Candidates for APA President
To what extent do you believe that there is a gap between clinical research and real-world practice? If there is such a gap, what do you believe accounts for it, and what do you think should be done to address it?
Research and practice are different enterprises, with different goals and methodologies. There will always be a gap between them, just as there will always be the potential for synergy that benefits both. APA and state associations already provide publications and educational programs that facilitate mutual understanding. But we must do more. APA should significantly increase opportunities for dialogue, including conferences, task forces, and Web-based conversations. APA should also vigorously support the efforts at NIMH "to promote interaction between practitioners, researchers, policy-makers, and consumers regarding evidence in mental health services research" (June 2003). Used constructively, different perspectives are APA's greatest strength.
Given the recent adoption of the Multicultural Guidelines by APA and the role of psychologists as change agents, how do you envision using the guidelines to promote psychology's interests in public policy at the local, state and national level?
In order for members of APA to use the Multicultural Guidelines to affect public policy issues, APA needs to educate us. Based on the guidelines, modules should be developed that describe specific policy issues and specific steps we can take to exert our influence. These modules should be posted on APA's Web site; made available to APA publications, including division and association newsletters; and reinforced by training sessions at the annual convention. This program will help all of us to become more informed about the public policy process and more skilled in using the guidelines to affect specific policy decisions.