LACPA's 2016 Presidential Theme

Professional Advocacy: Do a Lot by Doing a Little More.
Lisa Osborn, Psy.D.

Photo of Dr. Lisa OsbornOnce again, it is time for the annual issue of The Los Angeles Psychologist devoted to professional advocacy. We are now in our fifth year, which I find very hard to believe. Where has the time gone? Again, I would like to offer my expression of gratitude to the Editorial Board and LACPA Board of Directors for their commitment to the vital importance of professional advocacy to our profession and providing a forum in which to continue to educate and inspire our membership.

This year, I write this column wearing two hats. One hat is that of LACPA’s Local Advocacy Network (LAN) representative (formerly named Government Affairs Chair or GAC) and Guest Editor. The other hat is that of LACPA’s President-Elect. In that role, it is our organization’s tradition that in this issue, the President-Elect introduces him or herself and their presidential theme for the upcoming year. If you guessed that my presidential theme would have something to do with professional advocacy, you guessed correctly. But first, let me explain what I mean by professional advocacy because it has a broader meaning than just governmental or legislative advocacy. To be effective in advocating for our profession, we must address three different and equally important groups: the public, business and industry, as well as governmental and regulatory bodies.

Many LACPA members already do their share in advocating for our profession, while others have not yet found a way to contribute in this arena. In my presidential year, I will be urging LACPA members to find a way to advocate for our profession through one of the avenues outlined and to just do a little more than they are currently doing. The idea is that if we all do just a little more (with regard to professional advocacy) than we are doing now, collectively it will make a big difference to our profession. Hence, my presidential theme is going to be Professional Advocacy: Do a Lot by Doing a Little More.

Whatever your current advocacy activity level, I know we are all very busy. So, for those of you who might need some ideas about how to contribute, here are some suggestions:

· Join the California Psychological Association (CPA) if you are not already a member. CPA is the only organization that protects our license to practice in California. Our license to practice is regulated at the state, not the national level.

· Give money to the CPA Political Action Committee (PAC), a necessary component of political advocacy.

· Become a legislative advocacy grassroots volunteer. Join other members to visit legislators in their districts, write letters or make phone calls when asked, and/or attend a political fundraiser, etc.

· Participate in LACPA’s Public Education Committee or join LACPA’s LAN.

· Join efforts to reach out to businesses through CPA’s Psychologically Healthy Workplace program.

Now, on to the other hat. I hope you are continuing to enjoy the Daily LAN news articles forwarded to the listserv from the California Psychological Association on current events

affecting our profession. In September, LACPA together with the San Gabriel Valley Psychological Association and the Orange County Psychological hosted its second annual fundraiser to support the California Psychological Association’s Political Action Committee (CPA-PAC). At this event, we heard from psychologist advocates Doug Haldeman, Ph.D., and Caron Post, Ph.D., and Amanda Levy, Director of Government Affairs for CPA. Drs. Haldeman and Post shared how they followed their personal passions to help shape public policies that advance the practice of psychology. It was truly inspiring to hear how each of them got their start in advocacy and how it has not only enriched both their careers but their lives in general. At this event, we raised just over $2,000 for the CPA-PAC. We are very proud of this amount and look forward to continuing to cultivate our collective support of the CPA-PAC in Southern California.

The articles in this issue focus on some of the top policy issues concerning California’s psychologists. In “California Psychologists Should Know about SB 479, the Behavior Analyst Licensure Bill” Alan Lincoln, Ph.D., MSCP, BCBA-D, boils down the salient parts of this bill for us and tells us why psychologists should support it with one important caveat. Still making up your mind on where you stand regarding prescriptive authority for psychologists? You’ll enjoy Beth Rom-Reimer, Ph.D.’s, “Prescriptive Authority for Psychologists: An Illinois Perspective”, where she details the need for psychologists to prescribe psychiatric medication and the training and education requirements of their law. Haven’t yet been compelled to make a gift to either of our profession’s Political Action Committees (PACs)? In “Why You Should Back the PAC,” I review the basics about political giving, how it works in our profession and make the case for all of us to get on board with a gift. In our off topic article, “How’s Everything? Good?”: Chronic Illness and Social Disconnection in Everyday Life”, Jeff Tirengel, Psy.D., MPH, explores the interpersonal consequences of chronic health conditions and what kinds of communication help to heal and soothe.

Next year, LACPA’s Past-President David Laramie, Ph.D., who also shares with me a passion for advocacy, will be stepping into the role as LAN Chair for LACPA. For information about getting involved in LACPA’s Local Advocacy Network Committee, please contact him at: [email protected].

I hope you enjoy the issue and look forward to serving as your president in 2016.

Do a lot by doing a little more

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