This has been an exciting and historic year for Council, with many resolutions and action items regarding social issues. APA business and finances were certainly not ignored. More work was produced by Presidential Task Forces in a shorter period of time than, I think, has ever occurred – and, at less expense with much of the work being done via conference call and computer. President Ron Levant is an outstanding leader who has accomplished much for the association, the profession, and the public in his short tenure.
The highlights of the Council year, with particular emphasis on those matters of particular interest to this Division follows:
- Council participated in training sessions to assist us in recognizing our own unconscious racism and to assist us in the development of ideas to increase diversity across APA.
- To assist small divisions such as ours, the February meeting will be full funded (i.e., all hotel and travel) and the August meeting support will increase from one to two nights hotel. This will begin in 2006.
- Financially APA is doing well; we are out of the red. Real estate has appreciated significantly and electronic subscriptions are doing well. There are some concerns regarding the aging of the membership and the increased number of people on reduced dues, but dues are not the major source of income. Nevertheless, membership increase is a major focus of effort. One Hundred Thousand dollars was appropriated to assist with membership retention and recruitment.
- A policy statement was adopted stating that those with mental disability should not be sentenced to death.
- Fifteen Thousand dollars was allocated to support work of the Task Force on Gender Identity, Gender Variance, & Intersex Conditions. The task force is to review APA policies, be of assistance to students, and make recommendations regarding education and training.
- A new category of constituents of the APA Practice Organization was approved. These individuals will be those who voluntarily contribute to the Educational Advocacy Trust and will be known as Education constituents.
- The report of the Board of Directors Work Group on the Recommendations of the Commission on Education & Training Leading to Licensure in Psychology was received. The report makes recommendations that both of the two years supervised experience required for licensing in most states be permitted to be completed prior or subsequent to completion of the doctoral degree.
- The report of the Presidential (Levant) Task Force on Evidence-Based Practice was adopted. This is a brilliant document that was completed in record time. All relevant sources of evidence are included. This document is vital reading for anyone in practice, involved in training, or conducting outcome research.
- A resolution on Violence in Video Games and Interactive Media was adopted.
- A report of the Ad Hoc Committee on End-of-Life Issues was received.
- A report of the Task Force on Psychological Effects of Efforts to Prevent Terrorism was reviewed and referred to the Board of Scientific Affairs for further action.
- Following the work of the APA Presidential Virtual Working Group on Anti-Semitic, Anti-Jewish and other Religious, Religion-Related and/or Religion-Derived Prejudice, resolutions were adopted regarding religious discrimination.
- A resolution was adopted recommending the immediate retirement of American Indian mascots, symbols, images, and personalities by schools, colleges, universities, and athletic teams and organizations.
I am honored to have had the opportunity to represent SPSMM on Council, and am honored to have had the opportunity to serve under the leadership of our first SPSMM president, Ron Levant.