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Policy & Procedures for Endorsing Candidates for APA President-elect

I.  Why it is important to endorse candidates for President-elect:

A. It is in the interest of the Society to be active in APA politics to advance its mission;

B. It is in the interest of the Society to support the election of APA Presidents who will advance psychotherapy in practice, in education and training, in research, and in the public interest;

C. It is in the interest of the Society to maximize its effectiveness in advancing psychotherapy by engaging in the endorsement of APA candidates for President-elect.

II. Criteria for Candidates

A. The candidate shall be a member of the Society/Division for at least two years.

B. The candidate shall evidence a record of commitment to advancing psychotherapy in education and training, in research, in practice, and/or in the public interest.

III. Candidate Procedures

A. Written Statement: Candidates seeking endorsement must submit written statements that include why they are seeking the endorsement, an explicit commitment to advance psychotherapy, and a record of their contributions to the field of psychotherapy;

B. The Executive Committee, or a subcommittee of the Executive Committee appointed by the President, will review the applications for endorsement and make recommendations to the Society’s Board of Directors;

C. The Society’s Board of Directors, with the advice and recommendations of the Executive Committee, shall determine to endorse or not endorse a candidate(s);

D. The Board of Directors shall make its endorsements public at a time that it deems most effective; and,

E. At its discretion and to maximize the impact of its endorsement, the Board of Directors shall employ multiple strategies and venues to publicize its endorsement(s).

At its winter meeting in January 2008, the Board of Directors considered the advantages of developing a policy for endorsing candidates for President-elect of the American Psychological Association. The Board determined that making endorsements served the interests of the Society/Division in several ways. First, the Society through its endorsement could actively support and elect Presidents-elect who had proven records supporting or advancing psychotherapy in practice, research, education or training and would commit to advancing psychotherapy. Second, endorsement would promote the visibility and awareness of our mission and agenda. Third, it would enhance the Society’s participation in the political process that influences the election of Presidents-elect.

Consequently, the Board would like to inform the membership of this strategic change in policy, and encourage the membership to both become involved in the APA elections process, and consider a candidate’s support of psychotherapy and the Society when voting.

IV. Society Procedures

1a. The Society’s current policy for endorsing candidates for APA President should be clearly put on the web site. This should include instructions for what candidates need to do to request the Society’s endorsement. The instructions on the web site should instruct candidates seeking the Society’s endorsement to submit a statement indicating how they will advance the Society’s agenda as APA president by August 1.

1b. When the candidates for APA President are announced, the Past-president will email all candidates the Society’s policy on endorsing candidates for APA President, including criteria for endorsement. In this email, the past-president will instruct the candidates to reply via email to both the Past-president and the Society administrator (who should be CCed on the initial emails from the Past-president to the candidates) the candidate’s written statement for seeking endorsement if he or she wishes to seek the Society’s endorsement.

2. The Board will discuss and decide on endorsement of presidential candidates who request our endorsement during a call, meeting, or via email prior to the opening of the election.

3. During the Board’s discussion of presidential endorsements the president will be a neutral party. His or her role is not to advocate for any one candidate but to make sure the process is fair and to facilitate the conversation in a fair manner. The president may hand over the gavel to the president-elect if he or she wishes to participate in the conversation.

4. Every member of the Board should disclose how he/she knows the candidate being discussed. This includes whether the member of the Board has a “good” or “bad” relationship with the candidate seeking endorsement.

5. The pros and cons of every candidate seeking the Society’s endorsement should be thoroughly weighed in the conversation. The board should be given the opportunity to discuss every candidate who is asking for the Society’s endorsement and members of the Board should be given the opportunity to express concerns about a given candidate if such exist.

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