APA Council of Representatives report

The APA Council of Representatives report includes updates on funding, collaboration with the other divisions, and two new APA presidential initiatives

By Dolly C. Sadow, PhD, ABPP

Dr. Lorraine Greene and I attended APA Council as your representatives. The first full day of council was devoted to efforts to improve the structure and the process of council meetings. We ended up outlining some goals for the future, including how to best use technology at all levels to increase involvement, empowerment and transparency, increase the speed of decision making and use the strategic plan to drive the work of the council.

The rest of the days focused on issues in two categories: a. APA administration and fiscal health, and b. passing new resolutions and/or approving new resolutions to be sent to the membership for a vote. APA’s fiscal health seems solid at this point. Our budget for 2011 was $112,708,000. Our charitable arm, APA Foundation, has given about $650,000 to charity, targeting students and others. There are important attempts to increase our electronic products to retain and improve our solvency. There are efforts to promulgate practice guidelines. Our public education campaign which includes educating people about research is continuing. APA President Suzanne Johnson has two presidential initiatives: Increasing interdisciplinary collaboration and fighting obesity.

The APA Practice Directorate and the APA Practice Organization have continued their advocacy and legislative efforts. Examples include the efforts to reverse the five percent cut for psychological services by Medicare, and the 33 percent lowering of psychologist’ reimbursement rates in Florida.

Resolutions that either passed by the Council or were approved to be passed on to the general membership for a vote, include:

  • Funding the Revision of the Guidelines for the Undergraduate Psychology Major

  • Funding for the APA/ASPPB/APAIT Joint Task Force for the Development of Telepsychology

  • Establishing an APAGS Journal with the emphasis of translating research results into practice

  • Forgiving past dues if someone rejoins APA after an absence

  • Changing the composition of the BEA committee to include a seat for an APA high school or community college teacher affiliate member.

  • Disseminate the report of the Presidential Task Force on Immigration

  • Disseminate the report on the Presidential Task Force on Diversity and Discrimination

  • Be part of the review of the most recent International Classification of Diseases (ICD) and continue involvement to provide a more “psychological’ alternative to the DSM V

  • Continue the present relationship with the Canadian Psychological Association including the discount for joining both organizations

  • Continue close collaboration with the Black Psychologists Association, the Latino Psychologists Association, and with Indian Psychologists

A task force was established to combine all the resolutions (five so far) made against the involvement of Psychologists in torture and establish a unified, inclusive policy. There continues to be controversy surrounding this issue. All documents mentioned here are available through the APA site and APA. If you’d like more information on any of these issues, or have strong feelings about an issue, or even just want to discuss an issue feel free to contact me.

In the meantime, be well and hope to see you in Orlando.