Update: APA Ethics Code Comment Period & APAPO Membership
Monday, March 14, 2016
Posted by: Nancy McGarrah, PhD
As your APA representative, there are two important issues I want psychologists in Georgia to understand. The first concerns a proposed change to the APA Ethics Code. There are two possible changes being considered, and there is a link on the APA website on which you can make your preference known and write any comments you want. This open comment period closes on April 5th. PLEASE read the explanation and concerns about both versions. This is extremely important to the future of psychologists, as Georgia has adopted the APA Ethics Code as its official code. The link to the comments page can be found here: http://apacustomout.apa.org/commentCentral/default.aspx?site=43
If anyone wishes to speak with me about these proposed versions and the implications of each, feel free to contact me by phone or email; my contact information is listed below.
Second, there is much talk about the differences between APA and APAPO. As Kathleen Ashton, a representative of the State Leadership Conference, has written, "One of the themes was coping with membership declines in both APAPO and in SPTAs. Ideas included a different dues structure for APAPO (i.e., not needing APA membership first before joining APAPO, educating people more about the differences between APAPO and APA, and collaborating with SPTAs to show how the APAPO and state organizations work together. So how are the APA and APAPO different? The APA is a c-3 organization, meaning it is primarily for the public good, covering things such as education, science -- psychology. APA is well-funded through real estate and publishing, primarily, with membership dues comprising a small part of budget. APAPO is a c-6 organization with the power to advocate on behalf of psychologists. The APAPO is funded almost entirely by membership dues and membership decline has significantly hurt its budget. In your states, you may have benefited from APAPO help with organizational and legislative grants. APAPO is really about supporting the practice of psychology."
This idea of being able to join APAPO without joining APA was discussed at the February Council meeting. It is clear that APA is mainly concerned with the public good, including social justice and human rights. APAPO, on the other hand, exists to advocate for psychologists. Most of the state representatives of the APA Council do not think our membership of our state associations grasp this differentiation. Currently, the APAPO is unable to become a separate organization because of financial issues. APAPO needs support from APA for staff, space, etc. Because people aren't paying APAPO membership dues, the organization that advocates for US is in real trouble. Please consider paying your dues to APAPO. As of now, APAPO has suspended any grants for legislative help to states due to lack of funds. GPA has been the beneficiary of these grants and we will definitely suffer from the absence of these.
Again, please feel free to contact me with any questions or suggestions.
I will be providing a detailed report from the Council at the Annual Conference and in the GPA newsletter.
Nancy McGarrah, PhD
Cliff Valley Psychologists
2004 Cliff Valley Way
Atlanta, Ga 30329