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APA Candidates

The APA Elections Website contains additional information on each candidate.
The SCCAP Board does not endorse candidates.  All candidates were given the opportunity to respond to the same child-focused questions as a way for the SCCAP membership to make an informed decision.

Cynthia de las Fuentes, PhD

APA Candidate Statement


Due to my parents’ careers, I was raised in relative privilege, but they were raised in poverty. When we weren’t living abroad, we visited our extended families in Texas and Mexico at least every summer and Christmas holiday. Most of my childhood they lived on dirt roads or didn’t have indoor plumbing. The experiences I gained from traveling and living in different communities in my youth exposed me to the problems and pain of marginality and powerlessness that has been a part of life for the people in the communities I came from and learned to care about. I wanted to become a psychologist to help people heal from the traumas that result from the damage imposed on them by systems, institutions, cultures, and circumstances designed to subjugate their lives.

Diana L. Prescott, PhD

APA Candidate Statement



I am a member of Division 53, and I am requesting endorsement for APA President-Elect.  I studied clinical and developmental psychology and became a psychologist due to recognition that Spanish-speaking school children were being inaccurately tested.  My early research focused on toddlers living in poverty and abuse.  I then examined identification of school children with diagnoses like ADHD.  I have been devoted to the needs of youth in my rural practice and doctoral student training.  I will focus on building a diverse, inclusive organization that leads the world caring for children and adolescents in our psychological education, science, and practice.

Question and Answer

We need to unite to advance our strategic priorities.  I am dedicated to advocating for the needs of psychology and psychologists.  I will prioritize the needs of rural and underserved communities, along with the major areas of APA (practice, education, science, applied psychology), as well as social justice and advocacy.

  1. What do you see as the most pressing issues affecting children’s mental health?

The Stress in America data really reveals the toll the COVID-19 pandemic is taking on our Gen Z youth.  They have missed developmental milestones and landmark events (e.g., graduation, prom).  They have been unable to attend daycare/school/college, be with their peers, play with other children.  The Elder data from the Great Depression revealed greatest impact on the youngest of the population.  I am concerned that some of the impact of the pandemic on our “littles” will not become evident for some time.  The racism pandemic has only likely exacerbated this stress on our children of color.  I have seen this impact in my rural practice with children and adolescents, noting the staggering increase in anxiety and depression, along with overall number of referrals.  Social media and cyberbullying have been demonstrated to impact our teen girls potentially negatively in terms of their emotional health.  Substance misuse is a major concern for many youth, with opioid addiction leading to unintended death.  Our children and adolescents are often living in homes and communities where they are exposed to violence and abuse.  They are concerned with environmental issues related to climate change.  Suicide is a leading cause of death.  When youth and families seek treatment, they are often unable to locate services or experience lengthy delays in treatment onset.  Although I believe the impact of the pandemic is currently the most pressing issue, these other issues remain critically pressing issues affecting children’s mental health.

  1. How can APA increase overall access and reduce racial/ethnic inequities in the provision of evidence-based practice in children’s mental health care? (practice)

 Integrated care in medical, school, and community settings provides a mechanism for health and mental health equity.  APA could increase access and reduce racial/ethnic disparities by identifying neighborhood clinics, schools, and gathering places where psychologists could lead the provision of psychological services.  We need to determine the ways to invest in the recruitment of students of color and assist students with ease in qualification for funding and student loan forgiveness.  Community health workers could identify those who need assistance and help arrange for contact via in-person or telepsychology services.  In Cuba, the community medical care has been praised for its effectiveness, due to providers living in the community and accessing the needs of people in their homes.  Children need to be provided services where they live and go to school.

