APA Council of Representatives Report
The APA Council of Representatives met February 14-17 in Washington DC for the first session of the 2019 Council. Dr. Rosie Davis, APA President, chaired the meeting. James Bray and Raymond Hanbury represented Division 50 at the meeting. It was a busy Council meeting with many important policies discussed and passed.
New APA Strategic Plan. After months of work, led by the APA CEO Arthur Evans, PhD, APA staff and members a new strategic plan was developed and approved by the Council. The strategic plan will be used to guide the association for the next 3-5 years. A new mission and vision statement was developed, along with a set of guiding principles to examine all aspects of the association. Four broad strategic goals were developed: Utilize psychology to make a positive impact on critical societal issues; Elevate the public’s understanding of, regard for, and use of psychology; Prepare the discipline and profession of psychology for the future; and Strengthen APA’s standing as an authoritative voice for psychology. Compared to the previous strategic plan, the plan is more outwardly focused on using psychology and psychologists to make a difference in our world. You can see the entire plan at www.apa.org/about/apa/strategic-plan/
Advocacy. In 2018 the Council voted to sunset the APA Practice Organization (APAPO) and create a new C6 organization for advocacy, the APA Services Inc. (APASI). It is governed by the Advocacy Coordinating Committee. The funding for the APASI is from APA dues rather than separate dues for the APAPO. The APASI will do advocacy for all of psychology. It is important for Division 50 members to voice their opinions about what types of advocacy APA should engage in. Please complete this survey to voice your opinion: https://apamr.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_ekAfu45Oxq09QOx
Clinical Guideline for the Treatment of Depression Across Three Age Cohorts was passed by the Council. This provides evidenced based recommendations for treatment of depression for children and adolescents, adults, and elderly people.
APA Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Health Service Psychology. A report on recommendations for accrediting Master’s programs was received by Council. This will set the stage for the development of accreditation policies for Master’s level programs in health services psychology. This is a controversial issue, but it is felt that APA has recommendations for undergraduate and doctoral programs and needs policies for Master’s programs.
Operation Procedures for Needs Assessment, Slating and Campaigns Committee. APA changed the way it elects Members at Large to the APA Board of Directors in 2017. The slate of candidates is prepared by this committee and then voted on by the entire membership. We passed a policy on how they will assess the needs on the APA Board of Directors and how people will be selected. I (James Bray) am opposed to this process as it seems to be anti-democratic and allowing a small group of people select our leaders. I plan to introduce a new policy to change this process and allow the slates to be selected by nominations by the membership as we do for the APA President election and also have two members elected by the APA Council of Representatives. The concern is that we are not getting seasoned leaders on the Board of Directors with the new process.
Public Policy statements. The Council approved new resolutions on Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Campus Sexual Assault, and Physical Discipline of Children by Parents. The physical discipline resolution points out that research shows that spanking and other forms of physical punishment are not effective for children and are often harmful to them.