IN THIS ISSUE
Mid-Winter Meeting Minutes
Friday, January 15, 2010
Present: Sara Bridges (president), Maureen O’Hara, Louise Sundararajan, Thérèse Laferrière, Richard Bargdill, Louis Hoffman, Shawn Rubin, David Lukoff, Susan Gordon, Art Lyons, Fred Wertz (minutes), and after dinner Frank Farley and Krishna Kumar.
Introductions (Sara Bridges)
After welcoming board members to APA headquarters in Washington DC, Sara announced that Christine Farber resigned from the board due to medical problems. Christine has volunteered to help in any way possible, including answering question about the hospitality suite, which she has contributed to masterfully in the past.
Sara then introduced a topic of her concern: Our response to Haiti. APA has undertaken initiatives, and we as a division can help engage our members. Louise suggested offering expertise in the area of trauma. Can we help connect our members with opportunities to help? Sara has read communication from Sharon Bowman of Division 12 who has discussed the Red Cross initiatives that will take place on the ground in Haiti. Louis was involved with those doing relief work in China who informed her of the need to work with victims 6 months after the disaster when many have forgotten but the need continues. There needs to be a resurgence of support some time later. Louis will be discussing relief work in coming weeks and will have an opportunity to discuss needs and services that can address them. We can learn cross cultural support from those who have been involved in China. Maureen said that Partners in Health is the main relief organization in Haiti. Their operations, which are rural, have not been destroyed. They have said they need long term sustained help, donations of funds after the immediate medical and housing services have been provided. Partners in Health are Haitians, and so we may want to consider partnering with a specific organization like this and engaging in a more sustained way that is in harmony with those who are expert and present on the scene. Another approach Division 32 can take is to get into the crisis response business by affiliating with an NGO that is in that area and to be ready to respond to crises like this in an ongoing way that is sustained through time. Sara raised the question of when we get involved and when we don’t. There was support for this general direction of initiative and an interest in making this an ongoing focus and commitment of the division. Susan mentioned that APA has initiatives with which we could link. Maureen suggested the formation of a trauma response committee to work out criteria, to monitor events, and to serve in an advisory capacity to the board. We have experts in trauma.
Meeting with Keith Cooke, APA Division Services
Keith has implemented our announce listserv. He reported that it was a challenge to get the service up and running, and that it is now working very smoothly now. Division Services is in the Governance Directorate of APA, which works with Council and the Board of Directors. Keith’s boss in Sarah Jordan, director of Division Services, and she has been with APA for 25 years. She is knowledgeable of APA. She knows about the formation of divisions and is an advocate for divisions regarding formation, bylaws changes, and governance structure changes. Sarah works with Policy and Planning Board. Troy Booker works with CODOPAR, which organizes the Division Leadership Conference annually to provide orientation to all presidents-elects. Louise will be attending this in two weeks. Keith works with Micheline, our host, and they work with contract issues for divisions. Membership dues are credited to division accounts, and they help divisions with meeting planning, websites, newsletters, and listservs. The listserv has worked well and members have come to distinguish the announce listsev from the discussion board.
Sara asked about APA membership overall. Keith reported that the Association’s membership has been steady, but division membership has been dropping overall each year. Some divisions have been steady, and a few have grown a little, but it is an important issue that will be addressed at the leadership conference. It’s difficult to get a grip on because operations in each division vary without communication with APA. Division Services handles membership for half the divisions. Renewals are down this year compared with this time last year. APA doesn’t have a great data base for tracking and reporting who is dropping out and why, or who is staying and why. It is now possible to join a division online, and this has been possible through a new website since last February. Membership runs from January through December, but one can join any time. There is also a PDF available for those who want to use paper. There was discussion about putting a link on the Society’s website in order to make it possible to join APA and join the division directly from our website. Members will also be able to renew their membership from APA’s new site. There are renewal notices sent out in November and a reminder in February for those who have not renewed. Efforts are being made to make new divisional membership easier for those who visit this site to renew their ongoing memberships. The board viewed the new website and Keith demonstrated how to move into the divisions and how to find to join our division. The electronic submission site was readily accessible. It is possible for those who are not APA members to join the division as APA Affiliates.
Thérèse raised the question of investments and asked if APA provides consultation about divisional finance. Keith said it was out of his area but that there will be finance people at the Division Leadership Conference who will speak with presents-elect about finances and investing with regard to the divisions and their investments.
Board asked Keith about the optimal level of announcements. Keith said that the more announcements are sent, the more requests to be removed there are. However, there are fewer requests to be removed as divisions have sorted out the right level of communication among the newsletter, announcements, and discussion boards. Sara clarified that all division members with email accounts are on that listserv and she has been quite deliberately judicious about sending out announcements. Keith reported that no more than 5 of our members have requested to be removed, a very low number. Keith mentioned that APA does not have all members’ emails, so not everyone is reached by these announcements. Maureen noted that APA does have the capacity to email all our members in a separate email, and she suggested that we send one email out to all members telling them that they can opt into the 32 announcements now. This would at least inform all members of the service about the opportunity to receive the announcements.
Meeting with Jesse Raben, Office of General Counsel
Jesse has worked with board members over the years on a number of important issues. In APA, Jesse also handles document destruction, whistle blower protection, conflicts of interest, and electronic communication services. If divisions are being sued, they may not destroy documents. If someone within an organization believes there is corporate fraud, they have a place to go and will be protected from retaliation. Conflict of interests occurs when while sitting on an APA board, one joins another organization advocating issues that are in conflict with that division. There is also an APA policy on face book pages. At the board’s request, Jesse offered send us this electronically so that we can put it on our face book page. APA has also have suggested language for face book pages telling visitors the rules. Jesse noted that many divisions have expressed the interest in having a page but have not had the personnel prepared to manage it and address all the problems and issues that come to an administrator.
The Office of Legal Council provides us with lawyers and they are free. Jesse encouraged us to work with him. They will help with all contracts, large and small. They do not approve contracts but will assist us in constructing them in order to protect our interests. APA mandates that contracts over $10,000 be reviewed by Counsel. Jesse’s office helped us improve our contract with our journal publisher. Jesse’s office also handles lobbying, in which divisions are becoming more involved. They also help with policies and procedures for listserv, as well as guidelines concerning consequences for those who break the rules of a listserv. 99% of people play well, but there are those who abuse the privilege and start harassing others backchannel. Jesse’s office is available all the time by a quick phone call. They are available at APA conventions and will be happy to attend and/or sit in on our board meetings. They encourage divisions to look at APA’s bylaws as well as their own and discuss issues with Counsel. Jesse is willing to review division bylaws with Garnet Coad.
Counsel has offered to house all official documents so that they are preserved through changes in division leadership. Jesse has found that changes in division leadership leads to lost documents. For instance, when a contract for a journal rolls over after 6 or 7 years, documents may have disappeared and are not readily available when needed. Missing important documents has occurred and has been costly to divisions. Divisions are often not equipped to safeguard their own documents over time. Divisions are still responsible for knowing when contracts are up or when transactions need to be conducted.
