Message from the President, 2015-2016: Dr. Kevin Kelloway, Ph.D.

Dr. Kevin Kelloway, President

As President, it is a great pleasure to welcome you to the website of the Canadian Psychological Association. Psychology is an immensely broad discipline that touches virtually every aspect of our lives – this breadth is reflected in the diverse content on the website. Whether you are a student, a member, a prospective member, or simply an individual interested in psychological research and practice, there is something here that is sure to interest you.

During 2014-2015, I served as a member of the CPA Board as President-Elect. As such, I had the opportunity to learn about the large number of activities in which CPA engages. We are far more than an annual conference. We are more than a loose confederation of interest groups. I have learned that we are a vibrant organization involved in advocacy and policy development. We are a vital partner working with other psychological associations and learned societies in advancing psychological science and practice. We are a dedicated staff and numerous volunteers who are focused on delivering more, and better, service to members in a variety of ways. It is my considerable honor to assume the Presidency of CPA during 2015-2016 and to strive to build on this strong foundation through both internally- and externally-focused initiatives.

In discussing his research on persuasion, Dr. Robert Cialdini sometimes uses the phrase “moments of power”. His suggestion is that there are moments in social interaction when we have a particular opportunity to influence others. I believe that CPA is currently faced with such a moment of power. As a result of numerous circumstances and influences, issues of workplace mental health have risen to the top of many corporate agendas. Now, as perhaps never before, organizations are receptive to messages about the importance of mental health and mental health programming. CPA is particularly well-positioned to address this opportunity and the issue of workplace mental health will be a dominant theme during my year as President.

A focus on workplace mental health is, in my view, a natural outgrowth of CPA’s long standing commitment to advocacy for mental and behavioural health and well-being. My personal experience in talking to corporations about issues of mental health is a reminder that organizations are comprised of people. Virtually everyone that I talk to has someone in their immediate family or circle of friends that has had, at some point, a need for psychological services. Improving access to such services must remain a key priority for CPA as an organization.

In a related vein, I have always appreciated the “Psychology Works” message associated with the CPA fact sheets. Certainly there are data that speak to the effectiveness of psychological interventions for a broad array of individual issues. However, there are also data that speak to the effectiveness of psychological interventions across a broad variety of domains. My personal research has focused on organizational psychology and there is consistent evidence that Psychology Works – At Work. Expanding our focus to promote the many contexts in which psychological research provides an evidence base for effective practice is a particular interest of mine.

In addition, I hope that over the next year, several of CPA’s current and more inward- facing initiatives will result in a more focused and responsive organization. The governance review, just commissioned, resulted in several recommendations currently under review by the Board and part of my role will be to complete this process. I believe that we should also be seeking out opportunities to have members more involved in the association. Our mandate as an organization is to represent the profession of psychology – an active and involved membership is the best way of ensuring adequate representation of the many constituencies that comprise psychology in Canada.

Finally, although CPA is more than just an annual conference – the annual conference is for many a highlight of the year. It is a chance to reconnect, learn, and celebrate. The 77th annual conference of CPA will be held in Victoria BC from June 9th to 11th, 2016. Please submit your work, nominate a colleague for an award and, most of all, come and join us in Victoria to celebrate our collective commitment to the discipline of psychology!!!


Message from the President, 2014 - 2015: Dr. Kerry Mothersill, Ph.D.

Dr. Kerry Mothersill

As President, I welcome you to the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) website. Whether you are a psychologist, psychology student, a member of another profession or a member of the public with an interest in psychological research, health and well-being, I invite you to explore all of the varied information that the site presents. I hope that it will enhance your wonder about the fascinating world of human functioning, energize your desire for knowledge and mobilize all to enhance wellness.

During my 2014-2015 presidential year, I will commence several initiatives that are consistent with CPA’s strategic goals, particularly those that relate to advancing access to psychological services for Canadians. Among other pursuits, psychologists develop, refine and evaluate methods to assess and treat emotional, cognitive, behavioural and physical symptoms/disorders. These services yield significant benefits to patients, care teams and health organizations. They are effective as well as efficient and bring savings to the costs of delivering health care, education, and correctional rehabilitation, and to the Canadian economy.

