On This Day … 18 June

People (Births)

  • 1948 – Sherry Turkle, American academic, psychologist, and sociologist.

Sherry Turkle

Sherry Turkle (born 18 June 1948) is the Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She obtained a BA in Social Studies and later a PhD in Sociology and Personality Psychology at Harvard University. She now focuses her research on psychoanalysis and human-technology interaction. She has written several books focusing on the psychology of human relationships with technology, especially in the realm of how people relate to computational objects.

In The Second Self, originally published in 1984, Turkle writes about how computers are not tools as much as they are a part of our social and psychological lives. “‘Technology,’ she writes, ‘catalyzes changes not only in what we do but in how we think.’” She goes on using Jean Piaget’s psychology discourse to discuss how children learn about computers and how this affects their minds. The Second Self was received well by critics and was praised for being “a very thorough and ambitious study.”

In Life on the Screen, Turkle discusses how emerging technology, specifically computers, affect the way we think and see ourselves as humans. She presents to us the different ways in which computers affect us, and how it has led us to the now prevalent use of “cyberspace.” Turkle suggests that assuming different personal identities in a MUD (i.e. computer fantasy game) may be therapeutic. She also considers the problems that arise when using MUDs. Turkle discusses what she calls women’s “non-linear” approach to the technology, calling it “soft mastery” and “bricolage” (as opposed to the “hard mastery” of linear, abstract thinking and computer programming). She discusses problems that arise when children pose as adults online.

Turkle also explores the psychological and societal impact of such “relational artifacts” as social robots, and how these and other technologies are changing attitudes about human life and living things generally. One result may be a devaluation of authentic experience in a relationship. Together with Seymour Papert she wrote the influential paper “Epistemological Pluralism and the Revaluation of the Concrete.” Turkle has written numerous articles on psychoanalysis and culture and on the “subjective side” of people’s relationships with technology, especially computers. She is engaged in active study of robots, digital pets, and simulated creatures, particularly those designed for children and the elderly as well as in a study of mobile cellular technologies. Profiles of Turkle have appeared in such publications as The New York Times, Scientific American, and Wired Magazine. She is a featured media commentator on the effects of technology for CNN, NBC, ABC, and NPR, including appearances on such programs as Nightline and 20/20.

Turkle has begun to assess the adverse effects of rapidly advancing technology on human social behaviour. Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other was published in 2011 and when discussing the topic she speaks about the need to limit the use of popular technological devices because of these adverse effects.

On This Day … 17 June

People (Births)

  • 1919 – William Kaye Estes, American psychologist and academic (d. 2011).

William Kaye Estes

William Kaye Estes (17 June 1919 to 17 August 2011) was an American psychologist.

In order to develop a statistical explanation for the learning phenomena, William Kaye Estes developed the Stimulus Sampling Theory in 1950 which suggested that a stimulus-response association is learned on a single trial; however, the learning process is continuous and consists of the accumulation of distinct stimulus-response pairings.

A Review of General Psychology survey, published in 2002, ranked Estes as the 77th most cited psychologist of the 20th century.

On This Day … 15 June

People (Births)

  • 1902 – Erik Erikson, German-American psychologist and psychoanalyst (d. 1994).
  • 1924 – Hédi Fried, Swedish author and psychologist.

Erik Erikson

Erik Homburger Erikson (born Erik Salomonsen; 15 June 1902 to 12 May 1994) was a German-American developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst known for his theory on psychological development of human beings. He may be most famous for coining the phrase identity crisis. His son, Kai T. Erikson, is a noted American sociologist.

Despite lacking a bachelor’s degree, Erikson served as a professor at prominent institutions, including Harvard, University of California, Berkeley, and Yale. A Review of General Psychology survey, published in 2002, ranked Erikson as the 12th most cited psychologist of the 20th century.

Hedi Fried

Hédi Fried (born 15 June 1924) is a Swedish-Romanian author and psychologist. A Holocaust survivor, she passed through Auschwitz as well as Bergen-Belsen, coming to Sweden in July 1945 with the boat M/S Rönnskär.

What is School Psychology?


School psychology is a field that applies principles from educational psychology, developmental psychology, clinical psychology, community psychology, and behaviour analysis to meet the learning and behavioural health needs of children and adolescents.

It is an area of applied psychology practiced by a school psychologist. They often collaborate with educators, families, school leaders, community members, and other professionals to create safe and supportive school environments.

School psychologists primarily work with students who have learning disabilities, behavioural difficulties, mental disorders, and other health issues. They carry out psychological testing, psychoeducational assessment, intervention, prevention, counselling, and consultation in the ethical, legal, and administrative codes of their profession.


School psychology dates back to the beginning of American psychology in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The field is tied to both functional and clinical psychology. School psychology actually came out of functional psychology. School psychologists were interested in childhood behaviours, learning processes, and dysfunction with life or in the brain itself. They wanted to understand the causes of the behaviours and their effects on learning. In addition to its origins in functional psychology, school psychology is also the earliest example of clinical psychology, beginning around 1890. While both clinical and school psychologists wanted to help improve the lives of children, they approached it in different ways. School psychologists were concerned with school learning and childhood behavioural problems, which largely contrasts the mental health focus of clinical psychologists.

Another significant event in the foundation of school psychology as it is today was the Thayer Conference. The Thayer Conference was first held in August 1954 in West Point, New York in Hotel Thayer. The 9 day-long conference was conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA). The purpose of the conference was to develop a position on the roles, functions, and necessary training and credentialing of a school psychologist. At the conference, forty-eight participants that represented practitioners and trainers of school psychologists discussed the roles and functions of a school psychologist and the most appropriate way to train them.

At the time of the Thayer Conference, school psychology was still a very young profession with only about 1,000 school psychology practitioners. One of the goals of the Thayer Conference was to define school psychologists. The agreed upon definition stated that school psychologists were psychologists who specialise in education and have specific knowledge of assessment and learning of all children. School psychologists use this knowledge to assist school personnel in enriching the lives of all children. This knowledge is also used to help identify and work with children with exceptional needs. It was discussed that a school psychologist must be able to assess and develop plans for children considered to be at risk. A school psychologist is also expected to better the lives of all children in the school; therefore, it was determined that school psychologists should be advisors in the planning and implementation of school curriculum. Participants at the conference felt that since school psychology is a specialty, individuals in the field should have a completed a two-year graduate training program or a four-year doctoral programme. Participants felt that states should be encouraged to establish certification standards to ensure proper training. It was also decided that a practicum experience be required to help facilitate experiential knowledge within the field.

The Thayer Conference is one of the most significant events in the history of school psychology because it was there that the field was initially shaped into what it is today. Before the Thayer Conference defined school psychology, practitioners used seventy-five different professional titles. By providing one title and a definition, the conference helped to get school psychologists recognised nationally. Since a consensus was reached regarding the standards of training and major functions of a school psychologist, the public can now be assured that all school psychologists are receiving adequate information and training to become a practitioner. It is essential that school psychologists meet the same qualifications and receive appropriate training nationwide. These essential standards were first addressed at the Thayer Conference. At the Thayer Conference some participants felt that in order to hold the title of a school psychologist an individual must have earned a doctoral degree.

The issues of titles, labels, and degree levels are still debated among psychologists today. However, APA and NASP reached a resolution on this issue in 2010.

