Posted By Herb Gingold PhD,
Friday, January 13, 2017
In my first blog post, I mentioned that NYSPA often gets a bad rap. I got several comments which I found interesting and thought-provoking and plan to address in future blog posts.
Today, I wanted to focus on key professional and organizational challenges and urgently require our attention and efforts to address.
- Changes in health care. We face dramatic transformation of health care delivery and our challenge is to make our voices heard and presence felt in that process. As has been repeatedly recommended, we need to ramp up our social media profile and provide our views and perspective to the public and those who run health and mental health care systems. We need to be in those systems. President-Elect, Pat Dowds, is planning an important initiative which we hope to begin this year as it is too important to wait.
- Membership. Young psychologists are not joiners in the same way that the older generation has traditionally been. There could be several reasons: they don’t recognize the benefits, they can’t afford to belong, they don’t have the “meeting habit.” NYSPA has worked to bring in early career psychologists but there doesn’t yet seem to be a flood of new interest. One of my initiatives (which I will describe next week) is to address this concern. Increasing membership is probably our most urgent organizational goal.
- Common Goals. We need to learn to work toward common goals, despite our philosophical and theoretical differences. We need to be talking to each other, arguing with each other and coming to agreements over the basics. I would like to see more and more synergy between different NYSPA constituencies, for example, co-sponsored programs, mutual support.
- Diversity. Much has been said about diversity , but there is still so much work to be done. As examples, we need to educate ourselves about feminist concerns in therapy, LGBT concerns, disability studies etc. There are psychological associations dedicated to the needs of African Americans, Atheists, Asians and Hispanics. Why aren’t we partnering with them! Let’s start!
We cannot do all of this in one year. But we can begin developing initiatives that are needed and continue ones that need to be enhanced. Most important, we can come together, upstate and downstate, female and male, ethnic and white, religious and secular, to represent the needs of our patients and ourselves in New York State. We can do the right things and give NYSPA a good rap!!
Herb Gingold, PhD
President of The New York State Psychological Association 2017
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