In This Issue

Committee reports

Updates from committees on LGBT concerns, membership, racial and ethnic diversity, and education and training.
Report of the APA Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Concerns: 2012

By Maryka Biaggio

In 2012 the membership of the Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Concerns (CLGBTC) included Ellyn Kaschak, PhD, Chair (2010–2012); Kevin Nadal PhD (2010–2012); Angela D. Ferguson, PhD (2011–2013); Parrish L. Paul, PhD (2011–2013); Helen Hsu, PsyD (2012–2014); and Jose Miranda, PsyD (2012–2014). The CLGBTC included two members identifying as lesbians, three members identifying as gay men, and one member identifying as an ally. One of the members is a senior psychologist, two members are mid-career psychologists, and three members are early career psychologists. One member identifies as African American, one as Asian American, two as European American, one as Filipino, and one member identifies as Latino.

The Committee conducted a CLGBTC Town Hall Meeting program at the APA meeting in Orlando. The primary purpose was to inform APA members about the Committee’s mission and goals and to offer a forum for APA members to provide feedback to the Committee regarding LGBTQ psychology, issues, concerns, and communities in respect to APA academic and clinical training programs. The Committee co-sponsored one Town Hall Meeting with Div. 44 Youth and Families Chair, Richard Sprott.

CLGBTC Outstanding Achievement Award for 2012 was presented to Robert-Jay Green, PhD.

The Committee established a joint Task Force with Division 44 to develop guidelines for psychological practice with transgender clients. Co-Chairs for the Task Force are Drs. Anneliese Singh and lore m. dickey, and the other members are Drs. Walter O. Bockting, Sand Chang, Kelly Ducheny, Laura Edwards-Leeper, Randal D. Ehrbar, Max Fuhrmann, Michael L. Hendricks, and Ellen Magalhaes. The Governance review of the guidelines is expected to begin in 2013.

At its fall 2012 meeting, the Committee met with the President and CEO of APA in order to determine ways to influence governance regarding transgender issues.

The CLGBTC Dissemination and Implementation Subcommittee and the National Council of School Professional Psychology (NCSPP) developed and piloted a workshop addressing affirmative practice with individuals experiencing conflict between their sexuality and their religion based on chapter 6 of the Report of the APA Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation. The workshop was presented at the APA 2012 Annual Convention for CEU credit and is now an online offering of the APA Continuing Education Office.

The public general informational brochure "Answers to Your Questions for a Better Understanding of Sexual Orientation and Homosexuality" has been translated into Spanish and is available online and hard copy. The public general informational brochure "Answers to Your Questions about Transgender People, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression" has also been translated into Spanish and will be available online in 2013. The Committee has initiated processes to revise and update one resolution and two publications including the 1993 APA Resolution on Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Youth in Schools in collaboration with the Committee on Children, Youth, and Families (CYF), Divs. 16 and 44, and the National Association of School Psychologists; the public information brochure "Answers to Your Questions About Individuals with Intersex Conditions" in collaboration with CYF; and the booklet "Lesbian & Gay Parenting" in collaboration with CYF and the Committee on Women in Psychology.

Division 44 Membership Drive Update

As part of her 2012–2013 presidential initiative for Div. 44, Arlene Noriega wanted to increase division membership by 500 new people during her presidential tenure. In August of 2012, Arlene Noriega, Chad Rummel from APA Division Services, and the Membership Committee developed a plan to contact divisions with similar social justice foci and offer a one-year free membership to new members. The following divisions and organizations were targeted: Div. 9, Div. 17 (including the division’s subdivisions), Div. 35, Div. 41, Div. 45, Div. 51, the National Latino Psychological Association, the Black Psychological Association, APAGS LGBT Email List, the Association of Counseling Center Training Agencies; and an announcement was placed on the Div. 44 Facebook page. As of January 2013, 900 new members have joined the division, bringing Div. 44 membership to over 2,000 people.

We are still recruiting new members to join Div. 44, so please feel free to share this information with your friends and colleagues. Start with a free membership to Div. 44.

Also, as co-chairs for membership, we consider it our top priority to explore ways that we could keep our new members engaged with Div. 44. We will be hosting a social hour for new and current members during the APA convention in Honolulu this year. We especially want to encourage all students in the Division to join us during our social and special programming events, as we consider students vital members to Div. 44.

We will also be assessing the needs of our new and current members in Division 44. We are particularly interested in hearing of ways that Div. 44 could help facilitate professional development, involvement, and service. Should you have any questions, ideas, suggestions, or comments regarding membership in Div. 44, please feel free to contact Franco Dispenza or Laura Allie. We would love to hear from you.