Social Reform in the Early 1900s

The late 19th century marked the era of social reforms directed at children. It was due to these social reforms that the need for school psychologists emerged. These social reforms included compulsory schooling, juvenile courts, child labour laws as well as a growth of institutions serving children. Society was starting to “change the ‘meaning of children’ from an economic source of labour to a psychological source of love and affection”. Historian Thomas Fagan argues that the preeminent force behind the need for school psychology was compulsory schooling laws. Prior to the compulsory schooling law, only 20% of school aged children completed elementary school and only 8% completed high school. Due to the compulsory schooling laws, there was an influx of students with mental and physical defects who were required by law to be in school. There needed to be an alternative method of teaching for these different children. Between 1910 and 1914, schools in both rural and urban areas created small special education classrooms for these children. From the emergence of special education classrooms came the need for “experts” to help assist in the process of child selection for special education. Thus, school psychology was founded.

Important Contributors to the Founding

Lightner Witmer

Lightner Witmer has been acknowledged as the founder of school psychology. Witmer was a student of both Wilhelm Wundt and James Mckeen Cattell. While Wundt believed that psychology should deal with the average or typical performance, Cattell’s teachings emphasized individual differences. Witmer followed Cattell’s teachings and focused on learning about each individual child’s needs. Witmer opened the first psychological and child guidance clinic in 1896 at the University of Pennsylvania. Witmer’s goal was to prepare psychologists to help educators solve children’s learning problems, specifically those with individual differences. Witmer became an advocate for these special children. He was not focused on their deficits per se, but rather helping them overcome them, by looking at the individual’s positive progress rather than all they still could not achieve. Witmer stated that his clinic helped “to discover mental and moral defects and to treat the child in such a way that these defects may be overcome or rendered harmless through the development of other mental and moral traits”. He strongly believed that active clinical interventions could help to improve the lives of the individual children.

Since Witmer saw much success through his clinic, he saw the need for more experts to help these individuals. Witmer argued for special training for the experts working with exceptional children in special educational classrooms. He called for a “new profession which will be exercised more particularly in connection with educational problems, but for which the training of the psychologist will be a prerequisite”.

As Witmer believed in the appropriate training of these school psychologists, he also stressed the importance of appropriate and accurate testing of these special children. The IQ testing movement was sweeping through the world of education after its creation in 1905. However, the IQ test negatively influenced special education. The IQ test creators, Lewis Terman and Henry Goddard, held a nativist view of intelligence, believing that intelligence was inherited and difficult if not impossible to modify in any meaningful way through education.] These notions were often used as a basis for excluding children with disabilities from the public schools. Witmer argued against the standard pencil and paper IQ and Binet type tests in order to help select children for special education. Witmer’s child selection process included observations and having children perform certain mental tasks.

Granville Stanley Hall

Another important figure to the origin of school psychology was Granville Stanley Hall. Rather than looking at the individual child as Witmer did, Hall focused more on the administrators, teachers and parents of exceptional children He felt that psychology could make a contribution to the administrator system level of the application of school psychology. Hall created the child study movement, which helped to invent the concept of the “normal” child. Through Hall’s child study, he helped to work out the mappings of child development and focused on the nature and nurture debate of an individual’s deficit. Hall’s main focus of the movement was still the exceptional child despite the fact that he worked with atypical children.

Arnold Gesell

Bridging the gap between the child study movement, clinical psychology and special education, Arnold Gesell, was the first person in the United States to officially hold the title of school psychologist, Arnold Gesell. He successfully combined psychology and education by evaluating children and making recommendations for special teaching. Arnold Gesell paved the way for future school psychologists.

Gertrude Hildreth

Gertrude Hildreth was a psychologist with the Lincoln School at Teacher’s College, Columbia then at Brooklyn College in New York. She authored many books including the first book pertaining to school psychology titled, “Psychological Service for School Problems” written in 1930. The book discussed applying the science of psychology to address the perceived problems in schools. The main focus of the book was on applied educational psychology to improve learning outcomes. Hildreth listed 11 problems that can be solved by applying psychological techniques, including: instructional problems in the classroom, assessment of achievement, interpretation of test results, instructional groupings of students for optimal outcomes, vocational guidance, curriculum development, and investigations of exceptional pupils. Hildreth emphasized the importance of collaboration with parents and teachers. She is also known for her development of the Metropolitan Readiness Tests and for her contribution to the Metropolitan Achievement test. In 1933 and 1939 Hildreth published a bibliography of Mental Tests and Rating Scales encompassing a 50-year time period and over 4,000 titles. She wrote approximately 200 articles and bulletins and had an international reputation for her work in education.

Issues Related to School Psychology


One of the primary roles and responsibilities of school psychologists working in schools is to ensure the interventions they utilise effectively address students’ behaviour problems. Issues arise when school psychologists do not select interventions with sufficient research-based evidence in being effective for the individual with whom they are working. School psychologists, as researchers and practitioners, can make important contributions to the development and implementation of scientifically based intervention and prevention programmes to address learning and behavioural needs of students (National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).

There is a concern with implementing academic and behavioural interventions prior to the determination for special education services, and it has also been proposed that MTSS (Multi-Tiered Systems of Support) may address these concerns. The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) recognises the need for evidence-based prevention and intervention practices to address student learning, social emotional development, behavioural performance, instructional methodology, school practices, classroom management, and other areas salient to school-based services and improving student outcomes (National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). Intervention and prevention research needs to address a range of questions related not only to efficacy and effectiveness, but also to:

  • Feasibility given resources (e.g. time, money, staffing);
  • Acceptability (e.g. teacher, student, and community attitudes toward intervention strategies);
  • Social validity (the relevance of targeted outcomes to everyday life of students);
  • Integrity or fidelity (the extent to which individuals responsible for implementing an intervention can do so as intended by its designers); and
  • Sustainability (extent to which school staff can maintain the intervention over time, without support from external agents).

A specific example of an intervention that has recently become popular among school psychologists is the School-wide Positive Behavioural Interventions and Supports (PBIS). Authorised under IDEA, the PBIS offers a “preventative, positive, and systemic framework or approach to affect educational and behavioural change” and can be used in the support of Tiers 1-3 in the education system. Research from single-case design studies and group studies demonstrates that the intervention can result in a reduction of major disciplinary infractions and aggressive behaviour, improvement in academic achievement, an increase in prosocial behaviour, a reduction in bullying behaviour reported by teachers, and much more. Through consistent and strong implementation fidelity, PBIS can provide school psychologists opportunities to assist the administration, teaching staff, and students in broad and specific ways.


A way in which school psychologists can help students is by creating primary prevention programmes. Information about prevention should also be connected to current events in the community.

Issues with Assessment Process

Empirical evidence has not confirmed biases in referral, assessment, or identification; however, inferences have been made that the special education process may be oversimplified. The National Research Council has called attention to the questionable reliability of educational decision making in special education as there can be vast numbers of false positives and/or false negatives. Misidentified students in special education is problematic and can contribute to long term negative outcomes.

During the identification process, school psychologists must consider ecological factors and environmental context such as socioeconomic status. Socioeconomic status may limit funding and materials, impact curriculum quality, increase teacher-to-student ratios, and perpetuate a negative school climate.

Technological Issues

With the ever growing use of technology, school psychologists are faced with several issues, both ethical and within the populations they try to serve. As it is so easy to share and communicate over technology, concerns are raised as to just how easy it is for outsiders to get access to the private information that school psychologists deal with everyday. Thus exchanging and storing information digitally may come under scrutiny if precautions such as password protecting documents and specifically limiting access within school systems to personal files.

Then there is the issue of how students communicate using this technology. There are both concerns on how to address these virtual communications and on how appropriate it is to access them. Concerns on where the line can be drawn on where intervention methods end and invasion of privacy begin are raised by students, parents, administrators, and faculty. Addressing these behaviours becomes even more complicated when considering the current methods of treatment for problematic behaviours, and implementation of these strategies can become complex, if not impossible, within the use of technology.

