My extensive history of involvement in Division 29 includes many years as a member and Fellow of the division. I served on the Board of Directors from 2007-09 as the member-at-large, Practice Domain. In addition, I have contributed to the Division 29 journal: Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training. Specifically, I wrote an article with Dr. Beverly Greene, published in the 2010 special issue on diversity:
Kelly, J.F. and Greene, B. (2010) Diversity within African American, female therapists: Variability in clients’ expectations and assumptions about the therapist, Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 47 (2), 186-197.
Professionally, I am Board Certified in Clinical Health Psychology, and have worked in integrated care throughout my career in multiple contexts including a medical school, hospital, co-location in a physician’s office, and in my own independent practice (since 1994). I work primarily with patients with chronic medical conditions, providing evidence-based psychotherapy and psychological evaluations, to assist them in managing their chronic medical condition and live the most productive life possible given their health challenges. I believe treatment guidelines are important, but must take into account patient variables, such as SES and race and ethnicity. My referrals come from multiple sources: physicians, case managers, attorneys and self-referrals. I am on most insurance panels, including Medicare, as it is my belief that ALL patients should have access to adequate medical and mental health care.
I have served as Associate Editor of Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, Pain Digest, and Pain Practice. I have also collaborated with others on manuscripts regarding psychological intervention, primarily psychotherapy. I believe my professional career is consistent with the mission of Division 29: “…committed to preserving and expanding psychotherapy, advancing the evidence-base for psychotherapy and psychotherapeutic relationships, as well as making the benefits of psychotherapy accessible to all.”
With my candidacy for President-elect of APA, I would bring to the office considerable leadership experience within APA and beyond, a significant track record of advocacy, and a demonstrated commitment to inclusion. An effective leader helps the organization manage the challenges it faces. We must effectively address the internal challenges so that we can make a difference for the profession, for psychologists, and for society. For our profession to thrive, we must advocate successfully for adequate funding for psychological education and research. If we successfully grow and nurture our advocacy network, we can make a real difference in the world, including adequate funding to conduct the research needed to understand and intervene in the social issues that affect our society, such as the opioid crisis, homelessness, and serious mental illness.
I believe psychologists should be appropriately and adequately compensated for the services we provide. Over the years we have been negatively impacted by discouraging reimbursement rates. We must continue to advocate for parity and access to quality mental health care for ALL; despite improvement over the years, there are many individuals who still are not covered and do not have this access.
I believe we should embrace and integrate the diverse perspectives of all psychologists, from students to our senior colleagues. We must continue to partner with our colleagues to promote and honor the international perspectives within psychology, which is critical for a more global society, and integrate applied and applied practice psychologists for what they bring to our profession. Diversity is critical if we are to solve the concerns facing society today.