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"An exchange of ideas, information and resources for community practicioners." Learn more here...

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"The Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice is devoted to providing high quality and practical information on community practice." Learn more here...

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Featured Articles from Around the Globe

Just What Community Psychologists Would Do:  A Commentary on the Special issues Just What Community Psychologists Would Do: A Commentary on the Special issues

James H. Dalton

The papers in these two Global Journal special issues focus on the 18 Community Psychology Practice Competencies proposed by the Society for Community Research and Action (SCRA) in 2012. In this commentary, I articulate some of my enjoyment in reading the articles in these special issues, share some thoughts on the history of the practice competencies, and propose some ideas for conversations that may be useful in their development over time. 

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Overview of Articles in the Special Issues Overview of Articles in the Special Issues

James H. Dalton

Below I provide a brief overview and commentary on each article in these special issues of the Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice. In describing each article below, I have noted the practice competencies highlighted by the authors, and also listed in brackets any other competencies that seemed to me to be especially involved in their work. I also listed any Proposed Competencies specified in each article.

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Join the Discussion about Community Psychology Practice Competencies Join the Discussion about Community Psychology Practice Competencies

Guest editors: Tom Wolff, Vincent Francisco, Greg Meissen

We would like to open up a discussion with our readers on the issues raised in this volume regarding the Community Psychology Practice Competencies. Please let us know your thoughts.

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Infusing Community Psychology Practice Competencies into Doctoral Training Infusing Community Psychology Practice Competencies into Doctoral Training

Gabriel P. Kuperminc, Wing Yi Chan, Scot Seitz, Christyl Wilson (USA)

Peer Reviewed

Since 2008, the Georgia State University doctoral training program in Community Psychology has made several modifications to coursework requirements, qualifying examinations, community practicum requirements, and advisement processes. Recognizing that graduates pursue trajectories ranging from independent consulting practice to academia, the primary goal was to provide greater flexibility in shaping training to match the types of careers that students envision. Accordingly, the Community Psychology Practice Competencies and the closely aligned Community Psychology Value Proposition provide a useful framework for helping guide students and advisors in selecting relevant coursework and field experiences that match the students’ training goals. In this paper, we focus on two specific areas in which we have infused the Competencies.

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Thinking through our processes: How the UCSC Community Psychology Research & Action Team strives to embody ethical, critically reflexive anti-racist feminist praxis Thinking through our processes: How the UCSC Community Psychology Research & Action Team strives to embody ethical, critically reflexive anti-racist feminist praxis

Regina Day Langhout, Erin R. Ellison, Danielle Kohfeldt, Angela Nguyen, Jesica Siham Fernandez, Janelle M. Silva, David L. Gordon, Jr., Stephanie Tam Rosas (USA)

Peer Reviewed

Co-written by eight people, this paper describes how the UCSC Community Psychology Research and Action Team (CPRAT) organizes itself in weekly group meetings and how this structure is an attempt to embody an ethical, critically reflexive anti-racist feminist praxis.

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Addressing the Community Psychology Competency Dialectic through Participatory Pedagogy Addressing the Community Psychology Competency Dialectic through Participatory Pedagogy

 

Kelly Collins, Christopher Keys, Martina Mihelicova, Kris Ma, Nicole Colon Quintana, Jordan Reed, Madison Sunnquist, Carolyn Turek, Christopher Whipple (USA)

Peer Reviewed

Ongoing discussions persist regarding the potential usefulness and/or harmfulness of a defined set of core competencies in the field of community psychology. The competency thesis is that identification of core competencies can help define the field and distinguish the capabilities of community psychologists (Dalton & Wolfe, 2012).This article focuses on three applications of participatory pedagogy within the classroom that sought to synthesize the dialectic between core competencies and values-based, dynamic community psychology practice. Instructional materials for all three sessions are appended both for readers’ perusal as examples and for possible future adaptation and use in other community psychology courses. Participatory pedagogical approaches seek to foster student engagement, reflection, and collaboration to promote critical thinking, knowledge application and problem solving. In so doing, participatory pedagogy can bridge the gap between competencies and context, and offer at least a partial synthesis for the competency dialectic in community psychology education and training.

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What does it mean to use competencies in What does it mean to use competencies in "praxis" with undergraduate students at Historically Black institutions?

Dawn X. Henderson, Jameika R. Matlock, DayQuan Garrett, Christopher Clark

Peer Reviewed

Dialogue concerning competencies in community psychology practice has contributed to the articulation of undergraduate and graduate education in community psychology. This dialogue shares resources in applying community psychology competencies but lacks a voice—Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Historically Black Colleges and Universities have undergraduate courses and graduate programs in community psychology, yet, no one has written on competencies and "praxis" from these settings. This article uses reflective narratives from faculty and undergraduate students to illustrate the use of competencies in community psychology practice with a local community.