To incorporate topics in a school, utilise lesson plans for students and staff because the teachers need to ensure the content is connected to other meaningful topics covered in the class/school.

Racial Disproportionality in Special Education

Disproportionality refers to a group’s under or overrepresentation in comparison to other groups within a certain context. In the field of school psychology, disproportionality of minority students in special education is a concern. Special Education Disproportionality has been defined as the relationship between one’s membership to a specific group and the probability of being placed in a specific disability category. Systemic prejudice is believed by some to be one of the root causes of the mischaracterisation of minority children as being disabled or problematic.

“Research on disproportionality in the U.S. context has posited two overlapping types of rationales: those who believed disproportionate representation is linked to poverty and health outcomes versus those who believed in the systemwide racist practices that contributed to over-representation of minority students.”

The United States Congress recently received an annual report on the implementation of IDEA which stated that proportionally Native Americans (14.09%) and African Americans (12.61%) were the two most highly represented racial groups within the realm of special education. In particular, African American males have been overidentified as having emotional disturbances and intellectual disabilities. They account for 21% of the special education population with emotional disturbances and 12% with learning disabilities. American Indian and Alaska Native students are also overrepresented in special education. They are shown to be 1.53 times more likely to receive services for various learning disabilities and 2.89 more likely to obtain services targeting developmental delays than all other Non-Native American student groups combined.] Overall, Hispanic students are often overidentified for special education in general; however, it is common for them to be under-identified for Autism Spectrum Disorder and speech and language impairments in comparison to White students.

Minority populations often have an increased susceptibility to economic, social and cultural disadvantages that can affect academic achievement. According to the US Department of Education, “Black children were three times as likely to live in poor families as white children in 2015. 12 percent of white and Asian children lived in poor families, compared with 36 percent of black children, 30 percent of Hispanic children, 33 percent of American Indian children, and 19 percent of others.” There may be other alternative explanations for behaviour and academic performance as well. For example, Black children are twice as likely as Whites to experience heightened levels of lead in the blood due to prolonged lead exposure. Lead poisoning can be known to affect a child’s behaviour by increasing their levels of irritability, hyperactivity, and inattentiveness even in less severe cases.

Cultural Biases

Some school psychologists realise the need to understand and accept their own cultural beliefs and values in order to understand the impact it may have when delivering services to clients and families. For example, these school psychologists ensure that students who are minorities, including African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and Native Americans are being equally represented at the system level, in the classroom, and receiving a fair education.

For staff, it is important to look at one’s own culture while seeing the value in diversity. It is also vital to learn how to adapt to diversity and integrate a comprehensive way to understand cultural knowledge. Staff members should keep the terms race, privilege, implicit bias, micro aggression, and cultural relevance in mind when thinking about social justice.


Behaviour Interventions

School psychologists are involved in the implementation of academic, behavioural, and social/emotional interventions within a school across a continuum of supports. These systems and policies should convey clear behaviour expectations and promote consistency among educators. Continuous reinforcement of positive behaviours can yield extremely positive results. Schoolwide positive behaviour supports A systematic approach that proactively promotes constructive behaviours in a school can yield positive outcomes. These programs are designed to improve and support students’ social, behavioural, and learning outcomes by promoting a positive school climate and providing targeted training to students and educators within a school. Data should be collected consistently to assess implementation effectiveness, screen and monitor student behaviour, and develop or modify action plans.

Academic Interventions

Academic interventions can be conceptualised as a set of procedures and strategies designed to improve student performance with the intent of closing the gap between how a student is currently performing and the expectations of how they should be performing. Short term and long term interventions used within a problem-solving model must be evidence-based. This means the intervention strategies must have been evaluated by research that utilised rigorous data analysis and peer review procedures to determine the effectiveness. Implementing evidence-based interventions for behaviour and academic concerns requires significant training, skill development, and supervised practice. Linking assessment and intervention is critical for determining that the correct intervention has been chosen. School psychologists have been specifically trained to ensure that interventions are implemented with integrity to maximise positive outcomes for children in a school setting.

Systems-Level Services

Leaders in the field of school psychology recognise the practical challenges that school psychologists face when striving for systems-level change and have highlighted a more manageable domain within a systems-level approach – the classroom. Overall, it makes sense for school psychologists to devote considerable effort to monitoring and improving school and classroom-based performance for all children and youth because it has been shown to be an effective preventive approach.

Universal Screening

School psychologists play an important role in supporting youth mental wellness, but identifying youth who are in distress can be challenging. Some schools have implemented universal mental health screening programs to help school psychologists find and help struggling youth. For instance, schools in King County, Washington are using the Check Yourself digital screening tool designed by Seattle Children’s Hospital to measure, understand, and nurture individual students’ well-being. Check Yourself collects information about lifestyle, behaviour, and social determinants of health to identify at-risk youth so that school psychologists can intervene and direct youth to the services they need. Mental health screening provides school psychologists with valuable insights so that interventions are better fitted to student needs.

Crisis Intervention

Crisis intervention is an integral part of school psychology. School administrators view school psychologists as the school’s crisis intervention “experts”. Crisis events can significantly affect a student’s ability to learn and function effectively. Many school crisis response models suggest that a quick return to normal rituals and routines can be helpful in coping with crises. The primary goal of crisis interventions is to help crisis-exposed students return to their basic abilities of problem-solving so the student can return to their pre-crisis level of functioning.


Consultation is done through a problem solving method that will help the consultee function more independently without the intensive support of a school psychologist.

Social Justice

The three major elements that comprise social justice include equity, fairness, and respect. The concept of social justice includes all individuals having equal access to opportunities and resources. A major component behind social justice is the idea of being culturally aware and sensitive. American Psychological Association (APA) and the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) both have ethical principles and codes of conduct that present aspirational elements of social justice that school psychologists may abide by. Although ethical principles exist, there is federal legislation that acts accordingly to social justice. For example, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA) address issues such as poverty and disability to promote the concept of social justice in schools.

Schools are becoming increasingly diverse with growing awareness of these differences. Cultural diversity factors that can be addressed through social justice practice include race/ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status (SES), religion, and sexual orientation. With the various elements that can impact a student’s education and become a source of discrimination, there is a greater call for the practice of social justice in schools. School psychologists that consider the framework of social justice know that injustices that low SES students face can sometimes be different when compared to high SES students.


A major role of school psychologists involves advocating and speaking up for individuals as needed. Advocacy can be done at district, regional, state, or national level. School psychologists advocate for students, parents, and caregivers.

Consultation and collaboration are key components of school psychology and advocacy. There may be times when school personnel may not agree with the school psychologist. Differing opinions can be problematic because a school psychologist advocates for what is in the best interest of the student. School psychologists and staff members can help facilitate awareness through courageous conversations.

Multicultural Competence

School psychologists offer many types of services in order to be multiculturally competent. Multicultural competence extends to race, ethnicity, social class, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability, age, and geographic region. Because the field of school psychology serves such a diverse range of students, maintaining representation for minority groups continues to be a priority. Despite such importance, history has seen an underrepresentation of culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) school psychologists. which may appear alarming given that the diversity of our youth continues to increase exponentially. Thus, current professionals in the field have prioritised the acquisition of CLD school psychologists. School psychologists are trained to use their skills, knowledge, and professional practices in promoting diversity and advocating for services for all students, families, teachers, and schools. School psychologists may also work with teachers and educators to provide an integrated multicultural education classroom and curriculum that allows more students to be represented in learning. Efforts to increase multicultural perspectives among school psychologists have been on the rise to account for the increased diversity within schools. Such efforts include establishing opportunities for individuals representative of minority groups to become school psychologists and implementing a diverse array of CLD training programmes within the field.


