Andrea Bradford, PhD
My summer kicked off over Memorial Day weekend with historic flooding in Houston that merely made me late for work but cost many people their homes or, in a few tragic instances, their lives. The storms were a reminder of the potential for the status quo to be upended at any given moment, and how quickly our futures can be reshaped before our eyes.
American psychologists have been affected by a tragedy within our own ranks, the extent and details of which were unknown to most of us until the pubic release of the findings of David Hoffman’s independent investigation into the activities of APA and APA members during the Bush Administration’s “war on terror.” In the inevitable and necessary wake of the investigation into APA’s relationship with the U.S. Department of Defense, I yearn for a re-building, re-thinking, and risk assessment on the level of that which follows a disaster. Our professional community is in a state of shock, albeit on a moral basis rather than a physical one. Quick action and quick reactions are normal and perhaps necessary, but inadequate.
Due to a chance formatting problem in one piece, publication of this summer’s Division 38 newsletter was delayed until after public release of the findings of David Hoffman’s independent investigation. This unfortunate timing presented a challenge. After some deliberation, I have decided to publish the issue as it was uploaded originally. However, for me, and I suspect for most of you, this should not be construed as a message of “business as usual.”
I hope that these contributions in this issue will remind you of why you have chosen to be a health psychologist. For instance, I am heartened by the original member contribution from Daniel Vogel recounting his experiences as a psychologist practicing in an long-term acute care setting. As much as we need to undergo a process of deliberate, critical, and transformational self-reflection as a professional society, we need reminders of what we stand for and the good that we can continue to do.
Please also take a moment to reflect on your own needs as a health psychologist. If you haven’t done so already, consider joining your fellow Division 38 members at the upcoming APA Convention in Toronto. This year’s program and networking events include an excellent variety of programming and an opportunity to explore one of North America’s most diverse, eclectic, and walkable cities. Our regular contributors have added some additional information and tips for early career professionals and graduate students to make the most of this year’s Convention.
Even if you can’t join us in Toronto, please take a moment to read about the achievements of this year’s Division 38 award winners and some of the changes in store for Division 38. Another issue of The Health Psychologist will be back this fall with a return of our health policy series, original member contributions, and discussion of ethics, organizational responsibility, and professional vigilance.
As the final year of my editorship begins, I am always open to hearing your feedback about how the newsletter can meet your needs. Ideas for original contributions are always welcome. Please address all correspondence to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a safe and healthy summer.