In this issue

Council of Representatives Report

The business of the council includes the election of fellows and resolutions.

By Lisa R. Grossman, JD, PhD

August 3 and 5, 2016
Denver, Colo.

For the first time that I can recall, the council requested that the agenda order change so that the business of the council could take precedence over reports, demonstrations, citation presentations, etc. This became one of the themes throughout these August council meetings. In this spirit, my report will not reflect the order of our agenda but rather the “Business of Council” first, before reporting other “Council Business.”

As a reminder, the council is nearing the end of its trial delegation whereby it addresses policies and issues that affect the discipline of psychology whereas the Board of Directors controls the policies that affect the internal organization of APA. At the end of this trial period, the council will vote whether to make this a permanent delegation of responsibilities.

Business of Council

Consent Agenda

As has become the norm in recent years, there are almost as many items on the consent agenda as on the action item agenda. This means that the Council of Representatives does not discuss the consent items at all. Of course any council member can take an item off the agenda and this does occur at times. This shift to consent items is interesting to me because in times past, resolutions or guidelines would rarely be on consent agendas. On the contrary, vigorous discussions would occur as to the language and implications of these documents to our profession. Nevertheless, items approved by Council of Representatives with no discussion are as follows:

  • Election of Fellows
    We received the lengthy list a day prior to our meeting, which is far better than when we were asked a few years ago to consent to the list without having ever seen it. A special shout out to our own Ellen Williams who was approved as a Fellow of Div. 31. Well deserved, Ellen!
  • Amendment to Association Rule 120-5.1: Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools
    Council approved amending Association Rule 120.5 to extend the member-at-large terms on the Committee of Teachers in Secondary Schools, from two-year to three-year terms.
  • Renewal of Recognition of Forensic Psychology as a Specialty in Professional Psychology
    Council approved the continued recognition of Forensic Psychology as a specialty in professional psychology.
  • Extension of Recognition of Family Psychology as a Specialty in Professional Psychology
    Council approved a one-year extension of recognition of Family Psychology as a specialty in professional psychology.
  • Extension of Recognition of Treatment of Alcohol and Other Psychoactive Substance Use Disorders as a Proficiency in Professional Psychology
    Council approved a one-year extension of Recognition of Alcohol and Other Psychoactive Substance Use Disorders as a Proficiency in professional psychology.
  • Guidelines for Integrating the Role of Work and Career into Professional Psychology Practice
    Council adopted as APA policy the Guidelines for Integrating the Role of Work and Career into Professional Psychology Practice and approved August 2023 as the expiration date for the Guidelines.
    These Guidelines have been developed to provide psychologists with: (a) the rationale and need for addressing vocational behavior and the meaning of work in professional practice, (b) an introduction to the major issues in understanding vocational behavior and development and the world of work, and (c) specific recommendations for working effectively with work and career issues as they interface with multiple aspects of human behavior and functioning. The Guidelines are written specifically for psychologists working with clients or patients and provide guidance for clinical interventions related to work and career. These Guidelines are not intended to provide directions for interventions with organizations and industries but rather focus on aspects of working with individuals.
  • Resolution on Maltreatment of Children with Disabilities
    Council adopted as APA policy the Resolution on the Maltreatment of Children with Disabilities and archived the 2003 version of the Resolution on the Maltreatment of Children with Disabilities.
  • Resolution on the Free and Responsible Practice of Science, Freedom of Movement Scientists and APA International Engagement
    Council adopted as APA policy the Resolution on the Free and Responsible Practice of Science, Freedom of Movement of Scientists, and APA International Engagement which endorses principles stated in the statutes of the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the International Union of Psychological Science (IUPsyS) supporting the development of a global scientific community based on equity and non-discrimination.
    The reason for APA endorsement of this policy is to provide a benchmark for APA's engagement with psychology organizations outside of the U.S. Currently APA engages with organizations in a number of ways: through Memorandum of Understanding agreements whereby leaders of psychology organizations agree to hold regular discussions and joint activities; through grant programs whereby APA allocates funds to support international scientific meetings or the development of psychology organizations; and through other joint projects with psychology organizations in other countries or psychology organizations with global reach. Generally, APA's Committee on International Relations in Psychology (CIRP) is charged with recommending international partners, grants, or recognition for approval by APA. In making these recommendations, CIRP attempts to ascertain that the relevant international organizations follow non-discriminatory practices in policies and practice and uphold high standards of science. For most organizations this is expressed in membership policies and criteria for ensuring the “free movement of scientists” in sponsored conferences and congresses. In the past, CIRP has followed the lead of global science organizations that have non-discrimination policies. The present resolution will explicitly recognize APA's endorsement of these non-discrimination policies.
    CIRP believes that the resolution will serve to strongly convey to international partners that APA will engage only in activities that are congruent with international standards for non-discrimination and responsibilities of science with respect to society, as expressed by international science bodies. These general principles are cogently stated by the International Council of Science (ICSU), the international “spokes body” for science around the world (its members are international scientific unions and countries, generally represented by their national academies of science). The ICSU statement was also (in 2012) adopted by the international voice for psychology, the International Union of Psychological Science.
    It is important to note that this resolution pertains to the practices of organizations, not countries, and that enforcing this resolution is operationalized as APA's actions with respect to its choices of partner organizations. This distinction is important: APA's enforcement of this resolution pertains only to whether it engages formally with an organization and does not speak to the politics of the country in which that organization is housed.

Continue reading the full edition of Grossmans Council Representative Report as available on the APA Div. 31 website page.