The winter meeting was held in Washington DC from March 9-10 covering many topics including:
Council approved a joint 501(c) 3/501(c) 6 organization membership agreement, a move that will increase APA’s capacity to advocate for a full range of issues. At membership renewal time this year, all APA members will become part of both a c3 and a c6 organization.
Council voted to amend minutes of its February 24-25, 2017 meeting— “Council voted to adopt as APA policy the APA Clinical Practice Guidelines for Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Adults and approved March 2022 as the expiration date for these guidelines. Council also requested that a Professional Practice Guidelines [that addresses other issues, including those relevant to psychological practice with individuals] related to issues important to treatment of individuals who have Posttraumatic Stress Disorder be developed [in an expeditious fashion] as expeditiously as possible.”
Council approved pursuing accreditation of master’s level programs in health service psychology in areas where APA already accredits. This will be a multi-year project that will require council approval for a plan of implementation. Much debate preceded this vote. Two take-aways are 1) the exact title has yet to be decided, and 2) there should be standards for the scope of practice of master’s level practitioners.
Council vote to receive a comprehensive report from the Council Diversity Workgroup. This will include recommendations for more inclusion of diversity at all levels of process and procedure. This workgroup is led by Clinton Anderson and his team in Public Interest and will take the next 6 months to develop a workable framework.
Council adopted the Clinical Guideline for Multicomponent Behavioral Treatment of Obesity and Overweight Children and Adolescents: Current State of the Evidence and Research Needs as policy of the association. This was preceded by very emotional debate about the painful aspects of being labelled “obese” while still focusing on the positive aspects of better treatment for this global phenomenon.
Council adopted as APA policy a resolution on Pregnant and Postpartum Adolescent Girls and Women with Substance Related Disorders. In part, this policy affirms that substance-related disorders manifest as behavioral and biomedical health problems, and recommends providing rehabilitative services rather than criminalizing pregnant women and girls’ substance use by prioritizing substance treatment.
Council received as information an update on the new business in progress item, “Archiving the 2015 Resolution on Violent Video Games Due to Inconsistent Evidence-Based on Effects (NBI 35A/Aug 2017).
Council received three ethics updates as information. An update on the Board of Directors’ consideration of recommendations stemming from the Report to APA Commission on Ethics Processes; an update on a new selection of the new Ethics Code Taskforce; and an update on a new business item, “Resolution to Amend Council’s 2009, 2013, and 2015 Resolutions to Clarify that Psychologists May Provide Treatment to Detainees or Military Personnel in National Security Settings”.
Council decided to rescind the 1991 Resolution on the use of anatomically detailed dolls for forensic evaluations, urging those who conduct such evaluations to be competent in their use, provide more research about the variety of such dolls available for purchase, and bring the standard of assessment into a more uniform practice.
Council agreed to adopt as APA policy the Guidelines on Core Learning Goals for Master’s Degree Graduates in Psychology and approved March 2028 as the expiration date for these guidelines.
Council met in Executive Session to discuss ongoing litigation. Our very competent attorney, Deanne Ottaviano reminded us that we cannot discuss (or report on) anything regarding this litigation. I can report on the Amicus Curiae briefs, which include the recent cake decision as well as 4 others. If you want details (lots of legal language I am not competent enough to represent here) contact me at email@example.com.
The Council of Representatives met during the August 2017 APA Annual meeting in Washington DC for two days, considering a number of items. Key among them were reports from the Civility and Diversity work groups (clearly lots of overlap here) regarding useful ways to advance the causes of civility (in person and on the list serve) and expand diversity beyond just “talking about it”—thus reflecting our mission to respect the rights and dignity of all persons. In particular, the Civility work group put forward a plan to encourage dealing with civility issues with 5 steps: 1) peer to peer internal [“ouch-oops” feedback–suggesting that a person who appears insensitive may not have realized it. The person who was offended needs to say “ouch” and the person who offended needs to say “oops”], 2) mentor assisted informal, 3) formal complaint, 4) mentor committee elevation and Council of Representatives (CoR) initiated community protection. The report is lengthy and very thoughtful. If you would like a copy let me know. We will debate implementation of this during the mid-winter meeting in March 2018. The appointment of a Civility Ambassador will be made to oversee this process in order to promote respect and inclusion, utilize the findings of the survey conducted regarding these issues, and develop ways to provide corrective feedback.
