At its August meeting during APA’s Annual Convention, the Council of Representatives added or continued the recognition of seven specialties and proficiencies in professional psychology, among other actions. The seven were industrial-organizational psychology, sport psychology, psychopharmacology, personality assessment, professional geropsychology, clinical neuropsychology, and behavioral and cognitive psychology.

Specialties and proficiencies are recommended by the Commission for the Recognition of Specialties and Proficiencies in Professional Psychology and are designed to help practitioners demonstrate, and the public identify, distinct areas and activities within psychology.

At the opening of its meeting, the council reaffirmed its 2004 policy statement in support of civil marriage for same-sex couples.

“As the world’s largest organization of psychologists, we felt it was important to make a statement here and now to demonstrate APA’s unwavering support of marriage equality,” said APA President Carol D. Goodheart, EdD. “With the issue playing out so prominently in California, we are using the opportunity presented by our annual convention to present the growing body of science that is the foundation for our position, and that has influenced many of the legislators, judges and other public officials who are working to achieve this goal.”

In other action, the council:

  • Received the Report of the 2009 Presidential Task Force on the Future of Psychology as a STEM Discipline. The report articulates the rationale for the inclusion of psychology as a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) discipline and recommends strategies for further communication and policy efforts to foster that recognition. (See the article.)

  • Received the Report of the Task Force on the Psychosocial Effects of War on Children and Families who are Refugees from Armed Conflict Residing in the United States. (See APA task force reports on plight of refugees.)

  • Approved the 2011 preliminary revenue and expense budget, which estimated $103,193,200 in revenues and $103, 311,800 in expenses. That small operating deficit is expected to be corrected for the council’s next review of the 2011 budget in February.

  • Suspended the annual Consumer Price Index dues increase, holding member dues steady through the end of 2013. In 2011, member dues will be $287.

  • Approved a proposal for a modified council representation plan that keeps the number of representatives from state, territorial and provincial psychological organizations and APA divisions at 162 while also ensuring that each group has at least one voting representative. The proposal requires a bylaws change and therefore the approval of the full membership. A ballot will be distributed to all voting members this fall. (See article on bylaws.)

  • Adopted a plan for a central office inventory of the association’s overall greenhouse gas emissions. The inventory will review APA’s buildings and business practices. Findings will be used to compare APA greenhouse gas emissions to those of similar businesses and organizations and set emission goals for the association.

APA Publisher Gary R. VandenBos, PhD, briefed the council on the association’s publishing program and the evolution of science publishing over the last three decades. APA enjoys international recognition for its PsycINFO database and PsycNET platform and the overall quality and impact rating of its journals but must also keep pace with changes in the information industry, VandenBos said. APA’s publishing revenue has increased from $45 million in 2000 to close to $80 million this year, but the rate of the program’s overall revenue growth is slowing as competition from other technology platforms has increased, VandenBos said. Approximately 60 percent of APA’s publishing revenue comes from the sale of licenses to the association’s electronic databases.

“APA enjoys a well-deserved reputation for quality in our scholarly publications and databases, but consumer expectation for the latest technology features is making the publishing business more competitive on a daily basis,” VandenBos told the council. “To keep pace, we have to continually invest in our technology platforms.”

In other action, the council witnessed the presentation of the 2010 Raymond D. Fowler Award for service to the association to longtime governance member and former member of the Board of Directors Mathilda Canter, PhD. In receiving the award, Canter, a practitioner and 44-year member of the association said, “I’m still in practice, still on the cutting edge, I hope, and APA still helps me do that.”

In addition, Dorothy W. Cantor, PsyD, was awarded a presidential citation by APA President Goodheart. Cantor was recognized for her years of service to APA and current leadership of the American Psychological Foundation (APF). Also honored was Lee Gurel, PhD, for his generous gifts to the APF.

Read the full report.