three presidential initiatives during their tenure in the position. Nadine’s first initiative is what she calls the “Opening Doors Summit.” The purpose of the Summit is to aid students and early career psychologists (ECPs) in the transition from doctoral education to their first jobs. Issues to be addressed include the Internship Crisis, postdoc positions, and job availability. Oh, and ALL of her presidential initiative committees are co-chaired by an ECP.

If you think that’s cool…

After Hurricane Katrina hit, she took a pivotal role in finding the psychology interns affected by the natural disaster and then either quickly matching them to new internship sites or assisting their existing program in modifying their training.

It’s amazing feats like this one, her “Students First” mentality, and her natural knack to treat students like colleagues that likely led to her being awarded the Grady Health Foundation Inspiring Mentor Award – and is one of the reasons why I Love Nadine.

2. She Loves Everyone

Not only is she a staunch supporter of students, she is a fierce fighter for the underserved.

To start, Nadine is chief psychologist at Grady Health System in Atlanta, GA, an inner-city hospital serving economically disadvantaged and primarily minority populations. As a professor at Emory University School of Medicine, her current research focuses on culturally competent assessment and treatment of suicidal behavior and intimate partner violence in African-Americans, with a focus on women, as well as the impact of intimate partner violence on children, family systems medicine, and education and training.

In her new role as APA President, she brings her bleeding heart with her. One of her three presidential initiatives focuses on Patient-Centered Medical Homes, with the goal of advocating for psychologically informed child- and family-centered health care that is accessible for all.

When it comes to social justice and issues of diversity, she walks the walk – and this is one of the reasons why I Love Nadine.

3. What She Brings to the Table

APA President Nadine Kaslow, PhD ABPP, introduced herself at a recent meeting by doing a split.

APA President Nadine Kaslow, PhD, ABPP, introduced herself at a recent meeting by doing a split.

No, you don’t need glasses. What you’re seeing is real.

On January 31, 2014, in the APA Board of Directors conference room, at a meeting of the Committee for the Advancement of Professional Practice (CAPP), committee members and liaisons went around the room introducing themselves and saying something unique about themselves. (Don’t you just love a good icebreaker?) When Nadine’s turn was up, she stepped on her chair, climbed on the conference table, dropped into a split, and said, “My name is Nadine Kaslow, and I’m APA President.”

Something you might not have known about Nadine is that she is a ballerina. She danced with the Philadelphia Ballet, she was a ballerina during her doctoral studies with the Houston Ballet, and she is currently the resident psychologist for the Atlanta Ballet. As APA President, her extra, “fourth initiative” is to promote the arts in psychology and among psychologists. Projects include collecting pictures and videos of students’ and psychologists’ art, as well as developing an interactive, collaborative art project at APA Convention this August.

Her dance background makes her an interesting and well-rounded person, but the third reason I love Nadine is not her ability to do a split or stand in second position. I love Nadine Kaslow because she is energetic, daring, and not afraid to break the mold. She is a leader in the truest sense of the word.

Bathroom Access for Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming People – A Personal Story of Advocacy

Posted in Advocacy, Graduate School

Editor’s note: This post coincides with LGBT Health Awareness Week, March 23-29, 2014. It was written by Eric Samuels, a member of the APAGS Committee on LGBT Concerns and Chair-Elect of the California Psychological Association of Graduate Students. A previous post on LGBTQ students in college sports appeared on Monday.

Public restrooms with “Gender Neutral” signs are helpful, but one psychology graduate student describes how “All Gender” bathrooms are even more inclusive for TGNC individuals. (Source: “Gender Neutral Restroom” by Jeffrey Beall on Flickr. Some rights reserved.)

Public restrooms with “Gender Neutral” signs are helpful, but one psychology graduate student describes how “All Gender” bathrooms are even more inclusive for TGNC individuals. (Source: “Gender Neutral Restroom” by Jeffrey Beall on Flickr. Some rights reserved.)

There are approximately 900,000 people in the United States who identify as transgender or gender non-conforming (“TGNC”). Unfortunately, a 2011 UCLA study found that many people who identify as TGNC experience a great deal of stigma and discrimination.

  • While in school, 78% of TGNC students experienced harassment, 35% experienced physical assault, and 12% experienced domestic violence.
  • In adulthood, people who are TGNC had double the unemployment rate of the general population, 90% experienced harassment at work, 47% were fired, not hired, or not promoted, and 16% felt compelled to work in “underground economy jobs” such as sex trade and selling drugs to make a living.
  • Furthermore, 53% had been harassed in public and 19% were refused medical care.

