DPA - Delaware Psychological Association

State Advocacy

The State Advocacy Committee shall keep the Executive Council and Association members advised of state-level legislation and insurance issues impacted mental health and the profession of psychology.  As necessary, it shall establish and maintain relationships with state legislators, the Office of the Insurance Commissioner and major medical insurance providers within the state.  The Committee shall work at advancing the recognition of, and acceptance of qualified psychologists as independent providers of health services within the state.  The Committee may, as necessary and with the approval of the Executive Council, employ the services of a state lobbyist to assist with supporting or drafting appropriate state legislation, secure legislative sponsors, and organize any grassroots activity among the psychologists of the state in support of key legislation.

  • February 13, 2024 12:23 PM | Kelly Wetzel (Administrator)

    Supreme Court decisions have direct impact on the lives of all people within the United States. Of note, the Supreme Court recently ruled that Affirmative Action based on race was illegal. The American Psychological Association (APA) recently addressed the impact of this ruling. The Delaware Psychological Association (DPA) supports APA’s position (see below) that programs like affirmative action are important and necessary in supporting equity within education systems and subsequently improve the educational environment for all students. In accordance with APA, we acknowledge the potentially damaging effects that eliminating race as a consideration in admissions will likely have on creating culturally diverse and representative student bodies across the country at educational institutions, and the far-reaching detrimental impact of this both immediately and in the future.

    Regarding the ruling, the APA released this statement:

    “The American Psychological Association deeply regrets that the court discounted the substantial body of research demonstrating that exposure to diversity can reduce bias and improve educational outcomes for all students. Scientific research has also found that exposure to diversity enhances critical thinking and promotes deeper information processing and problem-solving skills, among other benefits. Without purposeful attention to achieving diverse student bodies, our institutions of higher learning are likely to grow even more racially and ethnically polarized. Eliminating their ability to consider race or ethnicity as a factor in admissions is bound to decrease diversity on our campuses, resulting in poorer educational outcomes for all students.”

  • February 13, 2024 12:21 PM | Kelly Wetzel (Administrator)

    Recent proposed legislation and guidance from state governments has directly targeted LGBTQ+ youth and their families in many states. The American Psychological Association (APA) recently addressed the impact of this type of legislation. The Delaware Psychological Association (DPA) supports APA’s position, which condemns legislation discriminating against the LGBTQ+ community. 

    Regarding proposed legislation in Florida, APA stated:

    “Prohibiting classroom discussion on these topics sends the message that identifying as LGBTQ is inherently wrong, stigmatizing, and marginalizing children who may realize their difference at a young age. Psychological research has shown that increased social isolation and stigma can lead to depression, anxiety, self-harm and even suicide.

    Psychological research has also demonstrated that variations in sexual and romantic attraction and behavior, as well as gender identity and gender expression, are normal variations of human sexuality. Sexual orientation isn’t just about sex; it includes romantic, emotional, mental and spiritual attraction to other people -- personal relationships that meet deeply felt needs for love, attachment and acceptance.”

    Regarding recent legislation in Texas, APA stated:

    “This ill-conceived directive from the Texas governor will put at-risk children at even higher risk of anxiety, depression, self-harm, and suicide. Gender-affirming care promotes the health and well-being of transgender youth and is provided by medical and mental health professionals, based on well-established scientific research. The peer-reviewed research suggests that transgender children and youth who are treated with affirmation and receive evidence-based treatments tend to see improvements in their psychological well-being.

    Asking licensed medical and mental health professionals to ‘turn in’ parents who are merely trying to give their children needed and evidence-based care would violate patient confidentiality as well as professional ethics. The American Psychological Association opposes politicized intrusions into the decisions that parents make with medical providers about caring for their children.”

    In addition, there is proposed legislation in Delaware that would affect this community: Senate Bill 227 would prohibit transgender athletes from participation on school teams consistent with their gender and bases team participation based on biological sex. This serves to further alienate and isolate LGBTQ+ youth and DPA opposes this bill.

  • January 09, 2021 12:34 PM | Kelly Wetzel (Administrator)

    January 9, 2021

    Dear colleagues,

    This week we witnessed violence against our communities and fellow citizens. People have lost their lives and many others have been injured, threatened, or suffered emotional pain as a result of the behaviors of a group of extremists. In our representative democracy, violence directed towards our elected leaders and our democratic processes is a hostile gesture against all of us. We are heartbroken and frightened by the acts of insurrection and anti-democratic rhetoric we witnessed. As psychologists and mental health professionals, we know the effects of trauma. We experience this ongoing trauma collectively and we must continue to work to become more trauma informed and more trauma responsive. In the strongest possible terms, we denounce the violent actions that occurred on Wednesday at the Capitol.

    Future history lessons will be taught about the recent events that culminated in Wednesday’s acts of violence at the Capitol. As mental health providers and Delaware Psychological Association members, we are deeply rooted in the lived experiences of the communities we serve. The compounded effects of an unchecked pandemic, rampant racial injustice, vast economic disparities, and challenges to our way of governing as Americans has created immense pain for us and our communities.

