APA Council Meeting Report

Sally Barlow, PhD

Sally Barlow, PhD

Friday February 20-23, 2014 Washington DC

Sally H. Barlow, Ph.D. – Council Representative

For 3 days I attended my first ever Council meeting including Thursday activities for new council representatives and the regular agenda items from Friday through Saturday. It was a very packed agenda, during which I learned the “ropes” of 1) networking with other council reps who might share our society’s interests, 2) understanding how to bring questions to the floor (long lines at the microphones), 3) getting the electronic voting gizmo to work, and 4) appreciating the enormous challenge of parliamentary procedure as varied interests war on the floor. Below is a summary of action items that I noted and/or voted upon as a representative of the Society of Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy. If you would like a more thorough report please feel free to email me at shb@byu.edu.

Council Items of Public Interest

  • APA adopted as policy the resolution on Gun Violence Research and Prevention.
  • Endorsed Multidisciplinary Competencies in the Care of Older adults at the Completion of the Entry-Level Health Professional Degree (adopted in partnership with Health in Aging).
  • Received the “Report of the Task Force on Trafficking of Women and Girls” in order to develop a policy that weds action with scientific research in order to stop this blight.

Professional Development

  • Impact of Affordable Care Act on Psychology and Psychologists—long discussion about this.
  • APA Center of Psychology and Health—a new initiative of APA to strengthen psychology in the new era of health care addressing 4 challenges: 1) workforce (ensuring well-trained psychologists of part of primary care team), 2) being included and paid, 3) image challenge—helping public and workforce see psychologists as primary care team, 4) self-image challenge—psychologists themselves often do not consider they are part of primary teams.
  • Gun Violence—developing an up-to-date policy on prediction and prevention of gun violence in the wake of the Newtown school shootings.
  • Clinical Practice Guidelines—the happy marriage between interventions and scientific evidence.
  • Governance—Council has been struggling to streamline governance procedures initially voted upon in 2013, being further refined and eventually implemented in 2014. Bottom line is that representation is being shifted in order to be fairer to all stakeholders. The Implementation Work Group (IWG), is made up of an impressive array of psychologists: Chair: Melba J.T. Vasquez, Ph.D.; Vice chair: Bill Strickland, Ph.D.; Mark Appelbaum, Ph.D.; Martha Banks, Ph.D.; Armand Cerbone, Ph.D.; Ayse Ciftci, Ph.D.; Helen Coons, Ph.D.; Paul Craig, Ph.D.; John Hagen, Ph.D.; Jo Johnson, Ph.D.; Linda Knauss, Ph.D.; Bonnie Markham, Ph.D., PsyD; Ali Mattu, Ph.D.; Marsha McCary, Ph.D.; Gilbert Newman, Ph.D.; Allen Omoto, Ph.D.; Vivian Oto Wang, Ph.D.; Mitch Prinstein, Ph.D.; Nancy Sidun, PsyD; Kristi Van Sickle, PsyD; Emily Voelkel, MA; and Milo Wilson, Ph.D.

Dr. Vasquez led an extremely useful discussion regarding the next step (choosing the representative structure—variously known as 7A, 7B, 7C).

Bear with me—this is complicated. The Good Governance Project (yet, another acronym—GGP) has worked diligently over several years to improve functionality of COR. A group of 175+ psychologists to run an organization of 134,000+ members is no easy thing. Principles for New Governance Structure: Consistent with overall APA structure; transparent, timely, nimble; reflects diversity; actively engages all members at all stages of their career; has appropriate checks and balances; allows for adaptation based on periodic review. There was a great deal of wrangling about this topic—I will spare you the political-jockeying details. Further refinement of this will happen at the August 2014 meeting in DC.

As a note to irony, since one of the key features of this new governance idea was a nod to better technology in order to further communication between council and APA, and Council at general membership, a proposal for a new division—Society for Technology and Psychology—was turned down. After listening to all the details regarding this new division, I have to say I thought it was a really good idea, voted for it, and watched it go down in defeat to traditionalist divisions who didn’t want their territory stomped on.

Other Council Items:

Internship Stimulus Project—addressing internship shortage problems with allotted three million dollars.

Approving multiple documents that will now be posted on APA Website: CRSPPP—update on the organization (Committee on Principles for the Recognition of Specialties and Proficiencies in Professional Psychology)—details to follow as we go for CRSPPP approval for Group; Health Service Psychology; Competencies for Older Adults; Report re trafficking of girls and women; user-friendly resource for educators on program improvement; supporting the Center for History of Psychology at the University of Akron.

Creating a uniform definition of “Early Career Psychologist” ECP—to be 10 years post-doctoral

Making APA into a data-driven organization (improving electronic reports, record-keeping etc)

Developing a centralized application service for graduate education in psychology

Money—very complicated budget. Majority voted for it as well as keeping Norm Anderson as the CEO (who makes a lot more money than any of us)

Council was taught a very interesting CE session on Transgendered Identity in psychological care. See http://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/programs/transgender/ for a useful update about this.

Senator Daniel K. Inouye—Council honored him for his strong support of human rights and psychological services.



Categories: Committee Reports

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