Greetings! If you are reading this, you are a member of UPA and a supporter of psychology in this “pretty great state” of ours. I applaud you for caring enough to be a member of your state association and supporting our efforts to advance the impact of our profession in helping psychology have a role in creating a better society for all people, regardless of national or ethnic origin, religion, gender status, or any other demographic factor.
As the new president of UPA, I decided that my emphasis this year would be “Surviving and Thriving through Tough Times.” Given that this has been a year of tremendous change and political upheaval, many of our clients (and many of us) have been feeling disoriented and discouraged. Together with the Public Education Committee, I will be gathering and disseminating a digital package of brochures, suggestions, and strategies to promote positive coping in our clients and ourselves, using the principles that that we know can promote psychological well-being. In addition, I would like to invite you, the membership, to submit ideas, websites, books or other references that you have found helpful, so that we may include them in this package. I would also like to highlight efforts to promote positive coping in future issues of the UPA newsletter, so that we all may benefit. Please feel free to share this information with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, I want to work on increasing UPA’s membership. As you may or may not know, a minority of Utah psychologists are members of UPA, which should be of great concern to us. Why are our numbers so low? Surveys consistently indicate that non-member psychologists want to know “what has UPA done for me lately?” Apparently, they are unaware of the services we provide to the public with regard to legislative oversight, licensing, and protecting our profession as part of our advocacy for all psychologists in Utah. As our website says, “UPA has historically helped define the role of psychology in Utah and continues to play a strong role in making sure that psychologists have a voice in state legislation, licensing changes, and scope of practice.”Keep in mind that UPA’s membership fee is among the lowest of all the state psychological associations, and allows us to maintain an informational website and Facebook page, provide continuing education for the membership, have a lobbyist in the Utah State Legislature who works on our behalf, and allows us to be a watchdog for the profession with regard to proposed legislation.
As an example of one of our successes, this year, Dr. Nan Klein, UPA’s Director of Professional Affairs, was successful in facilitating the passage of legislation to allow Utah to participate in PSYPACT, an interstate compact allowing telepsychology and the temporary face-to-face practice of psychology across jurisdictional boundaries.
With regard to continuing education offerings, this year we will have not one, but two ethics courses for your CE pleasure. We also plan to continue our popular monthly webinar series on Zoom, instituted by last year’s president, Jamie Brass. If you have 45 minutes to share your expertise on a topic, I would love to hear from you! Call or email me, and get a warm and fuzzy feeling from helping UPA provide continuing education to our membership!
In closing, in order to enhance our ability to advocate for psychology, I would like to issue a challenge for all UPA members to bring at least one non-member psychologist into the fold this year. Our impact and sphere of influence as a profession and as a state organization is directly related to our number of members. Furthermore, I would like to encourage those who are reading this to become involved with UPA as a committee member or board member. If not you, then who? If interested, call or text me at 801-918-6198, or email me. You can also call our Executive Director, Teresa Bruce, at 801-410-0337 or email her at email@example.com to chat about your potential involvement in UPA.
I am really looking forward to being your president this year, and will do my best to serve you and promote the cause of psychology in Utah. Comments, contributions and ideas from you are welcomed.
Janiece Pompa, Ph.D.
President, Utah Psychological Association