Letters

 

The market for psychologists
AS A TRAINING director of an APA-approved program, I read with interest in the June Monitor that doctoral education must begin to respond to the "market." Could someone direct me to this market? Give me an address? I can't seem to find it.

SCOTT T. MEIER, PHD
University at Buffalo

In praise of Robert Rosenthal
SEEING ROBERT ROSENTHAL'S picture in your May issue brought a huge smile to my face. I was delighted to learn that he is this year's recipient of APA's Award for Distinguished Scientific Application of Psychology. I had the good fortune to take my very first statistics and methodology course from Rosenthal at Harvard in the mid-1970s. "Psych and Soc Rel 1000" was my introduction to the world of research design, hypothesis testing and data analysis--in short, the nuts and bolts of psychological science. Whether the topic was t-tests or ethics, randomization or quasi-experimental design, Rosenthal delivered even the driest material with crystal clarity, beaming enthusiasm and a deep sense of purpose.

If needed, he would go over the material again, one-on-one, with a gentle patience I can still remember more than 25 years later. As a psychology graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I was a T.A. for several semesters each of undergraduate and graduate level statistics classes. I'd like to think I brought even a little of Rosenthal's style and spirit to the task. Congratulations--and thank you!--Professor Rosenthal!

 

LAURIE FROST, PHD
Madison, Wis.

APA's elections
I FIND IT INTERESTING THAT in a democratic country in which election by secret ballot is a privilege, and within a profession that honors confidentiality, APA's Association Rules require members to print and sign ballot envelopes. Although I have been told that ballots are separated from envelopes, the lack of privacy in our voting process is of great concern to me. I urge the APA governance to modify this requirement, and allow us the sacred privilege afforded to all of those living within a democratic society--the right to secret ballot.

MARCIA KAUFMAN, PHD
Allentown, Pa.

President's Column
DR. ZIMBARDO'S LATEST column (APA Monitor, June) helped me identify something that has been nagging at me subconsciously for some time: the lack of understanding and context for the people who become psychologists, not just the work they produce. The Monitor is for us; shouldn't we know more about each other? Thinking of Dr Z. as a frightened little boy all alone in a hospital left me more shaken and affected than any statistics could, although of course results and reportage are important too. I think the recent trend in psychoanalysis toward the creative use of the analyst points the way toward a future where we not only feel more connected to each other, but where it becomes easier to demonstrate to all the relevance of our life's work. I think this begins with how we act with each other.

PETER R. TISCHER, PHD
Port Jefferson, N.Y.

School psychologists
SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGISTS IN Maryland were surprised to read in the January Monitor that "psychology has been absent from America's schools." The fact is that school psychologists have been functioning in public and private schools for more than 40 years.

Our training encompasses a wide variety of areas where expertise is needed to effectively assist schools and students. This includes a broad range of assessment techniques and data-based decision-making skills, consultation, the structure and function of schools, translating sound, research-based mental health practices into the school setting, working effectively with parents, teachers, and administrators, and providing appropriate and effective interventions both directly and indirectly.

School psychologists understand the culture, structure and administration of schools, principles of collaboration, and principles of teaching and learning enhanced by a thorough knowledge of psychological and educational principles and their application to the school setting. We are child advocates who work to provide mental health services to enhance learning and school success. It is well documented that academic success not only strengthens self-esteem but also fosters resiliency to enable our students to function as effective and productive citizens.

Since school psychologists are already a part of the school culture, we are in a unique position to serve as a resource to clinical psychologists in private practice to coordinate their services with school-based mental health services provided by school psychologists and other mental health providers. Clinical and school psychologists can compliment and support each other in many ways. Building on the systems, which are already in place, seems to be a sensible way to develop collaborative initiatives that will enhance services in the school setting. Collaboration between APA, Div. 16 (School) and the National Association of School Psychologists could serve as a model for school-based collaboration.

 

ROBIN M. SATCHELL
President, Maryland School Psychologists'
Association, Inc.

RESPONSE: AS NOTED IN THESE articles, school psychology, the National Association of School Psychologists and departments of education were specifically excluded from this analysis of psychology's presence in the schools. The continued contributions of school psychology are well-known throughout the nation.

CYNTHIA D. BELAR, PHD
Executive Director APA's Education Directorate

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