Reflecting on My Service on The Trust’s Inaugural SECP Committee

Reflecting on My Service on The Trust’s Inaugural SECP Committee

I am honored to be one of the inaugural members, and now Chair of The Trust Student and Early Career Psychologist (SECP) Committee.

By way of background, the late Dr. Sallie Hildebrandt contacted me about the newly formed Trust SECP Committee in the fall of 2016, when I was fresh out of graduate school and just a few months into my assistant professorship. Dr. Jana Martin, CEO of The Trust Companies, subsequently requested that I join The Trust SECP Committee in the spring of 2017, and I’ve been serving on it ever since.

I was taught early on that in giving one receives, and this is a cornerstone of my professional attitude. Prior to joining The Trust SECP Committee, I had served in several leadership roles as a graduate student in local and national organizations. Thus, I had familiarity with the numerous benefits of being of service in one’s professional and personal life, and with how to be reasonably effective in such a role.

I thoroughly enjoy my involvement with The Trust SECP Committee and have seen many benefits professionally and personally. I have regularly collaborated with my fellow Committee members and consulted with leadership to ascertain how the Committee ought to function, what it would accomplish, and how it can be sustained. I am fortunate to have had preexisting collegial, productive, and friendly relations with several of the other Committee members. As an ECP, it has been a delight to work alongside my former graduate school colleagues, Drs. Kento Yasuhara and Melinda Wolbransky; a prior colleague from a professional organization, Dr. Beth Arredondo; and several new colleagues, Drs. Stephanie Salo, Krystal Stanley, Joy Zelinsky-Marquez, and Princess Drake. It has been a pleasure to work with another colleague from graduate school, Trust Advocate 800 Consultant, Dr. Amanda Zelechoski, who supported one of our maiden projects. Dr. Martin, several of the Trustees, and numerous staff at The Trust have also been tremendously welcoming to and supportive of us. In addition to getting to know them all better, it has been a treat to visit The Trust office in Rockville, Maryland, and to attend Trust sponsored events in San Francisco and Chicago.

I value being an active contributing member in organizations relevant to my profession. Involvement with The Trust SECP Committee has provided me with the opportunity to interact with individuals at my professional liability insurance carrier which has been an unexpected and delightful surprise early in my career. Moreover, by virtue of my service on The Trust SECP Committee, I have learned more about professional insurance, in general, and how to take advantage of the offerings to me as an insured of The Trust.

During the first year, The Trust SECP Committee worked on three separate efforts: (1) a video project, (2) a new private practice project, and (3) a marketing plan project.

  1. Video Project. The Committee solicited information from The Trust concerning the most common reasons why students and ECPs consult The Trust’s Advocate 800 Program. Information about the Advocate 800 Program can be found at trustinsurance.com/Risk-Management/Advocate-800-Service. After obtaining information about why professionals were using the service, we then created a series of short videos to help familiarize insureds with this invaluable service, including a simulated consultation call from start to finish. Several Committee members also recorded an interview with Dr. Martin, who answered frequently asked questions (FAQs) about professional liability insurance for students and ECPs.
  2. New Private Practice Project. The Trust SECP Committee developed a detailed brochure about starting a private practice as an ECP, including information about practice models, marketing, financial considerations, liability insurance, other insurance needs, and common legal, ethical, and risk management issues.
  3. Marketing Plan Project. A Committee marketing plan was developed to guide future promotion of The Trust SECP Committee’s offerings to students, ECPs, and psychologists in general.

During its second term of operation, The Trust SECP Committee has been actively soliciting feedback from ethics instructors in graduate programs, health service psychology internships, and postdoctoral training sites regarding needed resources and products that the Committee might develop. In the near future, the Committee plans to create additional online video content and is considering development of an informational product addressing FAQs about the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology.

The Trust SECP Committee looks forward to new ideas and projects, including development of resources and products for graduate students, ECPs, and educators. Indeed, akin to The Trust’s motto, “For Psychologists, By Psychologists,” we like to think of our Committee as “For Students and ECPs, By Students and ECPs.”


Christopher King, J.D., Ph.D.

About the Arthur

Christopher King, J.D., Ph.D., is an inaugural member and the current chair of The Trust SECP Committee. Dr. King is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Montclair State University in New Jersey where he teaches both undergraduate and graduate students and conducts research primarily in the areas of forensic mental health assessment and correctional psychology. He also works part-time as a postdoctoral clinician in a private practice where he works with both youth and adults, and provides forensic mental health assessment, traditional clinical assessment, and cognitive behavior therapy services. Dr. King is also a licensed attorney in Pennsylvania, although he does not currently practice law. Dr. King is actively involved in professional service, including reviewing for academic conferences, journals, and grant-making agencies, and chairing or serving on committees within Division 41 of the American Psychological Association: American Psychology–Law Society. Dr. King received his B.S. in Psychology from the University of Florida, and his M.S., J.D., and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a Forensic concentration from Drexel University in Philadelphia.