SVPA President's Message

Cory Nyamora, Psy.D.


When I was a high school student, I read a romance novel with a character who was a therapist. It was my first real exposure to the idea of therapy (and who knows how well our field was portrayed), and I remember thinking that’s what I want to do. I grew up in Kenya in the 80s and 90s, and my only reference point for mental health was an awareness of hospitals for those with psychological illnesses. At the time, people with resources kept their mentally ill relatives at home and away from the public. 


I ended up moving to the U.S and eventually got my Doctorate at the California School of Professional Psychology (now, Alliant International University), earning my license in 2005. Doing therapy suited me well. It melded with my natural inclination of curiosity, listening, pursuit of understanding, and problem solving. As a political asylee who wasn’t allowed to return to my country of origin for 18 years, psychology helped me develop a deeper understanding of issues related to immigration, trauma, politics and power. As a young person I was quite shy and one-on-one work felt most natural to me. Who knew that I’d also be exposed and taxed with doing group therapy, leading large group expeditions, workshops and speaking to the media, and that I would love being around large groups of people. I was able blend my personal and professional interest in endurance sports, growing my private practice into Endurance – A Sports and Psychology Center, Inc. I can’t wait to see how we continue to grow and support the communities we serve.

As I begin this presidency with SVPA, I hold a few issues on my mind and my agenda:

1. I would love for more people to join our field and to have knowledge of the range of career options for us. I want students to develop a knowledge and love for psychology from sources outside romance novels and questionable depictions in TV and movies! In my career as a psychologist, I’ve relished the ability to pivot, change, grow, shift gears or keep deepening what I do. I want all high school students to understand the steps of getting into this field. I’d love to have more people of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, immigrants, working class folks, and the range of our diverse populations grow our field. I plan to have a robust project to engage students as early as high school in the work we do. This could take the form of talks at high schools, figuring out how to make college and graduate school more accessible, and continuing to support our graduate students. I want people to see our field as healthy, positive, innovative, and growth-oriented. 

2. I know many of us have felt burned out post-Covid from all the intensity of the work, and the twin stresses of personally adjusting to a worldwide crisis while supporting others going through the same thing. Doing this in isolation and reduced human connection took a toll on many of us, and I want this to be a year of coming together. This could be in the form of supporting our psychologists so we can feel nurtured, healthy, connected and empowered for our next steps. What does our membership need? How did Covid affect you personally, even several years out? What will help us continue to grow individually and as a field? We can bring people together in more active ways: at events, on hikes, on kayaking trips, at restaurants, on bike rides. 

3. Another important issue is educational equity. Psychological science and principles support a fair, equitable learning environment for all. Let’s continue to support schools, teachers, educators and families with children in our public school systems, with the goal of eventually reducing the disparities we still see in California for lower income kids and some communities of color. Let’s continue to support the rights of LGBTQ+ students and families in our school system. How can we, as a profession, help schools to be positive places for all, fostering a love of learning, a desire to help others, while being in community, balance and connection? 

I am humbled by the work of the previous SVPA president and board, and want us to continue in their spirit, continuing to advocate for social justice causes, building coalitions with community organizations, and building national and international coalitions with other psychology bodies across the globe (e.g. African Psychological Associations) to continue to advance the field of psychology, and opening it up to more diverse thought. 

Please join us and support the wonderful work that SVPA does, by joining our board, attending our events, coming to our annual conference and continuing education courses, mentoring our psychology graduate students and/or sending me ideas on ways we can continue to support you and our community. Let us continue to grow our field. If you have ideas and interest in helping grow a diverse workforce please email me at

Cory Nyamora, Psy.D.


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