Susan asked about crediting sources on blogs. Jesse discussed the NY Times currently being in a law suit with Google. Can we take information from other sites and put it on our site? Jesse answered “no” and advised that we describe what the information is, where it is, and give a link to it on our websites. Otherwise the other site may complain. Discussion board, blog, and listserv all have the same APA rules. For instance, there can be no references to elections, lobbying, and political discussions. These actions violate the 501C3 status of APA, and they could lead to problems with the IRS. No political discussions at all are allowed on our sites. Postings can refer to political issues like healthcare, but there is a thin line in a campaign year when such discussions can push one candidate or party over another in a back-door way. APA’s rules are spelled out for listservs and facebooks. The heat will be turned up in the 2010 election, when there will be a lot of chatter. Facebook must be monitored. Violators on Facebook are warned, postings are removed, and after multiple violations contributors are “defriended”. Sara raised the question of free speech and Jesse answered that people have to create their own lists for this kind of discussion. Counsel will work with Gmail and Yahoo, which have been very cooperative in taking down violating posts. Twitter has not been cooperative, and when posters have denied affiliation with APA, they have not removed the posts. APA Counsel is in communication with Twitter’s Counsel. Jesse suggested Division 44 as a model for a well organized and presented Facebook page. APA has several Facebook pages and many divisions are developing them. APA has had difficulty administering its pages and some have been taken down because no one has answered queries. Jesse recommends having a full time administrator because when requests are made and not responded to, or when postings are entered and not monitored, problems may result. APAGS had a page where someone was announcing parties that sounded like official APAGS events when they were not. These need to be monitored. There is liability, and a division’s best protection is to show that it is doing what is necessary to monitor and to take action. Problems result when there is no monitoring and no action is taken. Counsel will aid divisions in determining the best action to be taken, and Jesse offered his continuing availability for consultation on all legal issues. Sara thanked Jesse for his excellent help with our journal contract and our hotel contracts.
Rhea Farberman, Member and Public Communication
Rhea introduced her 9-unit operation and noted those in which the division would be interested. Her office collects dues from members. We may be most interested in Monitor and gradPSYCH as well as in media relations, membership marketing, and the APA’s website. The Monitor on Psychology is the APA’s membership magazine. We can submit stories for the Monitor directly to Rhea. She and her colleagues also welcome all story ideas from divisions. They want to cover psychology in its depth and freshness beyond APA’s Washington DC headquarters. There is also a news forum for divisions, Division Spotlight. They work 60 days ahead. gradPSYCH is a quarterly magazine for grad students that goes to APAGS members as well as members of Division 2. It’s well received by grad students, for instance talking about licensing issues, internships, student loans, getting the most out of advisor relations. Rhea’s office also deals with divisional responses to media requests, for instance with regard to the current crisis in Haiti. The office issues about 2 press releases per week, and they welcome ideas for these (share them with Rhea).
The board looked at the new architecture of the office’s website, particularly the press releases, which are archived for the last 2 years. This gives a good idea of the content so that we can make suggestions. Convention programming may be newsworthy, and the office is open to suggestions on publicity. If we request it, they will call presenters before the convention and get information about upcoming Divisional presentations. The new website includes over 20,000 documents. Full benefits of this site require registering, and many have already done this. Under “publications,” one can find gradPSYCH. They have a list of experts within our profession, often utilizing divisions, and have lists for outside experts. Maureen mentioned the need for experts with different opinions and points of view. For instance, those who are quoted as representing APA do not always represent the perspectives of those within our division. We are a small voice that is not always the same as APA’s voice, and we are sometimes ignored in conversations. We could be helpful for APA, for instance in commenting on the APS agenda or other crises and news items. Rhea said that we are always welcome to send an email to her and assured the board that APA governance does determine the voice of the organization as expressed in media. APA positions are up to governance, in particular Council, which meets only twice a year.
The board discussed the importance of responding to the news of the day, such as the APS accreditation proposal and its accusation that quality Is lacking in graduate training. Louise said that when Science News covers a topic, they present a new discovery and include both pros and cons, advocates and critics. She emphasized the importance of APA publicizing the complexity of issues and both sides of issues when there are multiple voices within APA. Most of the time when there is controversy, it is because the issue is complex. Rhea said that although multiple voices are often included in the Monitor, it is often difficult to give too much complexity to news media not under our control because they do not represent it accurately. Louise said she sees Science News as doing a good job on this. Rhea said that USA Today is a venue addressing a much broader and less educated audience, and our approach to such media must be different. Maureen said that she sees APA as drifting to a more narrow voice over the last 20 years, not including many still quite valuable points of view in the field, especially those which represent philosophical, spiritual, psychoanalytic, and other points of view that the public does recognize as psychology. Rhea suggested reaching out to her personally, to someone on the board of directors, and to a council representative. Sara summed up by saying that if we have an issue, please let them know. Our journal editor is always welcome to send Rhea information on what is coming out in a new issue.
Sara asked about guidance concerning help with divisional communication with media, and Rhea volunteered help constructing talking points. Her office offers media training both at the Leadership Conference and on the web, including concrete skills that place people more in control of communication with media. Louise emphasized the need to work on multiple fronts, communicating both with those who do not read and write but need care and also with the intellectual world that has lost respect for psychology, viewing it as overly simplistic. Maureen also added that messages to policy makers with regard, for instance, to health care, and over the last few years, the message has become very simplistic, suggesting that cognitive behavioral therapy will cure everything. Maureen stressed that we can’t afford to lose respect of policy makers and intellectuals.
Membership marketing is done by APA every year, and division membership is a side bar to the campaign for APA membership. Rhea’s office is willing to share marketing materials of APA with divisions and can help divisions with their own outreach. Dee Valencia is the person in charge of membership marketing and can help identify students and early career psychologists who are on a track to become a humanistic psychologist and appeal to them to join the division. Richard asked how get email addresses of early career award psychologists who graduated from educational institutions yielding humanistic psychologists, but the APA will not release their email addresses. APA protects email addresses of members. Rhea suggested using Division Spotlight. She also said that APA will print mailing labels for members that can be utilized by divisions. If we gave her a list of schools, they may be able to print labels of recent graduates for our membership drives.
Meeting with Candy Won, Director, Convention and Meeting Services
Candy is the APA person who works on the convention and receives all the information from divisions about the convention. She solicits divisional calls for programs, collects submissions for programs on December 1, conveys the submissions to the divisional program chair, and schedules those sessions accepted by the program chair as submitted at the end of January. Her office sends out notices of times and places to program chairs and presenters and makes arrangements of technological media support. They also set up hotel arrangements. Candy sends us information on floor plans and hotels for hospitality suites, which are assigned on a first-come-first-served basis.
Sara raised the question of the Manchester Grand Hyatt issue. 10-12 divisions have requested that their sessions not be scheduled in the Manchester, but at a certain point, there will be no other places to schedule sessions. It has not yet been determined what will be done with divisions’ requests not to be scheduled in the Manchester. The Marriott is the only other alternative, and it does not have as much space as the Manchester. All divisions want their presidential address at prime time on Friday and Saturday, and there is only so much space.
