Beth N. Rom-Rymer, PhD

ABPP Questions for APA President Elect Candidates

Beth N. Rom-Rymer, PhD

Q. What are your views regarding board certification in psychology?
A. One of the most significant benefits of Board certification in Psychology is that Board certification helps produce specialists with demonstrated competence in the best practices of their specialty.  While Board certification cannot guarantee the competent application of knowledge, skills, and attitudes, this credentialing clearly promotes the provision of quality professional psychological practice.

Q. What are your views regarding specialization within psychology?

A. Specialization within Psychology demonstrates active participation in the growth and development of the field. Scientific advances in the profession have continued to expand Psychology’s scope of practice.
I have been instrumental in creating a specialty, Clinical Psychopharmacology, that widens the scope of our field:the broad emergence of psychologists with prescriptive authority.I have been a leader in our national movement and I led a committed and hard-working team of psychologists in Illinois to successfully pass prescriptive authority legislation.Early in the 2000’s, I worked with the ABPP Board to create a specialty Board in applied Clinical Psychopharmacology.My colleagues and I continue to be engaged in that endeavor, especially as the numbers of prescribing psychologists are growing more rapidly now.Along with leading the team that lobbied for our legislation, I have helped to create training programs for prescribing psychologists in Illinois: I have created a paradigm for undergraduates to take a concentration in a “pre-prescribing psychologist” curriculum, in partial fulfillment of the statutory requirements to be licensed as an Illinois prescribing psychologist; I have also created a paradigm for practicing psychologists to fulfill the requirement of undergraduate science courses. I have helped to create training programs for both psychology graduate students (an approved APA practice since 2019) and practicing psychologists inMaster’s of Science training programs in Clinical Psychopharmacology; and I have been key in creating opportunities for prescribing psychology trainees to do their clinical training in medicine, as a third component of their fulfilling their requirements for the prescriptive authority license.I have embodied the ABPP principle of creating specialization and expertise within our vaunted field of Psychology.

Q. If elected, how can APA and ABPP work together toward improving our field?

A. APA and ABPP can work together to continue to promote defined areas of study and expertise in the practice of Psychology.These efforts are particularly important as we promote collaboration with social scientists and other healthcare professions, as we contend with the sequelae of Covid-19 and its variants.

Q. If elected, how can ABPP help with your presidential agenda?

A. My vision for APA has 6 Foundational Pillars of Action:

  • Identifying evidence-based, evidence-informed, and trauma-informed treatments for the sequelae of Covid-19;
  • Identifying empirically-based initiatives to combat the pandemics of racism, police brutality, and to support all social justice initiatives;
  • Using our effective scientific evidence to contribute to the eradication of global health disparities and to achieve health equity;
  • Promoting global initiatives to end global warming and creating a world that respects and nurtures ecological balance;
  • Facilitating greater access to comprehensive, integrative, mental health care by utilizing telehealth and other technologically innovative strategies and by broadening the scope of practice for psychologists to include prescriptive authority;
  • Providing for the continued growth of an inclusive APA that ensures multi-disciplinary, multicultural, and multinational APA leadership with representation from BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, AAPI, differently abled communities.

I have integrated the Five Core Principles of SAMSHA into my vision for my Presidency:

  • Supporting the adoption of evidence-based practices.
  • Increasing access to the full continuum of services for mental and substance use disorders.
  • Engaging in outreach to clinicians, grantees, patients, and the American public.
  • Collecting, analyzing, and disseminating data to inform policies, programs, and practices.
  • Recognizing that the availability of mental and substance use disorder services is integral to everyone’s health.

As APA President, I will very much look forward to working, hand-in-hand, with ABPP, to address each of my Foundational Pillars of Action. 

We can work together to address our ongoing Covid crisis.  We can address the dissemination of misinformation; the reluctance and the refusal to be vaccinated and to prevent serious illness and death; the trauma of the illness and the loss of our loved ones.  We can speak to the disparate access to care and offer empirically-based proposals for serving our communities with greater equity.  We can talk about how, as a psychological community, we can begin to meet the needs of our front-line health workers and all of our essential workers.  We can address the psychological needs of our communities who are still suffering from post-acute, long-term, and chronic Covid symptoms.  As we are looking forward to the pandemic’s end, we understand that Covid is continuing to inflict pain on millions of Americans and hundreds of millions of our international neighbors. As a psychological community, we can work together to do something to address and alleviate that pain.
As we talk about facilitating greater access to comprehensive, integrative, mental health care by utilizing telehealth and other technologically innovative strategies, and broadening the scope of practice for psychologists, to include prescriptive authority, ABPP can partner with APA.  We certainly can continue our collaborative work in supporting innovative initiatives and supporting states’ legislative efforts. 
Despite progress in the U.S., serious inequalities exist for LBGTQ+ individuals, particularly BIPOC and transgender/gender expansive members of the LGBTQ+ communities.  As APA President, it will be my job to not only lead inclusively, but to activate diversity and generate opportunities for sexual and gender minorities, both within APA, and in all circumstances in which I will find myself as APA President.  I will bring this perspective to my work as I help create policy, testify on a national level, and speak publicly around the world. Through my contact with state/federal government, social service organizations and the police, I can, and will, insist on the enforcement of the Health and Human Services federal prohibition on gender and sexual orientation discrimination.  Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will continue to be at the forefront of my conversations.  Partnering with ABPP in promoting equity and inclusiveness throughout our psychological community will be a critical synergy.
I am enthusiastic and optimistic about continuing our collaborative efforts, on all of the dimensions that I have described above, to move our beloved field of Psychology forward.