In Brief

At their February meetings, APA's Board of Directors and Council of Representatives passed a number of action items designed to help the association and psychology address critical issues within the discipline and the larger society.

Actions by the Board of Directors included:

  • The creation of a presidential task force to explore the ethical aspects of psychologists' involvement in national security-related investigations.

  • The development of a strategic plan for an in-depth psychology work force analysis.

  • The allocation of $150,000 in APA support for relief efforts for victims of the Southeast Asia tsunami. This action follows APA's earlier $100,000 contribution to the American Red Cross tsunami relief fund. This second allocation will focus on APA support for assisting in the creation and strengthening of mental health and disaster-relief infrastructures in the affected countries.

  • Finding that the petition for a new Division of Trauma Psychology conforms to the technical requirements of the APA Bylaws and Association Rules and approving the distribution of the petition to existing divisions and the Council of Representatives for comment.

Actions by the Council of Representatives included:

  • Receiving a report of the Task Force on Mental Disability and the Death Penalty and adopting as APA policy the task force's recommendations that urge jurisdictions that impose capital punishment not to execute certain persons who meet specific criteria for impairment stemming from serious mental illness or disability and associated functional legal deficits.

  • Pledging an annual $60,000 contribution to the Archives of the History of American Psychology.

  • Adopting a resolution calling for APA and its affiliated groups to inform and support the federal government's pursuit of its responsibility to provide psychological services to support members of the military and military reservists and their families who experience adverse effects of the war in Iraq.

  • Adopting a resolution in favor of comprehensive and empirically supported sex-education and HIV-prevention programs for adolescents. (For more information, see www.apa.org/releases/sexeducation.html.) The resolution, a work product of the APA Ad Hoc Committee on Psychology and AIDS, also calls attention to the limited evidence and potential for unintended consequences of abstinence-only and abstinence-until-marriage programs.

  • Receiving the report of the Task Force on Urban Psychology.

  • Including $100,000 in the 2005 final budget to support the 2005 Recruitment and Retention Fund Activities.

  • Changing the reimbursement policy for council members to provide that council members receive full reimbursement for their attendance at the February meeting of the Council of Representatives and the cost of two nights' hotel stay at the APA Annual Convention meeting of council. Council also noted its support for the philosophy that representatives' attendance at council meetings should be the shared responsibility of APA and the sponsoring divisions, state, province or territory represented. Therefore, it is expected that divisions, states, provinces and territories will cover the cost of their representatives' attendance at the convention meeting of council beyond the two nights' stay that is covered by APA.

  • Approving as APA policy the revised Standards and Criteria of the Sponsor Approval System to be effective April 1.

  • Renewing clinical geropsychology as a proficiency in professional psychology until February 2012, as outlined in the Procedures for the Recognition of Specialties and Proficiencies in Professional Psychology.

  • Approving as APA policy the document Guidelines for Education and Training at the Doctoral and Postdoctoral Level in Consulting/Organizational Consulting Psychology.

  • Approving as APA policy Determination and Documentation of the Need for Practice Guidelines. This document will provide additional information about the developers of guidelines concerning demonstrating and documenting the need for such guidelines within a particular practice area.

  • Declining to establish a new APA division--the proposed Society for Human-Animal Studies.

--R. FARBERMAN

 

Further Reading

The draft February board and council minutes are available on the APA Governance Web site.