Over the past decade, there have been numerous allegations of inappropriate collusion between the American Psychological Association (APA), CIA, and the Department of Defense (DoD) with the intent of molding APA ethics guidelines to allow psychologists’ continued involvement in enhanced interrogations, considered torture under international law. Still, APA leadership stood firm in the face of the mounting evidence against them.
The ISEPP Board of Directors has followed this issue, releasing two public statements (here and here) and joining with Physicians for Human Rights, Psychologists for Social Responsibility, and the Coalition for an Ethical Psychology in public petition to the APA. Last November, the APA finally commissioned David Hoffman of Sidley Austin, LLP, to conduct an independent investigation.This past July, Hoffman’s report was released. It was a bombshell, revealing many deceptive deeds committed by senior representatives of APA, to include the Ethics Director, in order to curry favor with the DoD and the Bush administration. Since its release, some of the senior APA representatives involved have been fired, resigned, or retired early.
With the Hoffman report in hand, the APA Council of Representatives surprised many in August at the annual APA Convention in Toronto when it overwhelmingly passed a resolution that finally banned all psychologists’ participation in any national security interrogations that violate international law regarding cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment. The only dissenting vote came from the Society of Military Psychology Division representative and former military psychologist at Guantanamo who was one of the DoD representatives colluding with the APA. We wait with cautious optimism for this resolution to be implemented (the caution is because a member-driven referendum with the same ban in 2008 was never enforced by the APA).
In addition to our public statements and petitions to the APA, ISEPP has also been involved in the development of new ethical guidelines intended to supplement APA’s Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct, and to prevent the kind of nightmare revealed by the Hoffman report. In particular, the Coalition for an Ethical Psychology invited ISEPP’s Chairman of the Board of Directors, Chuck Ruby, Ph.D., to represent ISEPP at a workshop on the ethics of operational psychology in Brookline, MA, that took place September 18-20. As a retired military counterintelligence officer and psychologist, Dr. Ruby had been consulted earlier by the Coalition in the development of ideas about the ethics of operational psychology (see Arrigo, J.; Eidelson, R; & Bennett, R (2012). Psychology Under Fire: Adversarial Operational Psychology and Psychological Ethics. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology. 18:4, 384-400.). At the workshop, Dr. Ruby joined with experts from several professions to develop principles and guidelines for operational psychologists. The formal report entitled “The Brookline Principles on the Ethical Practice of Operational Psychology”, was released today to the press, professional organizations, and distributed widely within the APA.
ISEPP remains committed to continue this fight of bringing psychology back in line with the basic values of do no harm and respect for human dignity.
ISEPP's Mary Vieten, Ph.D., ABPP, is expanding her attempts to change the landscape of PTSD treatment. She recently was asked to talk at the Massena, NY Operation Grateful Nation where veterans attended the Greater Massena Ministerial Association. See here for the details.
Mary has been leading the effort of ISEPP's Operation Speak Up in turning the tide toward a humane response to military and veterans who have witnessed the horrors of war. One of her projects is TOHIDU, which is an America Indian word that means peace, mind, body, and spirit. TOHIDU is a week-long retreat that offers non-medical support to our country's warriors. See what's happening at TOHIDU here.
Our own David Rose, a Vietnam War veteran, put together this song about his experiences with war trauma. Check it out here.
David says, "I have received over 300 hours of post war PTSD therapy from the VA. As I was leaving my therapist's office following a session, on the way out the door she said, 'David, just don't sit and think about your PTSD so much.' I went home and wrote this two line piece. 'I don't sit and think about my PTSD, my PTSD thinks about me and I sit.'"
One of the alternative therapies David has been involved with is songwriting with OperationSong.org. He used these lines as a foundation for his song and built the rest of the song around it by sharing some of his other PTSD thoughts and experiences. The PTSD warrior on the couch in the video is David.
The ISEPP Chairman of the Board of Directors, Chuck Ruby, Ph.D., was interviewed by Ohio's WLJA Radio program called Bedlam in America. It is set to air on Tuesday, August 18th, from 10:00 to 11:30am. After that it will be available via stream at the program's website at https://www.wljaradio.net/bedlam-in-america.html.
Dr. Ruby discussed several issues of importance, to include the recent American Psychological Association's resolution banning psychologists from participating in national security investigations, violence, the problems with psychiatric drugs, the weak foundation of the medical model of mental illness, the invalidity of the DSM diagnostic system, and the NIMH's RDoC program to create a new diagnostic system, but that will be just as flawed as the DSM.
Thanks to WLJA for helping ISEPP get the word out!
See CNN's coverage of Dr. Mary Vieten's Operation TOHIDU here.
See an expanded video of ISEPP member Mary Vieten, Ph.D. and the staff of Operation TOHIDU here.
Operation Speak Up just launched an online petition here. We ask that you sign it and share it widely.
Mary Vieten, Ph.D., ABPP, has launched Operation Tohidu (see http://www.melwood. org/articles/articles/view/148). This is an effort to create a non-medical, non-psychiatric alternative for veterans and military members who suffer from war trauma. The second retreat was just completed and two additional ones are scheduled this Spring and Summer. It is getting very good responses from the participants. They are expressing relief that there is somewhere they can get help beside the VA and psychiatric drugging. It is receiving local media attention (see http://www.myfoxdc.com/Clip/11180158/veterans-ptsd-retreat-in-maryland). Great job Mary!
Jay Joseph’s new book, The Trouble with Twin Studies: A Reassessment of Twin Research in the Social and Behavioral Sciences (published by Routledge), is now available. The book approaches twin research from a critical perspective, including research produced by fields such as behavioral genetics, psychiatric genetics, psychology, and political science, with a special emphasis on studies of “reared-apart” twins. Although he has examined various aspects of twin research in two previous books, in his new book he examines the major issues in much greater detail, with a fresh perspective based on the latest research findings. In the process, he challenges the conclusions and theories of many of the world’s leading genetic researchers. While the book is intended mainly for use in academic settings, the major topics and controversies are described and analyzed in ways that are accessible to a wider audience. See Jay's website at: http://jayjoseph.net/publications.
Thanks to Jonathan Leo & Jeffrey R. Lacasse for their article entitled, "The New York Times and the ADHD Epidemic", which details how one of the leading newspapers has helped perpetuate the explosion of ADHD.
There is now almost universal acknowledgement that too many children in the United States have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD). Over the past decade, the age range for those diagnosed with ADHD has greatly expanded – in both directions. At one end of the spectrum, many adults are now labeled with “Adult ADHD,” and at the other end of the spectrum, more and more preschoolers are being diagnosed with ADHD. According to a recent CDC report, more than 10,000 toddlers, aged 2 to 3 years, are currently medicated for ADHD....
Read the full article here.