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?
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 by them while they pushed for an APA Council Resolution... 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.
Requiring ABPPThe VA will now hire psychologists who didn't have APA-accredited internships as long as they have achieved board certification through ABPP. While it is a nice first step, ultimately this is insulting to us as it means licensed psychologists should be presumed incompetent unless "proven" otherwise by an unproven system of board certification. This is also inconsistent with a stance that was previously taken by APA Newman explained in his letter "For psychologists, the doctoral degree and state licensure are the appropriate benchmarks for establishing their qualifications."
The IOM interim report, released in December 2005, included a recommendation that SSA should make board certification mandatory for physicians as well as psychologists working in its system. Psychologists who wished to continue in their positions as SSA consultants would have been required to attain board certification within five years. APA took issue with this recommendation in a letter to the IOM director. APA Executive Director for Professional Practice Russ Newman, PhD, JD, argued that existing SSA standards for a psychological consultant ensure that psychologists selected for this position are fully qualified. Federal regulation requires that SSA psychological consultants hold a doctoral degree in clinical psychology and be licensed or certified by a state at the independent practice level of psychology. "While board certification may be a common credential in the field of medicine, it is not so in psychology," Newman explained in his letter. "For psychologists, the doctoral degree and state licensure are the appropriate benchmarks for establishing their qualifications."
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
#ALLpsychologists Writings from past APA President-elect election campaigns, etc.
...and in 2017?You are welcome to nominate Todd Elliott Finnerty, Psy.D. to run for APA president-elect again starting on 2/1/2017.
2016 (Dr. Finnerty was not a presidential candidate)In 2016 Dr. Finnerty was not nominated as one of the 5 candidates chosen to run for APA president-elect. However, some positive events happened. The VA finally changed their policy and allowed the hiring of some psychologists who didn't have APA-accredited internships if they were board certified. Dr. Finnerty wrote a letter critical of APA's non-coverage of this in the APA Monitor which was ultimately published in January, 2017.
2015 Campaign for APA President-elect
2014 Presidential Campaign
2013... What happened in 2013?
Unfortunately, in August, 2013 the APA Council then passed this resolution. Then, in February, 2014 it passed Health Service Psychology: Preparing Competent Practitioners
Dr. Finnerty wrote a National Psychologist article before the August COR meeting which was published just after. He also had a letter to the editor published in the APA Monitor.
2012 Presidential Campaign
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.