The first initiative will focus on the dissemination and application of these psychological strategies and services within health care organizations. Based on the contributions and expertise of Canadian researchers and practitioners in psychology, guidelines will be developed that will help practitioners identify the evidence based services that can be applied to patients with specific health care needs. These might include the health needs of older adults, patients with physical diagnoses or children and youth. The guidelines can be effectively used to assist psychologists in targeting their services with patients and to inform managers in their decision making when creating and enhancing efficient treatment programs. Printable, web based and evolving guidelines will be developed that can be expanded to many areas of health care (e.g. cardiac wellness, pediatric pain, neonatal intensive care, trauma/burns, mood disorders, etc) and other areas of practice (e.g. schools, correctional facilities, the military). The documents will provide practitioners and program developers with up to date information on area specific psychological services that reduce patients’ symptoms and improve functioning.

The second initiative will be to initiate a dialogue with Canadian practitioners, researchers and stakeholders and take steps towards developing a CPA Policy Statement on childhood sexual abuse. Work needs to be done to decrease stigma, increase acceptance of victims’ openness about their experience and enhance everyone’s awareness that abuse is occurring. In many cases, it takes years, often decades, before adults address their childhood abuse. A broad-based narrative of acceptance may shorten the time before healing begins. As practitioners increase their skill in assessing for occurrence, abuse can be prevented or at least halted thereby reducing a major cause of psychological symptoms and functional disability. Improving the dissemination of treatment skills will improve psychologists’ ability to reduce the effects of abuse.

Thirdly, continued effective advocacy for research funding, practitioner training and public access for psychological services is required. CPA’s ongoing initiatives like the “Mind Your Mental Health” campaign and its work to influence uptake of the recommendations of its commissioned report, “An Imperative for Change: Access to Psychological Services for Canada” (see this website for both), along with continued representation on government and national committees will help achieve these advocacy goals.

Lastly, CPA is comprised of the expertise, ideas and efforts of its members, affiliates Board, staff, and Sections. To better invigorate, coordinate and translate collective energy, I will be supporting a review of CPA governance and committee structure.

CPA’s 76th Annual Convention will be held in Ottawa from June 4 to 7, 2015 at the Westin Hotel. I invite you to prepare a submission, nominate a deserving colleague for recognition and join your peers for discussion, connection, learning and fun!


Message from the President, 2013 - 2014: Dr. Wolfgang Linden, Ph.D.

Dr. Wolfgang Linden

As President it is my pleasure to welcome you to the CPA website. Whether you are a psychologist, psychology student or a member of the public with an interest in psychological research and/or psychological health and well-being, I hope you take some time to explore all the site has to offer.

During my 2013-2014 presidential year, I will focus on issues within the organization and beyond. We are looking for new ways to bring the science and practice of psychology to the public. In 2014, we will host a Summit on a topic of interest to the public and about which psychology has something to say. The theme for the 2014 Summit will be “healthy aging”. We will bring together a panel of experts from within the psychological community who will extract the most exciting and pertinent facts from the literature which can be compiled and shared with stakeholders and the general public.

CPA is a national association serving all psychologists and psychology students. It is comprised of many lively Sections where psychologists gather to focus on their more specialized interests. The Section structure also greatly influences how CPA’s annual Convention is organized and it is my goal to review (via ad-hoc committees or small taskforces) how the convention can best meet the Sections’ needs.

Although my primary identity is that of being an academic, I am trained as a Clinical Psychologist and cannot help but wear my hat as a scientist-practitioner, bridging basic research and practical application every day. In fact, if there is one particular theme that I want apply to my year as president is that of ‘bridge building’ which I see as my life-long vocation. As an academic and practitioner, I began (and have not stopped since) working for improved mental health and substance use care three decades ago when I joined the Board of the Canadian Mental Health Association. In receiving the gavel from Dr. Jennifer Frain, I will continue to promote her message about the need to advocate for improved access to psychological services in Canada; this has been on my agenda ever since I started practicing.

