News from APA

Ronald Rozensky, PhD, ABPP
Ronald Rozensky, PhD, ABPP

Dear Division 38\Society for Health Psychology Colleagues:

Immediately below you will find a summary of the August 2017 meeting of the APA Council of Representatives.  The Council agenda is extensive and APA members may view the August Council agenda at the following link. Given space limitation, the summary is just that, a list of actions and policies passed by Council. The individual items are detailed at the website. If you have any questions about the items or their implications, Liz and I are available to fill in any details or carry forward your reactions and suggestions.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Liz Klonoff, who is ending her Council term this year, for her many contributions to our Division\Society and to APA. It has been especially rewarding to have worked with her on Council to support the mission and message of the Society for Health Psychology as APA sets policies for our future.  Thank you, Liz.  I look forward to working with Rick Seime, our new Council Rep, in the years to come as we continue to make certain that “health” is a meaningful part of the APA mission for the future.

Thank you,
Ronald H Rozensky, PhD ABPP
Representative to APA Council – Division 38, Society for Health Psychology
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APA Council took place at our annual convention in Washington, DC – this year celebrating APA’s 125th anniversary. There were 12,000 registered participants, including presidents of 26 national associations, an opening session that featured psychologist, and Noble Laurette, Daniel Kahneman, Ph.D., and a wonderful 125th reception at the Museum of American History.

Council met for a one and one-half day period during the convention and addressed over 30 agenda items including:

Master’s Issue – The Council addressed an issue that has eluded successful resolution for over seventy years – the place of master’s education in professional psychology. Council agreed that “current issues and developments [have] risen to the level that APA should take a position on master’s level training and/or practice,” and that, “Council direct[s] staff and governance to identify and explore options for APA to pursue.”  Further action is expected on this issue at the February 2018 Council meeting.

Commission on Ethics Processes – Culminating a year long process, Council accepted a report from the Commission on Ethics Processes that addressed important issues identified by the Independent Review (aka Hoffman Report) and its aftermath that require the attention of the Association in its ethics education and adjudication functions. Changes based on the recommendations will be forthcoming.

Multicultural Guidelines for the Twenty-First Century – Council adopted an update to the Association’s 2002 Guidelines on Multicultural Education, Training, Research, Practice and Organizational Change for Psychologists that reflects the significant growth in research and theory regarding multicultural contexts since the original 2002 guidance was adopted. According to a memo to Council by APA President Tony Puente, “The 2017 version of the Multicultural Guidelines encourages psychologists to consider how knowledge and understanding of identity develops from, and is disseminated within, professional psychological practice …an approach that incorporates developmental and contextual antecedents of identity and how they can be acknowledged, addressed, and embraced to engender more effective models of professional engagement. The Guidelines incorporate broad reference group identities such as Black/African American/Black American, White/White American, and Asian/Asian American/Pacific Islander to acknowledge within group differences and the role of self-definition on identity.”

Resolution Affirming Support for Research and Teaching with Nonhuman Animals –Council adopted a resolution reaffirming its long-standing support for ethically sound and scientifically valid research with nonhuman animals and for those scientists who conduct those studies. Council affirmed that the application of such research has “significantly improved the health and well-being of both human and nonhuman animals.”

Guidelines and Resolutions – Council adopted as APA policy – Guidelines for Education and Training in Consulting Psychology/Organizational Consulting Psychology, the Guidelines for Education and Training in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, and Resolution on Palliative Care and End of Life Issues and the Resolution on Assisted Dying.

Amendments to APA Bylaws – Council approved two bylaws amendments to be sent to the general membership for a vote on November 1, 2017:

Council approved amendments to Article XIX (Dues and Subscriptions) of the Bylaws which remove the $2 discount for membership in one division. If the amendment is approved by the Membership, the funds will be redirected for use by the Office of Membership Recruitment and Engagement to allow them to be more creative on incentivizing members to join divisions.

Council approved forwarding to the Membership amendments to Article XIX (Dues-Exempt Category) of the Bylaws to remove the details associated with the criteria for the dues-exempt category and instead to give Council the authority to determine eligibility requirements for the dues-exempt category.

Diversity Workgroup Report – Council received a report and (only) a brief presentation from the Council Diversity Work Group recommending policy and procedure shifts, participation and representation, and diversity training and cultural shifts within Council and APA. The recommendations focused on how to make greater strides in promoting increased inclusion of diversity issues within the business of the Council and the promotion of psychological health for racial and ethnic minority communities. Due to its placement late in the agenda, there was not sufficient time to discuss the report in any depth and some displeasure was voiced about the lack of time for this important topic. So, there will be a review and analysis by the APA Board, Council Leadership Team, and APA’s Executive Management Group between now and the Spring 2018 Council meeting to prepare comprehensive implementation measures based on the Work Group’s recommendations.

Due to time constraints, Council was not able to address five important action items, including ones addressing issues about police conflict with communities, pregnant and postpartum adolescent girls and women with substance-related disorders, and health disparities in boys and men. These will be on the agenda at the Spring meeting.

As you can see, the Council agenda is wide-ranging, issues are complex, and each policy matter has implications for both APA as an association and the future education, training, science and practice of Psychology in our complex world. Again, let Dr. Klonoff or me know if you have any reactions or questions

– Thank you.