Letters from the Membership Committee

The following letter was sent to in-state and out-of-state licensees who have been licensed since September 1, 2021. We're publishing here to remind everyone of the great benefits included in your membership. Also, you can share this blog post with anyone you know who you think should consider membership in IPA! A huge thank you to the Membership Committee (co-chaired by Dr. Nicole Keedy and Dr. Alissa Doobay) with a special thank you to Dr. Jody Jones for constructing and updating our recruitment letters to keep IPA thriving. 

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Presidential Update Fall 2022

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National Preparedness Month

Did you know that September is National Preparedness Month? In 2004, September was declared National Preparedness Month to encourage Americans to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses, schools, and communities. September was chosen because September is the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season and is historically linked to the September 11th attacks in 2001. 

About the Disaster Response Committee: The IPA Disaster Response Committee was created in January 2022 to increase involvement by Iowa psychologists in disaster-related mental health issues. Initial committee efforts included establishing the committee, identifying goals and scope, and establishing partnerships with local disaster-response organizations as well as relevant IPA committees. Specifically, providing Iowa psychologists with training and education in disaster mental health is a key initiative of the committee. Over the past nine months, we have provided resources to members following the Winterset tornado, the Ames Cornerstone Church shooting, and the Uvalde shooting. To be more prepared for future events, the DRC compiled and published a comprehensive resource list covering several types of disasters. 

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Diversity Spotlight - Bisexuality Awareness Week

Bisexuality Awareness Week is occurring this year September 17-24. This is the 24th year of Bi Visibility Day which has been celebrated on the 23rd of September since its inception in 1999. Bisexuality refers to sexual attraction to those who are of the same/similar gender and to those who are of a different gender. The bisexual community faces an ongoing invisibility issue even within the LGBTQAI+ community. This invisibility is referred to as bisexual erasure and reflects the dismissal, minimization, omission, overlooking of bisexual experiences. Bisexual people face greater health disparities in some areas compared to their lesbian and gay counterparts. There are several reasons for this. One is that bisexual folks may not feel they belong in LGBTQ spaces (because they aren't "gay enough") and don't feel they fit in heterosexual spaces (because they are "straight enough"), which negatively impacts mental health. Another reason relates to healthcare providers forgoing important health screenings and tests based on the gender of their bisexual patients' partners. For example, a physician may not think it is important to screen a bisexual woman for sexually transmitted infections if they know the patient is partnered with a woman. 
Helpful tip: When someone shares their sexuality with you, believe them.
More information and videos!

Get involved:

Twitters: @BiVisibilityDay @StillBisexual

Membership Update 2022

As Co-Chairs of the Membership Committee, we were recently forwarded correspondence by Dr. Bethe Lonning, IPA’s Director of Professional Affairs, that she received from Dr. Lawrence Perlman, Member at Large for APA’s Division 31 (Division for State, Provincial, and Territorial Psychological Association Affairs). Dr. Perlman requested updated information regarding IPA’s membership numbers. In the message, Dr. Perlman stated that his research of state associations found Iowa to have notably high success for recruiting and retaining members with a budget of our size, which he labeled a “remarkable achievement.” He intended to highlight IPA’s accomplishments in a Division 31 presentation at APA’s annual convention.  Dr. Doobay provided the following totals for each membership type to Dr. Perlman, as of August 1, 2022: 

Full Member: 147
Academic:     9
Advocacy-Exempt:     9
Early Career Psychologist:   18
Student Member:   39
Lifetime/retired:   44
Out-of-State:   10
Associate:     6
Total IPA Members: 282

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Nonbinary Awareness Week

July 11-17 is Nonbinary Awareness Week, celebrating and awareness building surrounding nonbinary and gender nonconforming people. This week focuses on the nonbinary community as well as the vast gender spectrum. 

Nonbinary gender is “a term used to refer to genders that are viewed as somewhere between or beyond the gender “binary” of man and woman, as well as genders that incorporate elements of both man and woman.” (Hegarty et al., 2018)

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Presidential Update July 2022

The Iowa Psychological Association has been working hard to serve its members, the field of psychology, and Iowans who benefit from our services. As we pass the midpoint of another productive year, this update serves to highlight a number of recent efforts that have successfully targeted IPA’s Strategic Plan Themes:

  1. Education and Training
  2. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  3. Building Connections and Community
  4. Advocacy
  5. Financial Stability

You are encouraged to read the full Strategic Plan, which is available on our website:

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Diversity Spotlight: Juneteenth 2022


