Tag Archives | APA

First They Ignore You: The APA and Torture

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. — Mahatma Gandhi

Ten years ago this month, the American Psychological Association (APA) announced to its members that it supported psychologists assisting detainee interrogations in Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and CIA black sites. APA officials asserted — against all evidence — that “operational” psychologists helped keep the interrogations “safe, ethical and effective.” Rank and file psychologists criticized the policy as providing legal cover for the Bush administration and began to organize petitions and withhold their APA dues in protest. Hundreds have spent years researching and writing papers, holding conferences, and fighting for legislation to reverse the policy. Thousands of members formally voted against it to no avail as the referendum was buried in an “implementation” committee.

Most critics were ignored by APA officials, while particularly effective dissidents were dismissed with snide comments about their mental health.… Read the rest

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American Psychological Association Investigates Role Psychologists Played in US Torture Program

On Friday, The Intercept reported that the American Psychological Association (APA) is launching an independent investigation into the role that psychologists (and its members) played in the U.S. torture program under the Bush administration. The role of doctors and clinical psychologists is not new to the awareness of the public, the administration or the APA. The question, really, is “what took so long?” for the self-regulated organization to open their own eyes to the activities of its members and the psychology community at large.

via The Intercept:

The top professional organization for psychologists is launching an independent investigation over how it may have sanctioned the brutal interrogation methods used against terror suspects by the Bush administration. The American Psychological Association announced this week that it has tapped an unaffiliated lawyer, David Hoffman, to lead the review.

In 2002, the American Psychological Association (APA) revised its code of ethics to allow practitioners to follow the “governing legal authority” in situations that seemed at odds with their duties as health professionals. 

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Medicine’s Big New Battleground: Does Mental Illness Really Exist?

mentalFirst NIMH, now DCP…  Looks like a world war between psychologists and psychiatrists may be brewing.  Jamie Doward writes in the Guardian:

It has the distinctly uncatchy, abbreviated title DSM-5, and is known to no one outside the world of mental health.

But, even before its publication a week on Wednesday, the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, psychiatry’s dictionary of disorders, has triggered a bitter row that stretches across the Atlantic and has fuelled a profound debate about how modern society should treat mental disturbance.

Critics claim that the American Psychiatric Association’s increasingly voluminous manual will see millions of people unnecessarily categorised as having psychiatric disorders. For example, shyness in children, temper tantrums and depression following the death of a loved one could become medical problems, treatable with drugs. So could internet addiction.

Inevitably such claims have given ammunition to psychiatry’s critics, who believe that many of the conditions are simply inventions dreamed up for the benefit of pharmaceutical giants.

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