FAC Update                Hilary Kindsfater, Ph.D.

This has been a very busy and productive year for psychology professional advocacy on the federal policy stage. Psychologists across the country have pursued their federal legislators and requested they support important policy issues, the two most notable areas including Medicare and Mental Health Reform legislation. The Medicare Mental Health Access Act (House Bill 4277) is an important bill that will help streamline Medicare practice by eliminating unnecessary supervision of psychologists by physicians, allowing psychologists to functioning independently within the Medicare system. South Dakota's own Representative Kristin Noem is the lead co-sponsor of the bill and has proven to be an amazing advocate for psychology this last year. She did an amazing job testifying regarding the legislation and I was so proud to hear a legislator speaking so clearly and confidently about psychologists and the services we provide. Please take the time to listen to her testimony (a brief 3 minute video) that you can access on YouTube HERE.

The other important policy work has been related to Mental Health Reform. More recently, Congress has been moving on mental health reform. House and Senate leaders have developed legislation combining mental health reform provisions drawn from each chambers’ earlier bills (H.R. 2646 and S. 2680) with the “21st Century Cures Act,” legislation to bolster health research and speed up medical innovation and development. This legislation is the only opportunity for enacting important mental health reform in the foreseeable future. The new legislation would clarify health information privacy protections for patients with mental illnesses, strengthen enforcement of federal mental health parity laws, improve how mental health issues are responded to by the criminal justice system, as well as create and reauthorize a wide range of federal mental health and substance use treatment and prevention grant programs. I will make sure to keep SDPA members informed regarding the progress of this legislation as well as the Medicare Mental Health Access Act. 

Please remember the importance of your voice in influencing public policy! This is so important for all of us in a small state like South Dakota since we have very good access to Senators Thune and Rounds, and Representative Noem. This was very evident with Rep. Noem taking the lead and becoming the lead sponsor of the Medicare Mental Health Access Act after hearing from South Dakota psychologists and APA Government Relations staff about how this bill could significantly positively impact South Dakota Medicare beneficiaries and their access to psychological services. When we take the time to build relationships and provide credible information regarding important psychology-related policy issues, our legislators listen, and amazing things can happen! Don’t underestimate the power of a phone call or an email. Thank you for contacting your legislators when you receive important action alerts and please keep up the great work!
SDPA Executive Committee

 Mark Perrenoud, Ph.D.

 Past President
 Lynette Quast, Ph.D.

 Melissa Boyer, Ph.D.

 Federal Advocacy Coordinator  Representative
 Hilary Kindsfater, Ph.D.

 APA Council of Representatives  Representative
 Mindy Hedlund, Ph.D.

 Mental Health Coalition  Representative
 Mindy Hedlund, Ph.D.

 Member at Large
 Trisha Miller, Ph.D.

 Public Education Campaign  Coordinator
 Kari Scovel, Ph.D.

 Student Representatives
 Aimee Kliewer, M.A.
 Emma Ranum, M.A.

 Executive Director
 Kristin Bennett

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 This e-newsletter has been sent to  you as a member of the South  Dakota Psychological Association  (SDPA) or as a subscriber to this  newsletter.

 South Dakota Psychological  Association
22640 Hazel Lane
 Rapid City, SD  57702
 Phone: 605.470.0707
 Fax: 866.275.5537

Member-At-Large     Trisha T. Miller, Ph.D.                                                          
Greetings, all! 

As your member-at-large, I want to make sure you are aware of how much your voice is wanting to be heard and how important your voice is. SDPA is the only organized group of psychologists in the state, so SDPA is the body who receives inquiries about legislative involvement and input on task forces that impact psychologists. We are the South Dakota “point of contact” for information from APA and other state psychological associations. The SDPA board does its best to represent your best interest, but it can only do that with input from….YOU! To be a strong voice, we need to be louder. A small sub-sect can only be so loud. I can tell you from being on the SDPA board as your representative that you have strong leadership on the board, but as in any organization – we need your involvement to support their efforts to be loud and accurate in voicing your input as we represent you. Certainly, your involvement also involves dues – dues to help fund running the organization, setting up an annual conference, etc. The board officers are also psychologists, so they budget tightly so dues do not have to be any amount over what is needed. I hope to reach out to every licensed psychologist in the coming year, simply to get your input and feedback on what issues you see for psychologists and mental health in the state. Please be open to sending an email response ( or making a return phone call! This is a great opportunity to help us advocate for you! I look forward to connecting with all of you – as a favorite t-shirt of my 3-year-old daughter’s says “and though she be but little, she is fierce!” I know this also pertains to SD…let’s all come together to have a fierce voice when needed in the coming year.