  1. How can APA advance the education, training, and diversity of clinical child and adolescent psychologists? (education)

 It would be important to identify the diverse individuals who have been successful obtaining this education and training and promote them financially as recruiters and mentors of other diverse individuals.  The focus should be squarely on obtaining more funding for doctoral students in the form of assistantships and grants, as well as in more robust student loan forgiveness policies, making doctoral study more affordable for trainees.  Connections via telehealth are an important mechanism for creating a community of support, in locations where diversity is limited for clinical child and adolescent psychologists.  Our Practice Leadership Conference (PLC) has been successful in bringing these diverse early career psychologists to Washington, helping them learn advocacy skills, and develop a community of support for future leadership.  This model could be replicated with clinical child and adolescent psychologists within APA.


  1. How can APA promote an inclusive science of clinical child and adolescent psychology? (science)


APA is in the process of identifying the ways in which it has not been inclusive in the science of psychology.  In this process, we will identify how this has been true in child and developmental psychological science.  It is important to rectify this and assure going forward our science of clinical child and adolescent psychology is inclusive in terms of the scientists trained as well as what is being studied.  It is critically important to identify scientists of color and promote them in their careers to assure there is inclusion and diversity in those who study psychological science.  Uplifting and supporting the growth of the research pipeline for these diverse psychologists would be part of APA’s role, along with elevating the psychological subject matter experts on diversity and health disparity.

Beth N. Rom-Rymer, PhD

APA Candidate Statement



We are living in a world shaken by trauma:  the ongoing crimes against humanity in Ukraine; the struggle to sustain international democratic states amidst authoritarianism; the battles to inoculate people, worldwide, against Covid-19, while Covid deaths and post-acute Covid symptoms continue to devastate families and communities; the suffering caused by institutional racism, anti-Semitism, violence against BIPOC, LGBTQ, AAPI, other-abled communities.

My life’s work as trauma clinician, forensic expert, legislative advocate, University lecturer, author, state/national/international leader, uniquely qualifies me to be APA President.

Psychologists, because of our extraordinary education, training, and experience, have an impact, every day, on the lives of those who are suffering in our local, national, and international communities.  Therefore, I wholeheartedly support the frontline work of clinicians, as well as the critical work done by academic researchers and social, forensic, industrial, organizational, experimental, and applied psychologists.  We will continue to powerfully speak!

Question and Answer

  1. What do you see as the most pressing issues affecting children’s mental health?

Emotional health and physical health are inextricably tied together.  Our yearslong struggles with Covid-19 and, now, with increased economic insecurity, are having an enormous impact on our children, especially those children who are living in communities in food deserts and with chronically inadequate access to comprehensive, well-funded healthcare resources. The pandemic and concomitant economic insecurity have affected our families’ physical and emotional health stability and preexisting health deficits; our children’s socialization routines; our children’s access to consistent educational opportunities; our children’s access to affordable and nutritious food.  Families’ economic status declines as stressors multiply.  The foundations of our children’s lives have been considerably shaken.  It is most important to provide children with safety and security.  These pillars, on which they have relied, have been damaged.  We will need to focus a great deal of attention on the mental and physical health sequelae of the pandemic and growing economic insecurity, especially in communities in which access to critical healthcare has been, and continues to be, unacceptably insufficient.

  1. How can APA increase overall access and reduce racial/ethnic inequities in the provision of evidence-based practice in children’s mental health care? (practice)

I adhere to Urie Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory, in which one views child development as a complex system of relationships affected by multiple levels of the surrounding environment.  Therefore, in my home state of Illinois, I am working to create a mental health system that provides greater access to care for families, particularly the most vulnerable and underserved, so that children’s lives can be healthier, more robust, and more fully supported.

As APA President, I will advocate for a larger presence of psychological services in community health clinics.  There are several innovative strategies that we can use to make a larger footprint in community clinics:  increasing mobile health units; increasing access to telehealth; increasing the numbers of psychologists in primary care clinics; opening up urgent care centers for emotional health; increasing home visits, with particular attention to communities that have been unable to communicate easily with care providers because of language barriers, cultural/ethnic/religious/gender differences barriers, mobility barriers, transportation barriers, and other financial barriers.

As APA President, I will advocate for amplifying the use of the ACEs questionnaires for children and adolescents. APA has already begun to do this, by encouraging clinicians to use the new reimbursement codes for inquiring about adverse childhood experiences. It is advantageous that the self-report ACE forms come in several languages.