The Diversity Work Group put forward suggestions for 2018 council diversity training, encouraged APA leaders to model inclusion by tracking informal as well as formal norms. Some of the feedback from the diversity survey sent to CoR members last year included such feedback as “enforce term limits—too many council members remain on council by circling through a number of positions and divisions, often remaining dominant, even rude.” Members also recounted “fears of being dismissed, publicly criticized, seen as biased” as deterrents to speaking up against the majority while in meetings. The diversity report is also a very thoughtful document listing short term urgent/longer term urgent/short term import/longer term import, encouraging more data gathering, as well as specific training. Again, I would be happy to share this with you.
Progress with the Good Governance Project continues as the Council Leadership Team (CLT) attempts to make more nimble the daunting bureaucracy of APA.
Several items will be held over until Mid-winter meeting as the August agenda was jam-packed as manifested by the 678 page agenda book (which I would be happy to share with you if you pay for the shipping postage of such a heavy document!)
Council met in Executive Session to further discuss law suit issues, which I am constrained from sharing with you.
Of interest council members were forwarded information on the Press Releases from Kim Mills—media coordinator–during APA that reached a total of 56 million people on topics ranging from mindfulness to helping athletes succeed.
During the mid-winter meeting in March 2018 we will be debating the masters level license issue. This is a complicated issue with an upside and a downside. I would welcome your feedback about what you think about granting masters level psychologists licenses.
Also, just received word of an interesting conference coming up in April in DC.
Thank you for allowing me to represent you on the Council of representatives. Sally H. Barlow, Division 49, Group psychology and group psychotherapy.
The Council of Representatives met in Washington DC February 24-25th, 2017. A lot of business was conducted, some of which I cannot report on because it occurred in Executive Session. Sorry about that. Wish I could. But we have been harshly warned by our legal counsel not to divulge anything. Perhaps I will be able to do this later.
Of interest was a vote on apportionment—long history of this squabbling that has gone back and forth. You can refer to pdf below for status. A very nice thing that happened from the floor of Council was that we all agreed to make sure all the geographic locations (e.g. Virgin Islands) weren’t stripped of their votes. I have also attached the minutes from the meeting if you are interested. Most of you are no doubt up to your eyeballs in work: serving the public, teaching the next generation of group clinicians, running groups etc. The happiest thing I must report is that the CRSPPP petition for specialty status just ended its comment period. The petition itself can be read at http://apaoutside.apa.org/EducCSS/public/ along with the almost 50 pages of comments, which are primarily quite supportive. We have Nina Brown to thank for this tremendous effort: THANK YOU NINA!!
