Committing professional suicide? A call to reform the APA


Just came upon a copy of an address given last month at the APA annual convention by Nicholas Cummings, past President of APA. He offers a scathing review of the disconnect between APA and the rest of the sane world. His beef is that APA loses credibility when it tries to speak with authority from opinions rather than evidence. He gives several examples where there has been both a lack of study in areas deemed now politically incorrect and pronouncements of political correct stances without actual evidence (e.g., impact of single parenting on children, why girls who are sexually active are more likely to be depressed and suicidal than those who do not, the efficacy of reparative therapy—helping those who want to change their sexual orientation from gay to straight).

What makes this interesting is that Cummings is not a right wing whacko but an insider and long-time support of APA. He is coauthor of the book, Destructive Trends in Mental Health: The well-Intentioned Path to Harm. I suspect that readers will fall into two camps about the address: those that appreciate his willingness to say what they have wanted to for some time due to marginalization and power of those who run APA; and those who recognize that while he is correct on some accounts, he only wants to blast gay marriage and single mothers.

I can relate to his points. You can find a similar comment I made to a recent president to APA published in the Monitor on Psychology if you go to this link: www.apa.org/monitor/may03/letters.html

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Filed under philosophy of science, Psychology

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