Thank you for your continued involvement and support of SDPA. CLICK HERE to renew your membership. 
SDPA President-Elect Opening
The South Dakota Psychological Association has openings for the office of President-Elect. This office can be a rewarding way to volunteer a manageable amount of time, advocate, network and advance your profession. Please contact Mark Perrenoud at if you have interest in and questions about this position.

Hedlund Appointed to APA COR
Mindy Hedlund has been appointed by the SDPA Executive Committee to fulfill the third year of Dr. Laura Hughes representation to the APA Council of Representatives (COR). We thank Laura for her representing us so well on the COR. We also thank Dr. Hedlund for her willingness to serve on the Council of Representatives.

Mindy Hedlund
Student Update                     Aimee Kliewer, M.A. and Emma Ranum, M.A.                                                                                                                      
It has been a busy fall semester in the USD Clinical Psychology Program.  Things are winding down for the semester except for those who are applying for internships!  Students are gearing up for internship interviews around the country.  The Advocacy Coordinating Team sponsored a psychology department open house in October.  Undergraduate students were able to tour the Clinical Psychology and Human Factors programs, meet professors, learn about the application process, and take part in a student panel. 

The 2nd year students participated in an interdisciplinary healthcare training.  This training is an opportunity for students from many different disciplines (e.g. dental hygiene, medical school, occupational and physical therapy, social work, etc.) to come together and be introduced to working on interdisciplinary teams.  The students completed two mock clinical interviews with patients in small groups, and worked together to make preliminary diagnostic decisions and give recommendations. 

The department clinic, the Psychological Services Center, has been busy this fall.  Many students and community members have sought services, and the clinic has been at full capacity at times during the fall.  Two groups are currently being run in addition to individual and couples therapy.  A coping skills group is teaching DBT skills, including mindfulness, interpersonal, and emotion-regulation skills.  A Cognitive Processing Therapy group for sexual assault survivors is doing booster sessions from the spring semester.