In order to become a school psychologist, one must first learn about school psychology by successfully completing a graduate-level training programme. A B.A. or B.S. is not sufficient.

United States

School psychology training programs are housed in university schools of education or departments of psychology. School psychology programmes require courses, practica, and internships.

Degree Requirements

Specific degree requirements vary across training programmes. School psychology training programs offer masters-level (M.A., M.S., M.Ed.), specialist-level degrees (Ed.S., Psy.S., SSP, CAGS), and doctoral-level degrees (Ph.D., Psy.D. or Ed.D.) degrees. Regardless of degree title, a supervised internship is the defining feature of graduate-level training that leads to certification to practice as a school psychologist.

Specialist-level training typically requires 3-4 years of graduate training including a 9-month (1200 hour) internship in a school setting.

Doctoral-level training programs typically require 5-7 years of graduate training. Requirements typically include more coursework in core psychology and professional psychology, more advanced statistics coursework, involvement in research endeavours, a doctoral dissertation, and a one-year (1500+ hour) internship (which may be in a school or other settings such as clinics or hospitals).

In the past, a master’s degree was considered the standard for practice in schools. As of 2017, the specialist-level degree is considered the entry-level degree in school psychology. Masters-level degrees in school psychology may lead to obtaining related credentials (such as Educational Diagnostician, School Psychological Examiner, School Psychometrist) in one or two states.


In the UK, the similar practice and study of School Psychology is more often termed Educational Psychology and requires a doctorate (in Educational Psychology) which then enables individuals to register and subsequently practice as a licensed educational psychologist.

Employment in the United States

In the United States, job prospects in school psychology are excellent. Across all disciplines of psychology, the abundance of opportunities is considered among the best for both specialist and doctoral level practitioners. They mostly work in schools. Other settings include clinics, hospitals, correctional facilities, universities, and independent practice.

Demographic Information

According to the NASP Research Committee, 74% of school psychologists are female with an average age of 46. In 2004-2005, average earnings for school practitioners ranged from $56,262 for those with a 180-day annual contract to $68,764 for school psychologists with a 220-day contract. In 2009-2010, average earnings for school practitioners ranged from $64,168 for those with a 180-day annual contract to $71,320 for school psychologists with a 200-day contract. For university faculty in school psychology, the salary estimate is $77,801.

Based on surveys performed by NASP in 2009-2010, it is shown that 90.7% of school psychologists are white, while minority races make up the remaining 9.3%. Of this remaining percentage, the next largest populations represented in school psychology, are African-Americans and Hispanics, at 3% and 3.4% respectively.

Shortages in the Field

There is a lack of trained school psychologists within the field. While jobs are available across the country, there are just not enough people to fill them.

Due to the low supply and high demand of school psychologists, being a school psychologist is very demanding. School psychologists may feel under pressure to supply adequate mental health and intervention services to the students in their care. Burnout is a risk of being a school psychologist.

Bilingual School Psychologists

Approximately 21% of school-age children ages 5-7 speak a language other than English. For this reason, there is an enormous demand for bilingual school psychologists in the United States. The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) does not currently offer bilingual certification in the field. However, there are a number of professional training opportunities that bilingual LSSPs/School Psychologists can attend in order to prepare to adequately administer assessments. In addition, there are 7 NASP-Approved school psychology programs that offer a bilingual specialisation:

  • Brooklyn College-City University of New York- Specialist Level.
  • Gallaudet University- Specialist Level.
  • Queens College-City University of New York- Specialist Level.
  • San Diego State University- Specialist Level.
  • Texas State University- Specialist Level.
  • University of Colorado Denver- Doctoral Level.
  • Fordham University- Lincoln Centre – Doctoral Level.

New York and Illinois are the only two states that offer a bilingual credential for school psychologists.

International School Psychology

The role of a school psychologist in the United States and Canada may differ considerably from the role of a school psychologist elsewhere. Especially in the United States, the role of school psychologist has been closely linked to public law for education of students with disabilities. In most other nations, this is not the case. Despite this difference, many of the basic functions of a school psychologist, such as consultation, intervention, and assessment are shared by most school psychologists worldwide.

It is difficult to estimate the number of school psychologists worldwide. Recent surveys indicate there may be around 76,000 to 87,000 school psychologists practicing in 48 countries, including 32,300 in the United States and 3,500 in Canada. Following the United States, Turkey has the next largest estimated number of school psychologists (11,327), followed by Spain (3,600), and then both Canada and Japan (3,500 each).


In order to work as a school psychologist, one must first meet the state requirements. In most states (excluding Texas and Hawaii), a state education agency credentials school psychologists for practice in the schools.

The Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) credential offered by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). The NCSP credential is an example of a non-practice credential as holding the NCSP does not make one eligible to provide services without first meeting the state requirements to work as a school psychologist.

State psychology boards (which may go by different names in each state) also offer credentials for school psychologists in some states. For example, Texas offers the LSSP credential which permits licensees to deliver school psychological services within public and private schools.


  • Paediatric School Psychology.
  • Systems Level Consultation.
  • School Based Mental Health.
  • Behavioural School Psychology.

Professional Organisations in the United States

  • National Association of School Psychologists.
  • American Psychological Association.


  • Psychology in the Schools.
  • School Psychology Quarterly.
  • School Psychology Review.
  • School Psychology Forum: Research in Practice.
  • School Psychology International.
  • Canadian Journal of School Psychology.
  • International Journal of School & Educational Psychology.
  • Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment.

What was the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society?


The Vienna Psychoanalytic Society (German: Wiener Psychoanalytische Vereinigung, WPV), formerly known as the Wednesday Psychological Society, is the oldest psychoanalysis society in the world.

In 1908, reflecting its growing institutional status as the international psychoanalytic authority of the time, the Wednesday group was reconstituted under its new name with Sigmund Freud as President, a position he relinquished in 1910 in favour of Alfred Adler.

During its 36-year history, between 1902 and 1938, the Society had a total of 150 members.

First Meetings

In November 1902, Sigmund Freud wrote to Alfred Adler, “A small circle of colleagues and supporters afford me the great pleasure of coming to my house in the evening (8:30 PM after dinner) to discuss interesting topics in psychology and neuropathology… Would you be so kind as to join us?” The group included Wilhelm Stekel, Max Kahane and Rudolf Reitler, soon joined by Adler. Stekel, a Viennese physician who had been in analysis with Freud, provided the initial impetus for the meetings. Freud made sure that each participant would contribute to the discussion by drawing names from an urn and asking each to address the chosen topic.

New members were invited only with the consent of the entire group, and only a few dropped out. By 1906, the group, then called the Wednesday Psychological Society, included 17 doctors, analysts and laymen. Otto Rank was hired that year to collect dues and keep written records of the increasingly complex discussions. Each meeting included the presentation of a paper or case history with discussion and a final summary by Freud. Some of the members presented detailed histories of their own psychological and sexual development.

Active Years

As the meetings grew to include more of the original contributors to psychoanalysis, analytic frankness sometimes became an excuse for personal attacks. In 1908 Max Graf, whose five-year-old son had been an early topic of discussion as Freud’s famous “Little Hans” case, deplored the disappearance of congeniality. There were still discussions from which important insights could be gleaned, but many became acrimonious. Many members wanted to abolish the tradition that new ideas discussed at the meetings were credited to the group as a whole, not the original contributor of the idea. Freud proposed that each member should have a choice, to have his comments regarded as his own intellectual property, or to put them in the public domain.

