Fellowships to Promote Diversity in Clinical Psychology
The Statue Foundation Fellowships to Promote Diversity in Clinical Psychology at The New School for Social Research
The New School for Social Research is accepting applications for the Statue Foundation Fellowship in Clinical Psychology.
NOTE: Deadline has been extended to March 15, 2013.
The New School for Social Research is pleased to announce the Statue Foundation Fellowship Program in Clinical Psychology. The goals of the program are to increase the availability of culturally competent mental health services and to increase scientific knowledge of issues related to sociocultural diversity, social justice, and mental health. The fellowship provides funding to incoming or current doctoral students in clinical psychology who are committed to contributing to culturally-engaged research, teaching, or practice that addresses the needs and concerns of underserved communities. These communities are identified as immigrants or refugees; other racial, ethnic, or cultural minorities; low-income individuals and families; sexual minorities; individuals with disabilities, etc. In addition, all students interested in academic and/or clinical research that has clear relevance to such populations are also encouraged to apply.
The award covers annual tuition costs for one year. Recipients of a Statue Foundation Fellowship contribute to the education of both their fellow students and faculty of the New School clinical psychology program about issues and concerns relevant to populations that are often underrepresented or marginalized in mainstream clinical psychology, e.g., acculturative stress, racism and prejudice, survivor guilt, the effects of torture, the impact of poverty, disparities in mental health care, culturally adapted treatments, etc.
Preference is given to applicants who have previously demonstrated a commitment to working with the populations and/or issues described above. An announcement calling for applications from NSSR psychology students will be issued in January, with a March 15, 2013 deadline for submission. Please visit the scholarship page to access the form.
My own interest in immigrant and refugee issues dates back to my childhood; as the daughter of British and Iranian parents, who grew up traveling between Bangkok, Nairobi, and New York, the interplay of culture and migration has been a fundamental aspect of my experience as well as a driving force behind my academic and clinical interests.
As a doctoral student, I am interested in understanding, from both an academic and clinical perspective, how current clinical methods and techniques (which have for the most part been developed in the West and are grounded in Western cultural values and assumptions) can best be adapted to meet the needs of those from other cultural traditions.
I have been fortunate to learn more about taking a culturally sensitive approach to both research and clinical work with Dr. Joan Miller and Dr. Doris Chang. While completing my MA coursework, I assisted in analyzing data Dr. Chang had collected from an ethnic-specific center serving Asian and Pacific Islander victims, and I am currently involved in analyzing data from a national survey of Asian American immigrants, specifically studying factors related to family violence, for my MA thesis.
As far as my current and future projects are concerned, I recently attended a workshop at the Oxford Refugee Studies Centre on Psychosocial Programmes in Emergencies, and am interested in working to develop the evidence base for psychosocial interventions. I am also interested in the development of interventions to increase the therapeutic alliance between clinicians and clients who may be of different ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds, and in developing the evidence base in general for culturally informed mental health treatment.
Although the roots of social justice run deep in my family—my father joined President Lyndon Johnson's "War on Poverty" in the 1960s and served as a community organizer in rural West Virginia for many years—it has been my experience at The New School that has led me to confront my own privilege and embrace the role of ally.
Like so many other educated, middle class White men, I assumed that the advantages I enjoyed were earned rather than unearned. At the New School, and especially under the mentorship of Dr. Doris Chang, I have developed a critical view of this powerful myth. This has been a slow, deliberate, and affectively-charged process. The work is ongoing.
My master's thesis research on unconscious racial bias in psychotherapy has led me to reconsider what it means for a clinician to become culturally competent. "Cultural competence" is a training goal for virtually every clinical and counseling program in America, but it is also a buzzword that can breed a false sense of security. The next generation of clinician-allies cannot rely on old, encyclopedic approaches to cultural competence. We cannot assume that intellectual knowledge of a patient's culture will promote deep, empathic understanding. Instead, we need to look within. If we are brave about rooting out implicit bias when we find it, we can be hopeful about becoming the allies we want to be. An exciting body of social psychology research shows that these kinds of changes are possible--but only if we are willing to do the work. This is my journey, and I am excited about the opportunity to exercise leadership in this area during my tenure as a Statue Foundation Fellow.
In the 2012-2013 school year I will be hosting a series of informal "conversations" for students about privilege, implicit bias, cultural competence, intersectionality, and other issues related to social justice in clinical practice, teaching, and research. For updates on other fellowship activities, or to share your own ideas for promoting diversity and social justice at NSSR, please feel free to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.