A Brief Early History of the Council of Counseling Psychology Training Programs
by Bruce R. Fretz, University of Maryland

In late 1974 or early 1975 (no written correspondence remains from this prehistoric time) Barbara Kirk alerted Division 17 of the growing rapport and influence of the Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology with the APA Governance and Structure. She encouraged the Division to explore collaboration of counseling psychology directors with this group. Bruce Fretz represented the Division at the next Executive Board meeting of the Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology. The requests for possibilities of collaboration or joint membership were politely, although not enthusiastically, received. The greatest concern was expressed over the identity of what constituted a counseling psychology program.

If it were to be limited only to APA-approved programs, there was little concern; but since that was not such a stipulation (i.e. APA-approved) within their own group, that seemed an unlikely viable arrangement. Alternatively, a more inclusive definition of counseling programs was not acceptable to the group. Subsequent correspondence from the group suggested that collaboration, even with the directors of APA-approved programs, would result in (to paraphrase) "the camel's nose in the tent." In discussing this reaction of the clinical directors with the Division 17 Executive Committee, one possibility that was explored was that of the development of a parallel group, that is, an association of the directors of counseling psychology training programs. Arrangements were made for the division to lend its support to the establishment of discussion hours at upcoming APGA and APA meetings to determine whether a group of program directors would be interested in starting such a group.

While each of these 1975 open meetings was attended by a dozen or more persons, a small group indicated sincere interest in working for the development of such a group. In order to maximize numerous programs' involvement in the early stages, loose organizational structures were chosen, allowing any person who was interested in developing a counseling psychology program to become a member of the mailing list, with the mailing list serving as the "membership" list during the formative years. The steering committee for the 1975-76 year included Bruce Fretz of the University of Maryland serving as chair, Charles Krauskopf at the University of Missouri serving as secretary, and Paul Banikiotes of Notre Dame University serving as survey coordinator. Members-at-large included Fred Borgen of Iowa State University, Vincent Harren of Southern Illinois University, Bernard Katz of New York University, Michael Patton of the University of Utah, Lyle Schmidt of Ohio State University, Helen Stevens of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Richard Wiegel of Colorado State University, and Earl Wilson of the University of Nebraska.

Most of this steering committee remained as the guiding force of the organization until the formation of the by-laws in 1978. In 1977 Steven Danish of Pennsylvania State University replaced Helen Stevens who was no longer able to maintain membership on the steering committee. Paul Banikiotes and colleagues developed, in the initial years, a survey of internship placements, course structure, and other matters. This survey was distributed to all counseling psychology programs that could be identified. The survey, either in long form or short form, has remained an annual feature of the Council. In 1976, Division 17 of the APA became official collaborator in the survey. With the regular collection of data, year-by-year trends are able to be monitored.

In the early years, the Council also engaged in a great many liaison relationships, sending liaison representatives to the APA Education and Training Board, the Conference of University Counseling Center Directors and the Association of Counselor Educators and Supervisors. Relationships were developed with NIMH, the Veterans Administration, the National Register for Health Service Providers in Psychology, the Association of Psychology Internship Centers, and the Association for Advancement of Psychology. During the early years a number of actions and positions were initiated and a number of reactions provided to inquiries from these groups concerning matters of mutual interest. Summary statements of these actions appear in the annual reports and/or the minutes of the organization; actual correspondence is available in the organization's archives file, which resides with Bruce Fretz at the University of Maryland.

In February, 1977, the Council steering committee was invited by APA to join the Executive Boards of the Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology and the Association of Psychology Internship Centers to meet jointly at APA. These meetings allowed for both the presentation of data from a variety of agencies such as NIMH, the Veterans Administration, and APA, as well as the opportunity for the groups to prepare joint actions and to meet with each other concerning mutual concerns. (These three groups have subsequently been joined by Executive Boards of the Council of School Psychology Programs, the Council of Community Psychology Programs, the Association of Directors of Psychology Training Centers, and the Directors of Health Psychology Training Programs and the Directors of Schools of Professional Psychology.)

With increasing requests from various agencies and organizations for reactions and positions from the Council, the steering committee deemed it necessary to become somewhat more structured in order to clarify whom the Council represented. Consequently, a set of bylaws was developed, under the leadership of Richard Wiegel, which was subsequently approved in the summer of 1978. The steering committee served during the initial year as the Board of the Council, with the first elections for new Board members held in the spring of 1979. Newly elected to the Board were Carl Davis, Arthur Dole and Naomi Meara, replacing Danish, Harren, and Wiegel. (Wilson had previously withdrawn from the steering committee after his move from Nebraska.) Lyle Schmidt was elected chair of the Board.

In spring 1980, David Dixon, John Alcorn and Howard Tinsley were elected to replace Charles Krauskopf, Paul Banikiotes and Fred Borgen. Naomi Meara was elected to serve as chair.


An Update on the History of the Council of Counseling Psychology Training Programs - January 2000
by James W. Lichtenberg, University of Kansas 

By the mid-1980’s the Board was meeting regularly for midwinter meetings in Washington, DC—meetings organized and hosted by the APA. The goals and format of these meetings remained consistent. They were planned as an opportunity for the various training councils to gather and receive informational updates from APA (Office of Educational Affairs, Office of Accreditation) and from various organizations and agencies whose policies and operations were relevant to the training programs (e.g., the Veterans Administration, National Institute of Mental Health, National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology, APPIC, etc.), and to meet individually and with each other to discuss and propose policies and actions relevant to training programs and training issues. Several issues of particular significance at this time were the growth of schools of professional psychology, the dwindling number of internship positions relative to the number of students seeking internships, growing influence of APPIC over program training requirements, the placement or timing of the internship within training programs (pre-doctoral vs. post-doctoral internships), APPIC’s proposal of a computer matching of a interns with internship sites, reconsideration of the scope and criteria for program accreditation, and the movement within APA to develop criteria and procedures for the recognition of new and emerging specialties within professional psychology.

There grew out of these meetings the recognition of a need for greater communication and coordination of political action among the various training councils. A step in that direction was the creation of an informal council of the chairs of the various training councils. This group first organized at the 1986 midwinter meeting of the councils, and it has continued to meet annually (now at the APA annual convention) since that time.

The midwinter meetings of the CCPTP Board always involved discussion of issues important counseling psychology training programs, and it was the feeling of the Board that there could be merit in the full council meeting, at least on a periodic basis, to discuss collectively training issues and policies that could only be abstracted and reported on by the Board at the council’s annual business meeting at the APA convention. The seeds for a midwinter meeting of program training directors (the full council) began in the mid-1980’s. Although the Board was concerned about cost and whether training directors would attend a midwinter gathering to discuss training issues, in the winter of 1993, breaking with the tradition of a common meeting of the various training councils, CCPTP held its first separate midwinter conference. The conference was held outside Atlanta, GA at a Girl Scout conference center. Each year since, the Board has organized a midwinter conference for the council (1994, Atlanta; 1995, Jacksonville; 1996, Houston; 1997, La Jolla; 1998, Scottsdale; 1999, St. Petersberg).

The issues discussed at these meetings have included the effect of managed care on counseling psychology training and practice, the movement toward “empirically validated treatments” (EVTs) and its implications for training, prescription privileges for psychologists and the implications for training programs, graduate student impairment, training program objectives (research and practice competencies) and program outcomes, the status of the “scientist-practitioner model” of training, and training students for new professional roles.

In January, 2000, after a number of years of separate midwinter meetings, CCPTP joined with the other training councils for a joint training conference in Miami. The theme of the conference was “Creating our Future: Doctoral-Level Education of Clinical, Counseling & School Psychologists.