Divisional program hours are determined by membership numbers and convention attendance over the last 3 years. These calculations are based on the number of individuals indicating a division as the “primary division” on their convention registration. Candy will give us that information if we request it. This year 4,000 proposals were submitted, and last year 1300 programs were scheduled. 4,200 schedule cards were sent out to members last year. Convention attendance has been stable. Toronto was a low of 8000, and New Orleans after Katrina was 9,000. This past year at Toronto due to economics it was down to 10,000, the usual being 12,000. San Francisco and Hawaii were most popular, and San Diego is the third most popular. The Padres are playing on Thursday afternoon but will be out of town while the convention is in session. The problem of accommodating increasing submissions is a challenge, and other than poster sessions, an alternative is to make hospitality suite programming more formal. Division 17 does a very large informal program in their suite. Hospitality suite programming is not on the APA website, and abstracts for presentations in hospitality suites are not listed among those for the APA convention. Regarding placement of a brochure for the hospitality suite in the convention packet, there are an average of 32 items, and it is difficult to say how many throw these away versus how many read them. Another alternative is leaving brochures with the Division Services literature, which carries no cost to the division. The board discussed the possibility of linking the hospitality suite program to the APA convention website so that members can access these. The board schmoozed with Candy on favorite and least favorite convention sites and recounted anecdotes of the highs and lows. Candy relayed that the Board of Directors makes these decisions and that starting in 2011, the convention will be in Washington every 3 years. In San Diego, the convention will be very walkable, all in one place, with a place nice along the water, and with Old Town and its many wonderful restaurants near the convention.
Garnett Coad, Director, Election Office
Garnett began with a discussion of division elections. He just sent the call out, and works in conjunction with Division Services to identify open positions that will involve elections. The Council Representatives nominees must be members of APA but other offices can be filled by non-members of APA. The office had hoped that online elections could be implemented. This would be possible and cost effective, except that some members have not provided email addresses; therefore they cannot receive and will not cast ballots online. The cost of APA doing both electronic and paper is not feasible. APA will begin to go electronic with the president election. The office will eventually implement electronic elections more widely, but there are those members who insist on a paper ballot. As for boards and committees, a call was sent out prior to Christmas via email. Responses have been slow.
The apportionment ballot was just received, and the office would love to put this online. It contains a lot of information—statements from each division and state association, and so the putting it online in an efficient way is a challenge. It would cost a lot of money to put it online, unless APA could do it in-house. The apportionment voting results were positive for the division, in that we retained our second council seat (accompanied by cheers).
Regarding APA’s boards and committee elections, a board with an opening puts out a nominating statement, indicating what they are looking for. Nominations are open to all APA members as well as to division boards, and self nominations are also accepted. There were 1,500 nominations last year. Those are forwarded to the boards and committees. They use those “broad nominations” to develop their slates, with their top 3 nominees and 2 alternates. After names are submitted, each board/committee decides on and presents its own slate, composed of 3 individuals (from all the names submitted), which is presented to the APA Board at its June meeting. That is then presented to the Board of Directors, who approve it and determine the final slate that goes to Council. Divisions submitting multiple names for an open position can rank their suggestions, and this information is available to the boards/committees for their consideration. The APA Board used to be selective, but there has been a move toward accepting the slate that is submitted by the board or commission itself. Then the Council votes on the slates of 3, selecting one for each position, in October. Membership in multiple divisions helps when many divisions and many members in multiple divisions support a nominee. The board noted the potential biases inherent in the process whereby these boards and committees select their own nominees from the names submitted by divisions, highlighting the difficulty of divisions with minority perspectives and no representation on these committees of breaking into boards and commissions. It is a conservative structure in which gaining representation is not easy, because the boards and committees are selecting their own new members. Garnett suggested contacting the chairs and members of the boards in order to make a case for those submitted, but nevertheless, it is difficult. Garnett noted that this has been a complaint for years. Council members can write to boards and make a case for nominating persons submitted by the division. Art added that there is a considerable amount of campaigning within the Council of Representatives, modeling the worst of politics in contests for these positions on boards and committees. Garnet remembers one member who was submitted by more than 50 individuals for an open position on a board/committee and who did not make the final slate. Garnett said that he has seen people submitted year after year finally nominated. 39 (psychoanalysis) and 42 (independent) are powerful as are 17 and 12. Successful election by Council depends on the number of representatives a division has, but issues also run across divisions.
Sara’s Evening Introduction
Sara introduced a novel ice breaking activity and promised not to introduce such goofy ones as those she uses in her Human Sexuality class… instead she introduced one which she had learned from Student Affairs in a small private college. Individuals would share with the group “why you are named what you are named.” Erik Craig characterized our names as “primary signifiers.” The board members were treated to a fascinating series of stories that were at once historical, personal, and revealed many social connections and identity aspects of the board members.
Sara asked the board what we learned from the APA persons who had spent the afternoon with us. Richard commended Sara for arranging the meetings and strongly suggested that the board follow up on the good hospitality that key APA personnel have extended when they asked us to email them and engage with them. It is good for the division to be visible and present in the world of the leaders of APA. Thérèse reported that she already received an email from the person who advises divisions on investments. Sara also underlined the importance of our assuming responsibility for carrying forward ideas and good suggestions that arise in our meetings. Maureen suggested that it is also important to brainstorm first without feeling the necessity to be the action person, and Sara agreed, adding that we first let ideas roll and later take responsibility for initiatives. Sara said that she was impressed by Rhea and the value of using APA public relations to share our contributions with the larger world. Art said that, based on what Jesse told us, we should not have a Facebook page. Maureen said she learned why the directorates, ethics committee and other APA boards and committees are so conservative and appear to be an “old boy’s network.” She said that despite her respect for governance institutions, it is not efficient to spend our energy trying to work through the APA’s governance structure. Clearly it’s not democratic or based on representativeness, merit, or any noble principle. She suggested that tactics from the margins are different from tactics within the system and that she was convinced, learning more about APA, that our impact will not be through the committees and the boards. Louise said that our coming agenda item about becoming more visible in APA should read “how we become visible from the margins.” Let’s turn from analyzing what doesn’t work to what we can do. Louis recommended allying with other divisions. Louis pointed the historical trend of humanistic psychologists to attempt to become more mainstream by programs becoming APA accredited. Our graduates have had trouble getting licenses at times, and if we had someone on the committee on accreditation, it would be very helpful. Erik asked Art how much influence we have on Council. Art said that one has to be a political animal to get on the slates of these boards and committees, and a lot of time is wasted in Council by people passing around position papers and speaking out with no reason other than to become known and to promote their candidacy for a board position. At times members of Council have been explicitly told not to dominate discussions in that way. On breaks at Council, people approach representatives and glad hand them in a phony attempt to win votes. Art said that our energy is better spent doing our own research and scholarship and making it more visible in the media with the help of people like Rhea of APA media relations. Regarding accreditation, Maureen said that it may be more successful for schools, which have attorneys and fiscal support, to work not through 32 but other APA divisions in the area of practice that have more impact. Schools do better than individuals at having impact and if any divisions of APA are used, those like 17 with a stronger voice in APA are more effective.
