August 14, 2010

Psychology Practice Can Go Further, Serve More People

In her APA presidential address, Carol D. Goodheart, EdD, unveiled a master plan that seeks to enable practicing psychologists to “intervene at a higher level than we can now.”

Only half of all people who need psychological care receive it, Goodheart said. Psychologists can change that, she said, by embracing a new vision that integrates the following elements:

  1. Use of evidenced-based practice.

  2. Reliance on treatment guidelines, which APA is now developing.

  3. Technological advances to communicate and improve care.

  4. An examination of patient function, rather than only disease, by using the International Classification of Functions.

  5. Use of the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Disease, which has better clinical utility than the DSM.

  6. Better outcomes measures.

APA is the only organization in a position to advance this kind of blueprint, said Goodheart. “If we give our practitioners a sound structure, a 21st century home that provides us with everything we need to do our best work, psychology will flourish and improve the lives of the people we serve.”

An expanded report on Goodheart’s blueprint will appear in the October APA Monitor.