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Leveraging Community Psychology Competencies to Advance Medical Education and Improve Obesity Healthcare Leveraging Community Psychology Competencies to Advance Medical Education and Improve Obesity Healthcare

Victoria C Scott (USA)

Peer Reviewed

In this manuscript, the author draws from her experiences on a South Carolina educational-research obesity initiative to describe the important value that community psychology (CP) brings to medical education and healthcare organizations.  The article describes the set of CP competencies that were most influential to the initiative and discuss how those competencies shaped the course of the initiative.

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Community Psychology Practice Competencies: Some perspectives from the UK Community Psychology Practice Competencies: Some perspectives from the UK

Jacqui Akhurst, Carolyn Kagan, Rebecca Lawthom, Michael Richards (United Kingdom)

Peer Reviewed

Within global north spaces, the outcomes-based approach to programme delivery in higher education and the focus on accountability in professional training has increasingly led to calls for competency frameworks to be developed. However, the paradigm underpinning competencies as applied in higher education needs further examination. This paper aims to consider the technicist roots of the concept and the translation of derivatives of behavioral economics to critical community psychology. We distinguish competences from competency, noting the potential risks of a fragmentary approach and the mismatch between individually-based assessments and the participatory and egalitarian principles espoused by community psychology.

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Competencies for Community Psychology Practice in Spain: Standards, Quality and Challenges in Social Intervention Competencies for Community Psychology Practice in Spain: Standards, Quality and Challenges in Social Intervention

Isidro Maya Jariego (Spain)

Peer Reviewed

In this paper, competencies for community psychology practice are examined within the Spanish context, based on the experience of a Master in Psychology of Social and Community Intervention in the University of Seville. The list of competencies was developed specifically for monitoring the practicum of master students, and it was developed in a portfolio format, following the usual pattern in the European accreditation process "EuroPsy," designed by the professional associations of psychology. We discuss the advantages and limitations of a generic model of competency assessment, focused on the professional practice of psychology.

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Intersections of Community Psychology Practice and Higher Education Community Engagement: An Essay of Core Competencies Intersections of Community Psychology Practice and Higher Education Community Engagement: An Essay of Core Competencies

Tabitha Underwood (USA)

Peer Reviewed

This reflective essay presents information concerning civic engagement related positions on campuses such as those within the realms of community service, service-learning, and community-based research and examines how these roles connect to the Society for Community Research and Action (SCRA) Community Psychology Practice Competencies. To illustrate these connections, I reflect on my experience in higher education civic engagement and compare the practice competencies to two new resources that outline competencies for civic engagement professionals. Higher education civic engagement is proposed as a feasible career path for community psychologists interested in practice, based on the connection between the two fields. 

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Challenges and Strategies in Promoting Empowering Academic Settings for Learning Community Psychology Practice Competencies Challenges and Strategies in Promoting Empowering Academic Settings for Learning Community Psychology Practice Competencies

Gregor V. Sarkisian and Sylvie Taylor (USA)

Peer Reviewed

This article will provide readers with practical strategies to develop meaningful opportunities for students to gain experience with community psychology practice competencies in educational settings. First, the authors will provide a brief program profile to better understand opportunities students have to gain experience in competencies within the Applied Community Psychology Specialization at Antioch University Los Angeles. Next, challenges in teaching students to gain experience with community psychology practice competencies at the master’s level will be presented. Finally, practical strategies for overcoming these challenges will be discussed.

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Reflections on the Assessment of Practice Competencies Competencies Community Psychology, Liberation Psychology, and Ecopsychology Specialization,  M.A./PhD Depth Psychology Program, Pacifica Graduate Institute Reflections on the Assessment of Practice Competencies Competencies Community Psychology, Liberation Psychology, and Ecopsychology Specialization, M.A./PhD Depth Psychology Program, Pacifica Graduate Institute

Nuria Ciofalo, Susan James, Mary Watkins (USA)

Peer Reviewed

The framework of the Comprehensive Assessment Plan of the Community Psychology, Liberation Psychology, and Ecopsychology Specialization of the M.A./Ph.D. Depth Psychology Program is guided by the values and goals set forth in Pacifica Graduate Institute’s Strategic Plan. The Practice Competencies designed by the Community Psychology Practice Council and the Council for Education Programs of the Society for Community Research and Action (SCRA – Division 27, American Psychological Association) were integrated into the development of a rubric that includes particular competencies that are based on depth psychological and ecopsychological abilities, capacities, and sensitivities nurtured in our values and curriculum.

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Editors' Note

Special Issue of GJCPP on Practice Competencies in Community Psychology and Their Applications

Tom Wolff, Vincent Francisco, Greg Meissen

We are delighted to present to you this special issue of the GJCPP focused on the Community Psychology Practice Competencies and their applications. The competencies were developed to give increased definition and legitimacy to Community Psychology Practice. The competencies were not developed as a rigid set of standards for accreditation but rather as guidelines for ongoing discussion, reflection, articulation and challenge. The thoughtful quality of the papers you will read here and the remarkable examples of application in academia and practice affirm that the competencies are achieving these goals. These competencies have already made a difference.

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