Sara announced that she has appointed a Public Relations director, Donna Rockwell (Michigan School of Psychology), who is a member and has had a successful career in public relations. She has volunteered to help the Society with its media and public relations. Board members showed enthusiasm and were interested in learning concrete ways to collaborate with Donna on medial initiatives. Susan said that the media and public relations are no doubt important but we also need to maintain mindfulness of the philosophy and history of our movement. She said we see here, from looking at pictures of past APA presidents, division luminaries who have impacted psychology through scholarly leadership. Sara added that some of our students are having difficulty getting internships. Our students have talked about these problems on our Facebook, and we need to respond to them in a meaningful and effective way. Some people think humanistic psychology is dead. Louis said that when he was at the VA, it would not be helpful to represent oneself as a humanistic psychologist. Louise characterized this as a crisis and called for attempts at practical solutions that may or may not be successful. He also suggested that we also go beyond the practical question, to the cause of the practical problems--the ideological side. We are best qualified to address the ideological issues, and we need to take care of that in a way that carries us beyond the practical consequences. This crisis is discipline wide, but we are best positioned to address the ideological issues. People think that we are dead because we have not been able to touch people with our ideas. They associate us with the 1960s, and they have heard Carl Rogers before. We need to bring humanistic ideas to life in response to every crisis. We have failed to make our heritage alive and relevant through the continually emerging crises. Practical solutions may or may not help because that is a big puzzle. On the other hand, no one but us can solve the ideological issue. Thérèse added that research is important. Maureen said the Daniel Golman was a member of the division and a president of AHP. Humanistic and transpersonal psychologists are not engaging in the clinic as much now as in education and industry, and self help media. We need to take this lead and get beyond clinical psychology while APA continues to focus narrowly on doctoral level clinical psychologists. We should focus on psychology in areas other than clinical and psychologists other than doctoral graduates. Public mental health is moving away from psychology in the APA model. We may now be approaching a moment of paradigm shift that gives us an opportunity to carry forward our legacy. It is easy now to strike up a conversation about humanistic psychology, whereas 10 years ago people thought it was “about crystals.” The sociology of knowledge is now right for our ideas to move into and through the society as they did in the 1960s. Sara added that in addition to talk only about ideology and our roots we need to also address the practical by bringing the epistemological shift to bear on a new public moral discourse, which is in search of a social theory that is rooted in the humanistic tradition. Epistemology, legacy, broader applications can be brought into many more arenas where people are suffering and growing. Erik asked who is publishing and complained that contemporary humanistic scholars are tertiary. Louis referred positively to Kirk Schneider’s work as well as David Elkin’s new humanistic manifesto for clinical psychology. This is cutting edge scholarship that distinguishes humanistic ideas with contemporary relevance. David said that if our humanistic founders saw psychology today they would be pleased and would think humanistic psychology has achieved its goals. However, unfortunately this success has had the ill consequence of our having been invisibly incorporated. Ironically, those who have incorporated humanistic ideas don’t recognize humanistic psychology. Louise said we need to beef up our publication and connect it with our press secretary, who could help get our good solid work out to the public. We should let people know the contributions we have to make. If we make this push to get out there, we need to be sure that we are communicating who we are and what we do, careful to be sure that we do not send out messages that do not represent us well. Sara expressed hesitancy to publicize and called for critical quality control. Thérèse said that it is good to have our annual mid-winter meeting here in Washington DC at APA, to have a presence here, and we should regularly schedule our midwinter meetings here in the future.
Upcoming Issues to Sleep On
APS issue and Psychotherapy Taskforce. Sara spoke of the Psychotherapy Task Force which is to address an article published in the APS journal by Baker and McFall which was quoted in many popular media, accusing APA of inadequate clinical training. The task force is composed of brilliant and diligent division members who have assembled an action agenda that we will discuss tomorrow.
Manchester Hyatt Issue. There is a boycott planned for the Manchester Hotel in San Diego. The American Historical Society had a meeting there that had demonstrations. We need to talk about our options.
Membership concerns. We need to brainstorm about what it means to be a member of the Society. Richard has submitted a great report that we will discuss.
Communication within the Society. We need to discuss the way the new communications technologies are working. There has not been a lot of activity on the Discussion Board. There have been complaints about difficulty in changing the subject lines. Sara asked for guidance about the frequency and content of the announcements on the Listserv. Announcements have usually been coming from self serving particular interests that don’t appear to have broad urgency. Sara suggested that these items may be more appropriate for the Discussion Board. These are collected in the Association for Transpersonal Psychology and disseminated quarterly. Sara reiterated that rather than decisions being made at the whim of the president, we need discussion of guidelines by the board.
Heroes of Humanity Project. The project with its new website will be introduced tomorrow.
Our APA Board Room Setting. Division 29, easily 4 times our size, is here at APA headquarters meeting now, and they have a small conference room on the 6th floor, whereas we are here in THE prime board room, with all APA presidents’ photos on the wall, a large natural wooden table with 25 plush high back chairs, 30 other chairs for observers and several large flat screen monitors that allow visual presentations. Pretty cool.
Next Conference. We have a volunteer to organize a conference in Chicago in 2011, and we need to revisit the discussion of the frequency of conferences rather than moving forward in an ad hoc way in response to emergent volunteer coordinators. We need a more measured plan that is in line with the Division’s informal strategic planning.
Saturday January 16th
Treasurer’s Report (Thèrèse Laferrière)
Income and planned expenses are in the same realm as last year. CBIZ is the APA accounting firm that the division uses for our accounting. They have helped to prepare the documentation of our finances. Numbers at present are not complete in that both income and expenses are still outstanding. Many figures will be available only at the end of January. The money from the conference is not yet reflected in the report because the Division has done the conference accounting itself, and the income has not yet been deposited. However, the bottom line is not a cause for worry because there have been no unusual expenses, and the conference made money. Of more concern are the long term investments, under Division Assets, which are now $23,000, better than mid-year 2009, but reflecting money lost due to the financial crisis. The long term investments were discussed. The board agreed that we need to communicate with APA’s CBIZ in order to track our long term investments and be more fully informed about their operations. In particular, we need to ask CBIZ to differentiate the long term investments that are to be preserved as savings (and not used for expenses) from the “restricted fund” that includes conference proceeds that are used to cover expenses for the hospitality suite, the midwinter meeting and other costs at the discretion of the board an a year to year basis. This disaggregation of funds these restricted funds, which fluctuate with income and expenses, the Division’s savings funds proper, which remain intact over time (fluctuating only with investment gain and loss) will also allow us to more easily assess, on an ongoing basis, the effectiveness of the division’s long term investments.
Conference Report (Louis Hoffman)
The conference was successful, but a freak ice storm struck, creating for instance a 50 car pile up. Nevertheless, there were 150 attendees (30-40 more than the previous year in Boston), including keynote speakers for the first time and attendees who do not usually attend APA conventions. As planned, presenters were more diverse than in past years, with more women presenting than men and numerous people of color as well as programming on diversity that was very well attended. Many attendees who are not members of the Division left very happy and enthusiastic about the Division. New members were generated thanks to Rich Bargdill, who was effective in passing out membership brochures. Folks from the Naropa Institute attended and are enthusiastic about continuing to network with the Division. There were 27 student posters and the students themselves were very up-beat. They interacted with seasoned Division members, felt welcome, and got valuable feedback about their research. They remarked that the opportunities for networking with professionals were much greater than at other conferences. The only negative feedback was about the hotel, which did not provide the promised transportation, causing attendees to take taxis. Complaints were lodged and requests for refunds were made, but the only accommodation was the removal of transportation charges. The hotel refused further accommodations, claiming that all complaints were mere “hearsay.” Sara pointed out that this kind of conflict is a prime example of a situation that APA’s Legal Counsel can help us with. They are happy to call this hotel and negotiate a more favorable resolution for the Division. Cost was contained by the utilization of university resources. A session on the “futuring of humanistic psychology” was extremely successful in generating ideas about upcoming directions of the field. Finally, authors of recent books were present and interacted with attendees about their state of the art work. Some presentations were recorded and are still being offered as continuing education programs that will continue to generate revenue for the Division in the future. All presenters whose sessions were recorded signed forms consenting to the use of their presentation for profit (exclusively for the division) in continuing education. David suggested an alternative, namely to use these presentations as CE offered exclusively to Division members as free benefit of being a member. He suggested that this format might serve as a stronger long term financial advantage to the Division by attracting and maintaining membership. Sara highlighted the importance of both goals—serving psychologists outside the Division and serving members, and she invited further reflection on how both these goals can be met. Louise suggested that it would be a great service if we found a way to make members’ publications available to the public in PDFs. We would need to find a mechanism that would not violate regulations of publishers that attempt to limit dissemination by authors and other organizations. Louis and his team of conference organizers were given a rousing round of applause for their greatly successful conference.