As APA President, I will advocate for and heighten the communications on many different kinds of strategies that promote prevention and resilience. Emotional resilience is tied directly to physical outcomes.  Examples include the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania, that has focused on understanding and strengthening children’s resilience.  The clinicians in the Center have created a specific protocol for strategic interventions.  Another model of effective prevention is “Centering.”  Centering is a paradigm of prenatal care in which women receive their prenatal care in a group setting.  With Centering, women have more time to connect with their provider, to learn about the pregnancy, and to build relationships with other parents. Once the mothers have given birth, the relationships are sustained with parenting groups.  Informed parenting support directly impacts child development.  Centering has been a terrific initiative for creating more emotionally stable family environments.

Above all, we need to strengthen access points for families who have historically had little access to high quality, informed care.  Equitable access to healthcare is a right, not a privilege, and we, at APA, need to continue to speak to the issues of health disparities and how we can reduce and eliminate them.

  1. How can APA advance the education, training, and diversity of clinical child and adolescent psychologists? (education)

APA can encourage and promote clinical child and adolescent tracks within our education and training models.  We can support the increase of child and adolescent-specific and child and adolescent-exclusive internships.  To increase the diversity of child and adolescent psychologists, we can start talking to high school students about our work as child and adolescent psychologists.  We can partner with high schools in at-risk areas.  We can talk about the excitement of being child and adolescent psychologists, just as I have talked enthusiastically to high school students and undergraduate students about the prospect of becoming prescribing psychologists.  Painting a vision of the future inspires the next generations of psychologists!

We can support grassroots efforts in traditionally unrepresented, diverse groups by visiting youth centers and churches, mosques, and other religious and recreational gathering places.  We can mentor young people, beginning at a very young age; we can help them understand the role that psychology plays in our everyday lives.  We can begin to describe to them the kind of education and training that they will need to become psychologists.  Often, when physicians and psychologists spend time with young people and talk about their career paths, the young people are most drawn to talking with the psychologists because our children have been faced with so many psychological  challenges in their young lives.  Psychologists’ partnering with primary care physicians creates abundant opportunities for collaborative relationships and sustained engagement and mentoring with children and their families, through the high school years. One teenager reported a very powerful experience to a colleague: “One of the psychologists, there, supported my dreams of wanting to help my entire neighborhood to eliminate all kinds of violence.”

Parents who have low information about parenting and engage in harmful substance abuse or other dangerous behaviors may not hurt their children directly but surround themselves with people who can be hurtful to the children.  It is important that the children have access to psychologist mentors to help them manage their own emotional and psychological lives as well as to teach them about meaningful career paths as psychologists.

  1. How can APA promote an inclusive science of clinical child and adolescent psychology? (science)

Our team at APA can promote an inclusive science of clinical child and adolescent psychology by explicitly encouraging partnerships with obstetricians, pediatricians, family practice physicians, and other family-involved physicians, generating data on children and families in every community.  We must provide a robust, data-driven curriculum for addressing child and adolescent issues.  We must look at child and adolescent psychopathology and the various means for conducting thorough child and adolescent assessments, including an assessment of the environment and, as noted above, a full understanding of Adverse Childhood Experiences.  There is enough opportunity and availability at this stage, to support evidence-based information on children and adolescents in all neighborhoods.  We no longer will be relying on childhood and adolescent disorders, gleaned from adult psychopathology or gleaned only from white neighborhoods.  We will promote the full interdisciplinary sharing of information on child and adolescent psychology from all of the neighborhood diversity that exists in our communities.

Kirk J. Schneider, PhD

APA Candidate Statement


Currently, I am a director of a psychotherapy training institute, a fellow in six APA divisions, and a member of APA Council. I also have a part-time practice.