Several students gathered at the town library for an event open to the public this month.  They made cards for marginalized youth around the country with encouraging messages.  These will be sent to organizations that work with marginalized youth both in South Dakota and around the country.
The students are looking forward to wrapping things up for the semester and starting winter break.  We hope everyone has a wonderful winter!
Opinion                                                                                        Mark W. Perrenoud, Ph.D.
         Lynette R. Quast, Ph.D.
When you have your car serviced, your taxes done, medical care for yourself or your child, odds are you want to know that the respective professional has had recent training in their professional area.  Unfortunately, consumers of psychological services in South Dakota cannot be confident the psychologist they receive services from has had recent continuing education.  While the large majority of psychologists pursue continuing education, it is possible that some don’t to a significant degree if not mandated.  Not having better defined continuing-education guidelines for psychologists can potentially lead to a negative perception of psychology continuing education by consumers of psychological services.  To prevent this and perhaps enhance the continuing education of psychologists, it is our opinion South Dakota psychologists need to have more defined continuing-education requirements. 
In the rapidly changing healthcare landscape, especially with technological advances, staying abreast of changes and requirements, both with regard to ethics and clinical practice, is vital.  Additionally, we would argue that maintaining competence is especially critical in a rural area, whether one is a generalist or specializes in a particular area of practice.  Often there is limited access to mental health care in the areas we serve, which makes it even more critical that we are up to speed on the latest clinical practice guidelines and treatment methods.  We would like to begin a discussion from psychologists about possible changes in our continuing-education requirements.
The Model Act for State Licensure of Psychologists, adopted by the Council as APA policy in February 2010, addresses psychologists maintaining expanding competence.  The Act recommends that state licensure boards “develop requirements or structures, such as continuing education in general areas of practice as well as specific areas such as ethics, domestic violence, and multi-cultural competence, to ensure that psychologists undertake ongoing efforts to identify, develop, and maintain competence and ethical practice.”
An informal review of the continuing-education requirements by jurisdiction, published by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPBB), shows that nine states or provinces do not have clear continuing-education requirements.  The most frequent requirement is to earn forty hours of continuing-education credits over a two-year time period.  The highest was sixty hours of credits over a two-year time period.  Many states also require continuing education in ethics.  The most common ethics continuing-education requirement is to earn three hours over a two-year period. 
One of the primary reasons that South Dakota has not required more stringent continuing-education requirements is that the South Dakota Board of Psychological Examiners has not wanted the responsibility of recording, verifying, and monitoring of psychologists’ continuing education in a highly specific manner. 
The current continuing-education requirements by the South Dakota Board of Examiners of Psychologists for licensure renewal are that, “You must complete some continuing education.”  South Dakota Statute 36-27A-26 states the “amount of continuing education required shall not exceed six continuing education credits per year…”
We propose that South Dakota psychologists engage in a discussion about proposing to the South Dakota Board of Psychological Examiners and Legislature that psychologists have the following continuing-education requirements: 
  • Inasmuch as psychologists renew their licenses yearly, the time period for continuing-education requirements would also be yearly.
  • South Dakota psychologists are to receive twenty hours of continuing-education training in areas of competence in psychology. 
  • One of these hours must be in the area of ethics.
  • The source of continuing education can be doctorate-level home study, webinars, and/or workshops.  Psychologists are encouraged to seek training approved by the American Psychological Association and the South Dakota Psychological Association.
  • The majority of these continuing-education hours must come from an accredited provider of continuing education.
  • Each licensed psychologist will keep records of their continuing education.  This will include the title, presenter name and credentials, sponsor, dates, and clock hours of the continuing education.  Psychologists will also keep provided documents of continuing education. 
  • The psychologist will report his or her continuing education at the time of each licensure renewal.  If requested by the South Dakota Board of Psychological Examiners, the psychologist will provide confirmatory documentation of their continuing education for the requested time period. 
These proposed continuing-education requirements are better defined, but also remain flexible.  They do not necessarily require any additional work on the part of the Board of Psychological Examiners.  It would likely enhance the status of psychologists in the view of consumers and enhance the profession in terms of professional development. 
We welcome your thoughts as we engage in a discussion regarding this proposal.  Please join the discussion with your opinion if there is any needed changes in our current continuing-education requirements, and what those could be. 
Don't Let the Holiday            
Blues Get You Down                Kari Scovel, Ph.D., LP, LPC-MH, QMHP

Black Friday, Cyber Monday and wow the pressure that is ever present being bombarded by advertisements on line to shop for the best deals is the reality of the season. Not only financial stress but in general societal pressure to put on the best Holiday for your friends and family is ever present. Is it your expectations or others that put an undo amount of stress about the holiday? Well whatever it is, what is important is that you stay balanced, maintain your emotional state, stick to a budget and remember it’s not about how much you are giving or getting. It is about being with friends and family and spirituality. During this time of the year one should look at what is most important in maintaining a positive emotional state.  If that is not possible then knowing how to cope with the stress of the holidays is the next best thing.  It is important to note is that if your blues outlast the holidays, they are more than likely a more severe condition known as depression.

There are suggestions to assist with coping during this hectic holiday season. There are also significant warning signs to watch for are also noted by the APA to assist you identifying if this is a longer lasting or more severe condition for which you should seek advice and assistance.  “If people are already experiencing stress or sadness in other areas of their life, they may be especially vulnerable to these feelings during the holidays. However, the holidays can be a great opportunity to enhance psychological well-being,” according to Kari Scovel, PHD. She also  recommends “resisting isolation but instead go to your grandchildren’s concert, coworkers party and friend’s cookie exchange.  Get out and reach out, as chances are your mood will improve.” 

“Instead of overspending make something for a loved one such as a craft, write a poem or put together a picture book,” according to Trisha Miller, PHD. Giving something you have made that is a special gift to cherish plus you are using your creative juices. Consider going on a road trip, concert or a fun holiday event instead of spending all the money on gifts.  Chose to buy experiences and make memories instead of buying gifts that will be tossed aside.

“If part of the sadness at Christmas involves a loss of a loved one or a significant relationship, decide and make a conscious effort to make new memories this Christmas season,” Dr. Scovel suggests. This making new memories is all about changing your normal routine during the holiday.

