The Society for the
Study of Social Issues


APA Council of Representatives Report

APA to Have C6 Advocacy Organization

by Dan Perlman
Division 9 APA Representative

At its February 2000 meeting in Washington, DC, the APA Council of Representatives voted to approve the establishment of a companion "C6" organization and considered nearly 40 business and information items.  Under its tax status as a "C3" scientific organization, APA has been limited in how much it could spend on advocacy.  Once the C6 organization is established, it will be able to spend an unlimited amount.  The new organization will have the same Board of Directors as APA, and will receive its funding from special assessments already being paid by practitioner members of APA.  Although the companion organization’s advocacy activities will primarily be in the practice domain, other constituencies should benefit as well, in part via the greater attention APA will be able to devote to them in its remaining advocacy endeavors. 

Social Issue and Ethnic Diversity Agenda Items

In the public interest domain, the APA Council approved Guidelines for Psychotherapy with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Clients.  These guidelines are designed to foster the highest levels of practice but are not intended as mandatory standards.  The formulation of these guidelines drew in part on an APA Task Force Report (Issues in Psychotherapy with Lesbian and Gay Men, American Psychologist, 1991, 964-972) authored by SPSSI members Linda Garnet, Susan Cochran, Jacqueline Goodchilds and L. Anne Peplau. Council considered several issues surrounding the ethnic diversity of psychology. Funding was continued for the Five Year Plan on the Commission on Ethnic Minority Recruitment, Retention and Training in Psychology.  A small allocation was made for a meeting to enhance coverage of minority issues in introductory textbooks.  APA circulated information on the percentage of ethnic minority members in each of the Association’s divisions.  Division 9 (SPSSI/APA members) ranked fourth among 52 groups with 8.6% such members.

Technology and Psychology

A half-day of the meeting was devoted to technology and psychology.  This time began with a presentation to members of Council on trends in technology, especially electronic communication, as they relate to psychology.  Council members then met in smaller groups to discuss the implications of these trends for research, education, public interest issues, and practice.  Members of these groups will be interacting electronically in the hope of bringing forward agenda items for future APA Council meetings. I personally participated in the discussion of technology and publishing. Gary VandenBos, APA’s chief of publications, shared information on APA’s publication program.  APA now has all APA journal articles from 1989 to the present available via its online journal service and this is generating enthusiasm. Gary indicated it took PsycInfo about 4-5 years to go from predominantly a print product to predominantly an electronic product.  Although it is not clear that the shift to electronic versions of journals will be as rapid or as complete, accessing journals electronically is increasing.  In 1999, 9,300 APA members subscribed to APA’s major electronic products, the Full-Text Article database and/or PsycInfo.  This was a 46 % increase over the previous year.

APA Organizational Developments

The APA Council granted approval to a new division named the American Society for the Advancement of Pharmacotherapy.  APA’s offer to buy a warehouse appears to have failed when the owner raised the price.  Council discussed a report of the Planning and Policy Board on possible organizational changes to APA.  The Panel developing the report was concerned with the proliferation of governance groups, fiscal matters, and the heavy load on APA’s full-time staff.  The Panel envisioned "deactivating all continuing committees reporting to standing boards" and giving Council the role of allocating an annual budget for each standing board to fund its projects and goals.  In essence, this would allow Boards to reconsider their committee structures, possibly continuing current committees, possibly changing them.  With some resistance to deactivating committees, action on those recommendations was delayed.

SPSSI Loses APA Council Seat

SPSSI is officially represented on APA’s Council by Jacqueline Goodchilds and Dan Perlman.  Besides SPSSI’s official representatives, 14 other APA Council representatives are also SPSSI members.  So, SPSSI views are currently well represented.  Unfortunately, however, in last fall’s apportionment ballot, SPSSI narrowly lost its second seat, effective in 2001.  All SPSSI members are urged to participate in future ballots in the hopes that such active participation will again result in SPSSI having two representatives.

SPSSI members with questions or feedback are invited to contact either SPSSI representative, Jacqueline Goodchilds, Psychology Department, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA or Dan Perlman, School of Social Work and Family Studies, UBC, Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z2,


Research that produces nothing but books will not suffice.
                                                                                                                    - Kurt Lewin