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Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by mperkel, Aug 5, 2011.
Another example of APA excessively overstepping its boundaries for the purpose of political pandering. Regardless of your opinion on gay marriage this move is very inappropriate.
My thoughts exactly, stigmata.
Even as a staunch supporter of gay marriage, I have some reservations about this too. Obviously I'm in favor of gaining political backing for the movement. However, from both a legal and a professional perspective I'm not certain its APAs role to say "We should legalize x, y, z". While perhaps a nuanced difference to some, if they simply say "Overwhelming research evidence supports position x, y, z" I would have no problem with it whatsoever - that is acting as a scientific advisor, rather than a political organization
Upon reading the article, it sounds like the latter may have actually been what was done and the media was the one who took it to "APA backs gay marriage" in which case I have no problem with APA's actions. If APA actually took a political stance, I'm not certain how I feel about it.
Um....I wasnt aware that was their job, mperkel? What your understanding of APAs function and mission within this profession?
Regardless of your view on the subject...what the hell business is it of theirs to say/promote that?
I am sure most of us would agree that we'd rather see them spend to time on lobbying, reimbursement issues, and internship and post-doc reforms. They are a professional organization for goodness sake! It their job to represent our profession...not our personal political views!
I would think some members would be pretty hot to see their membership dollars being used to endorse a cause who viewpoints are purely personal, often based on religious teachings/beliefs, and have nothing almost nothing to do with psychological practice. Remember the controversy over the practice fee?
"The resolution 'clarifies the Association's support for same-sex marriage" in light of new research'" -from the cnn aritcle
hmm interesting new research huh?
I am unsure about this resolution. One can also argue that part of our role as professional psychologists is to advocate against injustice and inequality in the wider community.
The world is full of injustice, inequality, prejudice, unjust wars, poorly made policies, dictators, etc. If their role is to speak up against all these thing, then that's all they would be doing, all day long. There wouldnt be time for anything else.
I didn't see them make any announcements about the violence against civilians in Syria or Egypt. I didnt see them make any statements condemning Sadam Hussein for gassing the Kurds, or the US invading Iraq. You know why? Cause they're aren't Amnesty International. That's not their job/role. I pay them dues and they are supposed to represent my professional interests and those who are training in this profession.
Not to mention it alienates individuals who may be against gay marriage. They shouldn't have their finances going to support a cause that they don't agree with and which is irrelevant to the organization's purpose (note: I am not against gay marriage, I'm just saying).
Have any of you read Eleven Blunders that Crippled Psychotherapy in America? The author posits that APA loses credibility as a scientific organization every time it pushes a political view that is not really related to our professional interests as a field.
That is more in the role of Social Work (or so I have been told), though I'm sure a provider can choose to do this in addition to their other responsibilities.
I am a supporter of gay marriage, however I believe this is a misuse of membership dues. There are far more relevant (to our profession) issues that should be addressed. Dwindling reimbursements, training problems, encroachment from other professions, etc. There are plenty of other organizations to fight for gay marriage, how many other organizations are there to fight for our profession?
How much of our precious money was spent taking a vote at the APA meeting and issuing a press release? I'm sure we're so incensed that someone here will go find out how many thousands have been wasted on this misguided campaign to legalize same-sex marriage. Recently someone told me the whole APA website has been reduced to a huge banner ad shouting "LEGALIZE GAY NOW". How distasteful.
I mean what the f&^% kind of organization with a mission statement like
would think that the last part meant they should also attempt to improve GAY people's lives??? I cancel my membership!!1
This all could be a clever way to increase gay couples therapy referrals.
Couldn't have said it better.
FWIW, I'm at APA now and only heard about this on Facebook.
I honestly don't think what the APA supports or doesn't-- outside of things directly related to the practice of psychology (e.g., licensure, maaaaybe insurance and best practice issues)--matter at all to legislators. While it's very nice that APA publicly supports gay rights/human rights, gay marriage is really a legislative issue at this point, and I don't think the press release will really change how things go in that regard. Given that psychology and psychiatry get a lot of flak for homosexuality being a disorder prior to, IIRC, DSM-IV, I think both professions are, as a whole, very aware of how they are publicly seen with regards to LGBT issues. The declaration probably didn't eat up much time or money and is probably, in general, decent PR.
