About PSWC

The Academy’s Psychologists, Social Workers & Counselors (PSWC) Section specializes in the provision of psychosocial services to meet the biopsychosocial care needs of individuals affected by spinal cord injury/dysfunction (SCI/D) and their families. Our members have the opportunity to work collaboratively with many of the finest interdisciplinary leaders specializing in SCI/D, while developing their own skills through active participation in the Academy. We provide high quality educational and training opportunities in SCI/D; promote the use of empirically-based psychosocial interventions, while also facilitating awareness of any new treatments; develop research and scientific inquiry into improving the quality of life for persons affected by SCI/D; and recognize exceptional health care professionals devoted to optimizing the psychosocial health of individuals living with SCI/D and their families.



  • Establish and maintain standards of care for psychologists, social workers, and counselors working in the field of SCI/D rehabilitation.
  • Promote participation in the Academy’s journal, The Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine, by encouraging members to submit manuscripts.
  • Facilitate education, leadership, research opportunities and resources for trainees and early career professionals.
  • Recognize individuals who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and accomplishments in the field of SCI.
  • Provide a biopsychosocial perspective for issues related to SCI/D and contribute within the interdisciplinary Academy from our area of expertise and competence.

In Memoriam: Michael Dunn, PhD

Michael died suddenly 8/5/21 as he was being discharged at Stanford where he had been treated for a UTI. Although he was in a hospital and intervention was swift, he could not be revived.

Michael was President of PSWC for 1989-90. He received the Essie Morgan Excellence Award (now called The Essie Morgan Lecture) in 1998.

Michael was enrolled in an experimental psychology graduate program when he suffered a SCI in a motorcycle accident. He switched to clinical psychology after being inspired by a rehabilitation psychologist during his own rehabilitation.

Click here to read more.

Chuck Merbitz Honored at 2017 ASCIP Conference

The PSWC Section honored Chuck Merbitz for his years of service and clinical contributions to SCI/D at the 2017 Educational Conference & Expo. Chuck was not able to attend to accept his award, but he did provide a very thoughtful acceptance letter. Read it here.

PSW Changes Name to PSWC

The Section of Psychologists and Social Workers (PSW) is excited to report that it has changed its name to “Psychologists, Social Workers and Counselors (PSWC)” in order to better reflect its current membership and to encourage even more diversity in its future membership.

PSWC Board of Directors

President : Trisha Hicks, MSW, Med

Vice President: Lisa Ottomanelli, PhD

Past President:
 Maggi Budd, PhD, MPH, ABPP

BoD Liaison: Kimberley Monden PhD

Board Members:
Jackie Wondolowski, MSW; Jenn Irish, PhD; Herb Ames, PhD, ABPP, ABN; Kimberley Monden, PhD; Tammy Abbott-Thiel, LMSW; Jonathon Rose, PhD.

PSWC Resources

Professional Links
NASW- SCI link: http://www.socialworkblog.org/
American Academy of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: www.aapmr.org
American Board of Professional Psychology: www.abpp.org
American Psychological Association (APA): www.apa.org
Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC): www.appic.org
Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB): www.asppb.org
National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology: www.nationalregister.org
Accredited Online Colleges:  AccreditedOnlineColleges.org
Division of Rehabilitation Psychology, Division 22: Click here to view more information or join Division 22.

Professional Resources
Action: www.unitedspinal.org
ADA home page: www.ada.gov
American Psychological Association’s Family Caregiver Briefcase for Psychologists: http://www.apa.org/pi/about/publications/index.aspx
APA PsycLINK- email name to:  psycLINK@apa.org
Disability Resources: www.disabilityresources.org
FacingDisability.com (for families facing spinal cord injuries): www.facingdisability.com
National Transplant Assistance Fund- Catastrophic Program: www.catastrophicfund.org
New Mobility- Life Beyond Wheels Magazine: www.newmobility.org
PAR Assessment Toolkit: http://toolkit.parinc.com
Personal Assistance Services: www.pascenter.org
SCI information & resources by state: www.sci-info-pages.com

Consumer Resources
The American Psychological Association (APA): http://www.apa.org/
Paralyzed Veterans of America: http://www.pva.org
The ALS Association: http://www.alsa.org/
The National MS Society: http://www.nationalmssociety.org
Brain Injury Association of America: http://www.biausa.org
American Stroke Association: http://www.strokeassociation.org