Letter from our Chair, Dr. Wonyoung L. Cho


I am proud and humbled to serve as the chair of the Division on Practice (DoP) of Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA). I am proud to be a part of this community of mental health practitioners, researchers, and educators who serve our communities with sharp intellect, warm passion, and watchful eyes on equity and inclusion. I am humbled to step into the role of the chair to represent and serve these gifted folx on the Executive Committee and the wider AAPA DoP.

Our Division was birthed from the needs of the AAPI mental health practitioners scattered across the nation to find connection with like-minded practitioners, share resources, and fuel ourselves in the important work of supporting our communities and our clients. We know that our biological, psychological, and social wellness comes from a balanced interdependence, of having both independent autonomy and authentically belonging to each other. DoP is a space carved out through the AAPA in the hopes to become a hub of connection for the practitioners on the ground to belong — to become a bridge between research and practice, and a bridge between each other.

This need for interdependent sustainability became even more paramount in the last year and a half, since the global health crisis of COVID-19 forced us to shut down the machinery of modern life and face ourselves as a society. Conversations for racial and social justice resurged to the fore of national conversations, and the Black Lives Matter and Stop Anti-Asian Hate movements have made visible what we have always known. Working as a mental health practitioner in such a time as this has been more than usual — even more so for those of us identifying as members of historically marginalized communities.

For the members of the DoP EC serving throughout the tumultuous and sometimes traumatic events of 2020 and into 2021, we have kept our eyes on sustainability. It involved reassessing our pre-2020 practices to prioritize what needed to continue, what could be delayed, and what had to be given up. It involved giving ourselves a little more time and generosity to manage the unexpected that emerged in our personal and professional lives. We have turned inward to support each other and the members of the DoP with whatever we could muster up in those moments. We wanted to practice what we teach and profess to our clients: kindness to ourselves and generosity to others.

For our goals in 2021-2022, we hope to continue this attention to sustainability. It is our hope that DoP will continue to grow into the hub of much needed connection and resources for AAPI practitioners. And it is critical to build interdependent infrastructure that will sustain that need as a division.

We have several important milestones ahead that we are excited to share with you this upcoming year. These milestones are the fruition of labor that many past and current members of the DoP EC have tirelessly contributed over the years. Without their generous gifts of time, heart, and efforts for AAPI practitioners, these projects would not have been possible.

It is with gratitude for those who have come before and the hope for those who will come after that we continue sustaining this space for AAPI practitioners.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact the DoP EC at contactdop@aapaonline.org.

Respectfully yours,

Wonyoung L. Cho, PhD, LMFT

Chair, AAPA Division on Practice

Read letters from past Chairs