2016 Election Winner Announcements


Division 12 President

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Michael W. Otto, Ph.D.

In my career to date, I have had the benefit of working across several practice settings. I spent the first 17 years of my career in the context of a large medical center setting (Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School), and the last 11 years working in a traditional university setting (Boston University). Across most of these years I also kept an active private practice. Hence, my clinical and psychopathology research has never had the opportunity to stray far from the realities of ongoing clinical work, and likewise, my clinical work has not strayed far from the new insights provided by research. I have also had the chance for unusual breadth in my clinical research, having the opportunity to develop, test, or disseminate interventions across the anxiety disorders, in unipolar and bipolar depression, in substance use disorders and adult ADHD, and, most recently, in health-behavior promotion. This work, reflecting over 370 articles, chapters, and books, has helped me get a broad perspective on the issues facing psychologists across multiple disorders and settings.

In my career, I have also had the honor and pleasure of holding a number of service positions. I served on the board of ABCT for six years after being elected as a Representative At Large, and subsequently, President of the organization in 2005. I have also served ABCT as a Program Chair, a local arrangements Co-Chair, and recently, as Leader of the Behavioral Medicine and Integrated Primary Care special interest group. I have also served the field as Co-Organizer of the World Congress of Cognitive and Behavior Therapy meeting held in Boston, and, since 1998, I have served on the Scientific Advisory Committee for the ADAA. I am proud to say that I have been a fellow of APA for 15 years, and I am now especially pleased and excited to have been nominated for President of Division 12.

My overarching goal for my service to the APA membership is to increase the vibrancy of Division 12 – to increase the value of the division as a resource for new and established professionals. This work will continue the ongoing attention to providing cutting-edge information on treatment strategies that work. One challenge to the dissemination of empirically-supported psychosocial treatments has been the focus on full, manualized programs of treatment. These manualized protocols are often challenging to integrate within an established clinical practice. Instead, a focus on the principles behind treatment interventions (that allow multiple variations on the specific interventions used) offers greater clinical flexibility within the established principles of treatments that work. The Division 12 Clinician Toolkit provides a forum for some of these activities. I would like to expand this toolkit to include a focus on choice points in therapy and corresponding clinical outcomes, providing a “what can I do…and what can I expect from doing this” dialogue for clinicians in practice. I also want to make sure that Division 12 provides service to clinical-researchers, particularly in light of some of the dramatic changes in funding targets occurring at NIMH. Aiding clinical researchers in negotiating these changes is a valid and important role for Division 12. As a candidate for President of Division 12, I am eager to provide the leadership and continue service to making this Division a vibrant resource to the membership.


Council Representative

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Danny Wedding, PhD, MPH

I trained as a clinical psychologist at the University of Hawaii in a scientist-practitioner program, and then completed a postdoctoral year of training at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. This was followed by 8 years teaching in medical schools at East Tennessee State University and Marshall University. I then became the first psychologist ever selected for the Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellowship program, sponsored by the Institute of Medicine, and I spent a subsequent year working as a health policy advisor for Senator Tom Daschle. This was followed by an APA Congressional Science Fellowship during which I worked for Congressman John Conyers in the House of Representatives.

Following two years working for Congress, I spent two decades teaching in the School of Medicine at the University of Missouri where I directed the Missouri Institute of Mental Health, a health policy and research center serving the clients of the Missouri Department of Mental Health – i.e., anyone in Missouri with a mental illness, addiction or developmental disability. CDC, NIMH, and NIDA funded my research, and I was able to complete two Fulbright Senior Scholar Fellowships (one in Thailand and one in South Korea).

After taking early retirement from the University of Missouri, I spent four years in San Francisco as an Associate Dean directing three psychology training programs for Alliant International University (Tokyo, Hong Kong and Mexico City). For the past year I have chaired the Behavioral Science Department for the American University of Antigua, a Caribbean medical school.

