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Posted By Administration, Thursday, October 19, 2017

Guest Blogger; NYSPA Member: Anu Raj, PsyD

For native-born U.S. citizens, deportation may appear to be a distant concept, one that does not impact their daily lives. Moreover, several groups representing native-born U.S. citizens have discussed the negative psychosocial impact of undocumented immigrants. Unfortunately, all undocumented immigrants are not uniform in their ethnicity, or their reason for staying in the U.S. without supporting documents, or their reason to leave. However, one part remains universal for all immigrants: the United States’ promise of access to higher education despite class or religion or gender, and a chance to live a lifestyle much better than in their country of origin.

Some don’t seem to have any choice, but to live in the undocumented shadows of the United States, while trying to achieve their dreams. A small subset of undocumented immigrants, called dreamers, falls in this category. They are undocumented individuals who left their country of origin, during childhood and did not willingly consent to move to the U.S. Recent threats to rescind Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, has brought the issue of consent and the psychological impact of a loss of a home to the forefront. For these individuals, the US is their native country where they have presented a chance to dream big and work towards the quintessential ‘American dream.’ Many politicians believe that these individuals commit crimes and have led to higher unemployment in the mainstream US. Leaving all politics aside, the impact of forced deportation to a country these individuals don’t consider ‘their native country’ will be a disruption of family and community ties.

Being rejected by the only countrymen they know means, a loss of their sense of right versus wrong, and necessary human acceptance. Psychologically, when a family or a community is forcefully and willfully disrupted, the sense of a safe base and belonging erodes. The social network which often buffers negative life events, and encourages progress will weaken. In fact, it is this type of disruption that might lead to higher crime rates and lower employment in those communities. Not to mention, children of these dreamers might need more social support and will end up draining our social structure through foster care, etc. These children might face higher psychopathology and need intense psychiatric care. Instead, it might be more socially responsible for allowing these individuals to pursue a path towards legalization. That would be more American and be accepting.

NYSPA Member: Anu Raj, PsyD

Tags:  DACA  Guest  Guest Blog  Guest Blogger  New York State Psychological Association  NYSPA  NYSPA's President's Blog  Psychologists  The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals 

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NYSPA President's Half Year Report

Posted By Herb Gingold PhD, Friday, July 28, 2017
Dear colleagues,
As we head into the summer months, just over halfway into my presidential year, I've taken some time to think about what we have accomplished and what is left to do.
The two biggest projects, finding an Executive Director and planning our annual convention, have been accomplished.
So what is left? 
Last year I had decided to push for two initiatives which I felt were important to psychologists in NYS.  The first was to figure out ways to assist post-docs in achieving their hours to qualify for licensure.  Last year, with the support of Past-President, Roy Aranda, I formed a task force, headed by Chris Sbaratta, to address this issue.  We came up with some possible plans and are looking into the implementation of them.  President-Elect, Pat Dowds, supports this effort and will continue this task force into the next year.
The second initiative was to find a way to increase the participation of psychologists in palliative care teams.  Again, last year, with Roy Aranda’s support,  I formed a task force, chaired by Shibani Ray-Muzumder to address the issue.  The task force with the support of NYSPA’s Aging Division (chaired by Ruth Mutzner), and the Integrated Care Committee (Chaired by Debbie De Santis), has begun efforts to accomplish this.
A project that has been of increasing interest to me is to help divisions and regions to improve access to potential leaders.  All of you who are involved in division, regional, committee and task force leadership are aware that we are facing a crisis in which there are fewer and fewer people willing to run these important NYSPA groups. Part of the problem has been that these leadership roles are often thankless and unsupported.  Furthermore, younger NYSPA members appear less interested in leadership roles because the increasing difficulty of finding jobs and maintaining practices.  We are looking into solutions for this.
Finally,  I have prioritized my work with leaders and staff to build a sense of community within the organization; to address any issues of divisiveness and factionalism to promote greater collegiality and cooperation and to create a climate that fosters a commitment to the important work of advancing psychology in NY and representing our members’ interests.  During Roy Aranda’s presidency, we made great strides with these issues, and I have tried to continue that work.
NYSPA President
Herb Gingold, PhD

