Why should we stay APA members if APA won't defend us and is actively working against us?
Ex: See "APA-accredited internships: An examination of the supply and demand issue." By Oehlert, Mary E.; Lopez, Shane J. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, Vol 29(2), Apr 1998, 189-194.
An entire generation of psychologists has been impacted already. The large percentage of us who take unaccredited internships every year must also be defended. Despite this, some people, including recent representatives from APAGS, are trying to make completing an accredited internship the standard "for entry into health service psychology."The decades-long internship crisis has created a new generation of "have" and "have-not" psychologists. The distinction is not based on quality or competency. It's based on a flawed internship system and an APA-accreditation status that has not been empirically-proven to be required to produce competent professionals.
APA's Model Act for State Licensure of Psychologists, adopted by Council as APA Policy February 20, 2010, recognizes the existence of internships which are equivalent to APA internships (not just the CPA). These equivalent internships, which are not accredited by APA, can and do produce qualified psychologists who are equivalent to psychologists who completed APA-accredited internships. Read more about this now...
Unfortunately, APA has declared War on psychologists without APA-accredited internships and in August, 2013 passed a ""resolution on accreditation for programs that prepare psychologists to provide health services." This resolution is more to advance APA's agenda and is not based on any demonstrated danger to the public.' This resolution seeks to require APA-accredited internships for licensure and communicates to the world that professionals who didn't have an APA-accredited internship are somehow less competent. This is an offensive falsehood that should not be perpetuated.Read APA's Official Declaration of War on us now. Why would we want to pay dues to an organization which not only won't defend us... it is actively working against our interests?'
Dear Employers;A word of caution... APA policy now recognizes that there are no randomized clinical trials supporting accreditation. While unintended, thanks to this new APA policy it will be extremely difficult for you to argue in a court of law that an APA-accredited internship is valid for employment selection.
There are no empirical grounds for you to not accept applications from all psychologists. If you don't this is a lawsuit waiting to happen. Would you like to be the "test case" or would you like to save yourself the legal fees and bad press and simply consider the individual qualifications of all applicants?
Attention: Executive Directors of State Psychological AssociationsYour state should not be trying to restrict licensure to only those with APA-accredited internships. If you are one of the few states who already require an APA-accredited internship for licensure your state should be trying to change this rule. I assure you your membership will be made well aware of where you stand. We will make sure they know whether you and your state association intends to defend ALL psychologists, not just those with APA-accredited internships.WE WILL come after you. Why would your members want to pay dues to an association that is not willing to defend them?
We will battle in the states to insure that this misguided, non-evidenced based, member-outraging proposal will not be implemented by state boards.
Who has your 6?Dear Military Psychologists;
Thank you for your service. We know that some of you did not have APA-accredited internships (including at least one of you in our LinkedIn group). Despite this, you have served in our Military as psychologists, sometimes under very difficult circumstances. We find it offensive that after you leave Military service the Dept. of Veterans Affairs would not even accept an application from you and would not hire you because you don't meet their qualifications. We find it insulting that they would not hire you, despite your service as a psychologist in the Military, but would hire fresh-faced, inexperienced people who have never even been licensed as a psychologist by their state yet. The law requires the VA to hire psychologists who had internships that are "Satisfactory to the Secretary." We stand with you. The military thought your internship was satisfactory. The state you were licensed in thought your internship was satisfactory. We believe that the Secretary of Veterans Affairs should view your internships as satisfactory too.
We also believe that APA should have your back on this... but do they?The Navy's "Best Psychologist"
Did you know that the Department of the Navy's Civilian Psychologist of the Year... couldn't work at the VA because they require an APA-accredited internship? Is this competence? The VA will hire unlicensed, inexperienced people but won't hire the Navy's "best psychologist."
Dr. Michael Cooney, Ph.D. has been with The Department of the Navy for over 20 years. He has supervised over 20 APA approved psychologists enabling them to be independently licensed and able to deploy and move on with their careers. He noted that "In 2009 I was given an award: Civilian Psychologist of the Year for the entire Dept of the Navy. I am proud, to say the least, to have been able to work here. The irony is that, rather than jumping on my application for jobs as an experienced and seasoned clinician, the VA and government contractors don't look past the first page of my training." Read an article Dr. Cooney wrote about this now: The Emperor Has No Clothes "
We're competent enough to clean up your errorsDespite 5 PhD's authoring a study; Despite it being peer reviewed in an APA journal; Despite it being (presumably) read and cited by the APA's board of educational affairs and subsequently cited in the APA Council Resolution they pushed for... it took a PsyD with an unaccredited internship to get it corrected. This article, cited in the offensive APA Council Resolution, has been corrected after Todd Finnerty, Psy.D. pointed out a major error in it: Schaffer, Jack B, Rodolfa, E., Owen, J., Lipkins, R., Webb, C. & Horn, J. (2012). The examination for professional practice in psychology: New data practical implications. Training and Education in Professional Psychology, 6, 1-7, doi: 10.1037/a0026823.
Grandfathering? Do we look like grandparents to you?The past decade has seen a dramatic need for a large percentage of people to accept non-accredited internships. Many of these people are still early-career psychologists. They don't want a "grandfathering" provision. These people aren't "grandfathers." They have long, unpredictable lives left to live. This unpredictability means they may need to move to a new state to get licensed. They may need to move to a new job. You can't pretend a large percentage of people getting licensed during the internship crisis are "grandfathers."'
Resources & News
I bet you knew that psychologists without APA-accredited internships currently can't get jobs at some of our largest employers (ex: the VA). However, did you you know that there have been recent proposals to try to require APA-accredited internships for state licensure as a psychologist?
This would have a terrible impact on the ability for psychologists without APA-accredited internships to move to another state and get licensed in another state if for some reason they had to in the future. It is also a slipery slope to other organizations such as insurance companies requiring these internships for panel membership. There is no evidence that psychologists who didn't have APA-accredited internships are not competent, however. Employers should be required to consider the individual qualifications of all candidates, not weed out candidates based on a non-evidence based selection criterion. Last year Dr. Finnerty personally stood before APA's Council of Representatives and urged them to address this issue. APA's policy, the Model Act for State Licensure, recognizes the existence of internships which are "equivalent" to APA-accredited internships. We believe these internships produce psychologists that are competent and "equal" to others psychologists. We are competent and we are equal.
Our licensure should not be arbitrarily limited. Our scope of practice should not be arbitrarily limited. It is time for our professional associations to change course and defend #AllPsychologists.
We agree that accreditation holds some value... we disagree that it has value in employment selection. In employment selection it is dangerous and potentially illegal. It is not a validated criterion for employment selection. It may also have an unfair, negative impact on workplace diversity. In addition, there is no actual evidence that an APA-accredited internship is required to be a competent, licensed psychologist. If you believe otherwise, look us in the eye and call us incompetent. That is what requiring an APA-accredited internship for licensure or employment essentially does to us.