Author Archives: Christine Jehu

ASPPB response to APAGS Thoughts on EPPP Step 2

I have received a response to the previous post about the EPPP Step 2. With permission, I am sharing here. I welcome your thoughts and comments below or you can email me directly. Please title the email: EPPP-2 Blog.

Thanks,
Christine


 

Dear Dr. Jehu:

ASPPB appreciates the time and effort you took to communicate APAGS’ thoughts about the development of the EPPP Step 2.  We would like to respond to your comments in an effort to continue the dialog with APAGS about the EPPP Step 2.  We hope you will share this response with the APAGS membership and other colleagues as you see fit.

ASPPB’s mission is to enhance and support our member jurisdictions (that is the psychology licensing boards in the US and Canada) in fulfilling their goal of public protection.  We believe that the development of the EPPP Step 2 is a necessary and critical step in serving that mission and will prove to be a very helpful tool in protecting the public and in advancing our profession.  As the APA Board of Education Affairs recently stated,

“Embarking on this important initiative not only reflects recommended practices but also helps to enhance the profession of psychology and advances the trust society places in the profession.”

In your statement, you commented,

This exam may feel like a massive surprise to students and Early Career Psychologists. Unbeknownst to many of us, our field has been moving toward competency assessment since the Competencies Conference in 2002 and subsequent publications highlighting the importance and value in competency assessments (e.g. Rodolfa, Bent, Eisman, Nelson, Rehm, & Ritchie, 2005). During the 2013 updates to the APA Commission on Accreditation’s Guidelines and Principles, the APAGS Committee provided a comment that supported the development of competencies based assessment, but had concerns about cost, the process of assessing competencies, and the fair implementation of a new exam to psychology license applicants.

We appreciate that you have provided a context to the EPPP Step 2, by discussing the competency movement in psychology.  As ASPPB has discussed the EPPP Step 2, we have tried to state that this examination was not developed in a vacuum, but rather it is another step in this competency movement in psychology.  As most know, the competency movement in psychology is well documented in the education and training literature.  For those unfamiliar with the movement, we have a brief overview of the competency movement and how it relates to the EPPP Step 2 on our website.

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Florida

A Note from your Chair: Orlando Strong

FloridaFriends and colleagues,

I sit with tears in my eyes as I write this. Just over 24 hours after hearing the news of the horrific tragedy in Orlando, I am still in shock, not sure what to say, and unsure of where I can feel safe in our increasingly violent, unpredictable world.

As a woman, an American, a psychologist, and as a lesbian, my heart is completely broken.To the other members of our LGBTQ community I send you love. Let us be strong, yet honest. Let us find joy in the beauty that does live all around us, yet may we always remember. Let us cry and laugh. Let us continue to embrace our differences, and lean into our enemies with love.

To our Muslim brothers and sisters. I am equally sickened by the hate directed toward you following this, and every crime used to vilify you as a people. It is wrong and unfair. You are beautiful, peaceful, and welcome. I send you love and I stand with you.

To our allies. Thank you.

To our psychology community as a whole. Let us stand up. Let us speak out. Let us serve. Let us help. I am reminded of a quote by Gandhi: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” As psychologists we have much to offer this world in terms of healing, social change, and leading by example. Let us be this change together, using each of our unique strengths and psychological knowledge to influence the much needed change in our country and in our world.

To being the change and leading with love,

Christine
APAGS Chair

A few resources:

From CNN: How to help Orlando shooting victims

From APA: Managing Your Distress in the Aftermath of a Shooting

Recovering Emotionally from a Disaster

 

Match Day: May the Odds be Ever in Your Favor

APAGS hopes the odds are ever in your favor. (Source: "The Hunger Games" by duncan on Flickr. Some rights reserved.)

APAGS hopes the odds are ever in your favor. (Source: “The Hunger Games” by duncan on Flickr. Some rights reserved.)

For many of us, Match Day is reminiscent of the Hunger Games. We are entering into a lottery for our future, and that is certainly terrifying for many. For clinical, counseling, and school folks, this is the culmination of the better part of a year spent on writing applications, mock interviews, anxiously awaiting interview invitations, traveling the country, Skyping, ranking, and then waiting for the all important email on Match Day.

Today, many students will be thrilled to match; even more thrilled if they match to a top choice! Celebrations kick in and plans for next year quickly begin. For far too many others, the experience will be much different. A heartbreaking email revealing they have not matched and an invitation to participate in yet another round of applications, interviews, and a matching process.