Although group is recognized by the American Board of Professional Psychology as a specialty it has yet to be recognized by CRSPPP—the committee on recognition of specialties and proficiencies in professional psychology. In related action, the PTSD guidelines were voted upon. It was an almost 2-hour debate. APA staff in charge of the PTSD guidelines apparently have been working on this document for 4 1/2 years to compete with psychiatry guidelines. The committee (staff and psychologists) were given the charge to follow the guidelines from the Institute of Medicine (IOM). I believe that is what set the agenda here–so that only PTSD research under-girded by RCTs was the norm. It is no wonder CBT and its offshoots along with medication won this horse race. Comments from the floor ranged from defensive (the APA staff essentially said, “If we want to be a player here with psychiatry we need to get these guidelines out now”; representatives from division 39, psychoanalysis, claimed unfair treatment of psychoanalysis and psychodynamic TX,) to accurate (the president of the Women’s division strongly suggested that decontextualizing PTSD was dangerous to those who suffered from it,) to the idiotic (sorry about casting aspersions here–but I am always fascinated when psychologists in love with RCTs and meta-analyses as the only viable evidence base stand at the mic and spout effect sizes etc.–overlooking the important contributions from qualitative research, and misunderstanding how RCTs are based on drug trials that simply do not translate to humans. Here is what I said at the mic (you can only talk 2 minutes):
“I am Sally Barlow from Division 49 Group Psychology and Group psychotherapy. I am against these PTSD guidelines in their current form, extensive as they are. Because the freeway was closed from Park City to SLC due to an oil tanker fire, I spent an extra 8 hours at the airport re-reading the 2,000-page document and accompanying 1,000 no and yes comments–the no’s outweighing the yes’s by 30-1. The document never mentions treatment delivery modalities, only treatment types such as CBT. In particular, I am persuaded by Dr. Moench’s comments on page 1649 who suggests this document goes against expert international guidelines for PTSD. Further, Les Greene and associates from science to service task force of American Group psychotherapy Association on page 1678 suggest the guidelines fail to sufficiently delineate differential and unique effects of different treatment modalities such as individual vs. group treatment. In clearly growing data bases for group investigations, group treatment is often superior to, certainly equivalent to treatment as usual and wait list controls. Finally, clinical expertise appears to be obviated by the report’s overly strong and narrow recommendation of CBT treatments and medication.”
I wrote it down to read because it is truly nerve-wracking to stand at the mic.
Several council members followed suit. However, there was strong support from the floor not to send this back to the drawing board as it would take another 5 years, and we would “lose” to psychiatry. Before we voted on the motion, the Practice Directorate promised to put out an accompanying document on professional psychology guidelines highlighting clinical expertise, in order to encourage psychologists treating patients with PTSD, to 1) take cultural/diversity context into account, 2) properly contextualize PTSD interventions so that individual patients issues were attended to, 3) report some of the growing body of research from EMDR, Psychodynamics and emotion focused therapies, and 4) pay more attention to treatment delivery such and individual and group therapy. (Because I had carefully read the entire document I did note that there was a nod to “brief psychodynamic therapy” in the treatment of PTSD already, but there is nothing about group vs individual.) I look forward to these accompanying comments. The vote to accept the PTSD guidelines, along with this forthcoming document from the practice directorate, passed at almost 80%. (I have the 2,000 page document if you would like to read it—just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.) I voted against it as I think it needs to be re-written but I was clearly in the minority. I am also uncomfortable with the notion that these narrow guidelines were passed in what appears to be a turf war; but maybe I am unrealistic.
Here is what I think we should do next: Write a succinct document highlighting the efficacious and efficient use of groups as a delivery model for PTSD intervention and send this to Kathryn C. Nordal, email: email@example.com. She strikes me as a smart, very competent person who will listen to us. Recently at the American Group Psychotherapy Association annual meeting in NYC I attended the Science-to-Service-Taskforce where we discussed this. Gary Burlingame agreed to send this information to Dr. Nordal at the APA Practice Directorate. This is all good news for all of us in this division who understand the power of small group dynamics.
