Candidates for APA President
For over 45 years, I have had a gratifying career as practitioner, researcher and educator. I am currently on the faculties of Drexel University’s psychology department and Law School, where I direct the JD/PhD Program in Law and Psychology. I also consult with attorneys and psychologists on ethico-legal issues, have represented colleagues regarding ethical issues, and have served as an expert witness in such cases. I was born and bred in New York and attended NYU, where I earned a BS, MA and PhD (in 1965). After receiving my PhD, I: 1.) Served as an Air Force clinical psychologist (1965–68), including two years in Southeast Asia; 2.) taught psychology at Ohio State and Georgia; 3.) maintained private practices in Pennsylvania and Ohio; and 4.) directed a college counseling center. In 1976, I received my JD from Yale Law School and joined the faculties of Maryland Law School and the Johns Hopkins psychology department, where I developed the nation’s second law and psychology program.
In 1979, I became the first general counsel of APA. In 10 years in that position, I authored 50 briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court and lower federal and state courts, informing these courts of social science evidence relevant to such issues as sex stereotyping, women’s and adolescents’ reproductive rights, hospital privileges for psychologists, admissibility of psychological expertise, jury decision-making, privacy rights of the LGBT community, children’s testimony, and rights of the severely mentally disabled, among others.
I have authored over 100 chapters, articles (eight in AP; others in JCCP, JEP, PP:R&P, PPP&L) and papers on ethics and the interaction of law, psychology and public policy. My book, “Ethical Conflicts in Psychology,” now in its fourth edition, published by APA and a perennial best seller, is used as the basic text in graduate professional psychology courses. (I may be the only candidate who has added to APA’s financial security.) I am an APA fellow and an ABPP diplomate. I know APA from the inside and as a lifetime member. I have been elected to three terms on the Council of Representatives, to the Board of Directors (1994–97), and as the Policy and Planning Committee chair. I served as president of the American Psychology-Law Society (now Div. 41) and as the Div. 1 (Society for General Psychology) program chair. I have worked to promote psychology with organizations outside of APA, including Oxford, American Bar Association, NAS, AAAS, SRCD and the U.S. Department of Education, as a social science consultant/commission member studying gender and racial discrimination in the federal courts, and as consultant to the National Commission on the Protection of Human Subjects.
I have received the APA Presidential Citation for Distinguished Service to APA (2000), Distinguished Contributions to Psychology as a Science and Profession (Pennsylvania Psychological Association), PPA’s Ethics Educator of the Year Award, the Arthur Furst Ethics Award from the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology, the Lifetime Contribution Award from Div. 41, and PPA’s 2010 award for Distinguished Contributions to School Psychology.
For further information, please see my website.
We have a tendency when it comes to the APA presidential election to vote for a candidate who fits comfortably within our own division, caucus or interest group. I would urge voters to buck that trend. I am not a niche candidate.
There are several fundamental and difficult realities APA must face: 1.) The rapidly changing nature of professional practice; 2.) restrictions in funding for research and professional training; 3.) increasing diversity of those we serve and study; 4.) the need to create new venues for employment and nontraditional interprofessional connections; and 5.) budgetary and membership pressures within APA. It will take a president with broad experience to address these realities by developing, in concert with all constituencies, practical solutions to promote the interests of all our members — scientists, professionals and educators. In that regard, I have filled almost all the roles a psychologist can — military clinician during the Vietnam War, independent practitioner, school psychologist, director of a college counseling center and currently, academic — director of an interdisciplinary program in law and psychology. I have a proven record of advocacy for women, racial and ethnic minorities, and the LGBT community. Given that APA is mired in complex litigation, it might not be a bad idea to elect a president who is a lawyer and a psychologist.
Should I be elected, my presidential initiative will be to commit our scientific, educational, public interest and professional resources to better serve the mental health needs of military personnel, veterans and their families and ameliorate the trauma suffered by female military as a result of sexual assaults. Let us move from condoning psychologists’ involvement in coerced interrogations to intervening positively in the lives of those who put their bodies and their minds on the line for us every day.
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