    The contrast in the reactions to and language around the protests in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and this week’s predominantly white mob entering the Capitol and forcefully disrupting our peaceful transition of power are stark. We are struck by how this week’s domestic terrorists were protected by their privilege. This summer, we watched largely peaceful protests confronted by rubber bullets, chemical irritants, and other shows of government force and unprovoked violence against our citizens. We see the repeated trauma our Black and Brown colleagues and clients are enduring. Those of us who are white mental health providers have so much more work to do as agents of anti-racist change, as scientists of human behavior, and as advocates for the communities and fellow humans that we serve.

    Much of the research on political polarization shows us that fostering unity, respect, and mutual understanding is possible through education, creating opportunities for understanding our similarities (and not just our differences), and working towards common goals. As clinicians, researchers, advocates, and members of DPA, our skillset is needed now more than ever to hold and help heal the pain in our communities and to foster advocacy and committed action towards a better future for everyone we serve. We encourage you to deepen your involvement with DPA or join a committee of interest in order to continue working towards this common goal together. We need everyone’s voices in our work towards a better future; we can do this, if we commit to doing it together.


    Hillary Howrey, Ph.D.

    DPA Public Education Chair

    Dani Parsell, Psy.D.

    DPA Widener University Faculty Liaison

    with the support of DPA members:

    Robin Blecher-Timme, Psy.D., ABPP

    Samuel Blumberg, Ph.D.
    Monica Bocanegra, Ph.D.
    Dawn Bowman, LPCMH

    Wesley Bowman, Ph.D.

    Chrissy Cammarata, Ph.D
    Kimberly Canter, Ph.D.

    Megan Carlson, Ph.D.

    Elizabeth Chen, Ph.D.
    Walter J. Ciecko, Ph.D., BCB

    Dianna Conner-Jeffers, Ph.D.

    Lisa DeLeonardo, Psy.D.

    Jessica Desrosiers, Psy.D.

    Stephen DiJulio, Ph.D.

    Michael DiSalvo, LCSW

    Vanessa Downing, Ph.D.
    Catherine Dukes, PhD, LMSW

    Steve Eichel, Ph.D.

    Dorilyn English, Ph.D.

    Laura Epstein, Psy.D.

    Catherine Flaherty, Ph.D.

    Barbara Giardina, Ph.D.

    Elisabeth Gibbings, Psy.D.

    Kathryn Godfrey, Ph.D.

    Roger Harrison, Ph.D.

    Kathryn Hoffses, Ph.D.

    Rick Holmes, Ph.D.

    Meredith Joppa, Ph.D.

    Marta Korom, MA
    Mary Anne Lacour, Ph.D.

    Jennifer Lyons, LCSW

    David Mandelbaum, Ph.D.

    Robb Mapou, Ph.D.

    Elizabeth McCaffrey, Ph.D.

    Colleen McGinnis, Psy.D.

    Deborah Miller, Ph.D.

    Megan O’Hara, LCSW

    Leland Orlov, Ph.D.

    Zach Radcliff, Ph.D.
    Naomi Sadeh, Ph.D.
    Linda Santoro, R.N., Ph.D.

    Carol Shekhar, Ph.D., M.S.Ed.

    Malina Spirito, Psy.D.
    Jenna Tedesco, Psy.D.

    Christina Waltington, Ph.D. 

    Sherry Wenger, Ph.D.

    Kelly Wetzel, MSW
    Brad Wolgast, Ph.D.
    Joseph Zingaro, Ph.D.

    DPA Public Education Chair DPA Widener University Faculty Liaison

  • July 09, 2020 4:15 PM | Brooke Fernandez (Administrator)

       Channing Brown, Austin (2018). I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness. Convergent Press.

       Nadal, Kevin L. (2017). “Let’s Get in Formation:” On Becoming a Psychologist-Activist in the 21st Century. American Psychologist, 72(9), 935-946.

        Sue, Derald Wing (2016). Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence: Understanding and Facilitating Difficult Dialogues on Race. Wiley.

       Racial Equity Toolsis designed to support individuals and groups working to achieve racial equity. This particular section describes how to organize discussion groups.

       Lists 75 concrete steps White people can take to contribute to dismantling White privilege and bringing about racial justice.

  • July 09, 2020 4:14 PM | Brooke Fernandez (Administrator)

       DiAngelo, Robin (2018). White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism Beacon Press: Reprint Edition.

       Helms, Janet E. (2019). A Race is A Nice Thing to Have: A Guide to Being a White Person or Understanding the White Persons in Your Life. Cognella Academic Publishing.

       Kendi, Ibram X. (2019.) How to Be an Antiracist. One World Publications.

       Nadal, Kevin L. (2018). Microaggressions and Traumatic Stress: Theory, Research, and Clinical Treatment. American Psychological Association.

  • March 30, 2020 3:12 PM | Brooke Fernandez (Administrator)

    Depression and Anxiety Support Groups

    Our support groups have gone virtual!

    Join us every Monday from 1-2 PM

    Zoom Log-in Information:


    Meeting ID: 541 353 830

    Join us every Thursday from 9-10 AM

    Zoom Log-in Information:


    Meeting ID: 180 241 424

    For questions and/or registration,email Rochelle (rbalan@mhainde.org) or call Shynia (302-597-8130)

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