It is with great humility, enthusiasm, and honor that I serve as the 2019-2020 chair for the Division on Practice (DoP) within the Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA). Having been a part of the founding cohort and serving in multiple roles, I am amazed to have witnessed DoP’s growth and contributions to the larger whole, but especially to the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities. What began as a task force became a division comprised of seven executive officers to now having a family of more than 110 members!
DoP started out with the mission of creating more visibility for practitioners and bridging the gap between research and clinical practice. Through social media and in-person meetings, we have fostered a platform for students, researchers, practitioners, and educators to collaborate on initiatives that enhance services for the AANHPI population. At our programming session during the 2019 AAPA Convention in San Diego, California, we were humbled to have had every seat filled with members and nonmembers exchanging ideas about the needs and future directions of DoP. Moreover, we are excited to see our members taking leads on local meetups, such as the one in San Francisco, or providing consultations to the community, or writing blogs about AANHPI issues and experiences. These grassroots projects have helped sustain and propel DoP to continue expanding and serving.
As we move into 2020, we hope to further solidify our mission by completing the referral board directory to help clients locate a culturally humble and competent mental health provider of AANHPI descent. We empathize with the struggles to find a racially and ethnically affirming clinician, especially in a culture that stigmatizes mental health. To date, we have spoken to web developers, secured funding, and developed criteria for clinicians. Our goal is to start the second phase of building in the coming months. Additionally, we are brainstorming ways to host webinars to address clinical, supervision, and mental health challenges in our community, per our members’ request. Furthermore, as our financial health stabilizes, and with AAPA’s support, DoP has set aside funding to help members alleviate the cost of attending the 2020 AAPA convention. These scholarship opportunities will be announced closer to the convention date. We hope this will reduce the barriers that prevent clinicians from attending the convention, increase our visibility, and foster collaboration between researchers, practitioners, and educators. Other exciting projects are also in the works—stay tuned!
T. Thuy Truong, Psy.D.
Chair, AAPA Division on Practice