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Behavioral Emergencies Update

Fall/Winter 2004-5

Section on Clinical Emergencies and Crises
American Psychological Assn.
Section 7 Contact Info

In this issue...

The President's Column

Ethical Issues in Research on Behavioral Emergencies and Crises

Subtle Differences between Self-Injury and Suicide in Adolescents

Section VII in Hawaii

Conference Photos

What is Suicidal Behavior? Definitional Problems in Research and Practice

Congratulations to Our Newly Elected Members

A Message from the Treasurer

Notes from the Editor



Section VII in Hawaii

An Update on the Section’s involvement at APA, August, 2004
Thanks to Phil Kleespies for his contribution to this article

In the dark days of December, recollections of the activities of Section VII at the APA convention in Hawaii bring back bright and warm memories. A high point of the Section VII program was the Presidential Address by Dr. Lanny Berman. Lanny’s address was entitled “The Psychological Autopsy in Clinical and Forensic Practice”. He focused on taking a fresh look at the psychological autopsy, a method for attempting to determine if suicide was the cause of death, in light of the recent emergence of the so-called Daubert standard in court proceedings. The Daubert standard requires that evidence presented in court on issues such as cause of death have a firm scientific basis. Given the retrospective nature of the psychological autopsy, this new standard presents challenges in terms of establishing the reliability and validity of the method.

            Section VII also sponsored a two hour symposium entitled “Responding to Violence in Hospitals and Communities: Two Innovative Programs”. This symposium featured Dr. Connie Best from the Crime Victims Center in Charleston, SC, who presented on a hospital-based program for seriously injured crime victims, and Dr. Dean Kilpatrick (President-Elect of Section VII) who presented a paper by Dr. Heidi Resnick (who was unable to be at the convention) entitled “Addressing the Psychological Impact of Mass Violence Via Internet Based Interventions”. Dr. Resnick’s paper was based on research that she and her colleagues at the Crime Victims Center had done examining the mental health impact of the September 11, 2001,  terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.

            Drs. Phil Kleespies and Bruce Bongar presented the Section VII Career Achievement Award to Dr. Larry Beutler at the Division 12 Awards ceremony on July 30,2004. Dr. Beutler was honored for his many contributions to the science and practice of clinical psychology, and for his support of issues relevant to Section VII. Elizabeth Dexter-Mazza, a graduate student at Pacific University and a pre-doctoral psychology intern at Montefiore Medical Center in New York, received the Section VII Graduate Student Research Award (in absentia) for her excellent dissertation entitled “The Effectiveness of a Standard Suicidology Curriculum Developed by the American Association of Suicidology: A Preliminary Study”

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