Personal Life Update 3
This past week has been pretty eventful and busy (as most weeks in grad school are). My new clinical work began, which went well and is exciting. My M.A. document is finally being sent out by the university (even though I completed everything in February, they don't process it until the end of the spring quarter). And another member of my cohort (that is, my group of friends in grad school that entered at the same time as me) got married on Friday!
Then, of course, there was the leaked details of the investigation into the APA yesterday... For those unfamiliar with the story, the APA was under investigation for potential involvement in torture on the part of various government agencies for the purposes of interrogation. NPR has a short article about the situation, which you can listen to:
It's hard for me to gauge the response of the psychology community since this is happening during a weekend, but I imagine the vast majority are feeling the same way as me: surprised, shocked, disappointed. During our training as psychologists, ethics is a required course and an ongoing discussion in all classes. But most of the ethics we discuss are relatively minor things like "if a teen is smoking pot, do we tell the parents?" Involvement in torture techniques is, well, unthinkable.
The APA has already sent out a response to all members about the situation, promising that changes will be made. We'll have to see what those changes are, but they'll need to be fairly substantial. And, based on the little bit I've been able to see from listserv activity, I imagine they will be held very accountable by the psychology community.
I just want to be explicit in saying that these findings do not represent the vast majority of psychologists. I'm amazed there are psychologists, especially that high up in the APA, who would even consider being involved in interrogation and torture. As a profession, we are supposed to advocate for our clients, our communities, the general public. We seek to help the people who want to be helped, in the ways they want to be helped, without coercion, force, misleading, etc.
It will be interesting to see what happens within the APA as a result of these findings. The APA, for many, has been more of an organization that we're expected to join and that acts as a directory of professionals, but that many didn't feel strongly connected to. My hope is that, as the APA begins to ensure this type of thing doesn't happen again, there will be a stronger link formed between the organization and practicing professionals. More transparency, more input from members, etc.
Ultimately, we'll just have to wait to see what happens, but you can be sure that we're keeping a close eye on their response.
Alright, enough about that topic. In other personal life news, I've recently gotten into podcast listening. I've tried many times in the past to start listening, but it only ever lasted a few days. Now, after finding some podcasts I really like (e.g., The Web Ahead), and starting to use the amazing Pocket Casts app, it has become much more enjoyable! It's also tempting to start a podcast, but there are no plans to actually do that anytime soon.
I've also been able to get a lot more preparatory work done for several things, which will allow for some exciting progress on various projects. Enough literature review to begin writing manuscripts, most of the CSS updates done for my site to launch some major improvements relatively soon, lots of topic ideas for posts thanks to a brainstorming session, greater familiarity with my schedule that will allow for more consistency and productivity, and many others (I'm apparently in an "etc." frame of mind this morning). Thanks to that preparation, things should hopefully start to progress quickly!
Now, my coffee mug is officially empty, I've got good Dexter Britain music playing in the background, and the sun is coming out. That means it's time to dig in and do some more studying for comps! Until next week, thanks for reading, and feel free to leave a comment.