Memberships (Richard Bargdill)
Membership numbers show a loss through August 2009. As Keith Cooke told us, most divisions are down between 5-7% and we lost a little more than that (65 members). We lost 24 professional members, and much of this is due to mortality. Our members tend to be consistent in that they remain a member, and our numbers are consequently stable. The extra council representative reflects the strength of membership. Board discussions have emphasized students with good reason, but Richard added that initiatives directed at full voting members are also very important. We may be currently gaining some back, having replaced some of our losses. We have recruited students at APA from our poster sessions due to board members walking through the poster sessions and conversing meaningfully with students about their research. There is nothing like a meeting in person with conversation, personal relationship, an exchange of contact information, and a handshake. Richard urged the board to attend student presentations at our conventions. The same goes for professionals, who will also respond to personal appeals by our leaders.
Richard reported that he has already created a Facebook page with Louise and Brent as co-administrators. The name of the page is the Society for Humanistic Psychology. This is our way of contacting students, who frequent Facebook. There are now 125 members currently, but there is not much banter and interplay. The last 10 posts have been Richard and Louis, but also Robert Stolorow has posted a message, so the word in getting out and could attract others. Unfortunately, as activity increases, trouble also increases and the administrative responsibility of those monitoring the site increases. Erik asked if there is any way to form links with other related groups, for instance the groups he frequents that concern Daseinsanalysis. Louise remarked that humanistic psychology is worldwide and that we might fruitfully link with humanists and humanistic organizations in other countries where humanism is more vibrant and alive than it is in the US. International links are important, and whether it is Facebook or not, our internet activities should become international. Richard suggested, and the board agreed, that we have gone slowly and wisely as we should. It is good we have a page, and as the APA Legal Counsel has cautioned, we need to develop carefully and with sufficient support for monitoring that does not rest exclusively on any one person. Currently, Richard is responsible for monitoring our Facebook.
The mentoring program has been initiated but has not developed as significantly as intended. The strategy was to pair student affiliates with volunteer members who would serve as resource persons and possibly mentors. The volunteers sent emails to students with information about the division and division services. Richard engaged in this personally and observed that his students have developed friendships among themselves on Facebook. There has not been a lot of correspondence as expected, but it is not much work and may yield long term benefit. Richard invited volunteer mentors and highlighted the need for females and greater diversity, especially given the recent loss of Christine Farber’s active involvement in the project. Richard discussed the possibility of a lower membership fee for undergraduates. Because the main cost of members to the division is the journal, Richard has been in contact with Scott Churchill to explore making the journal available in PDF form for undergraduates, who could pay a lower membership fee. The student membership fee is $25 and the cost of the journal to the division is $23. The PDF option does not seem to be possible, but maybe we could give them a DVD of the conference. Louise expressed the opinion that division membership for students without receipt of the journal is not a good practice, as the whole point of membership is to read and learn about research and scholarship. Maureen voiced the need for some inquiry to students about what they want, without presupposing that they want what we think is important. It may be that the Newsletter and Blog is more relevant to them. There is also a vast population of adjunct faculty and faculty at community and small colleges who could use information and educational material, packaged in a way that a professor could easily use. They use You-Tube and might embrace materials that we could provide freely available to them on the web. They may not turn into members but at least would carry the humanistic message into the world. We need to put useful and high quality materials on those sites. Many members advocated offering free memberships for undergraduate students, and Sara said this would be a great item for APA’s public relations news release. However, there is public access to these sites, so what other than the affiliation is of benefit? Louis said there is a discount registration for the APA conference, and we could offer them an hour celebration at our hospitality suite. The board discussed a “members only” part of our website containing benefits only for members. This could contain curriculum resources. Susan offered the idea of targeting colleges and universities near the APA convention and inviting students to hospitality suite programming. Art cautioned that the board needs to think out how to track over time members who do not pay dues, and he warned that undergraduate members may not have motivation to change to regular membership after graduation if they can continue free membership without any monitoring. Frank suggested getting into the Wiki world, which he recommends against for his students, who go there anyway. We can put links in Wikipedia entries related to humanistic psychology including our website and materials. Finally, Richard invited information on conferences that could display membership brochures. If he is given contact information for potential members, he will contact them personally an invite them to join. Richard was thanked for his energetic work and wonderfully thorough report.
Program Committee (Frank Farley and Krishna Kumar)
There were 38 submissions for the program with only 21 hours given to us by APA. The theme was “Heroism and Heroes.” Submissions have increased with no wiggle room, and other divisions have been solicited to contribute additional hours, but we have not gotten one extra hour donated for co-sponsorships. Other divisions report that they too have been swamped with submissions and have no extra hours. Consequently, very difficult decisions had to be made. There are certain dedicated hours, for instance for the presidential address, called non-substantive hours (7) and only 14 hours left for submitted programming. There is only one paper session. Those not accepted for programming were offered poster sessions and referred to other divisions who might consider there submissions. Many submitters have not been notified. Frank reported that Division 1 relies on poster sessions, and the division board routinely attends. If we get 40 posters, we can have a “Humanistic Poster Session” in which all take place together and we occupy a space together potentially with banners on the posters noting that they are humanistic. Sara mentioned the possibility of handing out identifiers of Division 32 (stickers, pins, etc), given out at the hospitality suite, that members would wear at the convention. There was considerable discussion about making the poster session more distinctive and special, marking it as a humanistic event, with its own space, so that it better accommodates submitters of symposia that were rejected. Those who submitted proposals for symposia could set their presentations up next to each other with discussants present and could generate excellent conversation. The poster session could be more of “a happening” and should not be scheduled in competition with any other division programming. This format would attract many, including students, adding to the regular convention paper and symposium sessions and to the Hospitality Suite, as another kind of venue with an attraction of its own, rather than being considered a less prestigious and more limited venue. Frank reported that it would be difficult this year to reach the 40 poster level required by APA, but this is a good idea to pursue.