Tags:  Goals  Half Year Report  Herb Gingold  Mental Health  New York State Psychological Association  NYSPA  NYSPA President  NYSPA's President's Blog  Psychologists  Psychology 

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NYSPA 80th Annual Convention Recap

Posted By Herb Gingold PhD, Friday, June 9, 2017

Dear Colleagues,


I'm on vacation this week but wanted to share thoughts about our 80th annual convention from June 2-3 in Saratoga.

My overall aim, seconded by our hard-working convention programming committee, was to schedule vital and interesting programs that offered a range of appealing choices.  We wanted attendees to have good options for each time slot and also to utilize the program platform to showcase the amazing variety of talent in our organization.

Of course, that meant you might have missed a program that you really wanted to see.  We plan a reprise for some of them this fall, winter, or next spring.   You might also suggest that your region or division choose one to sponsor. 

We were also pleased to introduce our new executive director, Deborah Martinez, who just came on board. Those of you who were at the convention had a chance to meet and talk with her. Deb told me that she was able to touch base with many attendees. I'm looking forward to her directorship.

One of the greatest pleasures was the chance to see so many friends and colleagues who live out of the city or who I don't ordinarily run into, and, to meet new colleagues. I think all of us can attest to the thrill of actually meeting a listserv ‘friend.’

It was a particular pleasure to celebrate colleagues who received NYSPA awards.  Our past-president, Roy Aranda, won the Alan V. Williams Jr. Memorial Award for his extraordinary service to the organization.  And I was also happy to present him with the presidential award for his service last year and for his calm, cool and even steering of our ship of state. Virginia Waters won the Beacon Award and Sabrina Esbitt the Sidney "Bud" Orgel Memorial Award. Joe Scroppo, Pat Dowds and Susan Warshaw received Distinguished Service Awards.  Pat also received an award from the Independent Practice Division for her service on their board.

All of us were thrilled to see Lawrence Baker win the Lifetime Achievement Award.

A big thanks to  the continuing Education Committee whose members  worked tirelessly to make sure that CE credits were ready for this year’s programs. 

Finally, with enormous appreciation, I would like to thank Dee Fisher-Golden, Lori Coté, and Sara Wheeler for not only keeping an eye on the big picture but handling all the details that made the convention such a success. 

NYSPA President
Herb Gingold, PhD

Tags:  Convention  Herb Gingold  New York State Psychological Association  NY  NYSPA  NYSPA President  NYSPA's Annual Convention  NYSPA's President's Blog  Psychologists  Psychology  Saratoga Springs 

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2017 Convention

Posted By Herb Gingold PhD, Friday, May 19, 2017

It’s never too early to start planning the NYSPA convention.   That’s the advice I received and the advice I’m giving away.  The convention has so many details to arrange: place, times, programs, keynote speakers, hotels, meals, charges. Lucky for me and every president, before and after, our central office staff, Dee, Lori and Sara work tirelessly to set it all up. 


The  convention is where I started my involvement  in NYSPA, meeting  a broad range of colleagues, some new to the profession and others long-established,  attending the wide array of interesting and informative programs and feeling really connected to our profession.  Year after year I found that I’d walk away with important and tangible knowledge that I could use in my practice.  I still remember a terrific hypnosis program, given by Dr. Daniel Araoz, in which the entire room (40 or 50 people) experienced a trance together and then learned how to induce it.  In other years, Dr. Jeff Carmen talked about methods to treat migraine, Dr. Shane Owens brought us up to date on suicide prevention research, and Dr. Peter Kanaris discussed the latest in sex therapy.   Some of these presenters will be back at this year’s convention and I can’t wait to attend. 