Other business of interest was a presentation on diversity on implicit attitudes (check out www.slido.com for interesting details about this North Star project presented by Glenda Russel and Andrea Iglesias.) Budget items were reviewed—sadly too many of our colleagues have dropped out of APA because of the bad publicity we have gotten from the Hoffman fallout. A proposed policy and procedures document on implementing transparency was discussed. Item 12, removal of barriers to admission to doctoral programs in psychology using the GRE was passed. Trial delegation of authority to the board of directors was discussed; this is all part of the Good Governance Project designed to make APA nimbler. Let’s hope it works. Until next time. Thanks for allowing me to represent you from Division 49. Sally H. Barlow
As of June 2016 the only thing to report is that Council continues to wait for an updated report from Hoffman et al (promised weeks ago) regarding the inconsistencies as well as possibly left-out information in the original Hoffman report. This original report, as you will no doubt recall, was leaked to the New York Times last July causing a firestorm. The CoR list serve is currently active with denunciations of the original Hoffman report, not least because the members who have been linked to support for torture have not had any opportunity to reclaim their reputations, and most because clearly inconsistencies do exist. Of late a small minority has also called into question the Good Governance Project (GGP) that has taken Council 5 years to bring to pass. As your Council Representative for The Society of Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy, I must admit I cannot imagine trying to undo all this hard work on the GGP, which was instigated in order to make the Council and the BOT more nimble. I do however support the move to obtain more answers from Hoffman. I am including a recent email from Jean Maria Arrigo who continues to be our conscience.
The current Div. 42 Board’s vote of no confidence in the APA Board brings to mind the 2012 Div. 42 Board’s historical support of the PENS process and PENS Report. Div. 42 members on both boards include Armand Cerbone, June Ching, Gerry Koocher, Michael Schwartz, Lori Thomas, Robert Woody, and Jeffrey Younggren.
The Gerwehr emails and PENS listserv constitute documentary evidence for the manipulation of PENS process and the PENS Report, in addition to documentation provided by the Hoffman Report. In 2012, in advance of the Hoffman Report, the Coalition for an Ethical Psychology had called for annulment of the PENS Report.
The 2012 Div. 42 Board “vehemently oppose[d]” the Coalition’s call for annulment. In the attached letter (URL: http://www.ethicalpsychology.org/materials/Div42-Response-to-Coalition-10-26-2012.pdf), the Div. 42 Board insisted there was nothing wrong with the PENS process nor with APA’s related policies. The Div. 42 Board particularly enjoined the Coalition to mind the reputation of the APA:
Therefore, our Board makes the following response to your Coalition;
We request that your Coalition stop using the press to spread all negative information about its dissatisfaction with APA. You are harming our practice of psychology by giving false and biased information and therefore, impacting negatively on the ability of people who need psychological services to receive them from ethical and competent psychologists in independent practice.
By distributing copies of this letter, we will ask APA to maintain a vigorous response to any further complaints publicized by the Coalition in the media that may damage our members’ independent practice of psychology. We believe that by giving only a partial story to the media, the Coalition is damaging the entire field of psychology.
Serving on the Council of Representatives has been an eye-opening experience. Three years is barely enough time to understand what is going on. Hard-working council members debate tough issues, based on lengthy background reports, insight into the finer points of the argument, strategic planning to represent ones constituency, and presence of mind to stand at the microphone and talk to a packed room of representatives, staff members, and often the press. If you’ll have me for a second term I would be honored.
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.
Follow up on Independent Review Actions from Council’s August 2015 Meeting, Oct 14, 2015
IR Brief Summary
Item 23b: Resolution to Amend the 2006 and 2013 Council Resolutions to Clarify the Roles of
Psychologists Related to Interrogation and Detainee Welfare in National Security Settings, to Further Implement the 2008 Petition Resolution, and to Safeguard Against Acts of Torture and Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in All Settings
The resolution is now posted in its entirety on the APA website under APA Actions in Response to the Independent Review Report http://www.apa.org/independent-review/index.aspx
Send official correspondence to appropriate officers of the U.S. government, including the President, Secretary of Defense, Attorney General, CIA Director, and Congress, to inform them that APA has adopted policy changes to expand its human rights protections to safeguard detainees in national security settings against torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment. LETTERS IN FINAL REVIEW STAGE
In implementation section, a request to the Ethics Committee to incorporate the national security interrogation prohibition language from the motion into the Ethics Code. REQUEST COMMUNICATED TO ETHICS COMMITTEE AND THEY WILL BE MEETING IN NOVEMBER TO DISCUSS THIS FURTHER
1.Develop a vetting process and seek nominations for both psychologists and non-psychologists for an APA Commission on Ethics Procedures. CALL DISTIBRUTED. MEMBERSHIP OF THE NOMINATION REVIEW COMMITTEE DESCRIBED.