Report from Council (Art Lyons)
Art discussed the representative’s role on Council. First, the role is to inform others on Council of what humanistic psychology is, which often disrupts stereotypes. Regarding topics discussed at the August council meeting, APA suffered greatly in the stock market crash due to the Association’s aggressive investing policies. Major cuts have been made at APA. For instance, the budget for the History of Psychology Archives was substantially cut. A lot of time on Council was spent reviewing these cuts. Other discussions concerned the ethics code and the way it addresses psychologists involved in the military. Council will discuss APS moving in on accreditation. There was also attention to and discussion of the problems with the new publication manual, which was defective and had to be recalled. Nevertheless, the new manual has vast distribution and has generated huge profits. For instance, nursing has officially adopted this manual for its educational, professional, and publication venues. The window has closed to gain replacements for defective copies of the new manual, which contains paper formats that are wrong. Art also discussed the process of Council meetings, which has also been problematized, wherein chaotic discussion is brought to a close at the end of a predetermined time period and the chair of the session summarizes the discussion in a way that does not reflect the many perspectives and issues that remain to be resolved, thereby bringing premature closure to discussions. The internship issue and diversity concerns will also be discussed. Art is serving informally as Scott’s mentor. Scott has served as a replacement in prior years so knows the ropes. Next year is Art’s last (because of the mandatory 2-term limit), and he underlined the importance of this position going forward into the future
Continuing Education (Louis Hoffman)
Last year, CE was offered through the conference. The first year in CA yielded more participants than the last two years in Boston and Colorado, where there were only 20 participants. We have been approved to offer online CE programming, which can be expensive to develop. Louis has explored software and found a promising new package called “Nixty” that has been developed by a psychologist that would help us offer CE programming online. Programs are almost entirely automated and require no maintenance once they are made available. The labor comes in the design and construction phase. This new software company has offered us one year’s free use of the software, at which time we have the option to continue with a fee or not. We have been asked to help with the company’s advertizing if we are favorable about the software. Louis shared his view that undertaking an initiative for one year using the free software carries a no risk and holds considerable potential gain for the Division. Consequently, he recommended that the board give the go-ahead and support this undertaking, which could serve Division needs for years to come. Members who have books that they want to offer as CE credit can do so with the publisher’s permission, and it only requires posting the book and constructing a test that will assure positive educational outcome. APA and many organizations are offering CE with this format, and it is a way to generate income as well as disseminate humanistic research and scholarship. More elaborate formats with podcasts and videos are possible and may be allowed by a strong software program. Interest was expressed in innovative pedagogical formats in contrast to, or in addition to using a new medium for restrictive old formats, such as reading and being tested on a book. Louis cited the advantage of being able to extend humanistic pedagogy and scholarship into diverse areas of psychology where CE credits are required, and to extend these offerings to other professions like social work and nursing. There is a market for non-mainstream psychology. The board resolved to take advantage of the free software offer and use it to get online CE programs up and running while extending our conversation about innovative pedagogy, for instance interactive formats for the future.
Motion: To adopt Nixty for one year, after working with APA Counsel on the contract. It will be explored for one year, used to generate new online CE programming, and will be reevaluated after one year. Vote: 13 yes, 1 abstention.
Journal (Scott Churchill – will send in)
Sara had asked the publisher, Taylor and Francis, about the possibility of a new cover for the journal, and they have responded cooperatively. Scott felt that the journal should remain green in order to keep continuity with tradition. The board viewed 5 new cover possibilities submitted for consideration by the publisher. The board took note of Scott’s preferences for #s 2 and 5. The board agreed that #2 and #5 are indeed the most attractive, but some viewed them as insufficiently interesting. As discussion ensued, many came to agree that the suggested covers are dull and not capable of catching attention. It was noted that more than one color is more expensive and these, given one green color, are more cost containing. Some board members suggested that we should go back to Taylor and Francis and ask for new possibilities that are more unique. Some questioned staying with green. Some felt the green is an old fashioned color, though Scott’s point about continuity with the past was acknowledged. Some even called it an “ugly green” and associated it with high school walls and, even more sadly, with bathrooms! Others argued for the green. Many ideas were expressed. #2 was favored for its serious and professional sophistication, but it was not viewed as distinctive enough an expression of our particular journal. #5 was viewed as interesting, sufficiently complex, and containing engaging design elements, but it was also looked at as being too busy, and its design elements were not expressive enough of humanistic psychology in particular. A number of particular ideas were suggested, such as a simple line drawing across the cover that would contain figures of human beings in various worldly situations. Sara summarized the comments brilliantly and wrote them down for communication with Taylor and Francis as part of a request for some more options. The board was favorable about the new proposal for a larger size but wished to explore its implications further.
Awards (Susan Gordon)
Susan summarized the activities of the Awards Committee. The committee is composed of Scott Churchill, Connie Fischer, Susan Gordon (Chair), David Lukoff, and E. Mark Stern. First, she gave a synopsis of her report. Previous award winners have been notified and congratulated. For 2011, there were 6 new nominations and 3 were reconsidered. New nominations were reviewed. A new rating scale developed by Susan has been used since last year. There was discussion of posthumous awards and some favored limiting awards to the living. Posthumous awards, especially as a new precedent, invites looking through the rear view mirror and has no limit on who would be considered (e.g., William James?). Frank suggested that we could give a Memorial Award within 5 years of a person’s death. The board was unanimously favorable to the prospect of adopting a Memorial Award, to be bestowed on individuals for Lifetime Achievement in Humanistic Psychology, within five years of their death. The first award would go to James F. T. Bugental. The procedure is that after Awards Committee members evaluate nominations, using the rating scale, nominees are submitted to the Division board for its consideration. The board affirmed using the procedure outlined by Susan. The revisions Susan proposed to the Handbook for our new Award nomination/evaluation procedures were accepted. Susan has been able to save money on plaques by using a new facility for their production. There was discussion last year on a book and a dissertation award. Sara suggested reading the thorough work on these awards overnight and returning to this Sunday morning.
The following nominees were unanimously voted by the board to receive awards:
Charlotte and Karl Bühler Award: Common Bond Institute and Steve Olweean
Abraham Maslow Award: Eugene Taylor
Carl Rogers Award: Godfrey Barrett-Lennard
Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement: James F. T. Bugental (posthumously)
Mike Arons and E. Mark Stern Award for Lifetime Service: David Elkins
Carmi Harari Early Career Award: Rhonda Goldman
Elections (Maureen O’Hara)
The slate unanimously accepted by the board for the upcoming elections is the following:
President-Elect: David Elkins and Louis Hoffman
Treasurer: Thérèse LaFerriere (unopposed)
Members at Large: Kevin Keenan, Krishna Kumar, David Lukoff, Karen Wilner, and Christine Zampitella.
Council: Frank Farley and P. Erik Craig
Replacement of Christine Farber (2 years left on term): Richard Bargdill
Gratitude: Heroes of Humanity Project (Sara Bridges)
Sara has begun a project to celebrate heroes of the “unheroic”—everyday heroes who perform ordinary humanitarian actions. Gratitude: The Heroes of Humanity Project. After difficulty with the U. Memphis IRB, the project has been cleared and the website (www.heroesofhumanityproject.com) is live, with consent forms, for the submission of stories written about these ordinary acts of heroism that evoke gratitude. It is possible to submit photographs as well as narratives. Permission of those in photographs must be provided. They are immediately thanked. Division Spotlight in the Monitor ran a story on the project, but there have not yet been respondents. Sara showed one story that was submitted with a photograph about the submitter’s father, who is an orthopedic surgeon. The story beautifully honors him. Sara requested help from the board in getting the word about the project and website out. Heroes alive and dead can be celebrated. Research can also be done on the data, and the material can be published. Once enough stories are collected, these will be made publically available on the internet and may be published in a book. Louise suggested making this as a class project in which students will submit stories. Please pass the word.
