- Please describe your contributions to the professional practice of psychology, including any positions held and past or current committee work in Division 42.
A fellow of Division 42 I have written many books and articles elaborating existential-humanistic (EH) and existential-integrative (EI) approaches to psychotherapy. (See https://kirkjschneider.com). These are based on 35 years providing therapy in a variety of settings culminating in a30 year full-time private practice. I have also had the privilege to train and coauthor books with the pioneers ofEH therapy, James Bugental and Rollo May. Leading researcher Bruce Wampold suggested in PsycCritiques that my 2008 book Existential-Integrative Psychotherapywas “foundational” for general clinical practice, and in March, 2016 the Journal of Psychotherapy Integration devoted a special issue based largely on the work I set forth in EI Psychotherapy. I have also published three books and videos with APA press, and have taught EI and EH therapy at schools such as Teachers College, Columbia(2012, 2014) and Saybrook University since 1995, as well as cofounded the Existential-Humanistic (therapy training) Institute.
- The recent reorganization of the Association into APA (c3) and APASI (c6) is a critical issue affecting the ability to advance, defend, and protect the practice of psychology. What concrete measure(s) would you implement to address this issue on behalf of practice constituents, particularly to address the significant budget deficits at APA and how services for practicing psychologists will be maintained when budget revisions occur in-light of the remarkable staff reductions made in June 2020?
I would use all the resources at my disposal to advocate for the delivery of quality, evidence-based psychotherapeutic services in both the public and private sectors. I will further use my platform as president to persuade government agencies as well as third party payors that funding for substantive psychotherapeutic services is critical to address the urgent mental health needs of the public and private sector, and that short of such services we will continue to suffer from alarming rates of depression, anxiety, addiction, hate crimes, and psychologically associated medical disorders, such as obesity, heart disease, and inflammatory problems. I would make strong efforts to amplify the voice of psychotherapy on the APASI’s Healthcare Financing Group as befits the mental health crises of our nation. In the wake of the pandemic and racial unrest of our country such advocacy will be particularly critical and I am passionate about pursuing it.
- Please provide your position and how you intend to address each of the following APA governance concerns: a) improved transparency of the APA Board of Directors (BoD) with APA Council and b) the continued effects of the Good Governance Project, particularly the delegation of fiscal and operational responsibilities exclusively to the APA BoD, given how the current APA procedures have resulted in very large deficits in the last two fiscal years.
The issue of improved transparency of the APA Board of Directors (BoD) with APA Council is one that I have been vocal about as a member of APA Council. I have expressed concern–and will continue to do so—particularly about the undue influenceBoD apparently hasover the development and implementation of clinical practice guidelines, such as that for depression and more recently PTSD. These draw excessively in my (and many colleagues’) view on the National Academy of Medicine’s criteria for evaluating treatment to the neglect of our own psychologically based criteria that uphold contextual-relational factors as most closely associated with effectiveness. I share concerns about the BoD’s operational and budgeting priorities, and intend to implement a formal review of these as president.
- What do you see as additional vital area(s) facing the practice of psychology? How do you plan to confront these areas during your presidency?
As I have posted in my statement at APA’s website, I also feel strongly that, given the mental health crises in our country, psychology needs a full-time representative on a par with the surgeon general (and other medical authorities) in the U.S. government to focus explicitly on the enhancement of psychological interventions that are woefully unavailable for large swaths of our population. I have written articles about this call for a “psychologist general” of the U.S. in Scientific American. I also feel strongly that APA needs to prioritize greater support for the application of psychotherapeutic principles to mend social divides in our nation. In this light I’ve called for a mobilization of dialogue groups, such as one for which I am a moderator, Braver Angels (which brings conservatives and liberals together in the search for common ground). I also developed a one on one dialogue format to help depolarize America.