19 September 2008

I wrote a letter yesterday to the president of the APA, Alan E. Kazdin, PhD using the APA website http://apa.org/about/president/ask.html

I encourage others to do the same. Here is the letter I wrote:

Dear Dr. Kazdin:

I have been a clinical mental health counselor since 1985. I have extensive experience in the field as a psychotherapist. I tell you this just as a way of introducing myself to you as a person with appropriate background to make the following statements.

It seems to me that any health care worker who aids torturers knowingly in any way is going against the creed to "...at least do no harm."

I am glad to see that the APA membership rejected torture and aiding torturers, but I am concerned about the very high percentage of the membership who voted to continue to aid in torture. What kind of practitioners are these? What are their values, ethics, and what kind of therapists are they? I daresay these people should not be allowed to practice since their vote demonstrates a shocking lack of ethics, in my opinion.

I am emailing you to ask if the APA is going to issue a statement about what the role of psychological practitioners should be, and how it is incompatible with the values and ethics of the profession to aid in torture. I also would like to know if those who have been aiding the torturers will be held accountable.

I write this to you because I am concerned that there are so many APA members out there who may be causing harm to their clients. A person who supports the use of torture may be doing any number of unethical things in their work.

This is a short note, but I would be glad to have a lengthier discussion with you at some point if you are interested.

Thank you for your time.

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