IN THIS ISSUE

APA Council of Representatives report: August 2012

Updates on the internship stimulus, the Good Governance Project and the resolution on psychotherapy's effectiveness.

By Elizabeth K. Carll, PhD

APA’s Council of Representatives voted to fund a $3 million internship stimulus program to increase the number of accredited internship positions over the next three years. Funding was in recognition of the growing imbalance between the number of psychology graduate students who need a clinical internship to complete their degree requirements and the availability of those internships. The money will help offset program expenses in such areas as application and site visit fees, program consultation fees, and intern stipends and benefits. The typical maximum grant to an individual program will not exceed $20,000. Funding will be available starting this fall through an application process. Only non-profit [IRS 501(c)3] agencies will be considered for funding.

The Good Governance Project is progressing with the goal of examining and revamping how APA is governed and how Council is functioning, as it meets only twice a year, with the goal of increasing the rapidity of decision making and responding to new developments. Three possible plans were discussed. There is one plan for incremental change, one plan for moderate change, and a plan for more significant change proposed with a single governing body whose members are selected based on specific competencies. This body would be responsible for gathering broad input on a variety of issues through ad hoc advisory groups, expert summits, member surveys, and more. An essential component will be addressing appropriate checks and balances. Though the plans are in the process of being discussed, there seemed to be agreement that moderate to significant change is needed. The GGP team will solicit further Council input at its next meeting in February and throughout the Spring. Final approval for the new governance plan is expected August 2013.

Council adopted as APA policy the Resolution on the Recognition of Psychotherapy Effectiveness which was designed to increase the public and allied health professionals’ awareness of psychotherapy’s effectiveness in reducing people’s need for other health services and in improving long-term health. The resolution cites more than 50 peer-reviewed studies on psychotherapy and its effectiveness in treating a spectrum of health issues and with a variety of populations. While the resolution recognizes that in some instances the best treatment is a combination of medication and psychotherapy, the results of psychotherapy tend to last longer than psychopharmacological treatments and rarely produce harmful side effects. In related presentations the APA’s Psychological Science and Action (PSA) project will be promoting psychological science online, in the media, and through grassroots outreach. The APAPO also has developed a public education program to promote psychological services.

Other actions by council

  • Approved the 2013 budget revenue forecast of $108 million. APA Chief Financial Officer Archie Turner reported that the association’s financial position is strong. Licensing revenue from APA’s databases continues to be the largest component of APA.

  • Adopted the revised Guidelines for Ethical Conduct of Behavioral Projects Involving Human Participants by High School Students as APA policy and approved August 2022 as the expiration date for these Guidelines.

  • Approved $12,300 in additional expenditures to fund a meeting and conference calls in 2012 of the Task Force on Trafficking of Women and Girls.

  • Approved $6,300 in additional expenditures to contribute to the funding for a meeting and conference calls in 2012 of the Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Older Adults Revision Working Group.

  • Approved the creation of APA’s first open methods, open-data, open-access journal—Archives of Scientific Psychology. Feebased publishing now represents approximately 15 percent of all scholarly publishing.

  • Approved the 2012 class of APA Fellows. A total of 109 members were elected to Fellow status in recognition of their contributions to psychology.

  • Approved funding for representatives of the four ethnicminority psychological associations (EMPAs) to continue to attend APA council meetings as delegates/observers. In a related action, the council approved a bylaws amendment to create official council seats for the four EMPAs. The proposed change requires a bylaws amendment which will be forwarded to the full APA membership with a pro-con statement for a vote this Fall. The EMPAs are the Asian American Psychological Association, the Association of Black Psychologists, the National Latina/o Psychological Association, and the Society of Indian Psychologists.

  • Adopted as APA policy the revised APA Continuing Education Sponsor Approval Policies and Procedures Manual.

  • Adopted as APA policy the Policies and Procedures Manual for the Recognition of Organizations that Provide Certifications in Specialties and Proficiencies in Professional Psychology.

  • Approved an extension for recognition of Biofeedback: Applied Psychophysiology as a proficiency in professional psychology for an additional period of one year, to expire in August 2013.

  • Approved an extension for recognition of Counseling Psychology as a specialty in professional psychology for an additional period of one year, to expire in August 2013.

  • Approved an extension for recognition of Clinical Psychology as a specialty in professional psychology for an additional period of one year, to expire in August 2013.

  • Approved an extension for recognition of School Psychology as a specialty in professional psychology for an additional period of one year, to expire in August 2013.

  • Approved the continued recognition of Clinical Child Psychology as a specialty in professional psychology for a period of seven years, to expire in 2019.

  • Approved the continued recognition of Industrial- Organizational Psychology as a specialty in professional psychology for a period of seven years, to expire in 2019.

  • Approved Division 44’s proposal to develop and launch a journal in the area of sexual orientation and gender identity to be published by APA through the Educational Publishing Foundation (EPF) imprint.

  • Approved Division 5’s Section on Qualitative Methods: Society for Qualitative Inquiry in Psychology proposal to develop and launch a journal in the area of qualitative psychology to be published by APA through the Educational Publishing Foundation (EPF) imprint.

  • Received the report of the Presidential Task Force on Educational Disparities.

  • Received an update on the business pending item “Affirming, Supporting, and Disseminating Psychological Research on Global Climate Change.”

  • Received an update on the business pending item “Revision of the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing."