TCP 50(1) Winter 2017

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

Volume 50 Number 1 
Winter 2017

From the PresidentSusan McMahon small.jpg

Susan McMahon

DePaul University

A Time for Collaboration to Effect Social Change

Given the many issues going on in our country and around the world, this is an especially important time for assessment, organization, and thoughtful action that promote equality and social justice. I encourage you to volunteer and get involved with issues that you feel passionate about, whether it be at the local, regional, state, federal, or global level. Whether you are a student, faculty, practitioner, or have another primary role, there will always be another paper to write, deadline to meet, or task to finish. Yet finding the time and energy to engage in social change efforts is more important than ever. Some of us may be able to do this through our work, and others may need to reach beyond work settings and get outside of our comfort zones to effect change. Given our organization is committed to social justice, we would like to invite and encourage you to use SCRA as a vehicle to effect change. If we collaborate and pool our knowledge, skills, and resources, we can make more substantial progress on the issues we care about. 


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


Dan and Tiffany

Special Feature

Clinical Psychologists Engaged in Torture and their Violation of their Field’s Ethos

Written by Valentina Rossi, National Louis University/University of Padua; Brad Olson, National Louis University; Marialuisa Menegatto, University of Padua; and Adriano Zamperini, University of Padua

The newly elected U.S. president, much of his cabinet, and the majority of the American public have made gestures of support for torture in national security investigations, despite prohibitions against such techniques. Previous support for involvement of psychologists in such interrogations came from the APA and its psychologists. Despite being censured for its complicity (Hoffman, 2015), many APA psychologists continue to deny there were widespread problems with APA and that the psychologists that participated were just a few bad apples. And yet there remains a powerful movement within psychology, insisting that the use of such adversarial approaches are antithetical to the ethos of the discipline (Arrigo, Eidelson, & Bennett, 2012; Soldz, Olson, & Arrigo, manuscript under review).


The Community Practitioner

Edited by Olya Glantsman

Supporting our Professional Growth as Practitioners: A Look at the Community Psychology/Practice Council’s Peer Consultation Calls

Tom Wolff

Tom Wolff & Associates

I was asked to write about the Community Psychology Practice Council’s monthly peer consultation calls that I have been facilitating for the Council for the last four years. The calls are a format created by the Practice Council to provide support to each other in our community work, an informal chance to share our work with colleagues, and get some new ideas and help when we are stuck. We have met once a month by phone since March 2013 with a changing group of 6-8 students, new grads, and seasoned professionals showing up. We send out an alert inviting folks to a one-hour call on a Friday PM, at the start of the call we all go around and introduce ourselves, and say a bit about what we are presently working on and if we want some time to get some help with something we are struggling with, we then divide up the time so that everyone gets a chance. The calls have been a fascinating learning experience for all of us, so I am delighted to reflect on what we have learned. I have asked a number of participants to add their thoughts which appear later on in this column.


Committee on Ethnic & Racial Affairs

Edited by Chiara Sabina

Penn State Harrisburg

What does it mean to become a diverse university?

Fabricio E. Balcazar, Ph.D.

University of Illinois at Chicago 

I was recently asked to conduct a mentoring training at UIC for faculty in my college (Applied Health Sciences) and the College of Medicine. The training follows guidelines from the “Mentor training for clinical and translational researchers” by Pfund, House, Asquith, Spence, Silet & Sorkness (2012), which is sponsored in part by the University of Wisconsin Institute for Clinical and Translational Research. I want to share with you excerpts from a document that is summarized in the training materials called “Benefits and challenges of diversity in Academic settings” written by Eve Fine and Jo Handelsman (2010). The authors start by emphasizing that the diversity of a university’s faculty, staff, and students influences its strength, productivity, and intellectual environment. Diversity of experience, age, physical ability, religion, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and many other attributes contributes to the richness of the research and teaching experiences for students and faculty alike.


Education Connection

Edited by Carrie Fordan

Using Fiction in the Undergraduate Community Psychology Course

Written by David S. Glenwick (, Fordham University; John N. Moritsugu (, Pacific Lutheran University; Andrew E. Rasmussen (, Fordham University; and Philips T. Sicker (, Fordham University

A number of diverse types of audio and visual resources have been recommended and employed as adjunctive/supplemental instructional materials in undergraduate community psychology courses. For example, the instructor’s manuals for two of the leading texts in the field (Kloos et al., 2012; Moritsugu, Vera, Wong, & Duffy, 2013) suggest the following as possibilities: movies (e.g., Do the Right Thing, And the Band Played On), videos (e.g., An Ounce of Prevention; videos on women in various cultural contexts), television programs (e.g., Eyes on the Prize, episodes of Desperate Housewives and Friday Night Lights), websites (e.g., related to community services in various countries), newspaper articles (e.g., from the Tuesday Science section of the New York Times, local articles related to community issues), magazines, and songs.


Living Community Psychology

Written by Gloria Levin

“Living Community Psychology” highlights a community psychologist through an in-depth interview that is intended to depict both personal and professional aspects of the featured individual. The intent is to personalize Community Psychology as it is lived by its diverse practitioners. Prior columns are available online, at These past columns contain a wealth of life advice gleaned from over 60 profiled community psychologists, from graduate students to retirees, representing an invaluable resource for community psychologists.

Here, the column makes a radical departure by interviewing two people who are not, themselves, affiliated with our field. Rather, they are the son and grandson of Saul Alinsky, a highly influential figure in forming the values, scholarship and practice of Community Psychology.

