How NAOTP Began
By Rabia Subhani
As we are coming up on year two of COVID fallout and the concomitant reliance on telehealth, the timing of creating this organization couldn’t be more perfect (on the other hand, last year would have been even better!).
I noticed the summer when COVID hit, that so many of my colleagues were struggling with the sudden change to all telehealth. All of a sudden, we were inundated with a completely different method of psychological assessment and testing. One of the biggest issues was that many of the tests we were using were not yet adapted to telehealth delivery. However, as we slowly progressed to becoming comfortable testing via telehealth, an unexpected benefit arose. Suddenly, clients in rural areas had more access to psychologists across the state. Then the issue became two to find the perfect individual. And then PSYPACT happened last summer! This expanded options for assessment even more.
And yet, we still had little recourse when searching for colleagues who did specific types of testing. Potential consumers had even less knowledge of where to search for these elusive professionals. There were plenty of options for therapists, but none really for those who did primarily testing.
As someone active on social media, I noticed these issues, and wheels started spinning in my mind. Psychologists kept posting about finding a colleague who had some type of specialty. On the other hand, there were people desperately looking for psychologists who specialized in specific areas. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any time to devote to this kernel of an idea which was developing.
Fast forward to March 2021 and suddenly, I had a few weeks free and this idea came back in a rush of blazing glory. What if we as psychologists had a national organization that was devoted to helping us locate colleagues who had specific specializations so we could do a quick search instead of posting on various listservs? What if consumers could also find psychologists specializing in certain areas by using a public searchable database? What if you could search by location and language and demographic served? What if we took PSYPACT into account? What if this site was not a for-profit and actively marketed our membership across the internet?
And the National Alliance of Testing Psychologists was born.