In an attempt to resolve some of the disputes, Freud officially dissolved the informal group and formed a new group under the name Vienna Psychoanalytic Society. On the suggestion of Alfred Adler, the election of new members was based on secret ballot rather than Freud’s invitation. Although the structure of the group became more democratic, the discussions lost some of their original eclectic character as the identity of the group developed. The psychosexual theories of Freud became the primary focus of the participants.

After the end of World War I, the membership became more homogeneous, and the proportion of members identifying as Jewish increased. Over the course of the 36 years of its existence (until 1938), the Society registered a total of 150 members. Most members were Jewish, and 50 were (like Freud himself) children of Jewish immigrants from other Habsburg states.

Prominent Members

  • Sigmund Freud.
  • Alfred Adler.
  • Wilhelm Reich.
  • Otto Rank.
  • Karl Abraham.
  • Carl Jung.
  • Sándor Ferenczi.
  • Guido Holzknecht.
  • Isidor Isaak Sadger.
  • Victor Tausk.
  • Hanns Sachs.
  • Ludwig Binswanger.
  • Carl Alfred Meier.
  • Sabina Spielrein.
  • Margarete Hilferding.
  • Herbert Silberer.
  • Paul Schilder.

On This Day … 12 June

People (Births)

  • 1912 – Carl Hovland, American psychologist and academic (d. 1961).
  • 1962 – Jordan Peterson, Canadian psychologist, professor and cultural critic.

People (Deaths)

  • 2012 – Margarete Mitscherlich-Nielsen, Danish-German psychoanalyst and author (b. 1917).

Carl Hovland

Carl Iver Hovland (12 June 1912 to 16 April 1961) was a psychologist working primarily at Yale University and for the US Army during World War II who studied attitude change and persuasion. He first reported the sleeper effect after studying the effects of the Frank Capra’s propaganda film Why We Fight on soldiers in the Army. In later studies on this subject, Hovland collaborated with Irving Janis who would later become famous for his theory of groupthink. Hovland also developed social judgment theory of attitude change. Carl Hovland thought that the ability of someone to resist persuasion by a certain group depended on your degree of belonging to the group.

Contributions to Psychology

Psychological research was Hovland’s intellectual joy. Especially in his early career, his investigations covered many topics. His papers in psychological journals included a study of test reliability, a major review of the literature on apparent movement, as well as his four classical papers on conditioned generalisation from his doctoral dissertation.

Hovland began to emphasize micro-level analysis of propaganda and its effects. Hovland’s army experiments were the beginnings of that micro-level analysis of an individual. Hovland’s “core conceptual variable was attitude”.

Hovland believed that if he was able to recognise the attitude an individual has towards a trigger, he would be able to predict the behaviour and actions of an individual over time. However, there were many studies that argued the contrary and showed that “an attitude toward a person or object does not predict or explain an individual’s overt behavior regarding that person or object”. This revelation of low correlation did not necessarily render findings useless but instead led to further research on how under certain circumstances it was possible to change a person’s behaviour via their attitudes.

While Hovland focused on an individual rather than a group level, he began to take into consideration interpersonal communication in the form of persuasion. Specifically, Hovland was responsible for carrying out a series of studies that contributed to the “cumulative understanding of persuasion behavior that has never since been matched or even rivaled”.

To test and apply his theorisation Hovland worked proposed the SMCR model. The SMCR model consists of four components – source variables, message variables, channel variables, and receiver variables. By manipulating each of these variables, Hovland was able to advance his “message-learning approach to attitude change”. There were problems with his particular approach, however, in that by focusing on a single dimension of the SMCR model, Hovland was unable to do more than isolate a factor rather than study the synergy between the different variables.

Jordan Peterson

Jordan Bernt Peterson (born 12 June 1962) is a Canadian professor of psychology, clinical psychologist, YouTube personality, and author. He began to receive widespread attention in the late 2010s for his views on cultural and political issues, often described as conservative.

Born and raised in Alberta, Peterson obtained bachelor’s degrees in political science and psychology from the University of Alberta and a PhD in clinical psychology from McGill University. After teaching and research at Harvard University, he returned to Canada in 1998 to join the faculty of psychology at the University of Toronto. In 1999, he published his first book, Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief, which became the basis for many of his subsequent lectures. The book combined information from psychology, mythology, religion, literature, philosophy, and neuroscience to analyse systems of belief and meaning.

In 2016, Peterson released a series of YouTube videos criticising the Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code (Bill C-16), passed by the Parliament of Canada to introduce “gender identity and expression” as a prohibited grounds of discrimination. He argued that the bill would make the use of certain gender pronouns into compelled speech, and related this argument to a general critique of political correctness and identity politics. He subsequently received significant media coverage, attracting both support and criticism.

Afterwards, Peterson’s lectures and conversations – propagated especially through podcasts and YouTube – gradually gathered millions of views. He put his clinical practice and teaching duties on hold by 2018, when he published his second book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos. Promoted with a world tour, it became a bestseller in several countries. Throughout 2019 and 2020, Peterson’s work was obstructed by health problems in the aftermath of a severe benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome. In 2021, he published his third book, Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life, and returned to active podcasting.

Margarete Mitscherlich-Nielsen

Margarete Mitscherlich-Nielsen (née Nielsen; 17 July 1917 to 12 June 2012) or the “Grande Dame of German Psychoanalysis” as she was often referred to as, was a German psychoanalyst who focused mainly on the themes of feminism, female sexuality, and the national psychology of post-war Germany.

Contributions to Psychology

From the 1960s, alongside the protagonists of the Frankfurt School, the Mitscherlichs played an important part in post-war Germany’s intellectual debates, employing psychoanalytic thought for explaining the causes behind Nazi Germany and its aftermath in German society to the present day. The first major book they wrote together was Die Unfähigkeit zu trauern. Grundlagen kollektiven Verhaltens (The Inability to Mourn: Principles of Collective Behaviour), first published in 1967, discussing why the Holocaust, the war crimes, and the sentiment of guilt on the offender’s part were not dealt with adequately in post-war German society.

Subsequently, Margarete Mitscherlich’s interest in feminist positions grew, as she became friends with German feminist journalist Alice Schwarzer, contributing to her magazine EMMA. In the first issue of the journal in November 1977, she confessed: “Ich bin Feministin” (“I am a feminist”). At the time, she also took an active part in legal actions against anti-women depictions in popular German media. Her book Die friedfertige Frau. Eine psychoanalytische Untersuchung zur Aggression der Geschlechter (The peaceable sex: On aggression in women and men), first published in 1987, is Mitscherlich’s most successful book to date, dealing with the roles women play in politics. Specifically, she discussed specific psychological cases pertaining to the potential for human aggression, the socialization of women, narcissism, loneliness, parenthood, and anti-Semitism within her writing. In the follow-up Die Zukunft ist weiblich (The future is feminine, 1987) Mitscherlich pleaded for values to become more feminine, even men’s values. She is notable for the highly politicised nature of her work when many of her peers considered neutrality an essential element of psychoanalysis.

Until well into her nineties, Mitscherlich worked as a psychoanalyst, advising younger colleagues and commenting political developments in the press. In her latest book, published in 2010, aged 93, Die Radikalität des Alters. Einsichten einer Psychoanalytikerin (The Radicality of Age. Insights of a Psychoanalyst) she reflects upon her own experience of ageing. She famously claimed that Germans cannot mourn.

Mitscherlich was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 2001. She received the Ehrenplakette der Stadt Frankfurt am Main in 1990 and the Tony-Sender-Preis der Stadt Frankfurt am Main in 2005.

Mitscherlich has a son who was born in 1949, a lawyer and executive manager. She lived in the Frankfurt Westend until her death. She died, aged 94, in Frankfurt.

