Hoffman Report Says Ethics Standards Intentionally Loosened

The much anticipated Hoffman Report released July 10 found that for more than 10 years the American Psychological Association (APA) fostered weak ethical restraints on psychologists’ involvement in terrorist detention facilities to curry favor with the Department of Defense (DoD). Much criticism in the report focused on Stephen Behnke, JD, Ph.D., director of APA’s ethics […]

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  • APA Resets ‘Moral Compass’ at Toronto Meeting

    Toronto – The American Psycho-logical Association is counting on its “reset moral compass”  adopted at its annual convention here to try to end a decade of rancorous debate over the role of psychologists in national security interrogations and help stem the threatened loss of membership. “Resetting our moral compass” was a phrase used several times […]

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  • Danger: Electronic Records Ahead

    Some 30 years ago, I was building a psychiatric hospital in central Pennsylvania and we discussed the possibility of starting-up the new facility’s operation with all electronic records. It was the early days of computer use but it seemed like a good idea at the time. Ultimately, we decided against the plan because we couldn’t […]

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  • Circadian Factors in Mental Health

    Inherent to all living organisms is the principle of timing of biological functions. In humans, the interweaving of cognition, affect and physiology demands that we examine the role of clock or circadian factors in mental health. A large data analytic literature on chronobiology exists. The intent of this article is to highlight how knowledge of […]

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  • Face-to-face AA Trumps Online Groups – For Now

    Toronto – Despite growing numbers of web-based sobriety support sites, face-to-face meetings are more effective and popular for those striving to overcome alcohol abuse, a researcher reported at the annual APA convention here. Donald S. Grant, Ph.D., of the Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, Calif., told a symposium on “Social Media for Social Good” […]

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  • Holding Sex Offenders After Prison Ruled Unconstitutional

    A Minnesota federal district court judge has ruled the state’s practice of holding some sex offenders after they complete their prison sentences is unconstitutional. The holding of sex offenders judged to be mentally ill beyond the time they were sentenced to prison is practiced in 20 states and by the federal government. The ruling does […]

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  • Ethics for Psychologists: Correcting vs. Altering Records

    The Zur Institute noted in a recent online clinical update column that there is a great difference between correcting and altering professional treatment records. Good records are needed for many reasons, and making sure they are accurate and correct is important. But, altering records is unethical and can lead a therapist into great trouble with […]

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  • States’ Laws Determine Liability in Duty to Warn

    In the July/August issue, The National Psychologist reported on the case of State of Minnesota v. Expose regarding a psychotherapist’s duty to report dangerous patients and the doctor’s immunity from liability for breach of confidentiality thereof. The patient, who threatened to harm another person, was being treated by a student. Subsequently, the patient was charged […]

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