From the president

The new division president discusses activities from last fall and support of the Section IX members petition in support of APA’s ethical demands
By Nancy Hollander, PhD

I am pleased to be writing my first President’s Column for the Section IX newsletter. I want to begin by recognizing the outstanding leadership of our outgoing president, Alice Shaw. I look forward to working with her and with our board during my tenure as president of the Section.

Our board was quite active during the fall. We added our name to those of the many mental health organizations in support of an Open Letter to the DSM5 Task Force and the American Psychiatric Association critical of aspects of the new DSM5. Concerns include the lowering of diagnostic thresholds for multiple disorder categories, the introduction of disorders that may lead to inappropriate medical treatment of vulnerable populations, and proposed changes to the definition of mental disorder that place more emphasis on biological theory than sociocultural variation. See the complete letter and list of all signatories.

We organized a petition that collected signatures from Section IX members in support of Ethical APA’s demands that APA correct its failure to properly execute the 2008 membership referendum that, with specified exceptions, prohibits psychologists from working in detention settings that violate international conventions against torture. Approximately 80 members signed the petition, which was delivered to Frank Summers, President-elect of Division 39.


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