Candidates for APA President
I obtained a bachelor's degree in psychology from Brooklyn College, a master's degree in experimental psychology from the State University of New York and a doctoral degree in counseling psychology from the University of Mississippi in 1978. After completing a clinical psychology internship at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and a psychology residency at U.S. Dewitt Army Hospital, I served as an Army psychologist for three more years and as a major in the U.S. Army Reserves.
In 1983, I began a practice in consulting and police psychology in Northern Virginia and have been in private practice on either a full-time or part-time basis to the present. My private work has consisted of a general psychology practice with a specialty area of police psychology. In the latter, I provide psychological screening of applicants for law enforcement positions and candidates for special squads such as SWAT and hostage negotiations. I also provide command consultation and counseling for officers when appropriate. In this capacity I have spent hundreds of hours riding in police cars as a means of obtaining firsthand exposure to police work.
From 1989-95, I served as the director of psychology at the Northern Virginia Mental Health Institute in Falls Church, Va. At this state psychiatric facility, I supervised a staff of psychologists as well as provided psychological assessment and direct treatment.
In 2001, at age 49, I graduated from the George Mason University School of Law. I completed a clerkship with the U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Virginia. Since graduating law school I have continued practicing (and writing about) psychology with a decidedly forensic and legal bent. In 2005, I edited a book titled "Selected Readings in Forensic Psychology" (Pearson) and wrote the chapter on "Psychological Assessment Services for Law Enforcement." In 2006, I published "Jews in Blue" (Cambria Press), which tells the story of the contributions of American Jews to police work and law enforcement.
In December 2007, I edited a book, "Malingering, Lies, and Junk Science in the Courtroom" (Cambria Press). Contributors include Diane F. Halpern (an APA past president), Stanton E. Samenow (author of "Inside the Criminal Mind") and Harvey Schlossberg (author of "Psychologist with a Gun") among many others.
At the present time I am completing a textbook on forensic psychology for Prentice Hall, which will be available in 2009. Some of the topics include: aggression and violent crime; nonviolent crimes; mass murderers and serial killers; psychology of terrorism; law enforcement and police psychology; forensic psychology and the law; juries and the courtroom; capacity and incapacity; eyewitness identification and accuracy; the psychology of false confessions; and treatment issues in forensic psychology.
I am an adjunct professor with the University of Maryland University College, where I teach most courses (e.g., adult psychopathology, history and systems of psychology) online. I am also an associate faculty member with the Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars, where I teach forensic psychology. I live in Virginia with my wife, three children, four cats and a dog.
Kitaeff's candidate statement
At a basic level, psychologists must continue researching, practicing and teaching about the interaction of emotional and behavioral factors affecting physical illness. Examples include obesity, diabetes, stress-induced illnesses, anxiety, depression (including postpartum depression) and addictions.
We must ensure that psychologists are recognized as full-fledged health providers from both statutory and health-insurance standpoints. This would include increased training programs in psychopharmacology, with the highest levels of practicum supervision, and the eventual goal of appropriately trained psychologists achieving prescriptive authority in every state. We must also reaffirm our commitment to active-duty military personnel, returning veterans and underserved populations in rural areas.
In graduate training programs, we must adapt to the changing demographics (cultural and language) of this country. We must also take a more serious look at the explosion of psychology graduate training programs that are 100 percent online.
APA should invest as much energy as possible in reducing the proliferation of xenophobic behavior in America and the unfortunate increase in hate-related crimes. The causes of mass violence in schools and in the workplace need to be understood and prevented and coping strategies put into place.
We need to attend to psychology applied to the law and the law applied to psychology. This includes a commitment to police psychology and the men and women in law enforcement. Unconfirmed and uncorroborated phenomena such as repressed memories and unscientifically derived psychological "syndromes" must be seriously examined.
Finally, we need to listen to psychologists who have not traditionally been involved in APA governance. We owe immeasurable gratitude to members of our ranks who have taken leadership positions and spearheaded initiatives benefiting all of us. But we need more psychologists to take an active role and have a voice in our association.