APA’s council takes action on two key issues

The council earmarked $3 million to increase the number of accredited internship slots and adopted a resolution on psychotherapy effectiveness.

Recognizing the growing imbalance between the number of psychology graduate students who need a clinical internship to complete their degree requirements and the availability of those internships, APA's Council of Representatives voted to fund a $3 million internship stimulus program to increase the number of accredited internship positions. The funding is expected to help as many as 150 programs move from non-APA accredited to accredited status and create 520 new accredited internship positions over the next three years. Funding will be available starting this fall through an application process.

In other action, the council adopted a resolution designed to increase the public and allied health professionals’ awareness of psychotherapy’s effectiveness in reducing people’s need for other health services and in improving long-term health. “Every day, consumers are bombarded with ads that tout drugs as the answer to their problems,” said APA Past-President Melba J.T. Vasquez, PhD, organizer of the resolution. “Our goal is to help consumers weigh those messages with research-based information about how psychotherapy can provide them with safe, effective and long-lasting improvements in their mental and physical health.”

Council votes to make bold changes to governance structure

With input from members and governance groups, APA's Good Governance Project (GGP) team developed several scenarios to create a nimbler, simpler and more flexible governance system (PDF, 1.1MB) that would allow for more direct member input and be more strategically focused. The council voted 135 to 22 in support of moderate to bold change to the current governance structure. One option under consideration is a “clean-slate” approach that would recreate APA’s overall governance structure as a single governing body whose members are selected based on specific competencies. This body would be responsible for gathering broad input on a variety of issues through ad hoc advisory groups, expert summits, member surveys and more.

In further action, the council: 

  • Received the report of the Presidential Task Force on Educational Disparities

  • Approved the creation of APA’s first open methods, open-data, open-access journal — Archives of Scientific Psychology

  • Approved a 109-member 2012 class of APA fellows

  • Approved funding for representatives of the Asian American Psychological Association, the Association of Black Psychologists, the National Latina/o Psychological Association and the Society of Indian Psychologists to continue to attend APA council meetings as delegates/observers. The bylaws change will be put to a vote of the membership this fall.

  • Approved funding for an APA task force that will study the trafficking of women and girls. 

  • Approved the 2013 budget revenue forecast of $108 million.

In addition, it was reported to council that the 2012 Raymond D. Fowler Award was awarded to William C. Howell, PhD, a longtime member, governance leader, psychology researcher and educator, and APA executive director for science, who died in April.