Welcome to the official website of the Society of Counseling Psychology (SCP), Division 17 of the American Psychological Association.
This “home” page provides an apt metaphor for SCP’s mission: We cultivate a “home” for all counseling psychology professionals and affiliates to connect, to collaborate, and to coordinate efforts toward creating a more just and equitable world where ALL people and communities can thrive. Our members share a commitment to a holistic psychological perspective that is strengths-based, person- and community-centered, systems-oriented, contextually aware, multiculturally inclusive, socially just, and integrative of vocational and lifespan issues. We promote this perspective within the field of psychology and in the public sector through practice, research, education and training, advocacy, consultation, and leadership.
SCP espouses a common set of specific values that guide our work. We believe in:
- Empowering people to improve their lives, reach their potential, and move toward self-actualization by building upon their strengths;
- Promoting psychological functioning and resilience beyond ameliorating pathology by using effective psychological interventions that attend to development, prevention, vocation, and health across the lifespan;
- Considering context, systems, and intersecting social identities in conceptualizing individuals, communities, problems, and interventions;
- Conducting psychological assessment that is clinically astute, culturally sensitive, strengths-based, and contextualized;
- Fostering theory and research that rely on diverse methods and approaches, are contextualized and culturally sensitive, and are recognized as a potential tool of social change;
- Producing science that is informed by practice and practice that is informed by science;
- Emphasizing effective education, training, mentoring, and supervision as fundamental to promoting the values and future of the profession;
- Engaging in critical self-reflection to foster insight, growth, and well-being in ourselves and others;
- Centering marginalized voices in respectful and intentional communication to achieve shared understandings and goals for the society and the profession;
- Addressing systemic oppression and eliminating health disparities by engaging in social justice advocacy with individuals and communities that have been stigmatized, ostracized, marginalized, or ignored;
- Developing and implementing research, practice, training, and policies that are culturally relevant and sensitive to the needs of international populations and organizations;
- Modeling ethical understanding and decision making; and
- Engaging in and modeling leadership that is learning-focused, flexible and adaptive, collaborative, multiculturally inclusive, contextually sensitive, attentive to mentoring, and responsive to the needs of contemporary organizations and
With more than 2000 members and affiliates who live these values through a wide diversity of identities, interests, and professional activities and commitments, SCP can offer YOU a home. If you are not yet a member or an active participant in SCP, I heartily invite your involvement!
The success of our efforts rests heavily on the membership and the work of SCP volunteer leaders – our Executive Board, our committee chairs and members, our task group chairs and members, our student affiliate organization, and the staff of our central executive office. We currently have 13 Sections and 10 Special Interest Groups tailored to specific foci in counseling psychology. I encourage you to browse our websites and join as many Sections or Special Interest Groups as you like, many of which offer free or very inexpensive membership. We also have a nationally ranked journal, The Counseling Psychologist, a useful blog, SCP Connect, and a Facebook page for more frequent updates of SCP activities. I hope you will make use of these many means of communication and connection with SCP.
Students may join the Student Affiliates of Seventeen (SAS), our national organization for students in counseling psychology. SAS offers opportunities for students to become voting members in SCP leadership, and students are always enthusiastically welcomed into our sections, special interest groups, and special task groups. Early career professionals also are vital participants in all SCP activities, from voting positions in governance to involvement in sections and special interest and task groups.
SCP is proud to recognize the outstanding achievements and contributions of counseling psychologists at all career levels through various awards and through attaining Fellow status in SCP and APA. Please consider nominating colleagues or yourself by contacting the Fellowship Committee or Awards and Recognition Committee.
As SCP’s newest President, I welcome you to join us! Our focus for the year is articulated in three themes that underlie everything we are doing to advance our mission: COMMUNITY, COURAGE, and CHANGE. COMMUNITY encompasses the involvement, engagement, and connection of our members, communication internally and externally that radiates our values, and the fostering of a professional identity that integrates our roles as practitioners, advocates, researchers, and educators. It is through the strength of community that we find COURAGE – courage to listen and learn, courage to build authentic alliances with diverse others, courage to advocate and act, and courage to lead CHANGE in creating a more socially-just world.
I look forward to having you join us and participate in our various committees and activities. Please contact me or any of our SCP leaders for questions, suggestions, comments, and to volunteer your time and talents! WE NEED YOU in the important work that we do to try to make the world a better place.
Ruth E. Fassinger, Ph.D.