Council of Representatives for the American Psychological Association is made up of 178 hard-working people, along with APA staff, tackling tough problems ranging from torture to training. The recent February meeting in Washington DC from February 18-21 had a full agenda including following up on the resolution passed in the August meeting in Toronto to close the loophole allowed by the collusion between Dr. Behnke and the Department of Defense. We voted on a number of important resolutions (for a full report go to the APA website: http://www.apa.org/about/governance/council/index.aspx)
1) Inclusion of ethics, human rights and social justice in revision of strategic plan
2) Revised criteria for recognition of organizations that provide certification in specialties and proficiencies in professional psychology
3) Follow up strategies regarding good governance project
4) Establishment of a work group to develop civility principles and procedures
This last item was likely a result of the lit-up list serve during the last year when ad hominem attacks occurred often. Debate on council floor was civil but occasionally heated as members discussed how best to follow-up on the findings of the Hoffman report. Our diversity training this meeting was on religious tolerance and discrimination with a focus on Islamophobia. Perhaps most interesting of the 3 days of meetings was the Sunday council retreat led by the sociologist/ethnographer Mal O’Connor, who has been attending our meetings for a year at the invitation of our president Susan McDaniel. He is helping us to identify our “culture” in an effort to understand our past e.g., (the collusion with the DOD, which led to allowing psychologists to participate in detainee torture), our present (e.g., how does the minority opinion get heard when the majority is talking all the time), and perhaps our future (e.g., a strong ethical foundation as well as strong education and training, increased patient welfare and public trust).
Thank you for allowing me to serve as the representative for Division 49.
Sally H. Barlow.