Whether you are just starting out in the field of psychology or you are considering re-specializing after practicing for some time already, the OA-SIG of Division 17 can help provide mentorship during this important transition into a geropsychology specialty.
For students and early career psychologists, entering the workforce for the first time or starting a new career can be challenging. Working with a specific population may limit the availability of mentors in your daily work setting. While a specialization can make you more competitive and an asset to referring providers and potential clients, it can sometimes feel as if you are fumbling around, trying to figure things out on your own. For example, Kathy Ramos, M.A., M.Ed., described this experience in her December, 2014 OA-SIG blog post. Connecting with a professional who has experience in your area of specialization can help you reach your professional goals efficiently. And, participating in professional groups, such as the OA-SIG, can help connect you to resources and information pertinent to your work.
For professionals who have been in the field for some time, perhaps you recognize the need for competency in working with aging populations. Whether in an outpatient setting or long-term care, older adult clients are becoming more common as the “Baby Boomers” reach retirement. According to data by the United Nations, the percentage of adults in the United States age 65 and up in 2000 was 12.3%. By the year 2025, this will increase to 18.5%. Nearly 1 in 5 Americans will be an older adult within the next decade. With this growing population comes a need for understanding the unique issues faced by older adults and how to effectively treat an aging population. Within the OA-SIG, a mentorship model is emerging that provides an opportunity for professionals who are re-specializing in work with older adults to connect with others who have more training or experience in this area. In addition, the OA-SIG would like to use platforms, such as social media or this blog, to connect members to important resources.
In this vein, below are important resources within and outside of the APA to help guide new and seasoned professionals in their work with older adults. The lists include resources on competencies as well as other professional groups of interest when working with this population.
In 2013, APA issued Multicultural Competency in Geropsychology: A Report of the APA Committee on Aging and its Work Group. This report can be viewed or downloaded by clicking here.
In 2013, APA published Revised Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Older Adults. These guidelines can be viewed or downloaded by clicking here.
In February, 2015, the American Psychological Association will be publishing a new book titled APA Handbook of Clinical Geropsychology. According to the description provided here, the handbook will provide a review of research, discussion of history and development of the field of Geropsychology, application of theory, and information on core competencies, assessment, intervention, and consultation while working with this growing population.
Other organizations within APA that focus on aging include:
- APA Div. 12-II (Society of Clinical Geropsychology)
- APA Div. 20 (Adult Development & Aging)
- End of Life Issues and Care
- APA Office on Aging
Descriptions of each of these groups can be found by clicking here.
A list of organizations outside APA that focus on aging can be found by clicking here.
To participate in the mentorship program within the OA-SIG, whether as a prospective mentor or mentee, please complete the 2015 membership survey (a link will be emailed to members) and indicate your interest in this program.
Post Written by:
Aarika V. White, Ph.D., HSPP
About the Author:
Aarika V. White is a Licensed Psychologist in the state of Indiana. She currently practices in multiple settings, including private practice, assisted living, and a university counseling center. She graduated in 2012 from Ball State University with a doctorate in Counseling Psychology. She enjoys working with adults of all ages, but especially enjoys working with individuals during important life transitions (e.g., from adolescence into young adulthood; from working to retirement; from adulthood into older adult life). Her approach to therapy includes an integration of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Interpersonal Therapy. She also enjoys teaching and supervision, and has served as the co-chair of the mentorship committee for the Div. 17 Older Adult Special Interest Group since 2012.