Candidates for APA President
Q3: What key initiatives do you think will enhance the practice of psychology as a profession in the 21st century?
As a practitioner, I believe we must enhance public understanding and appreciation of psychological practice. The national economic strain, the impact of heavily burdened troops, an aging population, high levels of incarceration, pressures in childhood all spur a need for increased psychological expertise in treatment and prevention. We need collaborative research among practitioners, scientists, educators and mental health advocates to improve effective, culturally sensitive interventions, to reintroduce the public to psychologist-practitioners' unique contributions. Alongside these collaborative efforts we must advocate for universal health care with mental health parity, including reasonable compensation for psychologists to ensure access to services.
Q4: Some of our members believe that the association should avoid political and moral stands on pressing social issues. What relationship(s) do you see as desirable among psychology, the association and social justice issues?
The relevant question is not whether APA's positions are "political," but whether they are relevant to psychological welfare and accord with core APA values, including scientific integrity, human welfare and human rights. APA's rejection of "homosexuality" as a disorder, its support for diversity and advocacy for mental health parity reflect these values. I believe that APA's alliance with military and intelligence interrogation strategies that violate human rights and international law contradicts these core values. I will work to change this policy and restore the primacy of transparency and the use of psychology to promote good and "do no harm."