Jason David Alinsky, Silver Spring, MD

Lee David Alinsky, Medfield, MA (

LCP.JPGUpon entering a fundraiser for a progressive candidate for Congress, a young staffer greeted me. My jaw dropped at the sight of his nametag –“Jason Alinsky.”  Could he be ….?!  He confirmed, yes, he is related to Saul Alinsky – in fact, his grandson.  I wondered what it must be like to carry the name and maybe the legacy of this notable but polarizing American figure. Therein began my grand adventure, interviewing, first, the grandson and then the son (hereinafter referred to as David) of our field’s community organizing guru. Having been trained by Peace Corps to be a community organizer in 1966 Chicago by Alinsky staff and having worked as a community organizer for years, for me, this column is a very special treat, over and above those columns I have written over 17 years.


Public Policy

Edited by Dan Cooper

Why do we have to be politically correct?

Written by Fabricio E. Balcazar, PhD.,, University of Illinois at Chicago

Current events regarding the discourse in the national elections, particularly by the GOP candidate, are raising alarm about the importance of being politically correct and the dangers of failing to do so. Although there are many topics that have been affected by this practice, one refers to the anger and frustration with immigrants, and undocumented immigrants in particular, who are being blamed for low wages and unemployment rates among White Americans. Other targeted groups include followers of the Muslim faith who are being widely characterized as potential terrorists, African Americans who for many years have been characterized as lazy and welfare dependents, gays and lesbians who are being blamed for the “destruction of the family structure as we know it,” and so on. Carolyn Lukensmeyer, the director of the National Institute for Civil Discourse, which is a non-partisan advocacy group, commented on NPR that “we now seem to cross a line where the commitment to plurality and civil society is being lost.” She is not alone in expressing her concern.


Regional Update

Edited by Scot Evans

Greetings from your new SCRA Regional Network Coordinator and a big thanks to Gina Langhout for taking such good care of our regional groups over the past few years. In October, along with a group of students from the University of Miami, I was fortunate to be able to drop in on the Southeast Region Eco conference - On the Corner of Peachtree and Action - hosted by the good people at Georgia State. It was great to see friends and colleagues and hear about the great work being done by students and programs in the region. They thanked us for attending by signing us up to host the SE Eco next year in Miami – how kind!? There are a lot of great things happening in our SCRA regions across the globe – check out the news. 


Rural Interest Group

Edited by Susana Helm, PhD, University of Hawai`i at Mānoa,

Co-Editors Cheryl Ramos, PhD & Suzanne Phillips, PhD

The Rural IG column highlights rural resources as well as the work of community psychologist, students, and colleagues in their rural environments. Please email Susana if you would like to submit a brief rural report or if you have resources we may list here.

Rural Resources:  The Rural Health Information Hub (RHIhub)

Formerly referred to as the Rural Assistance Center (RAC), RHIhub supports healthcare and population health in rural communities across the United States. Their website is organized with an online library, topical and state guides, tools for success, publications and updates, and a rural community gateway (toolkits, health models). From the publications and updates menu, you can subscribe to receive weekly email updates which include funding announcements and Rural Monitor articles. A cool feature that can be accessed from the RHIhub homepage is the “Am I Rural” link, a service to help determine whether a specific location is considered rural based on various definitions, including those used as eligibility criteria for federal programs.

Brief Report:  A Rural Way

Susana Helm, University of Hawai`i, Honolulu (Auntie to Tai)

Taira Masuda, Punahou High School, Honolulu (Niece to Susana)

RURAL_1.jpgWe walked 400 kilometers of the Camino de Santiago in June and July 2016. The impetus for the trek was Tai, who had watched a movie about the Camino in her ninth grade Spanish class. The Way starred Martin Sheen playing the role of a father who walked the pilgrimage to honor his son. As we started to co-author this piece, Tai remarked that she hadn’t imagined that our family dinner conversation about the film back in 2014 would materialize into a month-long journey across two oceans and a continent in order to walk through rural and remote Spain. As a water polo athlete and surfer, Tai was fit, but unaccustomed to walking with a full pack. As a middle-aged college professor with minimal through-hiking experience, Susana also needed to prepare. So, we spent the next two years of weekends day-hiking the ridges above our home in Honolulu. 


Self Help Interest Group

Edited by Greg Townley and Alicia Lucksted

Seeking interested individuals for Self-help Interest Group leadership position:  Our second term as interest group co-chairs ends in Summer 2017, and we are hoping to identify individuals interested in taking over this leadership position.  We will happily provide technical assistance to make the transition as smooth as possible.  Please email Alicia ( and Greg ( to discuss further!

Pilot test of the Community Integration Specialists for Recovery Outcomes (CISRO) Project

Written by Greg Townley, (; Rollin Shelton, (, & Donetta Hayes (; Portland State University

Community integration refers to the notion that individuals with disabilities have a fundamental right to live, work, engage with others, and enjoy recreational activities in the same manner as peers without disabilities (Wong & Solomon, 2002).  In the 21st century, the ideal of individuals with disabilities enjoying equal opportunities to live and participate in their communities remains an unrealized goal.  Unaffordable or inaccessible housing, limited opportunities for employment, lack of transportation, and pervasive mental health stigma severely limit the community involvement of individuals with mental health disabilities (Townley, 2015).  Community integration research has emerged as a high priority among mental health advocates, policy makers, and researchers working to remove barriers and uncover ways to encourage inclusion and participation of individuals with psychiatric disabilities (Davidson, 2005; Ware, Hopper, Tugenberg, Dickey, & Fisher, 2008; Yanos, 2007).