SCP Social Justice Advocacy


This social justice advocacy webpage serves as a hub for resources and advocacy opportunities for the Society of Counseling Psychology and the public. The goal is to offer resources that encourage critical analyses and learning about intersecting social issues, and to provide outlets to engage in action to foster social justice.

Social justice is a core principle in the field of counseling psychology, one that has gained more visibility in mainstream psychology overall, and it can be defined as the act of promoting fairness “to decrease human suffering and to promote human values of equality and justice” (Vasquez, 2012, p.337).

Relatedly, advocacy is identified as a Foundational Competency in professional psychology, it is part of the Multicultural and Social Justice Counseling Competencies, and it can be defined as “actions targeting the impact of social, political, economic or cultural factors to promote change at the individual (client), institutional, and or systems level” (Fouad et al., 2009; Ratts et al., 2015).

Studies highlight the centrality of social justice advocacy (including activism) within our field. A Delphi Poll consisting of training directors from APA-accredited counseling psychology programs demonstrated that a commitment to issues related to diversity and a commitment to social justice and activism were the top two areas projected to define the core elements of counseling psychology the most over the next decade (Taylor, Kolaski, Wright, Hashtpari, & Neimeyer, 2019). Therefore, the Society of Counseling Psychology is devoted to connecting counseling psychologists to resources and opportunities to develop competencies as social justice advocates.

The webpage is maintained by the Society of Counseling Psychology’s Vice President for Diversity and Public Interest. The contents were compiled by a committee composed of Cirleen DeBlaere, Germán Cadenas, Robeto Abreu, Michelle Aiello, Jalen Carver, Jennifer Taylor, and Marcy Rowland. To suggest new content to be featured on this social justice advocacy webpage, please contact [email protected].

Cited Sources:

Fouad, N. A., Grus, C. L., Hatcher, R. L., Kaslow, N. J., Hutchings, P. S., Madson, M. B., ... & Crossman, R. E. (2009). Competency benchmarks: A model for understanding and measuring competence in professional psychology across training levels. Training and Education in Professional Psychology3(4S), S5.

Ratts, M. J., Singh, A. A., Nassar‐McMillan, S., Butler, S. K., & McCullough, J. R. (2016). Multicultural and social justice counseling competencies: Guidelines for the counseling profession. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development44(1), 28-48.

Taylor, J. M., Kolaski, A., Wright, H., Hashtpari, H., & Neimeyer, G. J. (2019). Predicting the evolution of counseling psychology in the United States: Results from a Delphi poll of academic training directors. Counseling Psychology Quarterly, 32(2), 169-185.

Vasquez, M. J. (2012). Psychology and social justice: Why we do what we do. American Psychologist67(5), 337.