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Disaster Response Resources

The recent shootings in Uvalde and Buffalo, along with Thursday's shooting at Cornerstone Church in Ames, IA, leave us all struggling to cope with the violence that impacts our community. These tragic events only serve to exacerbate the effects of the ongoing pandemic and the war in Ukraine. For more details on Thursday's shooting in Ames, IA, please reference this CNN article.
If you are seeking resources to assist clients, parents, educators, and community members who are attempting to make sense of these recent events, please refer to the Google Doc sent out via the IPA listserv last week following the Uvalde shooting. A few resources have been added including general resources for providers. The list is also pasted below.
If you need additional support or assistance, please feel free to backchannel me here.
General Resources
  • Disaster Distress Helpline (SAMHSA)

    • The Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990, is a 24/7, 365-day-a-year, national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster.

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The Steadily Maturing RxP Agenda

Iowa is pleased to have three conditional prescribing psychologists! This status means they have completed their MSCP, passed the PEP, completed their clinical contacts and their 400/100 practicum and are prescribing with supervision. During this period of supervision, if they want to prescribe to special populations (defined in our law as under the age of 18, older than 65, pregnant, etc.) this is the time when they would acquire supervision specific to those populations. A fourth candidate is just waiting for his application to be approved before being granted his certificate so Iowa may have four by the time this is published—and, he just did succeed! There are two other candidates diligently working on their clinical assessment and practicum hours (Iowa law still uses the previous designation language as it wasn’t updated until after our law was passed) and hopefully will have their certificate(s) by the end of this year.

We continue to assess the climate of our legislature to determine when it might be a good time to look at altering some of the original language of our law. As with most states, we were unable to get the law to read exactly how we wanted it and now are hoping to be able to fine tune some language in the future. Iowa’s legislative session for 2022 will come to a close by the end of April at the latest so we’re looking at legislative session 2023 at the earliest.

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Updates to the IPA Blog

Although Spring hasn’t quite sprung yet in Iowa, we are in a season of change for the IPA blog! In response to feedback from our members, we’ve made a couple changes.

Having to take that extra step to log in was prohibitive in accessing our content. As of today, the blog is now available without having to log in. This will make it easier to go directly to the posts that interest you and will make it easier to share links to posts. Please note, this also makes blog posts visible on search engines and to the public.

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IPA Awards Ceremony 2022

The annual awards ceremony occurred on April 5, 2022, in conjunction with the IPA Spring Conference in Des Moines. 

The IPA Phil Laughlin Meritorious Achievement Award is intended to honor an IPA member for outstanding service to the association. All IPA members are eligible to be considered for this award except those currently serving on the IPA Executive Council. The 2022 award was presented to Dr. Kevin Krumvieda, who was nominated by Dr. Karen Nelson:  

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Considerations When Working with Gender Minority Clients

When Dr. Kopp asked me to write about working with LGBTQ-identified clients (waaaay back in September…or was it August?), I happily agreed. As many of you know, working with queer folks like me is my jam. But when I sat down to write, I wasn’t quite sure what to say. Should I write a “LGBTQ 101” kind of post? Should I focus on a particular issue within the LGBTQ community such as housing insecurity or bi-erasure? As a recovering perfectionist, I was gripped with decision paralysis. Then November rolled around. Transgender Awareness Week and Transgender Day of Remembrance are in November, so writing about gender minority-related topics seemed like a timely topic for my painfully belated post.

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IPA Service: Get a Great Return on Your Investment

The Membership Committee strives to increase member participation in activities that promote the IPA mission and Strategic Plan. A primary Membership Committee objective is to assist IPA’s standing committees in reaching their desired capacities. Over the past year, our Finance, Psychopharmacology, and Diversity and Social Justice committees have benefitted from the participation of some of the newest IPA members, including student members. This effort has been greatly appreciated. Meanwhile, the majority of IPA committees continue to seek members.

The success of IPA requires each of us to consider how we can best contribute to the association. Prior to serving initially as Co-Chair of the Membership Committee and now, additionally, as President-Elect of IPA, I recall declining repeated requests to increase participation in the association, explaining that my time was too limited. Upon reflection, however, I recognized that IPA only functions as an association due to the volunteerism of a number of dedicated members who ensure that we are able to successfully organize and advocate for the profession of psychology and the well-being of the Iowans we serve.

