President’s Welcome

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:

  1. Empowering people  to  improve  their  lives,  reach  their  potential,  and  move  toward self-actualization  by  building  upon  their  strengths;
  2. Promoting psychological  functioning  and  resilience  beyond  ameliorating  pathology  by using  effective  psychological  interventions  that  attend  to  development,  prevention, vocation,  and  health  across  the  lifespan;
  3. Considering context,  systems,  and  intersecting  social  identities  in  conceptualizing individuals,  communities, problems,  and  interventions;
  4. Conducting psychological  assessment  that  is  clinically  astute,  culturally sensitive, strengths-based,  and  contextualized;
  5. 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;
  6. Producing science  that  is  informed  by  practice  and  practice  that  is  informed  by  science;
  7. Emphasizing effective  education,  training,  mentoring,  and  supervision  as  fundamental  to promoting  the  values  and  future  of  the  profession;
  8. Engaging in critical self-reflection  to  foster  insight,  growth,  and  well-being  in  ourselves  and others;
  9. Centering marginalized  voices  in  respectful  and  intentional  communication  to  achieve shared  understandings  and  goals  for  the  society  and  the  profession;
  10. 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;
  11. Developing and  implementing  research,  practice,  training,  and  policies  that  are  culturally relevant  and  sensitive to  the  needs  of international  populations  and  organizations;
  12. Modeling ethical  understanding  and  decision  making; and
  13. 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.
President, 2018-2019