Lunch with the Masters

Dr. David Songco and Dr. John Norcross

Dr. David Songco (right) and Dr. John Norcross

Many of my fellow convention bloggers have posted their reasons why the APA convention is the best convention to attend. While I do not have a list of reasons, I do have one experience that I believe will inspire any graduate student or early career psychologist (ECP) to attend.

APA’s Division 29 — Division of Psychotherapy — hosted its annual “Lunch with the Masters.” It was an incredible opportunity for graduate students and early career psychologists to engage in an informal dialogue with leading experts and role models in the field. Notable guests included Pamela Hays (author of Creating Well-being and Connecting Across Cultures), Joseph White (“godfather” of black psychology), Raymond DiGiuseppe (author of A Practitioner’s Guide to Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy) and John Norcross (author of Changeology – 5 Steps to Realizing Your Goals and Resolutions) among many others.

Lunch with the Masters

Lunch with the Masters

During this “Lunch with the Masters,” graduate students and ECPs had the opportunity to take a break and have an informal conversation about their career aspirations, and also ask the “masters” about their career development, personal passions in the field of psychology and their professional journey.

As an added perk, Division 29 and many of the masters provided their books to be raffled to all the students and ECPs in attendance. I walked away with John Norcross’ book, which he was more than happy to sign.DSC_0026

As an early career psychologist, I found it a wonderful opportunity to network and be surrounded by so many like-minded individuals. Each of the masters was willing to listen, encourage and ask about our personal desires and passions. The ability to connect with successful psychologists in such a personal way has been one of the most beneficial experiences that I have had here at the APA convention.

Have you had any pivotal interactions or moments during this conference? Please share them in the comments below.

The True Convention Experience

DSC02104APA convention is fun all around. It’s more than just men in suits and ties, or women in pants, dresses or fancy attire. APA convention is an experience like no other. You can go from a day of scholarly presentations to fun at social hours; and connecting with old and new colleagues.

Today was truly a rewarding experience, which solidified why I love psychology.This convention experience was full of high moments and anxiety about presenting my first solo symposium. My day started bright and early with attending the Minority Fellowship Program breakfast, which allowed me the opportunity to meet other fellows and mentors. This was followed by a busy day of seDSC02098ssions to gain valuable psychological knowledge, stopping by the APA art project in the convention hall, and then having my stomach in a knot while feeling anxious about presenting my symposium on parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT).

Convention attendee doing art.

Convention attendee doing art.

Overall, my day was busy yet rewarding. I used my own cognitive-behavioral techniques that I often use with my therapy clients to calm myself before giving my talk, which must have worked really well. I was very pleased that I was able to give my talk to a packed room waiting to hear me present on treating disruptive behaviors in children. The highlight was after my presentation getting a comment from Karen Budd, PhD (professor at DePaul University who does research on PCIT), who complimented me on doing a great job presenting and encouraged me to continue my work. Who knows, this could open doors for future collaboration. That’s what I love about APA convention. There are so many opportunities to network.

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The celebration continued, and ended with attending social hours sponsored by the
Committee on Early Career Psychologist (CECP), as well as, the Division 42 S/ECP social hour. I am truly excited to be in this profession and look forward to continued involvement in APA. I hope your convention experience is full of fun.

APA members at ECP social

APA members at the ECP social