Council of Representatives report

The new chair discusses seven initiatives designed to support and advance the goals the section

By Lorraine Greene, PhD

Representative Dolly Sadow and I attended the Council of Representatives meeting in August. This was the first time that we met on Friday and not on Sunday at the close of the convention. As always, the agenda was full and included a variety of issues that resulted in lively debates.

One of the most important agenda items was a proposed change to the eligibility requirements for the life status category of membership. The change would result in a change in life status from 65 to 69 years of age and 29 years of membership. Most important is that the step down process would be eliminated. Such a change will require amendments to the Association Bylaws and will therefore be put to a vote of the membership November 1. There was a debate as to whether to send an explanation and council members finally agreed to send a pro/con statements. It is important that you carefully read the pro and con statements and vote November 1.

Other important agenda items included a change to the annual convention. In March of 2010 a task force was appointed to examine the scheduling conflicts in terms of similar presentations and governance responsibilities. The council approved reducing the overall size of the convention while increasing programming hours focused on cross-cutting themes. This will require more collaboration between divisions to obtain cutting edge themes across disciplines. There will be no changes to the number of convention program hours in 2012 and 2013. In 2014 the change will begin with a reduction of no more than 30%, a reduction of 35% in 2015 and 40% in 2016. The result of this change will require the Division 18 Sections to closely examine themes and develop presentations that cut across our areas of specialization. It will also require the Division to determine cutting edge themes and build strong collaborative alliances with other divisions.

Council approved funding seven initiatives to begin the implementation of APA’s new strategic plan. Council also approved plans to streamline programming during the annual meeting and ensure that APA reports and policy statements are grounded in the best available science.

The seven initiatives are designed to support and advance three strategic goals: maximizing organizational effectiveness, expanding psychology’s role in advancing health, and increasing the recognition of psychology as a science.

The seven projects are:

  1. Improve APA business models, member communications and the convention to increase member engagement.

  2. Analyze the psychology work force to meet national needs.

  3. Continue to develop treatment guidelines to promote the translation of psychological science into health interventions.

  4. Continue to expand the APA public education campaign to include the entire discipline of psychology.

  5. Expand opportunities for graduate education and continued professional development for psychologists and psychology students in order to advance the discipline’s participation in interdisciplinary health delivery and inter-disciplinary science.

  6. Increase support for research, training, public education and interventions that address and reduce health disparities among underserved populations.

  7. Forge alliances with health-care organizations to increase the number of psychologists working in integrated health-care settings.

Each of the initiatives are designed to be multiyear projects and will be evaluated annually to determine future funding and support.

Council approved Guidelines for Forensic Psychology.

Other items that need your attention include the Ethics Committee’s request feedback on its response to questions and vignettes related to the role of psychologists in national security activities. Please review the responses and provide feedback. The deadline for your response is February 27, 2012, immediately following the February Council Meeting. Please contact Dolly and I with your thoughts and feedback prior to the next council meeting in February.

As we have previously reported APA is developing clinical treatment guidelines. Currently there is a call for nominations of individuals to serve on the panel that will develop a guideline for the treatment of depression. Those interested in being considered to serve on this panel are asked to submit a brief statement indicating their willingness to serve and a CV. Materials are due by November 15, 2011, and should be submitted with “depression panel” in the subject line. We want representatives from Division 18, please self-nominate or nominate a colleague.

It is a pleasure to serve as your representative. Dolly and I are committed and want to hear from you. Again, thank you for allowing us to serve.