On August 6, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced his appointment of Thomandra S. Sam, PhD of Zachary to the Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists. Dr. Sam is clinical supervisor for the Sexual Behavior Treatment Program within the Louisiana Office of Juvenile Justice.
Dr. Sam fills the July vacancy on the state board created as Dr. Amy Henke completed her five-year service.
Dr. Sam is from Baton Rouge and was licensed in 2015 in the specialty area of counseling according to her candidate statement. She is a Psychologist V/Office of Behavioral Health/Eastern LA Mental Health System. She earned her degree from Auburn University.
In her statement, Dr. Sam wrote, “I working with diverse clinical presentations, demographics and within various settings from college counseling, community mental health, a pastoral center, domestic violence and homeless shelter, a marriage and family clinic and hospital settings. I am and have been licensed in various states and so I am keenly aware of how a variety of psychologists exist in different spaces both here in Louisiana as well as across our nation. I hope my unique experience adds an additional layer to an already highly qualified Board and staff.”
“My desire to assist the Board comes from my graduate program’s Social-Justice orientation and strong value to serve the profession and the general community. In this vain, one of my goals is to aide in creating spaces for Psychologists to feel more comfortable consulting with the Board to inquire about the best processes, best practice and most informed actions when engaging in all levels of their work; diminishing the fear of asking for guidance and increasing access to consultation, informal support or mentorship should be highly supported to create a more confident and effective psychological community. With this goal, there will also be times when someone’s actions or decision-making may need to be reviewed in retrospect; with regard to what would be my role as a regulator in enforcing the Ethics Code, psychological standards and laws would require I act judiciously, timely and fairly accounting for context while balancing the protection of the public and the profession.
Dr. Sam wrote, “Additionally, I am Interested in ensuring that Louisiana is ahead of the curve with offering diverse platforms to diverse consumers from diverse Psychologists; yes, that is a lot of one word in a sentence but its message is necessary. As our society Is changing, it is important Louisiana is able to compete with the rest of the nation and attract bright minds to work and advance our state and practice; in doing so, we ensure we are at the cutting edge of service by creating a healthy Louisiana that recognizes the need for mental healthcare, has access to the care needed and is ultimately positively impacted by our profession toward higher levels of wellness and increased quality of life. Regarded as the father of individual psychology in some circles, Alfred Adler encouraged us to, ‘Follow your heart but take your brain with you.’ I think being an effective Board member requires a constant balance of both.”