To those who matched this year, congratulations! For those of you who did not, we have some support resources, and we stand in solidarity with you. Whatever your outcome was today, I wish you the best in your next steps.

What We Know Today

Here’s the data APPIC released this morning about the 2016-2017 internship cohort:

  • 3,725 applicants participated in the match (i.e., submitted final rankings). 3,648 of these students were from accredited doctoral programs.
  • 3,235 applicants matched in Phase I; an 87% overall match rate.
  • 84% of applicants who matched got one of their top three choices.
  • There were more available positions (3,800) in the match than applicants who submitted final rankings. At the end of today’s Phase I, 490 applicants remain unmatched, 565 internship positions remain unfilled, and 263 of those are accredited.

For individuals who did not match today in Phase I, this last point provides hope — but may be of little solace to lessen the heartbreak of not matching.  The implications of this imbalance are significant. It hits us deeply in our pockets, as an extra academic year could mean additional unplanned debt. Another year in school could mean delaying other major life events such as getting married, starting a family, or buying a house. While we certainly could look at the “silver lining” of not matching — such as a focused year to complete dissertation and gain additional, possibly specialized, clinical training — the pain and the crisis remain.

An Upswing Since 2011

Since the 2011-2012 match, APPIC has reported a yearly increase in match rates. However, it is important to understand that APPIC only provides data on students who participate in their match, and today’s data is limited to Phase I. For a complete picture of students from accredited doctoral programs who need — and who receive — internships (particularly accredited ones), we turn to data we’ve requested from APA’s Commission on Accreditation. Here’s the information we have:

Internship year Match rate of students from APA accredited doc programs to any internship Match rate of students from APA-accredited doc programs to APA accredited internships
2011-2012 83.1% 51.9%
2012-2013 88.8% 54.6
2013-2014 90.1% 57.7%
2014-2015 93.0% 60.1%
2015-2016 95.3% 68.4%

For current interns, the overall match rate looks good, with 95.3% of students from an APA accredited program matching to any internship. At the same time, we continue to see a sizable gap in students from APA accredited programs who match to APA accredited internships; a mere 68.4% match rate. We are optimistic that the match rates for accredited internships will continue to climb for the 2016-2017 internship cohort. Today’s data from APPIC shows that 72.9% of all ranking applicants from APA and CPA accredited programs matched to accredited internships (this number may look different when CoA releases their data for the 2016-2017 internship year).

Our Advocacy Efforts

For APAGS members, committee and staff, the internship crisis continues to be a grave problem. It is a crisis that remains on the top of the agenda for your APAGS leaders and other advocates within the discipline. The internship stimulus package has supported the growth of internships, and programs continue to reach out for guidance in the development of accredited internships. Champions are tirelessly advocating on behalf of students for the reimbursement of intern services through Medicaid, which could substantially change the status of this crisis along with greatly serving the public. Still, there is much work to be done.

APAGS has been working tirelessly over the past years on advocacy efforts related to the internship crisis. Here are the areas where we have focused particular energy:

  • The $3 million internship stimulus package has helped to create 157.5 accredited internship positions at 29 different sites as of January 2016.
  • We produced a video about the internship crisis, highlighting student experiences and the devastation of not matching.
  • A panel at the 2014 Annual Convention brought together students and other stakeholders to discuss the internship crisis and to explore creative approaches to end the crisis, resulting in an academic paper. Work on these ideas is ongoing.
  • We have been meeting with members of various psychology training councils to prioritize accredited internship development in places with untapped potential for growth; for example, university-based psychology training clinics, community colleges, and school districts.
  • We provide information to applicants to graduate school on how to find a program that best meets their needs, and how to interpret publicly available data about programs, including match rates.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Unlike The Hunger Games where there is only one winner, Match Day brings a winning outcome to many participants. While the odds are improving, it’s up to each of us to change the nature of this game.

  • Please encourage your program to become active in advocating for the development of an internship program.
  • Talk with your practicum sites about the value of hosting an accredited internship.
  • Share the APAGS video about the internship crisis with everyone you know, along with the administration at your school.
  • Engage your state psychological association to become involved in the advocacy efforts for medicaid reimbursement.
  • Share your experiences with us through a guest blog post.