What is the American Board of Professional Psychology?


The American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) is the primary organisation for specialty board certification in psychology.

Mission Statement

“The mission of the American Board of Professional Psychology is to increase consumer protection through the examination and certification of psychologists who demonstrate competence in approved specialty areas in professional psychology.”

Brief History


The American Board of Professional Psychology was founded and incorporated in 1947, as the American Board of Examiners in Professional Psychology (ABEPP). When established, ABEPP replaced a committee that was formed by the American Psychological Association (APA) to explore the development of a credentialing body for individual psychologists. According to Bent, Goldberg & Packard, APA had come to realise that a membership organisation, such as itself, could not advocate for its members at the same time that it performed certification functions designed to protect the public. Determining that a distinction should be made between basic and advanced levels of competence, ABEPP focused its attention to the latter and identified three fields of certification:

  • Clinical Psychology;
  • Personnel-Industrial (later becoming Industrial Psychology, and then Industrial/Organizational Psychology); and
  • Personnel-Educational (later becoming Counselling and Guidance, and then Counselling Psychology).

In order to recognize those psychologists already working in applied and practice areas, persons deemed to have sufficient experience and training (and awarded Bachelor of Arts degrees prior to 31 December 1935) were allowed to be “grandfathered” without examination. Those requiring examination were administered both written and oral components.

In 1968, the current name – American Board of Professional Psychology – was adopted, and a fourth specialty – School Psychology – was introduced. In 1972 multimember regional boards were implemented – Northeast, Midwest, Mideast, Southeast, Intermountain West and Far West. In 1974, the ABPP Board of Trustees (BOT) authorized the establishment of the National Register of Health Service Psychologists. Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, new specialty boards were recognised – Clinical Neuropsychology (1984), Forensic Psychology (1985), Family Psychology (1991) and Health Psychology (1991). As new specialties were introduced, each seated a trustee on the BOT. As the 1990s progressed, additional specialties were identified – Behavioural Psychology (1991), Psychoanalysis in Psychology (1996), and Rehabilitation Psychology (1997). Specialty Academies were also introduced as definitive membership organisations for specialists certified by ABPP.


During the early 2000s, ABPP implemented several initiatives to further its mission. The Early Entry Option was created for graduate students, interns, and residents to start the board certification process early in their careers. In 2008, ABPP began to convene an annual conference with workshops. As a means of raising funds to support education on board certification, the American Board of Professional Psychology Foundation was formed in 2010. In 2015 ABPP seated its first Early Career Psychology (ECP) trustee. Maintenance of Certification was implemented in 2015, requiring that psychologists board-certified on or after 01 January 2015 undergo a formal review, ensuring their commitment to lifelong learning. Psychologists who received their board certification prior to 2015 received the option to opt-in to maintenance of certification or to waive the requirement.

Certification Requirements

There are various requirements to obtain the ABPP certification, which are referred to as diplomas in the specialized area. The minimum requirements include:

  • A doctoral degree.
  • Licensure within the psychology field.
  • At least five years of experience.

In addition to the minimum requirements, there are also additional specialisations demonstrated by the candidate. The candidate must also demonstrate the following:

  • Specialised Training.
  • Evidence of substantial experience.
  • Continuing education in one of the thirteen specialty areas.

A review of the candidate’s work as well as an oral examination are also required to obtain ABPP certification. Some specialties require an additional written exam in addition to the oral component.

Recognised Specialties

In 2018, ABPP recognises the following psychology specialties (year of affiliation with ABPP in parentheses):

  • Behavioural & Cognitive (1992).
  • Clinical Child & Adolescent (2003).
  • Clinical Health (1991).
  • Clinical Neuropsychology (1984).
  • Clinical (1947).
  • Counselling (1947).
  • Couple & Family (1990).
  • Forensic (1985).
  • Geropsychology (2014).
  • Group (1997).
  • Organisational & Business Consulting (1948).
  • Police and Public Safety (2011).
  • Psychoanalysis (1996).
  • Rehabilitation (1997).
  • School (1968).
  • One subspecialty is also recognised under the umbrella of Clinical Neuropsychology – Paediatric Neuropsychology.

Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees consists of:

  • A representative from each of the specialty boards.
  • Members of the Executive Committee (President, President-Elect, Past-President, Treasurer and Secretary).
  • The Executive Officer.
  • A Public Member.
  • An Early Career Psychologist trustee.
  • A trustee from the Council of Presidents of Psychology Specialty Academies (CPPSA).
  • The Editor of the ABPP newsletter, The Specialist, serves as an ex-officio member of the Board of Trustees.

On This Day … 11 June

People (Births)

  • 1914 – Jan Hendrik van den Berg, Dutch psychiatrist and academic (d. 2012).

People (Deaths)

  • 1934 – Lev Vygotsky, Belarusian-Russian psychologist and theorist (b. 1896).

Jan Hendrik van den Berg

Jan Hendrik van den Berg (11 June 1914 to 22 September 2012) was a Dutch psychiatrist notable for his work in phenomenological psychotherapy (cf. phenomenology) and metabletics, or “psychology of historical change.” He is the author of numerous articles and books, including A different existence and The changing nature of man.

Between 1933 and 1936, he earned diplomas in primary school and high school education, the latter with a focus on mathematics. He also published papers on entomology. He then entered medical school at Utrecht University specialising in psychiatry and neurology. He completed his doctoral dissertation in 1946. One year later, after studying in both France and Switzerland, Dr. Van den Berg was appointed to Head of Department at the psychiatry clinic at Utrecht. At Utrecht, he lectured in psychopathology in the medical school and was also appointed to Professor of Pastoral Psychology in the theology department. In 1954, Dr. van den Berg took a position of Professor of Psychology at Leiden University. Since 1967, he has been a visiting professor at many universities and conducted lecture tours internationally.

Having lived most of his later life in a monumental house at the market in the historical centre of Woudrichem, he died in nearby Gorinchem.

Lev Vygotsky

Lev Semyonovich Vygotsky (Russian: Лев Семёнович Выго́тский; Belarusian: Леў Сямёнавіч Выго́цкі; 17 November 1896 to 11 June 1934) was a Soviet psychologist, known for his work on psychological development in children. He published on a diverse range of subjects, and from multiple views as his perspective changed over the years. Among his students was Alexander Luria.

He is known for his concept of the zone of proximal development (ZPD): the distance between what a student (apprentice, new employee, etc.) can do on their own, and what they can accomplish with the support of someone more knowledgeable about the activity. Vygotsky saw the ZPD as a measure of skills that are in the process of maturing, as supplement to measures of development that only look at a learner’s independent ability.

Also influential are his works on the relationship between language and thought, the development of language, and a general theory of development through actions and relationships in a socio-cultural environment.

Vygotsky is the subject of great scholarly dispute. There is a group of scholars who see parts of Vygotsky’s current legacy as distortions and who are going back to Vygotsky’s manuscripts in an attempt to make Vygotsky’s legacy more true to his actual ideas.

What is the Canadian Psychological Association?


The Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) is the primary organisation representing psychologists throughout Canada. It was organised in 1939 and incorporated under the Canada Corporations Act, Part II, in May 1950.

Its objectives are to improve the health and welfare of all Canadians; to promote excellence and innovation in psychological research, education, and practice; to promote the advancement, development, dissemination, and application of psychological knowledge; and to provide high-quality services to members.

Brief History

The CPA was founded in a University of Ottawa psychology lab in 1938, although it was not formally organised until 1939. Initially, the CPA’s purpose was to help with Canada’s contribution to World War II; indeed, the CPA was heavily involved with test construction for the Department of National Defence.