My hope for this year’s event   is to provide convention goers with useful information about techniques and target populations to help them develop and enhance   their practice,  gaining the skills and expertise to do that.   I also want members to  expand their understanding  about the political challenges we face and  how to address them.  Whenever possible, we must all be advocates for our field.   Finally, my hope is that those present will take initiate new relationships that  will help more strongly unify  us as an organization.  .  So, if you see a new face, invite the person  to join you, sit next to them and make them feel welcome.  They are tomorrow’s NYSPA leaders.


I’m very excited to announce that we have hired a new Executive Director, Deb Martinez, who is planning to attend the convention.  This will be a great opportunity for her to meet us and for us to welcome her on board.  And for those of you who haven’t already done so, you can meet Dee Fisher-Golden, Sara Wheeler and Lori Cote, people whom you may only know as voices on the phone. 


And I hope you will come up and talk to me, as well.  The best part of convention is reconnecting with colleagues and friends from all over the state.


See you at Convention.


NYSPA President

Herb Gingold, PhD

Tags:  Convention  Herb Gingold  New York State Psychological Association  NYSPA  NYSPA President  NYSPA's Annual Convention  NYSPA's President's Blog  Psychologists  Psychology 

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PLC 2017

Posted By Herb Gingold PhD, Friday, March 17, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

One of the perks of serving as president of NYSPA is the opportunity to participate in APA’s  Practice Leadership Conference. This event (known in the past as  State Leadership Conference), provides help and support for state organization leaders and opportunities to network with others  around the country. This year I attended with Pat Dowds, President-Elect, Roy Aranda (Past-President), Dan Kaplin (Diversity Delegate), Virginia Waters (RxP delegate), John Northman, Federal Advocacy Coordinator and Jerry Grodin, DPA. There were programs designed for each category of attendee.  Here are highlights of my favorites:

The top pick was “Engaging Your SPTA in Social Justice Advocacy:  Strategies for Developing a Science-Based Action Plan and Responding to the Unexpected.[i]” I attended with Pat and Dan and we were all impressed with the complexity and importance of this issue.  It was especially impressive to see the room filled with ECPs, whose interest and excitement were palpable. We are lucky to live in a state where we can take a social justice position and not be punished for it by legislators. This is unfortunately not the case in some Midwestern and Southern states where our very existence as a profession is being threatened. I spoke with some presidents from states where the independent licensing boards of the mental health professions are being threatened (OH, KY, TX, NE, NC and GA) to offer our support. At a feedback session with Division 31, Pat spoke for all of us in asking that this program be repeated next year and situated in a large enough room to accommodate all those interested.

A second terrific program was called “Courageous Conversations: Challenges, Implications and the Role of Allies.[ii]”  The presenters described crises in their organizations and how they dealt with them.

Tony Puente’s plenary session which focused on  his trajectory from Cuban immigrant to university professor and APA president was wise, articulate and funny. The crowd was spellbound. Cynthia Belar, Interim Chief Executive Officer of APA and APAPO introduced Dr. Puente, and spoke, herself, about the fraught times at APA in the last year.

The climax of the conference was our visit to Capital Hill, which has already been described and photographed by Roy, Pat and Dan.  The legislative agenda contained two important items:  1) ensuring that if the ACA is repealed, its replacement will be equivalent and include psychology, and 2) adding psychologists to the “physician definition” in Medicare so that we can function independently in ALL clinical settings.  Because of the political changes in Washington, D.C. these appeared to be the most important items to be pushing. The chatter around D.C. as of last week, appears to be that the longer the discussion of the ACA repeal, the less likely it is to happen.  This could change instantly, of course.

I want to make a final statement about the APA Practice Organization (APAPO) which hosted this conference. Many APA members have quit the Practice Organization because of the “scandal” regarding dues.  I strongly believe that the APAPO leadership has learned from that terrible time and is strongly committed to integrity and transparency. We need APAPO for our professional survival and loss of members is stripping us of  the machinery we need for keeping viable professional practice alive. The dangers are real and we must support APAPO to maintain and promote  our interests federally. There are many things I would prefer to spend my money on, but if you are hoping to continue in this profession, or to leave a legacy for those who come after, please rejoin.

