When asked if I would consider running for President-Elect of NHPA, I graciously said no. Though I considered being on the Ethics Committee and the Board of Directors a privilege and honor, I wasn’t interested in being the President. Then, as I looked around the room of psychologists dedicated to advancing psychology as a science, a profession, and a means of promoting human welfare, I changed my mind. Why did I change my mind? I changed my mind because I believe in the field of psychology. Because I recognize the strengths of our profession. Because I reconnected with the purpose of the organization.
Positive psychology reminds us of the importance of connecting to purpose and strengths. These can be the purpose and strengths of an individual or of a community. When I looked around the room full of psychologists, I saw the strengths of psychology – our training, our experience, the way we link science and clinical work, our ability to use our collective voices to advocate for our profession and clients…the list could go on. When I connected to NHPA’s purpose and strengths, I was inspired, invigorated, and changed my answer to yes.
When I think about this next year of NHPA, I want others to be inspired and reinvigorated about the privilege it is to be a psychologist by reconnecting with both our individual and collective purposes and strengths. So, I ask you to consider for a moment a few questions:
- What is it about being a psychologist that is important, meaningful, and inspiring to you?
- What is one of the highest points in your career as a psychologist?
- How might the mental health system and the welfare of citizens of NH be improved by psychology?
Write your answers down, share them with a colleague, or ask another colleague these questions. When we reconnect with our purpose and our strengths, we can envision a more positive future. We can use our collective wisdom to make NHPA the best it can be. We can reestablish psychologists, from all divisions of the field, as leaders from our shared foundation in scientific inquiry. We can make even our wildest dreams for NHPA come true.
It is an honor to have been asked to be the President of NHPA. Looking back, I am glad I changed my mind. Looking forward, I am delighted to share in the co-creation of the next year of NHPA’s success alongside other psychologists full of strengths and dedicated to the mission of advancing psychology as a science, as a profession, and as a means of promoting human welfare..
With gratitude for the honor to serve,
Cynthia L Whitaker, PsyD, MLADC
2019-2020 NHPA President