Organisational Structure

CPA’s head office is located in Ottawa, ON. The CPA has a directorate for each of its three pillars:

  1. The Science Directorate’s mandate is to lobby government for increased funding for psychological research, promote and support the work of Canadian researchers in psychology, and educate the public about important findings from psychological science.
  2. The Practice Directorate’s mandate is to support and facilitate advocacy for the practice of psychology across Canada.
  3. The Education Directorate’s mandate is to oversee the accreditation of doctoral and internship programmes in professional psychology.

The Board of Directors sets policies that guide the CPA. It is made up of Presidential Officers, Directors, and Executive Officers.

Policy and Position Statements

The CPA publishes the Canadian Code of Ethics for Psychologists which articulates ethical principles, values, and standards to guide all members of the Canadian Psychological Association. This Code is reviewed regularly with the most recent version published in January 2017. The ethical standards are built on four principles which form cornerstone guidelines for making ethical decision. Those principles are: Respect for the Dignity of Persons and Peoples; Responsible Caring; Integrity in Relationships; and Responsibility to Society.

The CPA publishes policy and positions statements which are based on psychological evidence and ethical standards on given issues of importance. Below are some issues in which the CPA has issued public statements on:

Policy Statements

  • Conversion/Reparative Therapy for Sexual Orientation.
  • Gender Identity in Adolescents and Adults.
  • Violence against Women.
  • Bullying in Children and Youth.
  • The Presence of Involved Third Party Observer in Neuropsychological Assessments.
  • Public Statements.
  • Physical Punishment of Children and Youth.
  • Ethical Use and Reporting of Psychological Assessment Results for Student Placement.
  • Convictions based Solely on Recovered Memories.
  • Public Statement by Paul Cameron on Homosexuality.
  • Equality for Lesbians, Gay Men, their Relationships and their Families.
  • Inclusion of Unpaid Household Activities in 1996 Census.
  • CPA Response to Canadian Panel on Violence Against Women.
  • Child Care.
  • The Death Penalty in Canada.
  • Prejudicial Discrimination.
  • Minority Groups.
  • Discrimination in the Employment Areas.
  • Psychology of Women.
  • Female Role Models.
  • Education of Graduate Students.
  • Autonomous Profession.
  • Psychology in Hospitals.
  • Prepaid Health Schemes.
  • Psychologists Providers of Health Care.

Position Statements

  • Addressing Climate Change in Canada: The Importance of Psychological Science.
  • Inappropriate Psychological Test Use: A Public Safety Concern.
  • Recommendations for Addressing the Opioid Crisis in Canada.
  • Health and Well-Being Needs of LGBTQI People.
  • Recommendations for the Legalization of Cannabis in Canada.
  • Psychologists Practicing to Scope: The Role of Psychologists in Canada’s Public Institutions.
  • Neuropsychological Services in Canada.
  • Issues and Recommendations about Advertising and Children’s Health Behaviour.
  • Same Sex Marriage.

The CPA board of directors convenes working groups to explore various issues affecting the science, practice and education of psychology. Some of those working group reports are as follows:

  • E-Psychology Working Group.
  • CPA Task Force on Title: Model Language Suggestions.
  • Recommendations for Addressing the Opioid Crisis in Canada.
  • Psychology’s Response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Report.
  • Medical Assistance in Dying and End-of-Life Care.
  • Fitness to Stand Trial and Criminal Responsibility Assessments in Canada.
  • Supply and Demand for Accredited Doctoral Internship/Residency Positions in Clinical, Counselling, and School Psychology in Canada.
  • Evidence-Based Practice of Psychological Treatments: A Canadian Perspective.
  • CPA Task Force on the Supply of Psychologists in Canada.
  • CPA Task Force of Prescriptive Authority for Psychologists in Canada.


Members of the CPA with interests in specific areas of psychology are able to form and join sections. Sections have official status under the By-laws of the CPA, which give them power to:

  • Initiate and undertake activities of relevance to its members.
  • Draft position papers on topics of relevance to the Section.
  • Initiate policy statements in areas of expertise.
  • Organize meetings within CPA.
  • Make specific representation to external agencies or organisations, if it has received the approval of the Board of Directors to do so.
  • Recommend that CPA make specific representations to external organisations or agencies.

List of CPA Sections

  • Addiction Psychology.
  • Adult Development and Ageing.
  • Brain and Cognitive Sciences.
  • Clinical Psychology.
  • Clinical Neuropsychology.
  • Community Psychology.
  • Counselling Psychology.
  • Criminal Justice Psychology.
  • Developmental Psychology.
  • Educational and School Psychology.
  • Environmental Psychology.
  • Extremism and Terrorism.
  • Family Psychology.
  • Health Psychology and Behavioural Medicine.
  • History and Philosophy Section.
  • Indigenous Peoples’ Psychology.
  • Industrial/Organisational Psychology.
  • International and Cross-Cultural Psychology.
  • Psychologists in Hospitals and Health Centres.
  • Psychology in the Military.
  • Psychologists and Retirement.
  • Psychopharmacology.
  • Quantitative Methods.
  • Quantitative Electrophysiology.
  • Rural and Northern Psychology.
  • Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.
  • Social and Personality Section.
  • Sport and Exercise Psychology.
  • Students.
  • Teaching of Psychology.
  • Traumatic Stress Section.
  • Section for Women And Psychology (SWAP).

Membership and Affiliation

The CPA offers 5 types of membership to individuals residing in Canada or the United States.

  • Full member: One has to have a Masters or Doctoral degree in psychology (or its academic equivalent) to become a full member.
  • Early Career Year 1: One has to have graduated with a Masters, or PhD in Psychology (or a related field), and are not returning to school, or those working on the first year of their Post Doc. Applicants must have graduated University the previous year (e.g. 2020) to be eligible for Early Career Year 1 in the year they are applying for membership (e.g. 2021).
  • Early Career Year 2: Available to members who were Early Career Year 1 in the previous membership year (e.g. 2020) OR recent graduates who have graduated with a Masters, or PhD in Psychology (or a related field) in the previous 2 years and are not returning to school or those working on the second year of their Post Docs.
  • Retired member: One has to be a full member or fellow who has retired.
  • Honorary life fellow/Honorary life member: Offered to individuals who are 70 years old and have been full members of the CPA for at least 25 years.

The CPA offers 2 types of affiliation to individuals residing in Canada or the United States.

  • Student affiliate: One has to be an undergraduate or graduate student at a recognised university.
  • Special affiliate: Open to those who have an active interest in psychology.

The CPA offers two types of affiliation to individuals residing outside of Canada or the United States.

  • International affiliate: Open to international psychologists.
  • International student affiliate: Open to international undergraduate and graduate students in psychology.

The CPA now offers a section associate category for individuals who do not qualify for membership or are interested in joining only one section and receiving their section communication.

The CPA has approximately 7,000 members and affiliates.

Public Outreach and Partnerships

The CPA produces a series of informative brochures for the public called “Psychology Works Fact Sheets”. Each brochure is reviewed by psychologists who are knowledgeable on that subject before being published online. Topics range from information on psychological disorders, parenting challenges, pain, stress, perfectionism, and much more. Along with these informative brochures, the CPA website contains many resources for individuals interested in psychology or receiving psychological services in Canada.

Every year, the CPA promotes February as Psychology Month and encourages Canadian psychologists to reach out to the public to raise awareness of what psychology is, what psychologists do, and how psychology benefits everyone.

