Psychologists bid to raise profile in T&T
THE Trinidad and Tobago Association of Psychologists (TTAP) is the national professional body for psychologists, established as such by Act of Parliament No. 84 of 2000.
This was the culmination of several years of effort, focused on establishing psychology as a profession on par with any other in Trinidad and Tobago.
TTAP numbers over 150 psychologists among its past and present members. Among the association’s main objectives are: ongoing professional development opportunities for members; maintenance of the highest professional and ethical standards; and public education initiatives, to help the general population appreciate the importance of psychology in daily life.
To attempt to meet all these objectives, TTAP recently reintroduced Psychology Awareness Week. This event, to be held annually during October, which is Mental Health Awareness Month, includes events for the public and for professionals. This year, Dr Barbara Landon, Clinical psychologist and neuropsychologist, based at St George’s University in Grenada, gave a public lecture on paediatric neuropsychology as well as a two-day workshop for professionals on the same theme.
Other recent initiatives include free workshops where TTAP members share their expertise with their colleagues, and public outreach booths, where members are available for part of the day in a particular location to distribute information and talk with the public.
TTAP also actively seeks to partner with regional and international associations. In 2012, TTAP became a member of IUPsyS, the International Union of Psychological Science, established in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1951. TTAP is also a member of CANPA, the Caribbean Alliance of National Psychological Associations, which grew out of the second Caribbean Regional Conference in Psychology, held in 2011 in the Bahamas.
Thus there are now opportunities for members to be active in the cause of psychology at the local, regional or international level.
TTAP is looking forward to being even busier in the future. Government ministries and agencies, as well as private sector organisations, are now making it standard policy to recruit only those psychologists who are TTAP members, since all members’ credentials have been verified.
The association is also often called upon to sit on different committees. In pursuit of its goal of maintaining professional standards, TTAP has begun a drive towards licensure of psychologists.
And, looking abroad, the next Caribbean regional conference, where TTAP again plans to have a significant presence, is scheduled for November 2014 in Suriname. This is in addition to the usual yearly programme of a retreat for members, professional development workshops and public outreach activities.
To find out more about the association and its activities, TTAP has a web site at www.ttpsyhc.org, and a Facebook page. E-mails can be sent to email@example.com.