2. Develop criteria and seek nominations from Council, boards & committees and the general membership for Conflict of Interest work group CALL DISTRIBUTED WITH LISTING OF DESIRED QUALIFICATIONS FOR MEMBERS
3. Develop a procedure for Council to review and comment on motions submitted in August related to the Independent Review ONLINE REVIEW SITE PROVIDED TO COUNCIL MEMBERS 9/30/2015.
4. Update on costs related to the Independent Review CFO SENT UPDATE 9/30/2015
5. Board recommendations on items going to Council CLT POSTED BOARD RECOMMENDATIONS TO COR 9/30/2015
Council voted on a few other items as time allowed but the majority of the meetings entailed work on the aftermath of the Hoffman Independent Review.
Personal observations.I emailed Lee Gillis and Dennis Kivlighan during the meetings (which I believe they forwarded to the Division 49 membership) to keep them abreast of the very intense 2 days that council worked to repair the damage done to APA regarding the Hoffman Independent Review that was leaked to the NYT July 8th wherein, “deceptively crafted and permissive ethics policies facilitated the active involvement of psychologists in abusive and torturous interrogations of prisoners . . . . How easy it was for the APA officials to jettison the ‘do no harm’ moral rule to conform to the Department of Defense.” The resolution passed by council to close the loophole caused by Stephen Behnke during the Bush administration resulted in an individual verbal roll call. When the last person shouted yes (there was only one no vote from Larry James, who maintains that our national defense will suffer) the crowded room, which included many graduate students and reporters observing our process, burst into sustained applause. Steven Reisner and Jean Maria Arrigo (the two consistent whistleblowers over the last decade) were interviewed by many newscasters (you can find these interviews on YouTube).
The lead up to the August meeting included 100s of emails daily from council as we attempted to build an agenda that called for action. Sad to say, it was a bitter, often ad hominen fight; but build an agenda we did, with the able assistance of Nadine Kaslow and Susan MacDaniel. Current APA president Barry Anton had recused himself, given that he was named many times in the Hoffman report. I weighed in on the list serve several times carefully pointing out powerful group dynamics that were threatening to dismantle our ability to work together. Happy to report that many council members agreed with me.
Since that council meeting in August the list serve has lit up again with another bitter fight about the process involved in hiring the interim CEO now that Norman Anderson has also stepped down. Below is an email from Dr. Arrigo that captures the minority point of view:
“The Hoffman Report has documented the inability of the CEO to oversee the staff, the inability of the Board to supervise. The work of the CEO, and the failure of the Ethics Committee to adjudicate complaints. The Bylaws as interpreted preserve the institutional dysfunction. But if authoritative APA bodies can appeal to legal counsel in making decisions, they can also appeal to counsel from other experts and stakeholders.” Jean Maria Arrigo.
When Dr. Arrigo was given an award during the second day of council meetings in Toronto for her courageous fight to address the torture-enabling instigated by Dr. Behnke, she said, “Thank you very much”—pause—“but I think this might be a public relations event designed to shut me up.” In fact she and Steven Reisner, along with others, have not shut up. They continue to fight for transparency. I invite you to search out this effort online—see for instance Reisner/Soldz comments to the APA board pdf, since this minority position is quite complex and lengthy, as it has taken place over the last 10 years.
While the final costs are not yet in as the Sidley Austin law firm has yet to send their last invoice, costs so far for the Hoffman report have reached almost 5 million dollars; this money is being paid out of the net assets of the Association which were 61.5 million as of December 31, 2014.