That said, I think APA has let the advocacy for professional psychology fall a bit by the wayside in it's professional mission, which was not a good idea at all. I think APA sometimes tries to be a jack of all trades (human rights, science, politics, professional issues, accreditation, public info) and while they are definitely interconnected, I sometimes think some unique areas (professional advocacy, mainly) are neglected. Which is a real shame because APA and APS are really the only org's in position to advocate for the profession of psychology, while the other aims have numerous advocacy organizations dedicated exclusively to them.
While I can't speak as a part of the LGBT community, as someone with disability, I'd much rather see APA actively supporting psychologists and psychology students with disabilities specifically, then, say, releasing a nice press release saying they are behind the ADA. The latter is nice, of course, but the former actually does something and would relate to directly the professional of psychology and my concerns as a member of the APA, specifically.
Well that's just fantastic. I have an professional organization that is on a mission to advocate for gay marriage, while at the same time they essentially tell me to "suck up" the internship crisis, scope creep, and deflating reimbursements because there's not much they can do about it right now.
I guess I'm confused. Dont we all pay membership dues for the latter rather than the former.
By the way, all this nonsense is going on while one of the largest Medicare MACs in the country (Trailblazer) has determined that 96118 cannot be billed when neuropsychological tests are administered by a technician (CPT 96119). This is like having MDs not be able to bill for interpretation and report following neuroimaging done by an office technician! Its insane! But dont make the misatake of thinking that this applies to M.D. procedures. If it did, the AMA would have been all over it. Nope, it happened to us. And I haven't heard a word about it from APA. Surprise surprise. Guess they are busy with more important things over there, huh?
Amen. I agree that APA does not seem to be using their resources wisely right now.
I agree with all of you that the APA needs to prioritize advocating for our professional interests.
The internship crisis, post-doc issues, and reimbursement problems in our field should be treated as emergency issues that need to be addressed first and quickly. These are serious crises that affect everyone in our field and should be treated as such.
Well I can understand the concern about whether this type of advocacy is apropriate for the APA to do, but in terms of priorities and use of membership dues, I think people may be overreacting a bit to the fact that they took a vote and let the press know what the results of that vote were. It's not like they anounced a multi-million dollar campaign supporting gay marriage. When an organization has something as a priority, it doesn't mean that they should never, ever do something that's not realted to that priority no matter how minor.
But again, I can understand the question of whether it's something that's apropriate for them to even do in the first place. Though it does at least sound like there statement was as a result of recent research studies.
I'm still dumbfounded that the APA hasn't even commented on this....as it only effects thousands of psychologists and the general public. Yet another nail in the coffin for APA. The AACN and related organizations actually try and advocate for their members, on issues that directly impact our profession.
I dont think they should speaking for their members on such a personal issue.
Well you can find the answer to at least the who voted part if you actually read the article
"The scientific and professional organization's guiding body voted unanimously at its annual meeting this week in Washington to declare its support for "full marriage equality for same-sex couples." "
I returned to this forum after reading this article, thinking that there would be positive feedback about this.
For those who are against "such political pandering" (on behalf of the apa), let me ask you a simple question.
Why do we do research in psychology? And then, what's the point of having / doing research if it can't be applied at any level.
It's only personal if you're against it. Why are you making it about you?
Me too, I don't think the government should be speaking for me in terms of "such a personal issue." But they do.
Because I'm a member of APA.
Well, whoopity doo for you.
Don't get all pissy about it, pal...you asked. I answered.
so let me get this straight, psychologists conduct research on gay marriage its affect on the individual and society, and then based on this research the apa announces support for gay marriage. How is this inconsistent with their mission statement exactly?
"The mission of the APA is to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve peoples lives."
or part of their vision statement:
"The leading advocate for psychological knowledge and practice informing policy makers and the public to improve public policy and daily living"
"An effective champion of the application of psychology to promote human rights, health, well being and dignity"
or part of their core values:
"Social justice, diversity, and inclusion"
or part of their organizational purpose:
"Increasing and disseminating psychological knowledge through meetings, professional contacts, reports, papers, discussions, and publications"
I'm fine with that. I'd love to have a tech do all my dirtywork, but lets face it, it is better to have the expert give the NP test.
Only on SDN would the APA advocating for the health and well being of a minority group provoke a reaction like "BUT MY INTERNSHIP CRISIS!!!" as if this gay marriage press release is sucking all the air out of the room and causing the crisis to deepen for all.
Again, the mission of APA:
What further discussion do you need? If you hate gay marriage and you're an APA member, send off your strongly worded letter or quit over it. I'm sure many will applaud planting your flag on this hill.