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Presidential Update Spring 2022

As I reflect on the first three months of my Presidential year for IPA, I could not be more impressed by the energy and growth I have observed among our members and leaders. This association’s Executive Council Members, Committee Chairs and Co-Chairs, Committee Members, and Liaisons commit countless hours of volunteered time to IPA in addition to their active work and home lives. Additionally, IPA is fortunate to have devoted individuals serving in contracted positions (i.e., Executive Director, Director of Professional Affairs, Lobbyist, Training Director, Bookkeeper) who consistently exceed expectations in fulfilling their responsibilities to serve IPA members and to support the Executive Council. I appreciate this opportunity to highlight only a few of the many initiatives and accomplishments of these outstanding psychologists and professionals.

IPA’s Executive Council (EC) consists of 12 members who conduct the foundational business of the association through six Council meetings per year and numerous additional communications. I have been honored and grateful to serve with this group of thoughtful and committed psychologists whose overarching goal is to promote the needs and desires of membership and, ultimately, the individuals we serve. Each EC member dedicates seemingly tireless energy to their efforts to ensure IPA is serving its membership as effectively as possible. This amazing group of individuals deserves a wealth of gratitude for their volunteered time and leadership.

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IPA Receives APA Grant Money

The Iowa Psychological Association is pleased to announce that we have again been awarded a Small State Operational Grant from APA services in the amount of $10,000 to help fund our lobbyist services. The grant will be used to go toward offsetting the lobbyist expense to help support IPA’s 2022 legislative agenda:

  1. Continue to advocate for parity in telehealth for services provided by psychologists.

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Talk Therapy Did Not Work for Me

I was a nontraditional student at my undergraduate and graduate schools. In fact, I sought out psychology to answer specific personal questions as well as questions that I’d encountered in my work as a Franciscan nun. To summarize the content of my wondering mind I’d say at a personal level I wanted to know the following: a) who am I? b) why am I here? c) where do I go after I’m no longer here? From my work with young women in Cameroon I wanted to find out how to heal invisible wounds that manifest as struggles in interpersonal relationships especially in communal living situations. At the time I was thinking that most people can do okay within their families but if you have to interact with others who don’t know you the way family does, you need more.

School was extremely hard because every class that wasn’t directly responding to one or the other of these questions was like torture to me. Additionally, I’m a sensitive action-oriented individual who likes to get things done the easiest way possible and with high efficiency. I like seeing things done and assessing outcomes and making changes. I don’t know how true this happens in real life but I’m fiercely dedicated to this way of living which leaves makes me not so fun to be around if you don’t like change or take your time to digest life before you move on. I’d love to be that way naturally but it’s not my default but I’m making progress as I gain more wisdom with time. Challenges with graduate school and a desire to know myself better led me to seek out my first therapist.

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The Value of IPA Membership

January is often a time of reflection, prioritization, and rededication to what brings the most value and meaning to our lives. We all have finite time, energy, and resources, and we know the importance of being intentional about how we expend those. Throughout the year, it is easy to get caught up in a multitude of tasks, engagements, and responsibilities, some of which may drain rather than replenish us. This January, I am recommitting to tasks, activities, organizations, and relationships that match my personal values and bring joy and meaning to my life, and I invite you to do the same. 

Being a member of IPA and serving in a leadership role in this organization are excellent ways to develop community, gain leadership and advocacy experience, serve others, and advance the psychological wellbeing of the people of Iowa. I will acknowledge that, although I have been a member of IPA for more than 15 years, it was not until I joined leadership that I really began developing relationships with other IPA members. By serving as co-chair of the Membership Committee, I have had the pleasure of getting to know so many of our fabulous members who are doing amazing work throughout the state. I am so grateful for that opportunity!

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Presidential Update December 2021

Dear IPA Members,

I hope you each are enjoying the last days of 2021 and hoping that 2022 is a safe and happy one for you, bringing you many blessings and much joy.

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Staying Mentally Healthy in the Holiday Season

This blog first appeared on the PSYowa blog, a public education blog that can be shared on social media or emailed to friends and family. The link for the public post is found here

Holidays are often sources of joy, connection, and celebration for people all over the world. However, we sometimes forget that they can also be reminders of painful losses and loneliness. Even before the pandemic the holidays were often sources of stress for many of us. With the pandemic impacting all of our lives in many ways, holidays haven’t looked like they used to. We have had to connect with loved ones through nursing homes and hospital windows, we’ve had to Facetime friends and family when we normally would’ve joined in person, and many of us have lost friends and family members who have been an important part of our holidays. For some, the holidays will continue to be very different this year. Dealing with this ongoing disruption in the traditions we hold dear can lead to struggles with our well-being and our mental health. 

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