TCP 49(4) Fall 2016

A Publication of the Society for Community Research and Action
Division 27 of the American Psychological Association

Volume 49 Number 4
Fall 2016

From the PresidentSusan McMahon small.jpg

Susan McMahon

DePaul University

Celebrating Many Changes, Structural Growth, and Strategic Planning 

As President of SCRA, I hope to support and build upon all of the many exciting initiatives that are already taking place within SCRA, as well as to facilitate new growth and development of our mission-driven organization.  SCRA has long been my professional home - it is hard to imagine a more committed, values-driven, action-oriented group of people who are engaged in ground-breaking research, practice, and education to create positive change in our world. Whenever I am with SCRA colleagues and students, I am reminded how easy it is to form new rewarding relationships, reconnect with old friends, and discuss important issues– I believe this is due in part to our shared values and genuine interest in people and their well-being.  


From the Editors  Tiffany_McDowell_and_Dan_Cooper_small.jpg
Daniel Cooper and Tiffany McDowell 
Adler University, Chicago

As the season changes to fall we are mindful of all of the turbulence, hope, and fears that come with an election season where the future of the U.S. hinges on two very different visions. This edition of the Community Psychologist highlights the ways in which SCRA and its work is at the epicenter of some of the most important issues facing the country. The Public Policy column shows us just how applicable community psychology theory and action is to the issue of policing, and more specifically, police-community interactions. Our president, Susan McMahon, reminds us of all the ways SCRA is evolving in strategic ways to continue to position the field to be relevant to our political challenges and realities. In many ways our national election is about attitudes toward diversity, tolerance, and multiculturalism. The Committee on Ethnic and Racial Affairs column shows us where SCRA is seeing some positive trends in fostering a diverse membership, and ways we still have work to do. These are just some of the examples of how this edition of the Community Psychologist reminds us of how our field is more relevant than ever. We hope you enjoy!

Dan and Tiffany

The Community Practitioner

Edited by Olya Glantsman & Nicole Freund

Community Psychology Practice Council’s 2016 Initiatives

Since its inception in 1992 (see TCP Fall 2015, 48(4)) the Society for Community Research and Action’s (SCRA) Community Psychology Practice Council (CPPC) has sought to “expand the visibility, reach and impact of community psychology practice through opportunities for connection, support and professional development through the SCRA, academic community research and action graduate programs, other professional organizations and communities.” This mission drives initiatives that focus on both internal (e.g., benefits for the SCRA members, information/knowledge sharing among SCRA practitioners, etc.) and external (e.g., raising awareness about the field and about the work done by practitioners, etc.) goals. Through collaboration with other councils, interest groups, and the Executive Committee, members of the CPPC continue to celebrate, promote, and strive to exemplify the values of community psychology in practice.


Public Policy

Edited by Jean Hill

Can Community Psychologists Play a Role in Helping to Ease Tensions Between Law Enforcement Agencies and Communities?

Robert (Robin) Jenkins

Methodist University

The increasing tensions between communities and law enforcement agencies startles the consciousness of America. Across the country policing agencies are challenged by their assumptions, practices, perceived legitimacy, questions about transparency and accountability. Communities are fractured by the need for socially just policing juxtaposed with the hosting of many of the problems that create calls for service from the police. Underlying these problems are the deep, complex and seemingly intractable “systems” issues embedded in politics, economic and immigration policies, cultural and racial divides, impacts from social media, and other factors.  So can Community Psychology offer a set of policy “slip knots” and interventions out of these increasingly dangerous and complicated problems?


Committee on Ethnic & Racial Affairs

Chiara Sabina

Penn State Harrisburg

Cultural, Ethnic, and Racial Diversity within SCRACERA1.png

Respect for diversity is an important value within SCRA as it often guides our research, advocacy, and practice.  We seek to embrace all forms of diversity including gender, race, ethnicity, sexual identity, gender identity, religion, country of origin, socio-economic status, etc.  Another important value within SCRA is reflective practice—in the sense that we need to check in on how our values are actually being met.  We need to take an honest look at how we are doing with regard to our principles.  This column begins some of that examination with respect to race and ethnicity.


Committee on WomenWOMEN1.JPG

Eylin Palamaro Munsell, Chair, SCRA Committee on Women

Each issue we will be spotlighting a member of our committee.  When asked for recommendations this summer, our committee members overwhelming suggested Urmitapa Dutta from UMass Lowell.  Below is my conversation with her about her background, experience and the work she does. 


Self Help Interest Group

Edited by Greg Townley and Alicia Lucksted

The Fountain House Clubhouse Model

Written by: Thomasina Borkman

George Mason University

Fountain House Clubhouses seem to be currently regarded as old fashioned and outmoded psychiatric rehabilitation places or, contradictorily, lumped together with less intensive drop-in centers that erroneously refer to themselves as clubhouses (Staples & Stein 2008; Craig 2013).  The book Fountain House: Creating Community in Mental Health Practice by Alan Doyle, Julius Lanoil, and Kenneth J. Dudek published by Columbia University Press (2013) challenges these misconceptions. The purpose of the book, reviewed here, is to show FH as a model of a “collaborative recovery center that combines the expertise of the professional social worker (social practice) with the peer support (mutual assistance) of the consumer movement” (Ibid.,p. 138). The authors detail the major values, principles and practices that characterize the FH model today; these were developed before and especially during the tenure of John H. Beard, an innovative Executive Director from 1955–1982 to whom the book is dedicated.