During this past year, CPA invested in a thorough, independent report by a group of health economists on access to psychological care that provides a business case, and proposes models, for improved access to psychological services. To accompany the report, the CPA has developed a toolkit to take the report’s recommendations to decision-makers in the provinces and territories. I urge all psychologists in leadership roles, particularly in provincial/territorial organizations to take full advantage of these excellent materials. We encourage you too to call on CPA’s Head Office staff for assistance in using these materials and in promoting their recommendations.

The CPA’s 2014 Annual Convention will be in Vancouver. This year’s Convention also marks CPA’s 75th anniversary; in a country as young as Canada, that’s quite an achievement and we invite you to come and celebrate with us.


Message from the President, 2012 - 2013: Dr. Jennifer Frain, Ph.D.

Dr. Jennifer Frain

As President it is my pleasure to welcome you to the CPA website. Whether you are a psychologist or a member of the public with an interest in psychological research and/or psychological health and wellbeing, I hope you take some time to explore all the site has to offer.

During my 2012-2013 presidential year, I will focus on enhancing psychology’s advocacy footprint. It is both the science and practice of psychology that command our attention to advocacy. Psychologists in research and practice understand thinking, feeling and behaviour that are key to the success of individuals, families, the workplace and societies. We need to call for support for research, for practice and for the impact of our important work on public and health policy.

My particular interest is in advocating for improved access to psychological services in Canada. With the increasing recognition that our health care system must adapt to better meet the needs of Canadians, and the growing acceptance of the critical importance of life style choices and behaviour on wellbeing, the time for psychology is now! Other countries (e.g., the United Kingdom and Australia) have understood the benefit of making psychological services accessible with large, government sponsored programs. These governments made that choice based on evidence demonstrating that early and easy access to psychologists keeps people healthy longer, assists recovery from illness or accident, saves money and enables people to return to their productive working lives more quickly.

Evidence for the utility and cost effectiveness of psychological interventions is clear and will be made even clearer through two CPA initiatives: the first is to update the Cost Effectiveness of Psychological Interventions written by Dr. John Hunsley in 2002 (http://www.cpa.ca/cpasite/UserFiles/Documents/publications/Cost-Effectiveness.pdf) and the second is to engage a health economist to make the business case for improved access to psychologists. We expect both these work products to be completed by end 2012 or early 2013. We will need to USE these work products to advocate for better access to psychological services. To do so, we will require lots of psychologists to act as foot soldiers to take this message to their local government members. Politicians pay most attention to their own constituents. All politics are local.

As another initiative, I will work with CPA senior staff and relevant experts to revise the CPA Advocacy Guide and to make sure that all psychologists have the resources they need when they sit down to speak with their government representatives. As another resource, each year at Convention there is a pre-convention workshop on Advocacy which I encourage you to attend.

CPA’s 2012/13 advocacy work and initiatives have potential for tremendous impact but come with costs. I encourage you to consider a donation to CPA advocacy activity: either directed to the Science Directorate for their efforts to improve funding for psychological research or directed to the Practice Directorate to support initiatives to improve access to psychological services across the country. Please check out both of these areas (Practitioners or Researchers on the menu bar) on our website to see what they are working on and how your support could benefit these activities.

I would like to encourage our Student Affiliates to incorporate advocacy skills into their career tool kits. We can help the next generation to become champions for the dissemination of psychological research and its application to the practice of psychology. I look forward to liaising with the student section of the CPA for this purpose.

I encourage you as well to check out the issues of Psynopsis for updates written by our CEO, Dr. Karen Cohen, to learn more about all the amazing work she and her team at the CPA head office is doing to partner with other associations and organizations to support collective efforts to improve Canadians’ wellbeing. Scientists, practitioners, students and partners: together our voice is stronger and our impact on Canada’s mental health and wellbeing greater felt. Please join us!