We would love to hear your internship story and your advocacy efforts (additional ideas here). The more we can share ideas, collaborate on solutions, and raise a loud collective voice, the sooner we can end this crisis.

happy-new-year-scrabble-tiles

A resolution for a new academic year

happy-new-year-scrabble-tilesApproaching a new academic year is a lot like New Year’s Eve: It offers much of the same excitement, anticipation and hopes of good fortune that a new calendar year has come to symbolize. It’s also a time when we develop resolutions, consciously or not. We want to do well in our programs, we want the best for our clients and students, we want successful (and publishable) research and we want to be part of a thriving profession.

There’s one resolution that I think could benefit all of us in graduate school, whether student or teacher: being more open to receiving and delivering thoughtful, meaningful and constructive feedback. I am continuously struck by the stories I hear in which feedback is simply omitted or is delivered in a way that hurts rather than helps students. But such feedback is critical to our individual growth and development. After all, we are in school to learn and what better way to learn than through constructive feedback?

How can we as graduate students foster a culture shift in how feedback is delivered and utilized within psychology graduate training? Here are a few suggestions:

Listen like you believe. Obviously, not everything that is said to us throughout our training is going to fit with personal goals, values, and the way we operate as individuals.  However, it is amazing what might be discovered when we are open to suggestions and areas of growth. You might just discover something that helps advance your career in incredible, unexpected ways! Listening as thought you believe, opens your mind to exploring alternatives and ultimately deciding what pieces fit for you and what does not. And on the flip side, when you provide feedback to others, whether they are peers, students or faculty members, deliver a message you believe. Be honest and genuine. If necessary, use the classic feedback sandwich structure: positive, constructive, positive.

Be concrete in your feedback and anchor it with behavior. We have all had experiences with vague feedback. For example, “You need to work on your professionalism.” There is no way to know what that means or how to improve it without concrete, actionable steps. So while providing your honest genuine feedback, be sure to anchor it. This also helps in delivering feedback in a constructive and digestible way. When you are receiving feedback, be sure to ask for and clarify the behavioral anchor so you know what to work on.

Set a timeline and check back in. Whether you are providing or receiving the feedback, it is important to evaluate your progress. Write down how you are going to incorporate feedback and set timelines where necessary to keep yourself on track. Enlist support and accountability from others if needed. Thinking over feedback and talking it over with those you’ve given it to is essential to continued professional growth and development.

Celebrate Accomplishments. When you have reached a goal of successfully incorporating feedback, go celebrate! Too often we keep our nose to the grind tackling one task after another chasing a moving cart. It is okay to stop, breathe and take a moment to embrace life through celebrating your accomplishments. Don’t forget to celebrate the accomplishments of others to whom you have given feedback! Some of my favorite ways to celebrate include taking a day off from working, reading a book for pleasure, going out to dinner or hosting a potluck with friends, going to the movies or indulging in a guilt-free Netflix binge!

I hope these steps help you to engage in the feedback process in a meaningful way. If you have more tips or an experience to share, we would love to hear about it! Sign up to be a guest contributor to the blog and share your story. Happy “New Year”!

A Message from your APAGS Leadership in Response to the Hoffman Report

Fellow students,

The last few days have not been easy ones for our APA community. As many of you are aware, David Hoffman’s independent review report became public Friday (you can view the report and the Board of Director’s response here). If you are like us, you have likely experienced a variety of emotions while reading the report and conclusions. It is a sad and difficult time for us all.

In the coming weeks, APAGS is committed to providing you updated and additional information as it becomes available. The Executive Committee of APAGS (the current Chair, Chair-Elect, and Past-Chair) and staff are working diligently on the best ways to communicate with our membership and ensure the student voice is heard throughout this process.

In the interim, we wanted to highlight a few things:

  • There are many voices responding to and framing the findings, particularly the media. We encourage you to read the report in its entirety so you can be fully informed and respond with all the information.

  • Actions are being taken with the future of APA in mind, particularly to ensure a strong APA for students and Early Career Psychologists (refer to the initial action steps in the report from the Board)

  • The student voice has been, and continues to be present, heard, and valued throughout this process as members of the APAGS Executive Committee are at the table in our roles as Board member and Council Leadership Team (CLT) representative

  • For those of you attending Convention, we encourage you to attend the planned Town Hall meeting to voice your opinions. We will post information about the Town Hall as it becomes available.

  • On the APA website related to the Report of the Independent Reviewer, a public comment section was added where anyone can add comments and those comments can be viewed by members and the public.

We remain hopeful that through this process we can learn and grow together, creating a strong and vibrant future for psychology and our association.

Sincerely,

Emily Voelkel (APAGS Chair, Board of Directors) and Christine Jehu (APAGS Chair-Elect, CLT representative)