The CPA is engaged in numerous emergency preparedness activities. Following national and international emergencies and disasters, the CPA provides the general public with timely resources on effective coping and information about stress and the indicators of psychological distress. The CPA is also involved in the National Emergency Psychosocial Advisory Consortium (NEPAC), the Mental Health Support Network, and the Council of Emergency Voluntary Sector Directors.

The CPA is also involved in partnerships with the following:

  • Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH).
  • Canadian Association for School Health Communities of Practice.
  • Canadian Coalition for Public Health in the 21st Century (CCPH21).
  • Canadian Consortium for Research (CCR).
  • Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences (CFHSS).
  • Canadian Primary Health Care Research and Innovation Network (CPHCRIN).
  • Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance of Canada (CDPAC).
  • G7.
  • Mental Health Table.
  • Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network (PREVNet).
  • Science Media Centre of Canada.
  • The Health Action Lobby (HEAL).


The CPA, in partnership with the American Psychological Association, quarterly publishes the following three academic journals:

  • Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science.
  • Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology.
  • Canadian Psychology.

The CPA also publishes a quarterly magazine called Psynopsis. Issues contain brief articles on specific themes relating to psychology, as well as updates from the head office of CPA, committee news, information about the annual convention, and much more.

Mind Pad is a professional newsletter that is written and reviewed by student affiliates of the Canadian Psychological Association. The newsletter is published biannually online.


CPA hosts a convention annually. The conventions usually include pre-convention workshops, keynote and invited speakers, poster presentations, symposiums, award presentations, and various social events. The location varies each year from city to city across Canada.


Each year at the annual convention, CPA honours individuals who have made distinguished contributions to psychology in Canada with the following awards:

  • CPA Gold Medal Award For Distinguished Lifetime Contributions to Canadian Psychology.
  • CPA John C. Service Member the Year Award.
  • CPA Donald O. Hebb Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology as a Science.
  • CPA Award for Distinguished Contributions to Education and Training in Psychology.
  • CPA Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology as a Profession.
  • CPA Award for Distinguished Contributions to the International Advancement of Psychology.
  • CPA Award for Distinguished Contributions to Public or Community Service.
  • Distinguished Practitioner Award.
  • CPA Award for Distinguished Lifetime Service to the Canadian Psychological Association.
  • CPA Humanitarian Award.
  • President’s New Researcher Award.

The CPA has numerous student awards. As an example, the CPA gives out Certificates of Academic Excellence to students in each Canadian psychology department for the best undergraduate, masters, and doctoral thesis. The sections of CPA also award students for exceptional papers, presentations, and posters at the annual convention.

Fellowships are awarded to members of the CPA who have made distinguished contributions to the advancement of the science or profession of psychology or who have given exceptional service to their national or provincial associations. The Committee on Fellows and Awards review nominations and make recommendations to the Board of Directors who appoint fellows.

On This Day … 08 June

People (Births)

  • 1929 – Nada Inada, Japanese psychiatrist and author (d. 2013).
  • 1956 – Jonathan Potter, English psychologist, sociolinguist, and academic.

People (Deaths)

  • 1970 – Abraham Maslow, American psychologist and academic (b. 1908).

Nada Inada

Nada Inada (なだ いなだ, 08 June 1929 to 06 June 2013) was the pen-name of a Japanese psychiatrist, writer and literary critic active in late Shōwa period and early Heisei period Japan. His pen name is from the Spanish language phrase “nada y nada”.


Nada was born in the Magome district of Tokyo, but was raised for part of his youth in Sendai. He graduated from the Medical School of Keio University. One of his fellow students was Kita Morio, who encouraged his interest in literature and in the French language. He later travelled to France on a government scholarship. His wife was French.

Nada’s medical specialty was psychiatry, particularly in the treatment of alcoholism, and he was head of the Substance Abuse Department of National Hospital located in Yokosuka, Kanagawa.

One of his early novels, Retort, was nominated for the prestigious Akutagawa Prize.

Jonathan Potter

Jonathan Potter (born 08 June 1956) is Dean of the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University and one of the originators of discursive psychology.

Jonathan Potter was born in Ashford, Kent, and spent most of his childhood in the village of Laughton, East Sussex; his father was a school teacher and his mother was a batik artist. He went to School in Lewes and then on to a degree in Psychology at the University of Liverpool in 1974 where he was exposed to the radical politics of the city, became (briefly) interested in alternative therapies, and responded to the traditional British empirical psychology that was the mainstay of the Liverpool psychology degree programme at the time. He read the work of John Shotter, Kenneth Gergen and Rom Harré and became excited by the so-called crisis in social psychology. This critical work led him to a master’s degree in philosophy of science at the University of Surrey where he worked on speech act theory and had a first exposure to post structuralism and in particular the work of Roland Barthes. He read and wrote about Thomas Kuhn, Paul Feyerabend and Imre Lakatos. At the same time, philosophy of science provided a pathway to the new sociology of scientific knowledge and in particular to the work of Harry Collins, Michael Mulkay and Steve Woolgar.

In 1979 he applied for a PhD funding at the University of Bath to work with Harry Collins. He was offered a place but in the summer of 1979 the offer was withdrawn after the incoming Thatcher government cut the budget for social science. He started a part-time PhD with Peter Stringer in Psychology at the University of Surrey, while also working on a project on overseas tourists’ experiences of Bath’s bed and breakfast hotels. In this period he met and started to live with Margaret Wetherell, who was doing a PhD with John Turner and was, with Howard Giles and Henri Tajfel, one of the key figures in British social psychology. He took part in the vibrant intellectual culture of social psychology in Bristol at the time although he was a lone voice against the broadly experimental focus of Bristol tradition of so-called European Social Psychology.

When Peter Stringer left Surrey to move to a Chair in the Netherlands Potter applied for DPhil funding again and started to work with Michael Mulkay at the University of York. He worked within the sociology of scientific knowledge tradition, focusing on recordings of psychologists debating with one another at conferences. Increasingly that work evolved into an analysis of scientific discourse.

When Margaret Wetherell was appointed to a post in St Andrews University in 1980 he moved to Scotland, doing his PhD long distance. In 1983 he gained his DPhil and started a temporary job whose primary duty was to teach statistics in the Psychological Laboratory (as the department was called at the time). Covering the statistics allowed him a lot of flexibility in other teaching and he developed a course simply called Discourse which covered speech act theory, implicature, semiotics, post-structuralism, critical linguistics and conversation analysis. The intensive engagement with this range of thinking influenced much of his later work.

After 4 years of temporary contracts at St Andrews he was offered a post at Loughborough University where he taught until July 2015, first as lecturer, then Reader in Discourse Analysis from 1992, then Professor of Discourse Analysis from 1996, and Head of Department from February 2010. At Loughborough he worked with and was influenced by Derek Edwards, Michael Billig, Charles Antaki and, more recently, Elizabeth Stokoe. Since 1996 he has lived with, and collaborated with, Alexa Hepburn. In the last decade he has taught workshops and short courses in Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Spain, Venezuela, New Zealand, Australia, US and the UK.

In 2005 his book Cognition and Conversation (jointly edited with Hedwig te Molder) received the inaugural prize of the American Sociological Association Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis section in 2007. In 2008 he was elected to UK Academy of Social Sciences.

Abraham Maslow

Abraham Harold Maslow (01 April 1908 to 08 June 1970) was an American psychologist who was best known for creating Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, a theory of psychological health predicated on fulfilling innate human needs in priority, culminating in self-actualisation.

Maslow was a psychology professor at Brandeis University, Brooklyn College, New School for Social Research, and Columbia University. He stressed the importance of focusing on the positive qualities in people, as opposed to treating them as a “bag of symptoms”.

A Review of General Psychology survey, published in 2002, ranked Maslow as the tenth most cited psychologist of the 20th century.