I welcome your input: please feel free to contact me: president@cpa.ca (please CC executiveoffice@cpa.ca)

Dr. Jennifer Frain, C.Psych.
CPA President


Message from the President, 2011 - 2012: Dr. David Dozois, Ph.D.

Dr. David Dozois

It is my pleasure, as CPA’s President for 2011-2012, to invite you to participate in all that our website, and indeed the association has to offer our members, our colleagues in practice and research, and members of the public with an interest in psychological health and wellbeing. Welcome all!

CPA's mission is organized around three pillars of Science, Practice, and Education and is carried out through several key activities undertaken by senior staff and leaders within the association. These include:

  1. Promoting a standard set of ethical principles that govern the science and practice of psychology in Canada 
  2. Maintaining standards and procedures of accreditation for doctoral and internship programmes in professional psychology
  1. Publishing three peer-reviewed journals to disseminate the latest findings in psychological science and practice among psychology researchers in Canada and beyond
  2. Organizing an annual convention that brings together the psychology community of researchers, practitioners and students from across the country
  3. Advocating for the discipline and profession in support of psychological research and practice across Canada
  4. Promoting psychological research and practice as these can inform the development of social programs and policy in Canada
  5. Advocating for the psychological health and well-being of Canadians
  6. Consulting to and working with stakeholders (e.g., government, other health and science disciplines and professions, consumers of health care) about needs, gaps and opportunities for Canada's health and mental health.

CPA’s annual convention is one of the events that showcase CPA’s pillars of Science, Practice and Education. In Toronto (June 2011), CPA hosted a record number of 2066 conference delegates! In addition to the wonderful keynote addresses, we had a packed scientific program comprised of many excellent symposia, posters, theory reviews and conversation sessions. Two new initiatives included the launch of high school psychological science awards and a graduate fair where undergraduate students could have an opportunity to learn about and meet representatives from graduate programs in psychology across the country. Many attendees remarked that this was best convention yet. The Convention Committee is working hard to pull together another excellent convention to be held in Halifax, Nova Scotia (June 14-16, 2012). I hope that you join us.

CPA is far more than a great annual convention! Here are some recent highlights of our activity and accomplishments. Through our Science Directorate, we have been working with the granting Councils promoting the issues and concerns of psychological research communities particularly as these have been impacted by recent restructuring. In 2011, we have been effective in ensuring that graduate students in psychology have access to NSERC funding on the basis of their research activity, rather than on the basis of their area of specialization. We have also initiated targeted discussions with SSHRC and CIHR in order to better help the psychological research community understand and position applications for funding of psychological and health related psychological research. Through our Practice Directorate, we have been working with the provinces and territories in promoting access to psychological services. Activities in 2011 have included surveying health care leaders and the public about needs and access to psychological services and using this information to inform a position and message related to more accessible psychological services to those who need it. Through our more recently launched Education Directorate, we oversee the accreditation of doctoral and internship programmes in professional psychology and in 2011, we have launched the 5th edition of the Accreditation Standards and Procedures.

Through its senior staff, CPA maintains a number of partnerships with other scientific and professional organizations. In 2011 alone, CPA co-chairs the Health Action Lobby (HEAL), co-chairs the Mental Health Table (MHT) and vice-chairs the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH). We sit on the Steering Committee of the Canadian Consortium of Research (CCR), are a member organization in the Canadian Coalition for Public Health in the 21st Century (CCPH21), and participate in the G7 alliance of health professional associations to name a further few. On behalf of CPA and the alliances in which we hold office, CPA provides input into the work of other governmental and non-governmental organizations such as the Mental Health Commission of Canada, Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

One of my presidential objectives – which supports both science and practice in psychology – is to help move CPA toward becoming an international leader in the evidence-based practice of psychology and its dissemination. Consistent with this mandate, I am co-chairing (with Dr. Sam Mikail) a task force on evidence-based psychological treatments. The purpose of this task force is to develop a set of criteria to operationalize what constitutes evidence-based practice. How do we define evidence and do so in the context of clinical realities? This task force will make recommendations about how psychologists can best integrate evidence into practice to enhance patient care and to inform other professions and policy makers about the role of psychological interventions in the health care of Canadians.   These recommendations will be made in the form of a series of positions or position-based guidelines that are readily accessible to practitioners and their communities of science and practice.

