President’s Corner

by Annette Conway, Psy.D., President of the San Diego Psychological Association

annetteWelcome to the first quarter of The San Diego Psychologist!  Our Editor, Dr. Gauri Savla, and the SDPA Board, continue to receive positive feedback from the membership about  the Newsletter’s transition from a hard copy to an online publication.  I want to personally thank Gauri for her hard work, skills, and professionalism in accomplishing this large task.  It takes many hours of creating content, laying out and formatting the articles, editing, and proofreading, before each issue of the Newsletter is published. I encourage you to leave your comments and questions directly on website, as well as to consider submitting your article. We had an unusually low response rate for the call for articles for this Winter 2017 issue. The Newsletter will only be a success with your continued collaboration and support.

As the new President of the SDPA, I would like to draw your attention to the new and exciting changes and activities taking place in our organization. You may have noticed that the SDPA Board has taken steps toward a structural reorganization over the past year.  Since July 1, 2016, we have been able to reduce administrative expenses by 25% in hiring contract office staff and volunteers. This restructuring has lessened the burden of fundraising, while continuing to offer SDPA members the programs and other benefits they deserve.  In addition, new leadership positions have been filled by students and early career psychologists on the Board and within our committees. Fifty percent of the 2017 Board is comprised of early career psychologists.

In other news, we have a new part time office assistant, Tami Magaro, who has a background in accounting, administration, and website design and management. We are excited to have her. The Public Education and Media Committee (PEM) is vetting the soon-to-be-hired publicist in order to “brand” the SDPA so that it is more visible within the community.  The Diversity and LGBTQ Committees continue their efforts in increasing diversity and inclusivity within the SDPA and the community at large. The Government Affairs Committee keeps members up-to-date on issues that are vital to the psychology.

We are also looking forward to hosting several upcoming events: The annual SDPA party is on April 29th, 2017 at the Karl Strauss Brewery in Sorrento Mesa. In our ongoing commitment to serve our members, SDPA has partnered with the San Diego Psychiatric Society, San Diego Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists, and the San Diego Chapter of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT) for its second annual Critical Issues in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Conference. The conference will take place on March 11th, 2017. For more information and to register, visit  The Ethics Committee is offering a CE workshop titled “Being Prepared for the Unexpected: Practice and Ethics of Preparing Your Professional Will” on May 13th.

The Fall Conference this year will be held on October 14th, 2017; it is being spearheaded by the CE Committee Chair, Dr. Mary Mulvihill, who has has been exploring new ideas for presenting up-to-date information. The Fall issue of the Newsletter will focus on the theme of the conference, which will be announced in the next few months.

The current issue of the Newsletter focuses on Pain and our role as mental health professionals in treating clients with chronic pain. Chronic pain and the management of the pain is a complex problem, and the most common reason individuals seek medical advice. According to the APA, approximately 100 million adults in the United States suffer from chronic pain, which is the leading cause of disability. The psychological repercussions are numerous:  depression and anxiety, withdrawal from productive activities, social isolation, loss of self-esteem and purpose, loss of energy, the fear of being labeled “crazy” or that the pain is “all in my head,” enforced dependency, and the misuse and addiction to opioids. This issue addresses the pioneering and integrative approaches to the problem associated with improved functioning and decreased psychological distress. It is hopeful to read about the advancements and the “out-of-the-box” strategies that are being researched and introduced as effective coping tools for pain relief.

You are welcome to contact me with your questions and suggestions via email

( or via phone (858-342-0948).


Annette Conway, Psy.D.

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