Why Aren’t Psychologists Advocating for their Profession?
By: Cynthia de las Fuentes, PhD, Editor of the Texas Psychologist
“Let me share my hypothesis and then suggest a challenge. I don’t think we are lazy or scared (as some have suggested) – we finished graduate school, dissertations, internships and post-docs.
Some of us have children and mortgages, for goodness sakes! Not lazy nor scared; but, did you know that many medical schools have courses, and yes, entire tracts (i.e., multiple courses and practical experiences over several years) on advocacy and activism in their curricula for their medical students (see for example, Brown University Medical School, n.d.)? Yes. They. Do.
How many of us have had a class, let alone an entire course or a whole tract, in advocacy and activism during graduate school, internship, or post-doc? Me neither.
It isn’t surprising to me at all that we are not more engaged in advocacy and activism, since we don’t get mentored in the process during our professional development imprinting stage.
We became psychologists with the spirit of addressing problems of human welfare and social justice, and we painstakingly sacrificed our lives for years to earn degrees and licensure toward this endeavor.
” It Makes No Sense to Leave Our Future in the Hands of Others.”
We must ensure the viability of the profession we worked so hard to join by adding advocacy and activism to our education and training.
I further challenge those of us not directly involved in education and training to do good and offer our advocacy and activism skills to graduate, internship, and post-doc programs so we can train the next generation of professionals to protect their careers and their communities. “