John D. Black Award for Outstanding Achievement in Practice

The John D. Black Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Practice of Counseling Psychology is given to stimulate and reward outstanding achievement in the practice of Counseling Psychology. John Black received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Minnesota in 1953. His primary interests were in Counseling Psychology and personality measurement. He was director of the Counseling Center at Stanford University from 1950 to 1976 and in 1956 he became the Chairman and the CEO of Consulting Psychologists Press, Inc. The Award was originally funded by Consulting Psychologists Press, Inc.; it is now funded by the Society/Division 17. Announcement of the Award winner is made at the annual APA convention. The procedures to be followed in the nomination of candidates, selection of an Award winner, and presentation of the Award are detailed below.

Award Amount: $1,000

Congratulations to the 2021 Award Recipient: Marcy Rowland, Ph.D. 


  1. The John D. Black Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Practice of Counseling Psychology is given to stimulate and reward outstanding achievement in the practice of Counseling Psychology. Recipients of the Award should have an established record of practice contributions to counseling psychology and be mid-career or above. Practice in Counseling Psychology shall be broadly construed to include activities such as: counseling/therapy, consultation, administration of practice, service, and training or supervision of practitioners. The practice of Counseling Psychology is seen as the application of theory and/or research to psychological and developmental issues. The populations served could be individuals, couples, groups, organizations, supervisees and/or trainees.
  2. The contribution to the practice of Counseling Psychology shall be substantial and significant so that it has made an impact on the field and practicing psychologists outside the state/region shall be aware of the individual's contributions. Examples of contributions are: (a) an innovation in practice; (b) a novel applied procedure; (c) policy development and implementation within a societal or cultural context; or (d) wide-spread recognition of success in an applied area. Other examples of accomplishments include: fostering the role of the practitioner within the Society/Division, promoting the role of the counseling psychologist practitioner within the larger psychological community (e.g., through involvement in practice issues on APA Boards or Committees), and taking a leadership role in other practitioner organizations (e.g., ABPP, ASPPB, APPIC, ACCTA, AUCCCD, State and Provincial Psychological Association, etc.).
  3. The recipient must have received the doctorate degree more than ten years prior to receiving the Award, i.e., the recipient must be mid-career or above. Current members of the Society/Division 17 Executive Board are not eligible during their term of office.
  4. The Award should be given to persons whose principal professional identification is as a Counseling Psychologist and are members of the Society/Division 17.
  5. Though the Award ordinarily will be voted annually, the Executive Board may elect not to make an Award in any given year.


  1. A call for nominations for the John D. Black Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Practice of Counseling Psychology will appear in the Fall issue of the Society/Division 17 Newsletter or the currently used publication medium. 
  2. Nominations for the Award consist of (a) no more than three letters, one of which should be a letter of nomination (from self or other) and no more than two additional letters of support from psychologists; all letters should directly address how the nominee meets the specific criteria for the award;  (b) a copy of the nominee’s vita. 
  3. The Chair of the Awards and Recognition Committee (or the Chair’s designee) will be responsible for collecting nominations and for obtaining evaluations of the nominations from the Committee. Each reviewer will rate and then rank the nominee and send both ratings and rankings to the Chair (or the Chair’s designee) who will then compute mean ratings. Based on these mean ratings the Chair will submit a rank ordered list of nominees to the Society/Division 17 Executive Board prior to the mid-year meeting of that group.
  4. Election of the Award winner will be decided by written or verbal ballot at the mid-year meeting by majority vote of the voting members of the Executive Board of Society/Division 17 who are present. The Award winner will be notified by the President following this mid-year meeting but no public announcement of the winner will be made until the Society/Division’s business meeting at the APA Convention.
  5. The Chair of the Awards and Recognition Committee will provide the winner’s name and contact information, social security number, and the name of the award won to the Society/Division 17 treasurer by June 1st. The treasurer will prepare the check and give it to the Society/Division 17 President for presentation at the Annual Business Meeting in August.
  6. After the APA Convention, an announcement of the winner will be published in the fall issue of the Society/Division 17 Newsletter or currently used publication medium, and The Counseling Psychologist.

Note: SCP’s most recent strategic plan (2019-2024) includes goals such as elevating impact of counseling psychology and supporting counseling psychologists’ advocacy to promote client and community wellbeing, equity, and justice. Our current President Reynolds stated, “Every day we strive to build a more inclusive, just, and equitable profession and ensure that our work is centered in liberation and healing to dismantle oppression in all its forms, uplift all communities who are marginalized, erased, and harmed, and transform our policies, structures, and practices so that we may all one day be free.” This work is particularly important now given multiple pandemics experienced in recent years and our continued fight to support marginalized communities.
Therefore, we invite all nominations to address the ways your nominees strived to make this change. The submission materials should address how the nominee aligns with and/or applies counseling psychology values, particularly as it relates to counseling psychology’s focus on Liberation Anti-Black Racism, Advocacy and Engagement.