Report of the Committee on Racial and Ethnic Diversity

The Committee on Racial and Ethnic Diversity (CoRED), co-chaired by Drs. Cirleen DeBlaere and David Rivera, currently has 123 members connected via the CoRED email list.

The committee was able to successfully advertise and select two recipients for the Richard Rodriguez Student Travel Award to attend the 2012 APA Convention in Orlando: Nicole Gray (Claremont Graduate University) and Juno Park (Ball State University). The committee intends to advertise and select two recipients for the 2013 APA convention as well.

In addition to this award, CoRED also worked closely with the APA Ethics Committee to advertise and select four recipients for the 2013 Joint APA Ethics Committee, Division 44, and APAGs National Multicultural Conference and Summit (NMCS) Travel Award: Marcos Briano (Alliant/LA), Yi-Ting (Angel) Cheng (University of Iowa), Daniela Dominguez (Our Lady of the Lake University), Richard Martinez (New Mexico State University).

The committee sponsored presentations at the 2012 National Latina/o Psychological Association Biennial Conference in New Brunswick, NJ (“Queer Latina/o Voices: Sharing Experience and Advancing Psychological Understanding”) and the 2013 NMCS in Houston, TX (“Risk and Resiliency in Negotiating Multiple Marginalized Identities”).

The committee also developed a Continuing Education Workshop proposal for the 2013 APA Convention in Honolulu, that was accepted for presentation (“LGBT People of Color and Spirituality: Tools for Psychological Practice”). This workshop has been selected to be part of APA President Bersoff’s Presidential Initiative programming.

We continue to be committed to serving current People of Color (POC) members in the Division and increasing POC membership. If you are interested in joining the CoRED listserv, please email Dr. Rivera. —Cirleen DeBlaere, Co-Chair

Report of the Education and Training Committee

Several new members have joined the committee. Subcommittees and their members are: Footnote 4 and exclusionary educational practices—Maryka Biaggio, Joshua Wolff & Gregory Shrader; Continuing education—Joseph Micucci, Boon Lim, Kurt Choate, Erin Deneke, Flavio Epstein, Julie Harris, Justin Harms, Oliva Espin, Richard Sprott, Richard Ruth, Susan Turell, and Stacey Lynne Williams; Trainers list and training tropics—Angela Krumm & Daniel Szuhay.

Co-Chairs Joseph Micucci and Maryka Biaggio submitted the application for renewal of the Division’s CE Sponsor Status to the APA Continuing Education Committee in August. In November we received notice of approval for 5 years.

Co-Chair Joseph Micucci and the CE Subcommittee have been exploring the possibility of developing an Emerging Professional Speaker Series along the lines of that offered by Division 13. So far not much interest has been generated.

The subcommittee on exclusionary educational practices developed a comment on revision of the American Psychological Association’s Accreditation Guidelines and Principles (G&P). Below is a summary from this comment. (Footnote 4 is a section of the G&P that provides an exemption to religious institutions with respect to hiring and admission preferences.)

Footnote 4, while seeming to protect one group’s belief system, does so to the detriment of a historically marginalized group and also at the expense of APA’s Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct. While the CoA (APA’s Commission on Accreditation) must honor religious freedom, it has erred on the side of doing so at the expense of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons in these programs. Domain A, Point 5, of the G&P clearly indicates programs should have “nondiscriminatory policies and operating conditions” and avoid “any actions that would restrict program access or completion on grounds that are irrelevant to success in graduate training or the profession.” However, the admission and employment policies as well as codes of conduct in programs invoking Footnote 4 clearly do discriminate. While the CoA recently developed an Implementing Regulation to “interpret” Domain D and its regulation, there has been no apparent change in the review of Footnote 4 programs. Division 44 has regularly provided public comment on these programs’ policies and practices, and from our vantage point no discernible changes have occurred as a result of these comments.

This state of affairs creates a somewhat untenable position vis-à-vis the following standards of APA’s Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct: “3.01 Unfair Discrimination—In their work-related activities, psychologists do not engage in unfair discrimination based on age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic status or any basis proscribed by law.”

The CoA is tacitly endorsing discrimination by Footnote 4 programs and their psychologist employees when it awards accreditation to programs operating under a code of conduct that punishes LGBT persons. That is, these programs can discontinue the employment or downgrade the standing of LBGT persons in their psychology graduate programs.