“Setting financial expectations involves being realistic about the budget you are to stick to,”  according to Dr. Miller.  Explain to your children that you are setting limits related to what you can spend this year.  Be realistic with what your child should expect while teaching your children about the spirit of the season.  Teach your children about being responsible with money and spending habits so they can learn about proper money management. Talking to your children about setting a holiday budget is an excellent way to teach financial responsibly and celebrate your success as this often will ease the holiday stress.

Keeping things in perspective includes teaching your children that it is not the quantity of gifts but the quality and meaning behind the gifts.  Remember when you start to “blow things out of proportion” to look at the long-term perspective.  Teach your children that there are other ways to look at the holiday other than gifts.  Don’t expect children to be perfect or make it to every possible holiday event, Dr. Miller suggests. 

Making connections consists of spending time with family and friends.  Looking up old friends and acquaintances and sharing food and fun.  Try volunteering at an animal shelter, or a senior center to make new friends and to teach your children about the value of helping others.  Go to church and events that are fun for everyone.  Be aware that not all your family will like the same things and take disagreements in stride.

Taking care of yourself involves pacing yourself through the holiday season.  Take your time, don’t overdo on spending or work.  Involve your family in activities that will benefit them all including winter walks, looking at Holiday lights, watching the holiday parades and other events, and sampling holiday traditions.  Have your kids and family help with making dinner, wrapping gifts, shopping, and decorating will decrease your stress.  Delegate tasks and have the family come up with ideas to make the holidays better and more fun for everyone. 

Signs of the “Holiday Blues” and depression include:
  • Fatigue
  • Frustration
  • Disappointment
  • Sadness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Feeling Overwhelmed
These are a few of the symptoms one might experience during the “Holiday Blues” and depression.  If you experience severe symptoms or symptoms lasting longer than two weeks you should seek support and assistance from a professional.  Remember this is supposed to be Enjoy your family, friends, pets, and other loved ones.  Meet new people, get out and have enjoyable time of the year to be with friends and family, not a race to see who can buy the biggest or best/most expensive gifts.  


Coffee and Conversation
The SDPA invites you to attend Coffee and Conversation in 2017! This informal gathering is a time for both existing as well as potential new members to discuss current professional issues as well as offering a chance to network with existing members. We especially extend an invite to potential new members to come and see what SDPA has to offer as well as network with other colleagues. Refreshments will be provided. 

Tentative Dates:
Saturday, February 4 - Spearfish
Saturday, April 29 - Yankton or Vermillion

Questions? Contact Lynette Quast at 605-348-6500 or

2017 Annual Conference
The South Dakota Psychological Association invites you to attend our 2017 Annual Conference on September 15 & 16 in Rapid City, SD at the Hampton Inn.
Victory! Congress Passes Mental Health Reform

You did it! Today the Senate voted 94-5 to pass federal mental health reform, as a part of the 21st Century Cures legislation. This follows up on a 392-26 vote last week by the U.S. House of Representatives.  President Obama is expected to sign this legislation into law. Because of your efforts psychologists from around the country sent over 8,000 messages to Congress, urging their legislators to pass mental health reform.  

This new law strengthens enforcement of federal mental health parity laws, eliminates the Medicaid same day exclusion rule (which prohibits separate payment for mental health and primary care services provided to a Medicaid enrollee on the same day), improves how mental health issues are responded to in the criminal justice system, creates and reauthorizes a wide range of federal mental health and substance use treatment and prevention grant programs, and clarifies health information privacy protections for patients with mental illnesses. Thank you for your work in gaining passage of this legislation.  

Our work is not done. President-elect Donald Trump and Congress are planning to repeal core parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its protections in January. We will need your help to respond to these developments. Please stay tuned over the next few weeks, as we will be looking to take action on ACA repeal.  

For more information, contact APA Practice Organization Government Relations Office at or (202) 336-5889. Visit APA Practice Organization on-line at
Stay Current on SD Legislature

To follow South Dakota State Legislators, Legislative Sessions, and other information regarding the Legislature, visit

To receive email notifications on state legislative issues, e-subscribe HERE.
Michael Sullivan Diversity Scholarship

