75th Anniversary - Member Stories
75 years is an amazing milestone for any organization. We are interviewing some of our long time members who have been instrumental in the success of WSPA and posting their stories here. With over 700 members it is not possible to interview everyone, but if you would like to add your story, please download this questionnaire and we will edit your answers down to about 500 words.
Dr. Anton's 30+ years of experience with the Washington State Psychological Association provided a rich history of success and celebration, and we are excited to share these memories.
Dr. Anton is a Board Certified Child Psychologist. He studied at the University of Vermont, Colorado State University, and completed a clinical internship from the Harvard Medical Center. Dr. Anton is a scholar, receiving the title of distinguished professor from the University of Puget Sound, which led to the opening of a full-time private practice, and he joined WSPA in 1988.
"WSPA is a launchpad," said Dr. Anton. "I joined, I went to a few meetings then I would get involved with the government and Legal Affairs committee."
Dr. Anton‘s involvement in the leadership committee provided him with rather thorough, albeit rather sudden, boots-on-the-ground experience. When Lucy Homans, WSPA‘s Director of Public Affairs, asked Dr. Anton to serve the Board of Trustees as treasurer, he quickly received a trial-by-fire for the world of psychological representation.
"I learned that advocacy can make things happen," said Dr. Anton.
Such advocacy was crucial in passing necessary Washington legislation like the Parental Notification Bill, which alerted parents if their children under 18 had requested psychological help.
In maintaining such a long membership, Dr. Anton has been given the unique perspective of seeing how WSPA has grown. He has seen executive successes and failures, seen how WPSA has recruited more and more talented members, and even overcome membership challenges in the past.
"It‘s been ups and downs," said Dr. Anton. "We had membership challenges [but] if people understand why we‘re doing what we‘re doing, and that‘s something that they embrace, they‘ll pay their dues."
Despite rocky years and other WSPA challenges, he still holds faith in the organization's ability to affect change.
Things like parity legislation, advocacy on the state level against [predatory] insurance, how to deal with adverse legislation, and all sorts of things happen through the organization. "They don't happen individually. They can‘t," said Dr. Anton.
All in all, WSPA has been integral to Dr. Anton‘s continued successes as a Washington State psychologist. The nature of having such a connected network of talented people, all working towards the same goal, ignites passionate waves of support to whoever could need it, patient or psychologist.
"[WSPA] is a tremendous resource; they are passionate advocates for their mission," Dr. Anton said in closing.
Dr. McCurry shared many stories, some victorious and some challenging, but all in praise of the people and the power of WPSA.
Chris McCurry, Ph.D., is a retired child and family psychologist hailing from the Pacific Northwest. Dr. McCurry has been a member of WSPA for 9 years, joining back in 2013. He has broad experience in telehealth, leadership roles, foundational roles, and experience leading his own practice.
"WSPA is an investment," said Dr. McCurry, "that keeps everyone honest and makes sure that people get healthy."
WSPA has been an integral part of Dr. McCurry's professional and personal developments. Having been a member for nearly a decade, he has seen WSPA follow through on its own promises time and time again.
"It is not until something really egregious happens, where people become aware that 'Oh, gee, my livelihood is being imperiled here' - that's when we go to bat for you," he said.
Egregious things include predatory insurance policies, wrongful suits, disingenuous lobbying, and other factors that make mental health assistance less accessible, as well as political forces that attempt to devalue a psychologist or limit their practical abilities.
Dr. McCurry also served on WSPA’s Board of Trustees as the President, for the year of 2015, which was a "very tumultuous year".
"Membership was lagging, we had a lot of financial challenges, but we managed to get through that as a WSPA team," he said.
Thanks to the combined efforts of the whole of WSPA, his year serving as President began a crucial shift.
"The mindset has absolutely, definitely shifted more positively," said Dr. McCurry.
In closing, he further sang the praises of being a member of such a valued and established organization.
"WSPA is trying to protect the consumer, and stays on the lookout for anything that is going to impede access... It’s an investment in keeping everybody honest and making sure that people get healthy."
Albert Paige, Ph.D, has been a distinguished member of WSPA since its near inception, joining when he first arrived in Washington state in the 1960‘s. He started his Washington career on the coattails of his graduation from the University of Kansas. He and his wife, Ruth, both from NYC, continue to be WSPA members to this day.
Having spent such extensive time as a member of WSPA, he has seen the organization grow from a humble academic association into the tour de force it has become today.
He describes the earliest days of WSPA as a Texas barroom, and he is especially pleased that those days are now behind the association.
Given the fact that WSPA has humble beginnings, it has had plenty of room to grow. Dr. Paige elaborated that one of the most successful WSPA victories was partnering with workers and communities in nursing, which led to substantial DC success.
If you want to be successful in psychology, you need to align yourself with nursing, he said. And when we moved in that direction, that resulted in a much stronger position for the public in general.
Singing similar praises as other previous long-term members, he was quick to outline WSPA as a hugely positive investment into his future. Be it socially or professionally, WSPA has provided him with support and opportunities unlike any other.
WSPA provided a change from my position at the VA and on faculty at UW to one that was more involved with the public, said Dr. Paige.
Dr. Albert Paige is excited to celebrate the 75th anniversary of WSPA, and looks forward to the organization‘s new members and the opportunities they will gain in joining this distinguished association.Interesting problems need interesting solutions, said Dr. Paige. WSPA has a high level of participation by the membership, has good meetings, and accomplishes good things that relate to psychology.