2012 APA Presidential Candidate Robert “Bob” Woody, PhD, ScD, JD

by Robert “Bob” H. Woody, PhD, ScD, JD

What are your short-, mid-, and long-term plans to insure the financial stability of the APAPO?

Planning for financial stability requires teamwork. With colleagues, I would urge: (short-term) increasing public awareness of the scientific foundation of psychology; (mid-term) expanding partnerships with government and private sources for funding professional development; and (long-term) legislative advocacy for inclusion and leadership in the national healthcare system.

Quality care is prerequisite for increased financial stability. I will develop distance education, continuing education and partnerships with government and private funding sources. State psychological associations should expand consortiums of psychologists for persuading lawmakers to support psychology for the benefit of society.

From research and professional development efforts (with the Florida Psychological Association), and on-line learning (with the University of Nebraska and Florida Department of Law Enforcement), I know well-crafted on-line education is effective. I will accelerate APA’s on-line efforts to help practitioners enrich services, leading society to provide greater financial strength to psychology.

Legislative advocacy for reimbursement is essential. I have worked extensively with government agencies and will encourage, justify and pursue greater financial support from public and private sources. In the National healthcare systems, psychologists must be in the frontline, with expanded services, e.g., prescription authority and primary care.

The public should be informed about unique evidence-based psychological services. The scientist-practitioner model is useful for persuading the public to be knowledgeable about and rely upon psychological services.

As reflected in my numerous publications on the business of practice, I am chagrined that training programs minimize preparation for practice management. I would encourage inclusion of business issues in professional development.

What initiatives will you undertake to educate the public about the services of psychologists?

My initiatives include: 

  1. emphasizing psychological science and evidence-based services; 

  2. enhancing quality care (counteracting “quasi-science” and “pseudo-credentials”); 

  3. expanding psychology to a global constituency; and 

  4. garnering resources to provide psychological services to ALL people (within the National healthcare system, eliminating discrimination and reaching the underserved).

In keeping with my background in publications and the mass media, I would seek to motivate psychologists to capitalize on every channel to educate the public about psychology. I believe that, from the elementary grades and continuing through high school, psychology should be integrated into the curriculum. APA’s impressive public education efforts should be developed further, informing community programs how psychology will complement social, health and public services.

I am unflinching in my support of quality care. I will challenge government sources to aggressively monitor advertising and use regulatory law to eliminate mental health practitioners who have dubious credentials. I oppose the online sources that propagate bogus “degrees,” “diplomas” and “certificates.” I will assist colleagues in discussing these matters factually and without apology to help the public be more knowledgeable consumers and enlist governmental monitoring, such as introducing proposed legislation and administrative code rules.

The research that links the mind to overall health should be distributed widely and given front-and-center status in the media. Health psychology should be a cornerstone for the National healthcare system. Since one of my doctorates is in public health, I know that a multidisciplinary approach will be strengthened by psychology being in an organizational leadership role.

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