Message to SCP Members about the Hoffman Report
July 22, 2015
Dear SCP Members,
As many of you know, the report of independent review of APA’s involvement with the Department of Defense and the CIA related to torture is now public. It is the Hoffman Report. You may read it and APA’s statements and announcements of recent personnel actions at http://www.apa.org/independent-review/. We encourage you to at least read the Executive Summary of the report. The report reaches some alarming and disturbing conclusions based on a thorough analysis of information available.
I know from listserv comments and discussions within Division 17, other Divisions, APA Officers, Council, and more, that many psychologists and students have been deeply affected, experiencing a wide range of emotions from shock to distress by the revelations and findings issued in the Hoffman Report. To stay abreast of the magnitude of such communications, I have been informed by our Council Representatives (Barry, Roberta, and Changming), the Cabinet (Sharon, Jim, Katharine, and Marty), and several SCP members who have posted responses about various perspectives, issues, and considerations relative to the Hoffman Report of the immediate and possible actions taken by APA.
Most importantly, we are carefully reading and closely listening to all of your concerns, and appreciate hearing more feedback from you. We highly value hearing your voices about ways SCP may support you at such a difficult time and your ideas about what steps SCP might take as we move forward.
Within the past week, I have recognized that some Divisions have issued position statements with specific proposed courses of actions and/or demands for APA in the spirit of facilitating change. In an effort to maintain broad inclusivity of our multiple voices, perspectives, concerns, and ideas, I strongly believe that we, in SCP leadership, need more time to continue listening and hearing from you, our members. As such, I, along with the Cabinet, SCP Council of Representatives members, and other Executive Board members have decided to refrain from asserting any specific, concrete recommendations to APA at this time.
However, we categorically and unanimously endorse the following statement to APA which is grounded in Counseling Psychology values.
“The Society of Counseling Psychology firmly stands for the protection of human rights and strongly objects to any acts of torture. Further, we stand for social justice and strongly object to any acts of discrimination and/or violence against people based on their religion, cultural background, or any other characteristic human qualities. These are long standing values of our Society. We urge APA to uphold, reaffirm, and attest to these same values, appropriately and publicly acknowledge responsibility for misconduct, and engage in sustained and transparent efforts to institute positive, transformational organizational change. We urge APA to continuously create and maintain multiple venues and spaces to hear from and listen to the voices of student and professional members alike, as we are the future of psychology.”
As Counseling Psychologists, we are committed to holding the profession of psychology and its affiliated organizations to the highest ethical standards expected by our members. Please know that our SCP Executive Board is working to gather your input, and will address issues with the APA Board of Directors and Council of Representatives on behalf of our members during the convention and afterwards. We have already established an email account (Div17CORactions@gmail.com) to hear your voices and perspectives. With our Council Representatives present, this issue will be discussed during our SCP Executive Board meeting on Wednesday, August 5th.
Also, during the APA Convention in Toronto we have scheduled an Open Meeting and dedicated our Division 17 More Pie Discussion Hour to provide an opportunity for SCP members, students and professionals, to voice your reactions, concerns, and suggestions related to APA’s involvement in torture. The Open Meeting: Discussion of the Hoffman Report with SCP Council Representatives and Executive Board members will be held on Thursday morning, August 6, from 8:00 am to 10:00 am and our Division 17 More Pie Discussion Hour will be held on Friday afternoon, August 7, from 12:00 noon to 1:50 pm. Both the Open Meeting and More Pie gatherings will meet in the Northern Lights Ballroom of the SCP Hospitality Space at the Renaissance Toronto Downtown Hotel. We hope many of you will be a part of these conversations.
Again, I want to emphasize that we highly value hearing your voices about ways SCP may support you at such a difficult time and your ideas about what steps SCP might take as we move forward.
Michael Mobley, President
Society of Counseling Psychology
Tags: American Psychological Association, Ethics, Hoffman Report