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Issues Currently Facing Psychology and APA


Diana L. Prescott, Ph.D.

Candidate, President-Elect

diana4apa.com


My desire is to form a large diverse organizational umbrella under which all psychologists bring their unique mixture of race, religion, cultural background, physical difference, sexual orientation, gender identity, and political perspective, united by our love of the discipline of psychology and our agreed-upon strategic plan.

Under this umbrella, we will continue to strive to hear and respond to the varied voices of all psychologists, meeting their unique needs and helping them obtain necessary resources to develop to their full potential. If we can get this right, our collective unity, voice, excitement, and energy will provide a model for our nation and our world.


Practice

  • The racism and coronavirus pandemics have revealed the pain and injustice that exists in the United States. Our field is critically important at this moment in history to both help alleviate the pain and correct the injustice that led to it in the first place.

  • Practice needs electronic tools and financial support to address the massive need for care that exists in our country, while simultaneously engaging in prevention efforts upstream.

  • There is room in Practice for our integrated care efforts in medical clinics and schools, as well as more traditional independent and co-located practice.


Science


  • Psychology would not exist without our scientific base on which we rely for the underpinnings of what is meaningful and important in our work as psychologists. We need to assure that our scientists have the financial support they need to conduct their critically important research.

  • Psychologists possess a large social-behavioral knowledge base with a foundation on research in science (scientist-practitioners). Science is foundational in practice, education, and improving the public welfare.

  • I understand the critical importance of grant funding for research to advance scientific knowledge and assist with obtaining tenure and promotion. I would advocate to assure adequate federal and state funding for psychological research.

  • I would emphasize the critical importance of identifying scientists of color and promoting them in their careers to assure there is inclusion and diversity in those who study psychological science.

  • Scientific study of human behavior plays a central role in the most challenging issues in society. Uplifting and supporting the growth of the research pipeline for diverse psychologists, along with elevating the psychological subject matter experts on diversity and health disparity, should be a priority for APA.


Education


  • Having taught and supervised students and trainees, I am hopeful about the future of our field, but protecting that future will take work. We need to ensure that APA leads our field in terms of educational standards, guidance, and opportunities that effectively prepare our next generation for the challenges ahead.

  • It is critical we address the crippling burden of student debt and I believe that APA has a role in addressing the financial viability of our field for the next generation.

  • It is important to identify the diverse individuals who have successfully obtained their education and training in psychology and promote them financially as recruiters and mentors of other diverse individuals.

  • The highly qualified psychologists training our students need to be well-paid to provide this essential training.

  • As our field changes, the training curriculum needs to modernize, incorporating important new developments in the field (e.g., Artificial Intelligence, telehealth, business of practice).


Applied


  • Applied Psychology is one of our most important links with global psychology, connecting us with the multitude of ways in which psychology improves lives and is used by our colleagues around the world.

  • The broad field of Applied Psychology reveals to us and the world the breadth of what a psychologist can do with a degree in psychology. It is important that our students and colleagues truly appreciate the wide range of the applications of psychology and their contributions to APA's mission.

  • Practicing applied psychologists need to be integrated in medical clinics, schools, government, places of employment, and traditional practice settings, as team leaders, utilizing their skills in consultation, program evaluation, assessment, and research to advance health and well-being around the world.


Advocacy


  • I am dedicated to uniting, protecting, and advocating for the needs of psychology and psychologists. We need to come together as an organization to advance our priorities and defend and protect our people. We should help psychologists obtain necessary resources to develop to their full potential.

  • APA is strategically positioned to advocate to remove barriers to equitable health care for all people.

  • I believe integrated care in medical, school, and community settings provides a mechanism for health and mental health equity.

  • APA could increase access and reduce racial/ethnic disparities by identifying neighborhood clinics, schools, and gathering places where psychologists could lead the provision of psychological services.

  • I believe the allocation of the advocacy monies by the Advocacy Coordinating Committee (ACC) should continue to be weighted towards the APASI, and I will continue to strongly encourage this.

  • I have always been a champion for enhancing the role of the doctoral students and early career psychologists in APA governance and on Council. I will continue to do so by specifically assuring that there is representation of newly elected representatives on presidential initiatives and task forces.


Social Justice


  • I emphasize the importance of including all voices under one umbrella, consistent with APA’s vision of a strong, diverse, and unified psychology that enhances knowledge and improves the human condition.

  • Including everyone’s voice prevents perpetuation of discrimination and racism in our organization and allows greater impact on our mission in the world to benefit society and improve lives.

  • I plan to extend upon previous presidential initiatives of deep poverty and health equity in connection to rural communities.

  • I am very concerned about the issue of immigration and the impact of federal and state immigration policies, especially on children.

  • I do my best to understand the norms of our culture and others, as well as the wide range of human attraction and gender identity.

  • I am a fierce advocate with adults in the lives of all gender diverse people who may negatively judge them for who they are.



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