APS issue and Psychotherapy Taskforce (Maureen O’Hara & Louis Hoffman)
Sara created a task force including herself, Art Bohart, David Elkins, Louis Hoffman, Heidi Levitt, Maureen O’Hara, Jonathan Raskin, Brent Robbins, and Bruce Wampold . This task force has been assembled to address articles and initiatives on the part of APS to undermine the APA’s accreditation standards and to implement a more limited set of standards for accreditation that would require and limit training in psychotherapy to empirically validated treatments established with narrow criteria for acceptable research (and functionally limit therapy training to cognitive-behavioral type therapies). The task force has been active, contacting presidents and other leaders at APA. They have assembled an archive of documents that are available to the task force on a website as well as a strategy to oppose and defeat the APS, within a 2010 time frame. For instance, the task will ask the Division 32 board to support APA’s efforts, continue to develop alliances with other divisions, contact accreditation-related bodies to counter the effort to establish a new accreditation system, support efforts of students against the initiatives, respond at a local level to raise awareness and counter the APS claims, and add articles and other material to the task force archives in order to support the counter movements. Maureen added that since this controversy arose, it has already died down and there is very limited danger in the short run. It will take APS a long time to actually develop an alternative accrediting body. Louise recommended that the task force issue a report to the membership informing them of the results of their analysis and their strategy. She expressed her outrage in response to the APS literature and its coverage in the popular press which promotes misinterpretations of many legitimate approaches to the practice of psychotherapy. She urged the division to engage in public education that counters the damaging stories that have already been released and that are affecting the public. Louis cautioned that additional publicity may have its own downside, for instance, in calling attention to the APS’s illegitimate claims. Louise answered that we must be ready to respond and cannot be passive when APS releases this kind of publicity.
Sara pointed out that there is a Divisional response, including letters countering the APS initiative and a symposium we are sponsoring at the APA convention. We are using this crisis as a catalyst for responding to this issue. The report from the task force at this point is very much an interim report, and additional reporting is expected in response to the concerns of Louise and our membership, which is looking for leadership on the part of the Division. Frank added that in his view it is not true that all therapeutic practices are not equal and equally effective. He continued by saying that too much emphasis in the countermovement was placed on Wampold’s meta-analysis, which itself is not strong and credible enough to counter the APS position. Frank urged the Division to acknowledge that poor therapy practices do exist, and we should not adopt a position that is indiscriminate concerning credible evaluations of the relative effectiveness of therapy approaches. The board discussed and debated the issue with regard to a measured position that aims at informing the public of the value of therapies we endorse as sound on the basis of credible research evidence. Louise continued that this is a larger crisis that calls us out of complacency, to take a harder and more honest look at these issues with sound research and scholarship. All agreed that we now have a window to develop a strong and measured response to this crisis, which will not go away. Erik added that humanistic and depth psychotherapists need support for their legitimate practices in order to protect them from societal forces that miseducate the public and undermine legitimate practice. He sees two threats: the emphasis on psychobiology and brain studies and 2) the emphasis on “evidence based” practice. These are dangers of perception that affect the quality and availability of mental health services. Sara will take back to the task force the appreciation and support of the board and also the directive to take up a proactive strategy to produce research and educate the public about legitimate and effective approaches to psychotherapy that are humanistic.
Manchester Grand Hyatt Issue (Sara Bridges)
Doug Manchester donated $125,000 to support Proposition 8, which would repeal same-sex marriage in California. APA’s San Diego conference is using two main hotels, one being the Manchester. APA has looked into it and has decided not to boycott the Manchester, because under the current contract they would be paid anyway and would then double their profit by reselling the vacant rooms. APA has resolved to engage in much programming about non-discrimination. Division 44 (Gay and Lesbian) has joined APA in their approach to the crisis and has asked individuals and groups not to boycott the Manchester for programming but not to use the restaurants or services at the hotel during the convention. They thanked the divisions who are boycotting the Manchester. They are not having their hospitality suite in the Manchester. They will attend non-discrimination programming no matter where it is held, including the Manchester. The American History Society held a massive conference at the Manchester offering historical perspectives on same-sex marriage at a cost of $100,000, using the hotel to oppose Doug Manchester’s political agenda. In spite of this noble and brilliant effort, this convention was protested loudly by demonstrators who denounced the American Historical Society for not entirely boycotting the Manchester. Division 9 (Social Justice) and 27 (Community) along with 8 other divisions have asked APA not to schedule their events there. The Divisions for Social Justice, of which we are a member, has asked participating divisions to make public their stance on this issue but have not asked for a boycott. Members of the board were critical of APA’s ineffectiveness in attempting to get out of the contract. Sara suggested that we ask APA not to schedule any of our meetings be held in the Manchester. We heard yesterday that there will be an attempt to honor such requests of the divisions who do not want their programming in the hotel. We should also convey to our members the directive not to frequent the hotel’s restaurants and not to financially support the hotel. Sara stated that if her presidential address is scheduled in the Manchester, she will not deliver it there. The board wants members to know that these measures are not a call for a boycott. Frank emphasized that we also need to show sensitivity to employees of the Manchester whose livelihood depends on the business. Sara suggested that Division 32 should follow the Division 44 (LGBT) model, saying, “Don’t boycott--it is okay for individuals to stay there, but don’t use their services (e.g., restaurants).”
Proposal: Follow Division 44’s protocol and invite other divisions to do the same. Sara will request of APA that no Division 32 events be scheduled in the Manchester.
The board also agreed that the division ought to have a position statement on same sex marriage in order to make public our values and stance on this issue. Louis Hoffman agreed to draft such a statement for the board’s consideration. The position statement on gay marriage may be complemented by a statement on “reparative” therapy.
Sunday Morning: Tying up Loose Ends, Summarizing
Conference Program. Frank said that any symposium that was not accepted and can be decomposed as posters. He needs to know about any submitters who wish to take advantage of that invitation because he is going to prepare the program in the next week.
New “Media” Award. Frank suggested a new joint award with the Division of Media Psychology (46), entitled The President’s Award for Outstanding Humanistic Portrayals in the Media. He wants to give the award to Invictus, a quintessentially humanistic movie about Nelson Mandela and his early days as president of South Africa. It’s about the all white soccer team and Mandela’s support for it. Morgan Freeman gives an incredible performance as Nelson Mandela. We will find some space in the program to have a showing, and we will have someone from the movie to receive the award. This is a one-time award, but it could remain a possibility and if the occasion arose again it could be reactivated. This is an opportunity to partner with another division, also to educate the world about what humanism is and to connect it with world events that are of contemporary relevance. Unanimously voted in favor.
Dissertation and Book awards. Susan presented the proposal to have awards given out for outstanding dissertations. Susan proposed a procedure for establishing a Steering Committee of past presidents, fellow, and members of the Division to read and rate submissions. In her conversations with Executive Director Lisa Straus, she suggested raising funds for Divisional Awards by asking for voluntary tax exempt charitable contributions in the form of a leadership gift and listing donor's names in an annual report/and or other publication of the Division. Susan proposed rating criteria. Each school would submit only one dissertation. There are 21 graduate programs listed on our website. The main question is whether we want to invest time in this. The main difficulty is having reviewers of the manuscripts submitted. There are many established criteria for book awards, and we could review them and establish our own that are sufficiently broad and focused on humanistic scholarship. Louise suggested that schools nominate dissertations. She also suggested making the dissertation available for review and also asking experts on the topic to evaluate them. Then the experts’ evaluations could be submitted to the steering committee for comparative review. For dissertations, 1200 -1500 word abstracts can be reviewed. Sara suggested selecting the top three out of the nominees and assigning them a more thorough evaluation. Volunteer contributions could fund the awards. Thérèse said that the money should first be established and then we can work out the policy and procedures. There was some discussion about how this initiative could be enfolded into the Jourard Award. The group asked Susan to discuss this with Scott Churchill, who has chaired the Jourard Award Committee, and to explore how this could be done, for instance whether dissertations and possibly theses would have to be differentiated from undergraduate papers and evaluated separately. The idea of the book award was tabled and slated for more discussion in coming board meetings.