There is a long standing debate among those with PPs who choose to use techs and those who do not. However, if you work in a VA clinic or in many hospitals, the choice isn't really yours. Doing all your owen testing is not feasible in some settings. The fact is they increase productivity (by increasing the amount of patients one can see), and so long as behavioral obs are effectively communicated to the psychologist, there is little evidence that use of techs has any considerable negative consequences on the evaluation.
Whatever your feeling towards use of psychometricians, you should NOT be fine with this. You should NOT be fine with the continual cuts in your professions services and you NOT be ok with APA ignoring it (and other emergent issues).
As long as the neuropsychologist is compensated appropriately for his/her time, I think some people would be okay with it. The problem is that the reimbursement rates have been slashed across the board, and having a neuropsychologist do the vast majority of the testing is not realistic in many settings.
I think it's very inappropriate for you to think that the APA shouldn't be trying to influence politics. Indeed, what's the point of even having an "organization" if it doesn't have any influence to make changes in the greater society?
Psychology, and more emphatically research in psychology, does not live in isolation.
If physicians can influence health care policy, why can't we ?
Please tell me why do we do research in psychology?
You have some really weird logic.
Both things can be mutually exclusive. Just because they are doing one thing doesn't mean they can't do another. The APA, like the government, has many branches for a reason.
To build up our CVs for tenure.
Cara, Ollie, Therapist4chnge, and myself have already articulated our views for why we think this is overstepping their bounds somewhat, and why we are not quite comfortable with it. I'm not gonna rehash it. I welcome others views.
That's true. Have they held any votes on why they continue to accredited diploma mills with match rates of 20%? No. Why they don't legislate at the national level to protect psych testing? No. Why they didn't help the fight about the use of the term "psychologist" in Texas this past spring? No. Why they haven't yet made any concrete steps towards addressing the internship crisis? No.
The thing they chose to sensationalize and take a consensus vote on this year was gay marriage? I mean, really? Is that the most pressing issue for this profession right now? Come on. It's kinda the same reaction I had when that issue of grad psych came out last year and the APA "Presidential Address" focused on email etiquette. Really? That's the issue that needs attention right now?
Well thats my whole point. Gay marriage is not (mental) health care policy at all. Its a legal issue.
Did I say the APA were perfect, and that there are no other problems in psychology that need to be addressed? No.
Just because you're bitter about their lack of effort into areas that need to be addressed it shouldn't take away from something that is "potentially" beneficial to other people. Again, you are making it about yourself.
Let's not exaggerate. Is there going to actually be a manifestation of their advocacy in legislation? Probably not. But at least it's huge progress for a profession that once had homosexuality as a disorder.
If someone does not support (i.e. is against it; not just indifferent) gay marriage, then, they probably shouldn't be in the APA, or even deserve to be a psychologist.
How exactly is research that "potentially" helps liberate discrimination of a minority group irrelevant to a "research" based organization?
Now that is WAY out of line. Now APA dictates my personal political/moral views? I dont think so!
I support gay marriage as well, by the way. But every person has a right to hold their own religious, political, and moral views about such topics.
Can APA tell me not to vote republican or tea party too? Get real!
I'm not sure how much of this was directed at me since I think my stance is somewhere in the middle of the two groups, but for the sake of clarification.
I'm fine with APA influencing politics. Indeed, I would hope that they do. My issue is how they go about it. If its serving as the "experts" on the research on a particular topic, great. Upon reading the article again, I actually think that's what was done here but I don't trust news organizations. What made me cautious initially was I DON'T think its APA's place to take a position on things that do not have a substantive research backing, unless they are guild issues. In other words, if the day gay marriage was first discussed in the US, APA had stepped in and said "Discrimination against homosexuals is wrong, we need to legalize it" - while I'd agree with them I would feel it is very much not their place. Saying "We support this because we have research showing there is ample reason to believe these policies have a negative imapct on the mental health of many" is great. The second read made me think its a little closer to the latter, so I'm not strongly opposed or anything though I do think some caution is needed when doing things like this. This is a fairly complex matter (how much evidence is enough? Are interpretations of the literature going to be biased because of political beliefs?) in itself, which is why their involvement isn't a black and white issue for me.
