Skip to content Skip to navigation

President's Column

SoAP Box: 
President's Column

Summer 2023

Aaron Weiner, PhD, ABPP


Happy Summer!  Hopefully the past few months have treated you well, and without too much disruption due to wildfire smoke.

APA 2023 was an absolute blast this year – it was amazing meeting so many of you at our Social Hour on Thursday, and seeing all the incredible scholarship from our students and early-career psychologists (ECPs) at the NIDA/NIAAA poster session on Friday.  I was also heartened to see so much interest and attendance from non-members at Division 50 programming at APA – Addiction Psychology is very much in the spotlight as society grapples with an increased mental health and maladaptive coping burden, and I think our expertise will continue to be in high demand over the next several years.

That said – I’m sad to say that this will be my final SoAP Box column as my Presidential year has come to an end.  But what a year it’s been!

  • CPA 2023 was our largest and most successful CPA to date!  And make sure save the date for CPA 2024 in Denver from April 11-13, as Drs. Deneke and Davis will be reprising their roles as Chair and Co-Chair.
  • Division 50 members spearheaded the foundation of Addiction Psychology as a specialty board in APA, securing the future of Addiction Psychology as a recognized specialty in Psychology.  If you’re interested in becoming Boarded, please visit the newly-launched website!
  • We’ve built stronger connections within APA, with staff outreaching to our members for contributions to the Monitor (such as for this article on alcohol use) and collaborating with the legislative affairs office to guide APA’s response to national concerns
  • We’ve messaged out our perspectives and elevated our members’ visibility through educational events in partnership with TPN.Health, with 600 attendees – many from outside our Division – in just 6 months.  Past webinars and CEs are available on-demand for free – make sure to check them out!
  • Nine new committee chairs and co-chairs have rotated in along with new committee members, providing fresh ideas and new initiatives to nearly all facets of Division 50. 

And that’s just to name a few!  And the Division couldn’t be in better hands moving forward, with Dr. Seema Clifasefi taking the lead as our new President in August, and Dr. Susan Collins joining the Board as our new President-Elect.  I’m excited to support them in their initiatives, as they continue to grow and advance the impact of SoAP in an ever-changing substance-use and SUD-related landscape.

And to end with a (relatively) brief personal reflection: as a psychologist who is also leaving behind my ECP identity this summer, this past year was a reminder to me that the best compliment to increasing experience is increasing humility.  This year provided a lesson on the importance of staying vigilant for my personal blind spots, and on the necessity of staying open and receptive to feedback.  And, in particular, to the feedback provided from those who choose to stand up in situations that could hold personal risk.  To those who made the difficult choice to voice concerns this past year, and particularly to those who are students and ECPs, you have my profound thanks.

It was my distinct honor to serve the Division over the past year.  Leadership in SoAP is a dynamic and meaningful experience, and one I would whole-heartedly recommend to anyone who similarly feels an urgency to contribute to the success of our discipline and better serve our communities. 

I wish everyone a peaceful and productive year ahead.  As always, if I can be of service in any way, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line.

Be well and take care out there,


Follow Us

Facebook IconTwitter Icon