Finally, in an effort to be more transparent this recent email from APA includes good resources: The Communications Office has made changes to the home page (http://www.apa.org/index.aspx) to focus more on the work that APA does related to human rights issues and we are working to communicate more frequently about the activities within APA governance and advisory groups occurring in response to the Independent Review.
Thank you for allowing me to represent the Society for Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy on the Council of Representatives,
Sally H. Barlow
Thanks to Nancy Gordon Moore, Executive Director of Governance Affairs
As usual, COR February 2015 meeting in DC had its fill of thrills and spills; meetings were preceded by a host of Council Pre-Work issues including economic, organizational, technological, doctoral/non-doctoral distinctions, globalization, policy, insurance, educational (internship/training), marketing, practice/science, research, social, and finally torture. Clearly, response to torture allegations was a huge concern: 1) “Role of psychologists at Guantanamo Bay and various ‘black sites’, and the APA’s response to the torture allegations, 2) Reclaiming the moral and ethical nature of psychology, including but not limited to, the unequivocal condemnation of torture.” It is like trying to close the barn door after the horses have fled. I realize this is just my opinion, but the sheer amount of fighting back and forth[i] on the Council listserve is likely a result of fear about what eventually will be revealed regarding APA’s role in promoting torture, regardless of when and how the investigative independent report is released. The fight–which appears to sidestep the central issue of how terrible it will be regardless of when and how it is released– is about whether or not to go by council by-laws process once the independent review is released (Board of Directors reads it, prepares a response, releases to COR and then to the general membership) vs. releases it immediately to everyone. At issue is transparency in order to restore the public trust. During the February meeting a strong, vociferous minority spoke from the floor regarding releasing the findings of the Hoffman investigation independent report to everyone, bypassing normal procedures. Clearly many members believed the old process was part of the problem—no longer nimble or transparent. This particular debate didn’t happen until the very end of COR meetings, preceded by a number of important topics, to be sure, but none as vital as our response to APA’s part in torture allegations. If you are unfamiliar with this debate, check online PENS report—Psychological Ethics and National Security www.apa.org/pubs/info/reports/pens.pdf.
The night before actual council meetings, caucuses gathered to discuss their particular interest-group concerns. New Governance structure is now in effect, and as a result, two caucuses have been “sunsetted”—Very Small SPTA Caucus and the Assembly of Scientist/Practitioner Psychologists.
Friday February 20th agenda: Mega Issue
Reorganization has focused on clearer science-to-policy strategies—1) science/research perspectives, 2) advocacy, and 3) educating the public. We spent the day breaking out into smaller discussion groups to tackle how to better utilize research in practice etc. This was an attempt to deal with important issues in psychology, now labeled “mega issues”. The newly-formed Council of Leaders Team (CLT) is supposed to replace the board of directors as council’s new executive committee and give us guidance on how to proceed regarding such Mega-issues. We tried to tackle integrated health care last year and it remains to be seen how this will unfold.
Friday night: Reception at APA headquarters
If there is a reason for psychologists to give up three days of private work to deliberate on tough topics in psychology it could be seeing the lit up Capitol building from the newly constructed outdoor rooftop reception area at the APA building. It really was beautiful. I felt guilty eating Hors D’oeuvres and feeling part of the “privileged people” until I thought about the hard work all this entails. Who would like to run for Council Rep for Division 49 next? This is clearly one of the perks.
Saturday February 21st agenda:
Remembrance of deceased members
Diversity Training—Implicit Bias (very interesting report)—if you want more info let me know
Finance report—operational budget, building operations, $67 million in assets 2014, investment portfolio 2014= $94 million
In addition to reports, council was asked to vote on following action items as found on APA website:
Resolution to Support Education and Implementation of the International Classification of Diseases.
This resolution serves to promote and encourage a wide range of ICD-relevant APA activities as well as (a) inform APA members and the public about this important public health framework and (b) support the creation of innovative tools and programs to allow psychologists to enhance their knowledge of health promotion, disease prevention and management of chronic disease.