People who identify as TGNC also experience discrimination in one of the most intimate settings – the bathroom. A 2002 study found that 50% of the TGNC respondents had been harassed or assaulted in public restrooms. Furthermore, people who use a restroom that does not correspond with their “legal” sex designation may be arrested or labeled as a “sex offender” if caught. Restrooms are places that represent privacy, vulnerability, and a fundamental human need. Unfortunately, people who are TGNC often avoid using public bathrooms, which can lead to health conditions such as urinary tract infections and kidney problems.

Given the statistics, figuring out how to help may feel like a daunting task.  As graduate students who are committed to social justice and multiculturalism, one of the most important issues that we can advocate for at our colleges and universities is to make single-stall restroom spaces safe for people who identify as TGNC.  

As a student at The Wright Institute (a Clinical Psychology Psy.D. program in Berkeley, California), this is exactly what I did. Along with four other students in what became the Coalition for All Gender Restrooms, we worked for over a year to change the signs on our single-stall restrooms from saying “Women” and “Gender Neutral” to “All Gender Restroom.” This effort included meetings with administrators, surveying all Wright Institute community members on their thoughts about changing the signs, facilitating two community forums about transgender inequality (especially in regards to restroom access), and soliciting more feedback about our proposal.  

Ultimately, our group was successful in changing some of the single-stall restroom signs to read “All Gender” and making The Wright Institute more welcoming for students who identify as TGNC.

In thinking about transgender health issues, I would encourage each of you to work to make similar changes at your schools and clinical training sites. Need some feedback or help getting started? Feel free to email me or comment on this blog post. Other groups working on this issue include the National Center for Transgender EqualityNational Gay and Lesbian Taskforce, Transgender Law Center, Sylvia Rivera Law Project here, and Lambda Legal.

Go Team! College Athletes and LGBTQ Health

Posted in Advocacy, APA, Graduate School

Editor’s note: This post coincides with LGBT Health Awareness Week, March 23-29, 2014. It was written by Julia Benjamin, a member of the APAGS Committee on LGBT Concerns. Stay tuned for the second post in this series later this week.

Are we as supportive of LGBT players in sports as we could be?  (Source: "Luke Lewis, Penrith Panther and NSW Blues" by Acon Online on Flickr. Some rights reserved.)

Are we as supportive of LGBT players in sports as we could be? (Source: “Luke Lewis, Penrith Panther and NSW Blues” by Acon Online on Flickr. Some rights reserved.)

When members of the Westboro Baptist Church protested openly gay University of Missouri football player Michael Sam, over one thousand Mizzou students formed a human chain around campus to support Sam and block the protest. This show of solidarity stands in contrast to the traditional locker room culture of homophobia that was recently highlighted by the bullying of former Miami Dolphins player Jonathan Martin. In light of this tension between heteronormative locker room culture and shifting national levels of LGBTQ acceptance, what are the health implications of identifying as both a student athlete and as LGBTQ?

Meyer’s theory of minority stress posits that LGB individuals experience more mental illness due to constant environmental prejudice. A recent national study supports this theory; LGBTQ individuals who live in communities with negative attitudes toward them were found to have shorter lifespans. In particular, deaths associated with stress, like suicide and cardiovascular disease, were higher for LGBTQ individuals living in high-stigma areas.

Minority stress may be especially high for student athletes. According to Campus Pride’s 2012 LGBTQ National College Athlete Report, twice as many LGBTQ student-athletes reported experiencing harassment as their straight peers. They also reported experiencing a more-negative overall climate that was detrimental to their academic success.  Additionally, studies indicate that stress may be stronger for male-identified LGBTQ students because male student athletes have been found to hold more negative LGBTQ attitudes than females.

However, there is cause to be optimistic about the future of the mental and physical health of LGBTQ student athletes:

  • In the past few months, several college athletes have received support after publicly coming out, including All-American University of Missouri defensive lineman Michael Sam, Notre Dame tennis player Matt Dooley, and Drew University baseball captain Matt Kaplon.
  • Many college communities and athletic departments are becoming more accepting of LGBTQ individuals. New research has indicated that a majority of college coaches and athletic trainers hold positive attitudes toward lesbian and gay athletes.
  • National organizations like Go!AthletesOutsports, and You Can Play work to support and empower gay student athletes.
  • Acceptance of gay athletes appears to be infusing professional sports as well. In a recent ESPN poll of NFL football players, 86% indicated that a player’s sexual orientation did not matter to them and 75% said that they would be comfortable showering around a gay teammate.
  • Studies show that knowing someone who identifies as LGBTQ leads to greater acceptance.

As more college athletes come out and as campus communities encourage awareness, support, and inclusive language and policies, it is inevitable that college locker rooms will become healthier and safer spaces for all athletes.