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!
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,