NYSPA President
Herb Gingold, PhD

[i] Michele McKinnie, PsyD, Member-at-Large, Committee of State Leaders; Nancy Piotrowski, Federal Advocacy Coordinator Representative, Committee of State Leaders

[ii] Ruddy Taylor, Diversity Liaison & Chair, Diversity Subcommittee, Committee of State Leaders; Charmain Jackman, Diversity Liaison-Elect, Diversity Subcommittee, Committee of State Leaders, PRESENTERS:  Bravada Garrett-Akinsanya, Executive Director, Member of CAPP; Antonio Puente, President, APA; Sandra L. Shullman, Member-At-Large, APA/APAPO Board of Directors

Tags:  APA  Herb Gingold  New York State Psychological Association  NYSPA  NYSPA President  NYSPA's President's Blog  PLC  Practice Leadership Conference  Psychologists  Psychology  State Leadership Conference 

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Lobby Day 2017

Posted By Herb Gingold PhD, Friday, February 10, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

Some of you may have read about our  Executive Lobby Day last Monday when Roy Aranda, Pat Dowds, John Northman, Jerry Grodin and I visited five legislators in Albany to discuss our legislative agenda. The response of the legislators was generally enthusiastic.

We will be holding our annual Lobby Day on May 9  which we welcome you  to attend.  I went  last year and found it to be a terrific opportunity to meet and get to know colleagues and, most of all, demonstrate to legislators that we are all intelligent and articulate advocates of an important and growing agenda.

The way it works is that groups of 5-6 psychologists, led by a more experienced member, meet with potential sponsors and signers-on for our bills. We usually meet with legislative aides, who are almost always informed and wield important influence with the legislator.  During these meetings, we educate about  the importance of our agenda, and share personal relevant stories to support our advocacy. During the process, we, ourselves, become more informed as we face and respond to questions from the legislators or their aides.

One potential outcome of these meetings is that we ourselves become more educated about the legislative process.  I’ve learned, for example, how important it is to plant a seed in the legislator’s mind, even if it won’t flower for several (or even many) years.  There are many reasons why a desired bill may be blocked.  Sometimes, there is a committee chair who doesn’t want to release it.  Sometimes it’s not the right time.  And sometimes, a legislator might suggest changes that would make the bill more passable. 

The latter happened last year regarding our Duty to Protect Bill.  Originally, NYSPA was proposing a strict bill, mandating action on the part of the psychologist should a patient reveal violent thoughts.  One legislator, a lawyer, was aghast at our bill and suggested we make it a “permissive” bill, in which the psychologist could use his or her judgment in the matter.  The “permissive” bill will be more likely to gain supporters among social workers and physicians. 

Another important bill, requiring insurance companies to offer Out of Network Benefits, is also currently stalled.  There are multiple reasons for this. One is the power of insurance companies who would block efforts to pass another mandate, in this case, a requirement that all plans offer at least one OON option. Another pertains to changes in healthcare delivery which is moving away from fee for service to different systems.  Because of these changes and the uncertainty about what the system will be, legislators are in wait mode.  Interestingly though, most legislators we have spoken to, are sympathetic to this issue and acknowledge the importance to consumers of choice. Thus, we remain actively engaged in advocacy on this issue and we plant our seeds.

I want to encourage everyone who is able, to start preparing to come to Lobby Day on May 9.  You will find it a tremendous peer bonding experience as well as an introduction to democracy.

NYSPA President
Herb Gingold, PhD

Tags:  Executive Lobby Day  Herb Gingold  Lobby Day 2017  New York State Psychological Association  NYSPA  NYSPA President  NYSPA's President's Blog  Psychologists  Psychology 

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