I have published widely, and my books include the 10th edition of Current Psychotherapies and the 7th edition of Case Studies in Psychotherapy (both with Raymond Corsini), Movies and Mental Illness, and Positive Psychology at the Movies (both with Ryan Niemiec), and the Handbook of International Psychology (with Michael Stevens).   I’ll be giving a plenary address on the portrayal of psychopathology in films at the 2015 APA convention in Toronto.

I believe the next three years will be critical as APA reinvents itself in response to the recommendations of the Good Governance Project. I want to make sure that clinical psychology is represented in the debates that will shape the future direction of both the Association and the profession.

I am deeply concerned, like so many of my colleagues, by allegations of APA complicity in supporting torture. I believe the profession has been hurt by these allegations and the widespread perception that the Association was not as responsible as other health professions in asserting its role as a helping profession.

Another issue I worry about is APA’s failure to adequately address the internship crisis. Other professions have managed to provide a seamless pipeline to professional practice, but we have been ineffectual in securing necessary internship and postdoctoral fellowship opportunities for our students. I supported APA’s $3 million infusion of funds to support new internship programs, but I believe this investment is too little and it came too late.

Membership is another critical issue for both the Society of Clinical Psychology and the American Psychological Association. Membership in both organizations is dwindling as our members age out or elect to transfer their allegiance to specialty organizations like the Society for Neuroscience. We have to identify creative ways to staunch these losses.

Finally, I am an enthusiastic proponent of the contributions clinical psychologists can make in integrated care. I have spent most of my life teaching in medical schools, and I have enjoyed and benefited from close collaboration with physicians, nurses, and other health practitioners. We have much to teach our colleagues, but there is much we can learn from them as well.


Chair of Diversity Committee/Member at Large

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J. Kim Penberthy, Ph.D.

My name is J. Kim Penberthy, Ph.D. and I would like to ask for your vote for the position of APA Division 12 Chair of Diversity Committee/Member at Large. I am currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry & Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia (UVA) School of Medicine, where I have been on faculty since 2000 and where I completed my Fellowship. As an attending clinical psychologist in the UVA Health System and School of Medicine, I provide clinical care, teach medical student, residents, and fellows (both psychology and medical) and conduct clinical research as well as educational research. I am a long-standing member of APA and of Division 12 and present my work regularly at the APA Annual Convention and the World Congress of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, among other venues. I have been fortunate to be able to weave my interest in promoting diversity throughout my work and service. I serve on my School of Medicine Diversity Consortium as well as the School of Medicine Admissions Committee and on a Diversity Committee at a local K -12 school. I am active in the UVA Continuing Medical Education Committee and also on the APA CE Committee, am the Research Director for the Contemplative Sciences Center at UVA and president of the International CBASP Society. I have participated in various leadership programs including the UVA Leadership in Academic Matters Fellowship, the Humanism in Medicine Fellowship, and the APA Leadership Institute for Women in Psychology. I have been involved in recently organized committees to explore and correct issues regarding sexual violence and discrimination on our campus. As such, I have firsthand knowledge regarding issues of diversity with respect to psychology, policy, medicine, and education. I am particularly invested in exploring diversity issues regarding sexual and romantic identity and identification, as well as, physical and emotional limitations and differences as disability issues. I have mentored students regarding these issues and developed lectures focused on the hidden diversity issue of disability – in fact my student was appointed to the American Psychological Association’s Women with Disabilities in STEM Education Research Agenda Development (WWDSE) Project. The goal of the WWDSE is to establish a five-year research agenda for APA to identify barriers and promote successful outcomes for women with disabilities in STEM education. I work closely with patients transitioning genders and have completed the Safe Space training and work to provide a safe and respectful environment for all with whom I work – patients, colleagues, students and peers. I would like to serve as the Chair of Diversity/Member at Large for APA Division 12 and bring increased awareness to issues of diversity in multiple realms. As chair, I can help facilitate realistic and attainable goals of identifying barriers and promoting successful outcomes for members of Division 12 and all whom they serve. I am dedicated to promoting diversity in all forms and would be honored to serve Division 12 in such a capacity.