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President's Column

SoAP Box: 
President's Column

Spring 2022

Mark Sobell, PhD, ABPP

We may not be totally back to normal, but some things are a lot better than last year. Specifically, after much discussion it was decided to go ahead and hold the Collaborative Perspectives on Addiction conference as an in-person event (the first in-person since 2019). Several months ago, this had seemed like it would be a quick and simple matter to consider, but then along came Omicron! Fortunately, it looks like, as predicted, the omicron surge is lessening, and barring the introduction of yet a new serious variant the pandemic should be continuing to diminish by the time of the conference, April 7-9. This will be the 10th CPA conference, and this year’s theme is “Pushing the Boundaries for Innovation and Inclusivity”. A format innovation this year will be Program Chair’s Choice Paper Sessions featuring:

  • Open Science in Addiction Research: Challenges, Opportunities, and Future Directions

  • Novel and Underused Approaches in Addiction Psychology

  • Expanding the Horizons in Addiction Research: Diversity Considerations

There also will be 12 symposia, 110 poster presentations, a panel on open science in addiction (featuring Drs. Katie Witkiewitz, Priscilla Lui, Joshua Grubbs, and Kevin King), and multiple workshops including one on addiction research with underrepresented minority populations and diverse groups. Emphasizing our commitment to inclusivity there will be a new poster competition for exceptional research with historically underrepresented minority or underserved populations. More than 13 hours of continuing education credits will be available for those, like my colleagues in Florida, who will be renewing their licenses soon.  More information about the conference can be found at

For those who have not been to Portland, it is a great city to visit. The restaurants are abundant, and even the many food trucks serve excellent food. For those who are not carnivores, I challenge you to find a city with more restaurants that greet you by asking would you like the regular, vegetarian, or vegan menu. To the east a little more than an hour is Mount Hood, with excellent skiing and year-round snow. To the west a little more than an hour is the Pacific Ocean with seals, villages and Cannon Beach with a long sandy beach and Haystack Rock:

Finally, in December the American Board of Professional Psychology gave provisional approval to its 16th specialty board, the American Board of Addiction Psychology. All new specialty boards are categorized as “provisional” for their first two years. So the ABAP is now a reality, and shortly they will begin examinations for the first psychologists to become board certified in addiction psychology, those who were part of the founding group. Following those exams, the ABAP will announce procedures for eligible psychologists to apply for board certification. This is a long overdue development and offers an excellent opportunity for addiction psychologists to set themselves apart from others offering addiction services. After all, the majority of evidence-based treatments for addictions were developed and evaluated by psychologists.

Mark Sobell, PhD, ABPP
President, Society of Addiction Psychology

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