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?
Of course there's a gap; it exists in every profession. For example, medicine estimates it takes approximately 20 years to move new techniques into office practice. But the problem is more severe in psychology because there is so little interaction between clinicians and academics. Every training faculty should include full-time practitioner associates, and board-certified clinicians should be retested periodically. Also, there needs to be greater cooperation between academics and clinicians in formulating research projects. Our work with Practice-Research Networks is part of the answer. See "The Pennsylvania Practice Research Network,"Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice (Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 155-167).
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?
The guidelines are 102 pages long and we are to answer this question in 100 words? Decades of work went into those guidelines! I'll simply respond that psychologists need to actually see themselves as agents of change. APA should help facilitate the placement of psychologists in positions of power at all levels of government. From those positions, psychologist-senators, state legislators and county commissioners will be in a position to apply psychology's research findings and principles in a meaningful way. Psychologists must move out of the therapy room and embrace their role as change agents everywhere in our increasingly multicultural society.