The Michael Sullivan Diversity Scholarship Fund was created to provide financial assistance to support graduate student research projects in honor of Dr. Sullivan’s work with American Psychological Association, State, Provincial, and Territorial Psychological Associations and his commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Submission Deadlines:
The deadline for the 2017 award is January 6, 2017. Proposals must be submitted electronically by 4:30pm (eastern) on Friday, January 6, 2017. Proposals must be in Microsoft word or pdf format and follow the attached template. Subject line should include “Michael Sullivan Diversity Scholarship Proposal- YOUR NAME”. Send proposals to Research Scope: The focus of the scholarship is to support graduate level research and training related to diversity and inclusion. Listed below are examples of possible projects in the area of diversity that might be supported by the Michael Sullivan Diversity Scholarship. The list is not all inclusive, but is provided to offer suggestions.
  • Validate emerging methods of assessment, diagnosis, and screening of mental health concerns affecting racially/ethnically diverse individuals.
  • Examine and evaluate behavior, lifestyles, health needs, and health disparities of racially/ethnically diverse individuals.  
  • Study aging issues in adults who are racially/ethnically diverse.
  • Explore issues in multicultural counseling.
  • Develop a cultural framework for counseling specific populations, i.e., the able-bodied, LBGT, multiracial individuals, and so on.
  • Design a community project which decreases prejudice within a targeted population.
  • Implement a culturally sensitive psychological service intervention within an existing group or agency.
CLICK HERE for full details.

Tis The Season For Giving…Political Giving That Is!

Please consider contributing to the American Psychological Association Practice Organization’s Political Action Committee (APAPO-PAC). The APAPO-PAC is part of the APA Practice Organization located in Washington. APAPO-PAC is devoted to advancing and defending the practice of psychology, by supporting candidates for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives who have demonstrated their commitment to psychology and psychologists. Many psychologists report discomfort or distaste with the political process, however, political giving provides our profession access to educate legislators and/or support legislators who support psychology-related issues. Contributing to the APAPO-PAC is one way you can help advocate. Follow the link to find out more about APAPO-PAC and make a contribution:

Request For Proposals                                                        
About the American Psychological Foundation (APF)
APF provides financial support for innovative research and programs that enhance the power of psychology to elevate the human condition and advance human potential both now and in generations to come.

Since 1953, APF has supported a broad range of scholarships and grants for students and early career psychologists as well as research and program grants that use psychology to improve people’s lives.

APF encourages applications from individuals who represent diversity in race, ethnicity, gender, age, disability, and sexual orientation.

About the APF/The Trust Eric A. Harris EdD, JD Grant
The APF/The Trust Eric A. Harris EdD, JD Grant will support an early career psychologist or graduate student for research or projects in the area of ethics and risk management.

One grant of up to $5,000

APF does not allow institutional indirect costs or overhead costs. Applicants may use grant monies for direct administrative costs of their proposed project.

Eligibility Requirements
Applicants must:
  • Be a graduate student or early career psychologist (no more than 10 years 
  • Be affiliated with a nonprofit charitable, educational, or scientific institution, or 
governmental entity operating exclusively for charitable and educational purposes.
  • Have received IRB approval before funding can be awarded if human participants 
are involved. 

Evaluation Criteria
Proposals will be evaluated on:
  • Innovative and potential impact qualities
  • Quality, viability, and promise of proposed work
  • Clear and comprehensive methodology
  • Practicality of budget
Proposal Requirements
  • Please include the following sections in your proposal (no more than 7 pages; 1 inch margins, no smaller than 11 point font): 
    • Description of proposed project to include goal, relevant background, target population, methods, anticipated outcomes. Format: not to exceed 5 pages (1 inch margins, no smaller than 11 point font)
    • Timeline for execution
    • Full budget and justification
  • CV
  • Letter of recommendation
Submission Process and Deadline 

Submit a completed application online by May 1, 2017.

Please be advised that APF does not provide feedback to applicants on their proposals.

Please contact Erin Carney, Program Officer, at with questions. 

Special Offer For SDPA Members
You have done it! You have made the decision to make that leap! You are starting a private practice. This is going to be the most exciting, yet terrifying thing you have ever done. It will be worth it because you are building something. You are no longer following and implementing policies and systems that someone else has set forth. You are executing policies and systems that YOU have put into place. You will never work as hard as you will being a private practitioner, but the rewards will be unlike any other you have ever experienced.

Putting Your Dreams to Work: Keys to Setting Up Your Therapy Practice will be released January 1, 2017. SDPA members who purchase the book in the month of January 2017 receive a 25% discount.
Copyright © 2017 South Dakota Psychological Association, All rights reserved.

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