In This Issue

Council report

Report from the Div. 18 Council representatives.

By David M. Corey, PhD, ABPP, and Anne Shari Klee, PhD

We had the privilege of serving as the Div. 18 Council representatives at the August 2017 Council meeting. Janet Mielke Schwartz, PhD, a longstanding member of Div. 18, was elected as an APA fellow. Thank you to the Div. 18 APA Fellows Committee led by Bob Goldberg, PhD; Kathy McNamara, PhD; and Jeremy Mills, PhD, for shepherding Schwartz’s application through process.

Council voted to approve forwarding to the membership amendments to Article XIX (Dues and Subscriptions) of the bylaws, which remove the $2 discount for membership in one division. Currently, APA spends over $35,000 each year to offer this discount. The ballot was sent to the membership for a vote on Nov. 1, 2017, and approved by the membership by 85.5 percent of those who voted. This will have no financial impact on divisions, since we receive the $2 whether the credit is in place or not. The funds are being redirected for use by the Office of Membership Recruitment and Engagement. Possible spending ideas include investing in technology to support division membership and data needs, enhanced marketing, and expanding promotional campaigns to promote divisions to APA members. Council also voted to approve 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 from the APA bylaws and instead to give council the authority to determine eligibility requirements for the dues-exempt category. The ballot was also sent to the membership for a vote on Nov. 1, 2017, but was not approved by two-thirds of all members voting. Council also voted to approve forwarding to the membership an amendment to guarantee a seat on council to each division, state and province. Just over 90 percent of the membership who voted approved the amendment. If the bylaws amendment had been defeated, state associations would have lost ten seats as a group. Div. 18 maintained its two seats as a result of the apportionment ballot election.

At the August meeting, council adopted as APA policy the following guidelines: 

  • Multicultural guidelines: an ecological approach to context, identity and intersectionality.
  • Guidelines for education and training in consulting psychology/organizational consulting psychology.
  • Guidelines for education and training in industrial/organizational psychology.

Council adopted as APA policy the following resolutions:

  • Resolution affirming support for research and teaching with nonhuman animals.
  • Resolution on palliative care and end of life issues.
  • Resolution on assisted dying.

Council voted to receive the Report of the Working Group on Stress and Health Disparities. This report represents the nearly six-year efforts of the National Steering Committee (NSC) on Health Disparities, which was established following Council’s 2011 vote to approve the support of a health disparities initiative. The purpose of the initiative was to increase support for research, training, public education and interventions that reduce health disparities and promote health equity among underserved and marginalized populations. The NSC limited the initial scope of the initiative to three health problems: substance abuse, obesity and stress. This particular report, focused on stress and health disparities, summarizes the evidence showing that stress is strongly associated with poor health and quality of life outcomes, especially among vulnerable, underserved communities.

The Report of the Working Group on Stress and Health Disparities:

  • Summarizes the major findings on stress and health status among health disparity populations.
  • Identifies the extent to which stress is adequately and appropriately addressed in health care.
  • Identifies evidence-based/effective interventions and best practices that directly and indirectly address stress.
  • Identifies strategies to effectively disseminate information on evidence-based programs/best practices on stress assessment, prevention and treatment to psychologists, other health professionals, students and consumers.
  • Recommends actions needed to implement effective awareness, prevention, treatment and policies.

As a part of council’s recent focus on transparency in governance, council voted to request that drafts of minutes and concise summaries of the Board of Directors and Council of Representatives meetings that have been approved by the recording secretary be posted on APA’s website as soon as feasible following the meeting. Council also encouraged boards and committees to post drafts of minutes and concise summaries of meetings that have been approved by the chair of the respective board and committee on APA’s website as soon as feasible following the meeting.

Council has been struggling with issues of civility both at our meetings and on the council listserv. We heard a report from the Civility Workgroup. Afterwards, Council voted to request that:

  • Each APA board or committee chair (or assigned designee) serve as the civility ambassador for the respective board or committee listserv.
  • The Council Leadership Team (CLT) assigns a member of the CLT to serve as the civility ambassador for the Council listserv.
  • The APA president assigns a member of the board to serve as the civility ambassador for the board listserv. Civility ambassadors are responsible for sending an annual statement to their assigned listserv regarding civility expectations and for providing corrective feedback to individual members when necessary.

We came to council prepared to grapple with master’s level training and practice in psychology and its place in APA. The licensed professional counselors (LPC) have a strong lobby and in recent years have mounted efforts to box out psychology at the state and national levels from training and supervising LPCs. APA has been examining this matter for decades but does not have a comprehensive policy related to training and practice at the master’s level. APA shared with Council prior to the meeting information regarding the history of APA actions related to the master’s degree in psychology dating back to 1947. APA recognizes the doctorate as the minimum educational requirement for entry into professional practice as a psychologist. With this information as the backdrop, council participated in small and large group discussions related to master’s level training and practice in psychology. At the conclusion of the discussion, there was agreement among council members 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 staff and governance should identify and explore options for APA to pursue.  APA members may view the August Council agenda to learn more about the master’s level training history and issues.

Council received a report and heard a presentation from the Council Diversity Work Group (CDWG) recommending policy and procedure shifts, participation and representation, and diversity training and cultural shifts within council and APA, as a whole, to make greater strides in promoting the greater inclusion of diversity issues and the promotion of psychological health for racial and ethnic minority communities within the business of the council. The report was delivered towards the end of council meetings and there was no time for questions and comments. Shortly after there were emotional responses from many council members questioning the positioning of such an important topic on the last day of the meeting. Since August, the CLT received more than fifty posts/letters, supporting the importance of diversity as a core value central to APA’s mission of promoting diversity and inclusion, equity and social justice within psychology. CLT now has a plan to address the many concerns raised in these letters. The CDWG will continue as a CLT workgroup with a new charge to focus on the development and implementation of a council diversity plan based on report recommendations. This will include more comprehensive diversity training for council members with the goal of fostering a climate that enables us to do our business with civility and cultural sensitivity.