The New Discussion Board. The good news is that problems have been eliminated, and now the challenge is to develop discussions that are engaging to our members. Sara is willing to include a list of discussion topics in messages to the membership through the Announcement Listserv. Richard raised the problem of monitors and suggested spreading the responsibility among a larger number of members. The Publications Committee (president, treasurer, journal editor, newsletter editor, and listserv moderator) and the Communications Coordinator (Greg Nichols—graduate student--has occupied this post, has graduated, and has not been in touch, so maybe he needs to be replaced) could be involved. The need was identified for a group among us to take this up and develop an administrative plan. Richard Bargdill volunteered to join this initiative. Donna Rockwell as our new Public Relations Coordinator can be involved, and she is in contact with Shawn Rubin, who would also be involved. Sara promised to explore the composition and leadership of a group that would take on the project of developing communications. Brent gets a big thanks for his work with the Discussion Board.
Resolution. The board unanimously agreed to explore the possibility of free membership for undergraduate students.
Todd Dubose agreed to host the next conference at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology in April 2011. David Cain has mentioned that he asked Christina Zapatella (National University) to organize a conference in San Diego. There was some question about when Christina’s conference would take place, whether at the APA Convention in August 2010 or at a later date. There is a conference planning committee that needs to be involved in this process and to play a coordinating role. Brent was the chair of this committee and he was assigned with the role of exploring possibilities for future conferences and organizers, but the committee has not developed a procedure for identifying sites and chairs. Sara reminded the group that the board decided to discuss the viability of conferences and to decide how regularly they would be offered, whether they should be associated with the APA Convention, and when conferences would take place. Sara underlined the importance of the board deciding general policies and maintaining oversight of this process. She affirmed the idea of the conference committee and urged that its role be to make recommendations to the board. She asked whether we need a director of conference planning and how we would organize the effort.
Susan noted that the handbook is a good document, which contains procedures for the standing committees. Were a conference planning chair and committee to be formed, its procedures could be recorded in the handbook in order to maintain continuity. Louis advocated the continuation of conferences and emphasized their value for maintaining enthusiasm and energy among membership and others. He would like these efforts not to occupy a lot of attention of the executive board and said it would be ideal if there were a group that could take a good part of the responsibility for this work. A non-local person could be Chair and then there would be a local conference organizer. Sara suggested that we should formalize these roles and tasks as well as the members of such a committee. Louis was charged with taking the lead in formalizing a proposal in collaboration with David Cain as an advisor and with Brent Robbins in his current leadership (Chair) role. The committee can make recommendations to the board about the frequency, regularity, timing and location of the conferences, and the board will decide on courses of action. Maureen pointed to the need to consider this April 2011 conference in Chicago. Louis’s understanding is that the Chicago School would provide facilities for this conference. Sara said we need a proposal that can be reviewed and voted on by the board over email within the next month or two. Proposals for conferences should be presented at the midwinter meeting because this is when the board has the time to review and discuss then, in order to provide the necessary discussion and oversight.
Fellows. Nothing to report. No nominations. Sara urged board members to suggest persons who might be qualified to apply for fellowship through the Division.
Maureen and Art. Maureen noted that it is her last mid-winter meeting after many years and thanked the committee for a wonderful community. She said that being part of Division leadership has been one of the most profound things she has ever done professionally. Art echoed her sentiments. Art started as student membership chair and has served as membership chair, journal editor, president, and now council member for two terms, having served for more than two decades.
Interest Groups. Sara reviewed the reports of the Constructivist Interest Group. Jon Raskin and Brent have made a You-tube video about constructivism and phenomenology, posted on Facebook. Harris Friedman requested support for the International Transpersonal Association’s upcoming conference in Moscow. The board discussed the value of giving back to various groups and recognized its importance, but the board felt that the Division is not in a financial position to give to all the worthy groups. We can publicize and support their events in other ways. The report from Positive Psychology noted the focus on this topic in the Division journal and notified the board about a book project that is currently underway to compile an edited volume on the rapproachment between positive psychology and humanistic psychology.
Nominations for committees and boards. Sara noted that we have learned more about the process at this meeting and some have argued that it is not worth the time while others continue to view this as important. Sara said that if and when we do this, we need to take it seriously and make a concerted effort. We are not in a position to do that now. Frank agreed with Sara and said that board members could volunteer themselves or be targeted for the broad nomination with nothing ventured and nothing gained. Frank would like to see Krishna nominated for the APA’s Board of Convention Affairs. Art emphasized that we need a campaign for any individual we want to promote. Frank advocated proactive efforts with the “nothing ventured nothing gained” approach. He affirmed our attempts at increasing influence in APA and added that some committees, such as the Board of Convention Affairs, are not swamped with nominations. Frank volunteered to support and talk up our candidates, and the Board agreed that it would be valuable for Frank to take the initiative to identify possibilities and take the lead in promoting our candidates. Frank is happy to do this and asked that our Council Representatives join him in an effort to nominate our board members for as many open positions as possible. The board agreed.
Hospitality Suite. Shawn Rubin raised questions of budget and support. Amy Freeman will also help with the hospitality. We need to schedule the incoming and outgoing meetings. Sara recommended scheduling incoming and outgoing meetings back to back, and Louis recommended having them in the evening. It would be better not to have them after the social hour. Whether it will be two or three days depends on the cost of rooms.
Sara presented a wonderful PowerPoint presentation summarizing the accomplishments of the meeting and highlighting initiatives that require implementation.
What have we done?
Up to date on doings in the Society
We have a Press Secretary/Public Relations Advisor
Response to disaster in Haiti
Send letter to Announce list about what ways to help
Give thanks for what they have done and advise proactive action going forward
Educating Public and Supporting Therapists
Emphasize what we do well (no dolphins)
Art will be in contact with Mark
Discuss with him the need to distance Society from NARTH – remove reference to Society (or division from website)
Help craft response to concerned members
What Else Have We Done?
Creation of Taskforce on LGBT Issues
Louis will chair and gather members
Tasked with creating position statements on Same Sex Marriage and Reorientation Therapies
Will follow Division 44’s lead
Ask that none of Society’s programming is scheduled in Hyatt
Will find hospitality suite in other venue
Will state what we like about #2 and #5; formality and professionalism of #2 (if the “The” is moved), graphic design option in #5
Will ask for other design options that better represent the Society (focus on the human)
But Wait… There’s More!
Created Memorial Award to be given posthumously (within 5 years of demise)
Explored Dissertation and Book Award
Will explore possibilities and ramifications for free membership for 4 years for undergrads
Provided Rich with names of potential members for personal contact
Online offerings once cleared by council
Next conference in the works
Will contact council for help with hotel issues from last conference
Investments and Finances
Closer look at Society’s long term investments
San Diego Program
Overflowing with excellent programs
Finalizing in the next week
Commitment to continue offering stellar content (which board will help provide)
Full slate of candidates
Introduced Gratitude: The Heroes of Humanity Project