Mission Statement

The Prevention Section is a section of the Society of Counseling Psychology, Division 17 of the American Psychological Association. The purpose of the section is to further theory, research, training, practice, advocacy, and policy initiatives in prevention among counseling psychologists.

Prevention includes (a) stopping a problem behavior from ever occurring; (b) delaying the onset of a problem behavior; (c) reducing the impact of a problem behavior; (d) strengthening knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors that promote emotional and physical well-being; and (e) promoting institutional, community, and government policies that further physical, social, and emotional well- being (Romano & Hage, 2000).

Here are some examples of prevention initiatives:

  1. Conducting research on risk factors associated with suicide in order to inform suicide prevention initiatives;
  2. Creating psychoeducational programs to promote prosocial behaviors and prevent bullying in K-12 schools;
  3. Training counselors to be multiculturally competent so as to reduce incidences of racial microaggressions in cross-racial counseling relationships;
  4. Advocating for changes in policies and laws that will reduce incidences of domestic violence.

History of the Prevention Section:
The section’s origins began around 1990 with the formation of the Prevention and Public Interest special interest group. The prevention section was voted into existence by the Division 17 executive council in 2000.

Chairs of the Section:

  • 2000-02 John Romano
  • 2002-04 Michael Waldo
  • 2004-06 Maureen Kenny
  • 2006-08 Andy Horne
  • 2008-10 Jon Schwartz
  • 2010-12 Sally Hage
  • 2012-2014: LeRoy Reese
  • 2014-2016: Dorothy L. Espelage
  • 2016-2018: Dorothy L. Espelage & Erin Ayala

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