Professional Practice Guidelines: Guidance for Developers and Users
Council was asked to adopt this document as APA policy to replace two earlier APA policy documents.
Resolution on the 2015 White House Conference on Aging
Council was asked to adopt as this document as APA policy.
Amending the APA Association Rules to Change the Name and Mission of the Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns
Council was asked to approve changing the name of this committee to the Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity because the current name no longer effectively reflects the full range of diversity among the populations it represents. It also eliminates the gender parity requirement.
Although council did not have as many action items to discuss as typical because the agenda items are now being divided between the board of directors and council, we still had a number of issues to discuss. Probably one of the most heated discussions involved the language change in the association bylaws and rules involving the governance change motions approved by council over the past few years. The majority of people approved the changes proposed although a substantial group was concerned that the language did not reflect the true nature of the division of responsibilities between the board and council. The final vote approved these action items with a request that the president and CLT chair appoint a work group to address any inaccuracies or inconsistencies in the language for our next council meeting in August.
Council was also asked to vote on the following action items
Association Rule Change: Inclusion of ECPs on APA Boards and Committees
Council was asked to (a) approve amending association rules to require relevant board and committees to have at least one member who is an early career psychologist (ECP); (b) approve that in addition to those boards/committees approved in August 2014 as being excluded from this requirement, the following boards and committees should also be excluded because their membership criteria, based on specific requirements, do not allow for a slate composed solely of ECPs:
American Psychological Association of Graduate Students
Council of Editors and Fellows Committee
And (c) approve the exemption for the Fellows Committee through 2020 and request that the Fellows Committee develop ways to increase the number of ECPs being considered and approved as APA fellows.
Action: Council approved this item with a friendly amendment for the Committee on Psychological Tests and Assessment to have an extended period of time to add ECPs to their slates.
Making APA into a Data-Driven Organization
Council was asked to approve adding a clarification to the APA strategic plan as part of Goal #1: Maximize Organizational Effectiveness. The specific proposal is to include the following objective: “d. Ensure that APA collects, maintains, and manages accessible member and professional data to allow for evidence-based decision-making.” A substitute motion that was accepted directed all future modifications of the APA strategic plan to be based on a process developed by the CEO.
Action: The motion was approved with additional wording that included issues of accountability and transparency to the proposed additional language.
APA Technology Implementation Plan
Council was asked to support the CEO’s technology implementation plan and request that additional methods for member engagement be developed by the new executive director for membership following the establishment of the Office of Member Recruitment and Engagement.
Action: Council approved this item.
Competencies for Psychology Practice in Primary Care
Council was asked to adopt this document as APA policy that articulates competencies for education and training of psychologists who seek to provide psychological services in primary care.
Action: Council approved this item.
Modifying the Composition of the Board of Educational Affairs
Council was asked to approve amending the association rule and forwarding to the membership for a vote a bylaws amendment to modify the composition of the Board of Educational Affairs so that one seat could be held by an APA high school or community college teacher affiliate member.
Action: Council approved this item.
Standards of accreditation in Health Service Psychology
Council was asked to approve the Commission on Accreditation’s proposed document. This will replace the current Guidelines and Principles of Accreditation.
Action: Council approved this item.
Helping International Colleagues with the Declaration on Research Assessment
Council was asked to approve a request that APA join other scientific organizations world-wide to endorse the 2012 San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment.
Action: Council approved this item.
Sunday February 22—presidential citations, other agenda items (mainly fight from the floor about how and when to release the findings of the independent review re torture), president-elect candidate speeches
Other Relevant Issues:
If you are interested in the outcome of the recent lawsuit re APAPO please go to www.practiceassessmentsettlement.org. I attended an optional meeting conducted by APA attorney Nathalie Gilfoyle, a clearly competent, articulate attorney expertly representing our interests, regarding the settlement details of the lawsuit. She expressly forbid us to discuss the findings publicly because of the settlement stipulations.
