of psychologists. We publicize these
things well, but there is still this myth
that APA is not oriented to scientists.
Professional issues are important,
but it’s science that leads to the best
practices. Without the science, we don’t
have good practice.
You’re also concerned about
diversity in psychology’s
education pipeline. Why do you
want to focus on that?
We don’t have enough culturally diverse
students in our doctoral programs.
By 2040, non-Hispanic whites will be
the minority [in the United States]
and I think there will be a cultural
disconnect between the people we are
serving and the people we are studying.
A few years ago, I talked to the Iranian
Psychological Association of America
out in California, where there is a
very large Iranian population. While I
was there, they told me a story about
an elderly Iranian woman who saw a
Caucasian psychologist. The woman
told the psychologist that all she wanted
to do was lie on her bed and die. The
psychologist had her hospitalized,
and the woman’s family was in shock
and embarrassed. Then they brought
in an Iranian-born psychologist to
the hospital and the woman said the
same thing to him. And he said, “My
grandmother says this to me all the
time.” It was a cultural difference
the first psychologist didn’t really
understand. The woman was released,
and is still alive and bemoaning her
fate. But it’s an example of why we need
more diversity in psychology. I want to
recognize innovative programs that are
training culturally diverse students who
want to practice in the United States,
and I want to encourage more programs
to follow their lead.
HOW DO I
IN THE DATA
Who has inspired you most
during your career?
My former law partner, who also became
my best friend, Bruce J. Ennis, inspired
me. He was the legal director of the
American Civil Liberties Union before
he joined our firm. He argued the first
patients’ mental health rights case to the
Supreme Court, and he went on to argue
14 more. Probably the greatest legal
mind I knew, and he taught me how to
marshal legal arguments and how to use
social science evidence to support them.
That was very important to my career,
particularly the work I did as APA’s
Pastoral Counseling and sPiritual Care
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Why did you run for president?
There’s a narcissistic part of it, and a
doing good part. As far as the doing
good part, the military issue is what I
am most happy that I can promote. The
current wars are winding down, but the
sequelae of the wars are not winding
down. I think psychologists are in the
best position to provide these services
veterans need. So, the presidency is an
incredible opportunity to promote this
initiative. The narcissistic part is, to take
part in a profession for 50 years and then
finally have the opportunity to lead it is a
great honor. n