It is a tremendous honour to serve as CPA President for 2011-2012. I have had the privilege to be involved in the leadership of CPA in some capacity – either on Committees, Sections or the Board – for the past 16 years. CPA has been my professional home and CPA members my professional family. We have a very dedicated group of staff who, under the leadership of our Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Karen Cohen, work so very hard to advance psychology for all. CPA also benefits immeasurably from the commitment and hard work of its volunteers – numerous people who give so generously of their time by serving within Sections, on Task-Forces, on the Board of Directors and on various Committees – to advance the discipline, to assist Canadians and to improve society. To learn more about the activities and contributions that CPA makes to the science, practice and education of psychology, I encourage you to consult our quarterly newsletter Psynopsis, available to members and non-members alike on our website. 

I hope you enjoy your visit to the CPA website, and invite you to share any comments or suggestions you may have about activities that CPA can take on for the science, practice and education of psychology in Canada. Please direct your email to executiveoffice@cpa.ca.

David J. A. Dozois, Ph.D.
CPA President


Message from the President, 2010 - 2011: Dr. Peter Graf, Ph.D.

Welcome to the website of the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA)!

CPA is the national association for psychology, representing psychologists from across Canada. With over 6500 members (including more than 1800 student members), CPA is Canada's largest professional association for psychology.

CPA's mission is "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."

Some of CPA's most important functions include:

  1. promoting a standard set of ethical principles that govern the work of Canadian psychologists (see the Canadian Code of Ethics for Psychologists); 
  2. providing accreditation for professional training programs in psychology; 
  3. publishing scientific journals to disseminate the latest findings from psychology researchers in Canada and beyond; 
  4. organizing an annual convention that brings together psychologists from across the country; 
  5. publishing psychology-related books through the recently launched CPA Press; 
  6. advocating for the psychological needs of Canadians; and 
  7. consulting to and working with stakeholders (e.g., government, other health disciplines and professions, consumers of health care) about needs, gaps and opportunities for Canada's health and mental health.

I encourage you to explore the website to learn more about CPA and its 31 specialized sections. Members of the public will find the Psychology Works Fact Sheets, which provide information about different types of psychological problems and the ways that psychological services can help. Students will find links to universities that offer psychology programs. You will find information on our advocacy for increased research funding, psychological practice and public policy, our Canadian accreditation system for professional programs in psychology, our guidelines and standards, our ethics code, continuing education opportunities, our three CPA journals, member benefits, our conventions and other important material.

In the past year, the CPA Board of Directors voted to approve the formation of two new entities: a Practice Directorate and a Science Directorate.

The Practice Directorate was formed through a collaboration between CPA and the Council of Professional Associations of Psychologists (CPAP), a group that represents Canada's provincial and territorial psychology associations. Its function is to provide a wide range of services to support practicing psychologists, other psychology practitioners (e.g., psychological associates), and consumers who rely on psychological services.

The Practice Directorate will (1) advocate for legislation to enhance psychological services in Canada, (2) support the work of psychology practitioners, and (3) educate the public about the role of psychology for promoting both psychological and physical health.

The Science Directorate will provide similar services, but for psychological science. It will 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.

Of course, science and practice are not independent enterprises. Psychology works best when research is informed by our everyday experiences (including those that arise in the context of clinical practice and training the next generation of psychologists), and best practices must be informed by research. The Science and Practice Directorates will work together to facilitate CPA's mission to promote excellence and innovation in psychological research, education, and practice.

It is a great privilege to serve as CPA President for 2010-2011. I hope you enjoy your visit to the CPA website, and invite you to share any comments or suggestions you may have about directions that CPA should consider taking. My e-mail address is president@cpa.ca.

Peter Graf
CPA President