Thank you allowing me to serve as the Council Representative for Society 49.
[i] “Please do not allow this dialog or the APA to be used as a vehicle for individuals to prove their liberal credentials. We have more important work to do.”
“Thank you for the information you’ve provided. I believe APA’s usual high ethical standards will prevail in this situation.”
“If the review demonstrates that APA was, in fact, supportive of these tortures I will forthwith resign my career long affiliation with the association.”
(These are just a few representative of hundreds of emails that flurried back and forth since our February meeting, some of which are too vile to re-print)
Council of Representatives August 2014 Report from Sally Barlow, Ph.D.
(Thanks to Rhea Farberman, Monitor Executive Editor for sharing her summary of meeting, portions of which I use here)
1. Council continued work on Good Governance Project (GGP) and Implementation Work Group (IWG), which seeks to streamline APA’s governance system and make it more inclusive. As background, Council approved 3-year trial delegation of duties to Board of Directors (BOD) in 4 areas (finances & budget, oversight of CEO, aligning budget with strategic planning, internally focused policy development) during February meeting, and changes to APA’s board of directors to include 6 member-at-large seats to be elected by general membership, as well as a public member, student and Early Career Psychologist (ECP) and 2 more seats from the newly created Council Leadership Team (CLT) to liaise better between Council and BOD. These changes to the BOD will require a bylaws vote by general membership expected to be sent out during next year.
2. Details about these changes were hammered out (mostly hammered on ) during the August 2014 meeting regarding council’s optimal size and structure (House of Representatives vs senatorial models); that is, an apportionment vs. 1-seat-each model.
3. Council approved changes in oversight functions of Committee for the Advancement of Professional Practice (CAPP), now be wholly a committee of the APA Practice Organization (APAPO), which will be responsible for day to day work including c-6 interests in legislative, legal and regulatory areas.
4. Council approved association rules (attending to issues of inclusivity) to ensure ECP representation.
5. Council adopted a resolution to stem false confessions obtained by police officers from women in the midst of domestic abuse situations as well as mentally disabled adults, both of whom may not understand their right to remain silent.
6. Council adopted as APA policy s resolution on diversity in children and adolescents to encourage greater education regarding gender and sexual orientation.
7. Council adopted resolution in support of UN Convention on Right and Dignity of Person with Disabilities. (See www.apa.org/about/policies/guidelines-supervision.pdf).
8. Council approved creation of a Div. 42 journal titled Practice Innovation
9. Council approved creation of a committee on Associate and Baccalaureate education.
10. Council adopted new policy that supports inclusion of all governance boards and committee members who have not previously served in governance.
11. Council elected a class of 111 APA Fellows—if you are not already a fellow, please consider being one!!
*As this was an altogether fractious debate, I will spare you the details. Almost all of the 1 and ½ days spent on this debate appeared to be to be highly managed from the floor by the minority of council reps who wanted to hang on to apportionment. (This is a large debate—I recommend that you review the attachments on representation that I included in the last council report if you are interested.) The debate continued several weeks on list serve exchanges after the DC meeting. I responded on the list serve as a good group person by pointing out the group dynamics impasse. Many of the minority stakeholders insisted on a council retreat (potentially costing APA $200,000) in addition to our 2 face-to-face meetings each year. I am copying one of my list serve responses, and would like you to know that a number of people responded individually to me saying emphatically that I had exactly captured what was happening. “Trying to figure out if I have read the latest raft of emails correctly. 1) the majority/minority continue to fight with each other accusing each other of even nastier politicking including hijacking the parliamentary process and 2) proposing to meet together for even more time in between now and the February 2015 Council meeting presumably because we cannot come to consensus. Wow. If we can’t accomplish our work in our 2 yearly face-to-face meetings, given all the committee work that has gone into council preparations beforehand, all the behind-the-scenes thinking, why would we want/need to meet more? Madness.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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)