For the record, I do think its a little ridiculous to say they shouldn't do this until the internship crisis is resolved. Yes, I do actually agree this should be low priority for them relative to professional issues but I don't think its reasonable to expect the entire organization to focus exclusively on that one single issue until its resolved. Even as a student who has not yet gone through the match process and is terrified of it, that is not the only thing the APA needs to be doing. Remember that clinical/counseling students are not the only ones APA represents, and I'd wager social psychologists were the folks doing much of that research and driving this decision.
Seems to jibe with the ethics code.
Again, you have very faulty logic. You understood from what I said as APA dictates how you should think.
But, excuse you, it's not appropriate to have such prejudices (because necessarily that will generalize to gays themselves) if you're going to be in a profession like psychology.
Everyone has a right to their opinion, but that doesn't mean everyone's opinion is right (i.e. appropriate).
Well, APA's mission statement is vague enough, allowing APA to get involved in a large number of political matters; also it can be influenced by a number of special interest groups. So that sort of vagueness, which in a way is necessary because the statement is more of an ideal as opposed to a variable in a research project, comes at a cost too.
Let me say something first: Given that this forum is frequented by intelligent and educated people who may have anti-gay views--consciously or not--it is rare that anybody actually comes out against this in a blatant way; instead they may intellectualize this thing to death! And I'm sure you're aware of that possibility. So whether we're talking about improving the lives of Muslims, Mexicans, Jews, those with intellectual disabilities, gays, or whatever group of people that are either claiming that their rights are being violated/ignored (and are being actually heard by the majority or people in power) and/or is being seriously discriminated against, we will face this possibility of distorted logic applied to the outgroup vs ingroup.
Having said that, there are two issues in my view:
1. Is this strictly APA's business? Legalization of same-sex marriage is in a gray area. In my view, this is politics and legal rights and something that various organizations representing interests of the gay community should deal with. This is different from, say, public education about stigma associated with AIDS, homosexuality, etc. Though APA can certainly get involved, do they have to?
2. Ultimately, this is about idealism shaped by reality. Assuming that research strongly supports that legalizing marriage can really improve people's lives (based on my personal experience, no marriage in any shape or form does such thing...kidding), and assuming APA has unlimited money/time/resources, they simply must do everything they can, and put their whole weight behind legalizing gay marriage. HOWEVER, in reality there are many issues that APA needs to deal with. First and foremost, it is to represent the matters that are most important to the members and psychologists at large. This is a tough time for this profession and less room for certain ideals, as APA needs to fight certain turf wars on behalf of members and others in the profession. This actually reminds me a little bit of people complaining being asked to make donations for Haiti earthquake in 2010, saying we are suffering ourselves at home. So essentially it's about prioritization and balance, so people's basic needs are met and the rest, well, dealt with on individual basis. And, at the end of the day, it's about what the members want.
I will leave all that nonsense to someone else.
But suffice to say you are not going to be able to erase people's personal views of the world from any profession. So long as a psychologist treats all his/her patients with respect and according to the ethics code, I could care less that they think the earth is flat or that homosexuality is an abomination And as far as I am aware, the ethics code does not dictate whether I agree with a patient's lifestyle or choices...it dictates how I behave toward them and how I conduct myself professionally.
That's nonsense! Earth is flat?! Bull! It's triangular, like the sun!
I am at APA right now were I am presenting a paper and I have to come to SDN to find this out. I am a huge supporter of gay rights and liberal politics in general. However, when APA makes a political statement, I'd prefer it to be a science based opinion. APA would elevate the debate by discussing this is terms of empirical evidence rather regarding the positive effects that same sex marriage has rather than making an ideological statement. My impression of APA (this is my first time at a convention) is that it is a huge unwieldy, rather confused, disorganized and shambolic organization that does not advocate for the profession effectively. This atmosphere at this convention has not served to change my opinion. In my opinion APA has drifted away fro its role as a scientific society first and foremost. The CNN story alludes to the empirical evidence but it should be stated more clearly. APA needs to look at what the NASW does.
Well the CNN story is a mainstream media story geared towards the general public. It's not the APA's fault that the empirical evidence is not presented clearly. CNN probably feels that the general public has no interest in more detailed empirical evidence. Most likely they are correct.
Oh please, you sound like the typical psychiatrist (who only sees what they want to see, not what's actually there).
Your whole rant can be summarized in a small anecdote. It's as if you dropped your ice cream and you don't want any other friends to enjoy theirs until you got yours back. Grow up.
One would like to hope that people in the psychology business practice what they preach. Guess I was wrong about that!