The development of the DoP initially began with an AAPA task force focused on practitioners and practice issues. The AAPA Practice Task Force was informally established in 2007 by a small group of practitioners (Paul Wang, John Wu, Michi Fu, and Glenn Masuda) who wanted to bring issues relevant to practitioners to the AAPA forum. Initially, the Task Force struggled to gain the momentum needed to attract enough attention among AAPA members towards sharing these goals. In early 2014, another small group of API psychologists gathered once again to re-examine and refocus the original vision of the task force, and formally launched the Practice Task Force to explore how to best facilitate and foster research collaborations between researchers and practitioners that would truly inform practice with API clients and identify current practice trends that can guide future research on API mental health issues. With this goal in mind, the Task Force began to develop a series of collaborative projects within the AAPA, such as presenting at the AAPA convention, endorsing the Asian American Students mental health conference, and providing feedback on the Asian American Journal of Psychology (AAJP) Case Study manuscript guidelines.

In summer 2015, members of the Practice Task Force felt that given the current evidence-based practice environment and the increasing concerns that this culture of evidence-based practice may not adequately address practice trends within the ethnic community, the next logical step was to establish a Division to continually address the API practice-related needs within the AAPA. Seven goals for the DoP were proposed:

  1. to create a bridge between researchers and practitioners and to connect research to practice when serving API community;
  2. to provide practitioners with resources and support in order to promote research by practitioners that best serve the API community;
  3. to provide researchers with resources and support in order to promote practice-informed research that utilizes the clinical trends currently observed in the API community;
  4. to advocate for research that is informed by practice and culturally informed policies;
  5. to increase API practitioners’ membership and active involvement within AAPA;
  6. to advocate for culturally informed policies that influence the manner in which training, research and clinical services for API community are delivered and implemented;
  7. and to create a platform for mentoring API students and new professionals who are seeking careers as practitioners, and to connect with academic programs and training agencies that promote practitioner development

Through a series of collaborative efforts between the AAPA executive committee, the Practice Task Force, and AAPA members at large, Division on Practice was formally established with its inaugural officers.

The original task force members are:

  • Winnie Hsieh (co-chair)
  • Frances Shen (co-chair)
  • Anjuli Amin
  • Jocelyn Buhain
  • Kelly Liao
  • Yong Park
  • Prachi Sharma
  • Kenneth Wang
  • Yiling Zhang