Division Reports

Division 47 APA Council of Representatives report

Telepsychology guidelines, internship funding, the Good Governance Project and ethnic minority psychological association voting seats

By Karen D. Cogan, PhD

This summer was a truly exciting time with the Olympics in London and APA in Orlando, all at the same time. I had the privilege of supporting Team USA, and it was fantastic to see so many sport psychologists from other countries involved with their teams. It was a positive comment on the progress within our profession. Unfortunately, the trip to London meant that I missed APA this year. A special thanks to Heather Ciesielski and Kate Hays for attending the council meetings in my place and providing insights into council’s many actions.

This will be my last report as Division 47 Council Representative as I enter the last two months of my second term. It has been an honor to represent Division 47 on council for the last six years, and I will miss the opportunity to work for our division in this way. You will be in capable hands with the incoming council rep., Kate Hays, who brings with her years of experience from a variety of roles on council in the past. Kate and I have worked together closely over the past two months, as I am concluding my tenure and she prepares to begin hers, to coordinate our efforts on some of the important issues facing council at this time. It has been wonderful to have two of us working toward the same goals as we make the transition. You as division members are getting two for the price of one!

Telepsychology Guidelines

One issue that has been a priority for me is the development of Telepsychology Guidelines. Because our profession involves travel with athletes to competitions and distance consulting, the development of these guidelines is very relevant to our division. Although this was not a primary focus of this council meeting, I have spent considerable time providing input to APA and reviewing proposed guidelines. If anyone has comments or suggestions about how we can best conduct distance consultations or about the proposed guidelines, please contact me.

Below are highlights from the recent council meeting in Orlando.

Ethnic Minority Psychological Association Voting Seats on Council

One of the issues that received considerable attention at the August Council meeting was the seating of Ethnic Minority Psychological Association (EMPA) representatives as voting members of Council. While this issue has been brought to a full membership vote twice before, in 2007 and 2008, it was narrowly defeated both times. Kate and I (along with many other Council members) believe it is due to lack of knowledge about this amendment and low voting percentages of the APA membership. We want to get the word out to Division 47 and encourage you to review the issue in the sidebar in this newsletter and emails we will be sending so that you can make an informed choice. AND VOTE!

Internship Funding

In another important decision, Council approved $3 million to increase the number of accredited internship slots over the next three years. There is a 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. This funding stimulus package will increase the number of accredited internship positions and is expected to help as many as 150 programs move from non-APA accredited to accredited status. 520 new accredited internship positions are expected over the next three years. The typical maximum grant to an individual program will not exceed $20,000. Funding will be available starting this fall through an application process.

Good Governance Project

APA's Good Governance Project Team (GGP) is tasked with ensuring that APA’s governance structure is appropriate for the challenges psychology faces in the 21st century. The current system is often criticized for being slow, cumbersome and unable to respond to rapidly changing circumstances, such as new legislation in Congress.

With input from members and governance groups, the GGP team has developed a plan to create a simpler and more flexible governance system that would allow for more direct member input and be more strategically focused. At its August meeting, the GGP team asked the council to consider the degree of change needed to meet those goals, whether through incremental change, moderate change or a “clean-slate” approach. In a show of overwhelming support for a new system, the council voted 135 to 22 for bolder change, moving toward the moderate change and clean-slate end of the continuum. The GGP team will now work on how these changes are to be implemented. 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 next August.

View a copy of the GGP report to the council, the approved motion and the chart outlining the three scenarios, View additional information. If you have questions or ideas, contact APA Executive Director of Governance Affairs Nancy Gordon Moore, PhD, MBA.

In further action, the council:

  • Adopted a resolution 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.
  • Received the report of the Presidential Task Force on Educational Disparities.
  • Approved the creation of APA’s first open methods, open-data, and open-access journal — Archives of Scientific Psychology. The publication will be APA’s first fee-based journal. According to APA Publisher Gary Vandenbos, PhD, it will allow APA to gain valuable experience in the growing fee-based, open-access publishing environment.
  • 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 ethnic minority psychological associations (EMPAs) to continue to attend APA council meetings as delegates/ observers.
  • Approved funding for an APA task force that will study the trafficking of women and girls.
  • 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 revenue budget.

As always there are some important issues facing our profession, and APA is making some potentially historical changes. It feels as if am leaving in the middle of some meaningful projects, but I know Kate will be “on it” and continue this work as she takes over for our division. Thank you for the opportunity to serve as council representative!