Growing up, I was immersed in psychology.  When I was two-and-a-half, my seven-year-old brother died tragically from a rare disease.  Thanks to the acute sensitivity of my parents, I underwent psychoanalysis at a young age.  Later, when I was in graduate school, I sought out additional therapy that transformed my life.  It availed me of spiritual and psychological healing that to this day has sustained and illuminated my path.

  1. What do you see as the most pressing issues affecting children’s mental health? 

The number one issue in my view is the lack of access to emotionally restorative relationships, that is longer term, in depth relationships with caregivers, mentors or counselors that could help children to deal more effectively with such crises as the pandemic, racism, political polarization, and our violent world. Please see my platform statement attached as well as at my website (which is linked in the attached) for an elaboration.

  1. How can APA increase overall access and reduce racial/ethnic inequities in the provision of evidence-based practice in children’s mental health care?

Again, please see my summary platform statement attached but my proposal to mobilize a National Corps of Psychologists who promote emotionally  restorative relationships, that is, relationships where kids feel heard and seen and that get at the roots of their problems would be a critical start.  And this kind of offering would be especially important to offer in underserved and marginalized communities--again see my platform statement for an elaboration of how I intend to support and fund such an equitable proposal.

  1. How can APA advance the education, training, and diversity of clinical child and adolescent psychologists?

By making the case with government and private funders, as well as our membership that such advancement is crucial to stemming the tide of depression, anxiety, isolation, addiction and violence among our youth today ( just today there was another violent shooting at a school in Texas).  If there was ever a time to redouble our efforts to educate and train diverse clinical child and adolescent psychologists in cultivating effective relationships with youth it is now.  And I would use the platform of APA president to emphasize this point.

  1. How can APA promote an inclusive science of clinical child and adolescent psychology?
  2. By finding more funding sources for competent relational oriented clinical and counseling trainees and professionals to offer their services to communities throughout the U.S. at affordable rates, and by calling for a mass mobilization of such efforts as I do with the development of a National Corps of Psychologists.  I also believe that including competent Masters level practitioners in this mobilization is critical, especially in underserved communities. Finally, I view mixed methods research that includes a strong qualitative component will significantly improve and optimize our science to carry out the above measures.


Kirk J. Schneider, Ph.D. is a leading spokesperson for contemporary existential-humanistic and existential-integrative psychology. Dr. Schneider is a cofounder and current president of the Existential-Humanistic Institute (an award-winning psychotherapy training center), a two-term Council Member of the American Psychological Association (APA), and a current (2022) Candidate for President of the APA.  He is also past president (2015-2016) of the Society for Humanistic Psychology (Division 32) of the APA, recent past editor of the Journal of Humanistic Psychology (2005-2012), a trained moderator for the conflict mediation group Braver Angels, and an adjunct faculty member at Saybrook University and Teachers College, Columbia University, and he is Guest Instructor at the Manhattan Institute of Psychoanalysis. Dr. Schneider is also an Honorary Member of the Society for Existential Analysis and the East European Association for Existential Therapy. He received the Rollo May Award for “outstanding and independent contributions” to the field of humanistic psychology from the Society for Humanistic Psychology, APA and is a Fellow of six Divisions of the APA (9, 32, 42, 12, 29, and 24). His work on existential-integrative psychotherapy has been featured in a special issue of the Journal of Psychotherapy Integration (March, 2016), as well as The Wiley World Handbook of Existential Therapy and the APA’s forthcoming Handbook of Psychotherapy. Dr. Schneider has published over 200 articles, interviews and chapters and has authored or edited 13 books including The Paradoxical Self, Horror and the Holy, Rediscovery of Awe, Awakening to Awe, The Spirituality of Awe, The Polarized Mind, The Handbook of Humanistic Psychology, Existential-Humanistic therapy, Existential-Integrative Psychotherapy, The Wiley World Handbook of Existential Therapy, and The Depolarizing of America:  A Guidebook for Social Healing. Dr. Schneider’s work has been featured in Scientific American, the New York Times, USA Today, The Guardian, Vanity Fair, Psychology Today, BBC World News and many other health and psychology outlets. For more information on Dr. Schneider's work visit