Archive for January 2011

ANNOUNCEMENT AND CALL FOR PAPERS

January 28, 2011

The Psychological Association of the Philippines (PAP) has long advocated for a law that will ensure the quality of the practice of psychology. In the early 1980s, the PAP moved for a bill requiring licensure for practitioners of psychology with the Batasan Pambansa. After three decades, a bill regulating the practice of psychology was finally passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives. On March 16, 2010, Republic Act 10029 or the “Philippine Psychology Act of 2009” was signed into law.

The 2011 PAP Annual Convention will focus on the meaning of RA 10029 and its implications to Filipino psychologists especially those engaged in the practice of assessment, counseling, and clinical psychology. Likewise, the implications of RA 10029 to Filipino psychologists in all areas of specialization will be discussed. The convention will highlight how the new law will shape and impact the future of psychology in the Philippines, including the teaching of psychology, the conduct of licensure examinations, and the implementation of regulatory measures. It is the hope of the PAP that the new law will promote excellence in the practice of psychology.

The PAP invites psychologists, both scholars and practitioners, to share their work on any area of psychology through paper presentations, poster presentations, and panel or symposia. With the focus on the practice of psychology, the PAP especially welcomes papers by practitioners in the different areas of psychology. Theoretical papers, empirical research papers, and papers documenting practices may be submitted for presentation.

The Scientific Program Committee will issue the guidelines and forms for submission of abstracts by 14 February 2011. Kindly wait for further announcements. All abstracts for paper presentation must be submitted by 15 March 2011.

 

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DEVELOPING PSYCHOLOGY AT A NATIONAL LEVEL: THE IUPsyS CAPACITY BUILDING WORKSHOP 30 September – 1 October 2010

January 17, 2011

Psychological Association of the Philippines President Dr. Maria Caridad Tarroja, Vice President Dr. Mira Ofreneo, and Board Member Mr. Jay Yacat joined eight other officers and members of national psychology organizations from three other Southeast Asian countries (Cambodia, Indonesia and Malaysia) and three East Asian nations (India, China and Pakistan) in a one and a half day capacity building workshop on Developing Psychology at a National Level. This workshop was organized by the International Union of Psychological Science (IUPsyS).

Status of National Psychology Organizations in Southeast Asia

Prof. Pam Maras

Chair of the National Capacity Building Work Group

IUPsyS

Prof. Maras led the participants in surfacing issues that national psychology organizations in Southeast Asia grapple with. Membership is a priority issue (attracting and engaging members, member benefits). Other identified challenges pertain to organizational development: funding, staffing, capacity building and continuing education.  Important key issues include:

  • Lack of services to public
  • Culture sensitive applicability of acquired skills and knowledge
  • Education of the public about value and application of psychology
  • Relationship with other disciplines
  • Need for collaboration among psychological organisations

However, despite these challenges, all organizations rely on the commitment and hard work of their existing members. Another important resource is the leadership and guidance of their more senior and well-established members.

An important observation is that the organizations are at different stages in their development (with some organizations existing for almost fifty years while others are in the process of formalizing its structures).

The importance of regulation and licensing of psychologists was a focal point in the discussions. Among the participating nations, only the Philippines has successfully passed a regulatory law. While Prof. Maras underscored the importance of having such a law, she strongly encouraged national organizations to critically reflect on their possible roles in the implementation. She warned that it might be taxing for organizations’ resources to be involved in the actual implementation of the regulation.

In summary, Prof. Maras identified possible roles and functions for national psychology organizations:

  • Maintain the significance of psychology as a science
  • Use psychological science for public good
  • Public understanding and engagement of psychology
  • Influence government on national and international policy
  • Promote and support psychology and psychologists
  • Membership services and organization
  • Education and quality assurance
  • Publication and research

ASEAN Regional Union of Psychological Societies (ARUPS) and National Psychology Organizations

Dr. Allan B.I. Bernardo

President, ARUPS

ARUPS is a union of national associations in Southeast Asia. Dr. Bernardo provided the history, aims and activities of ARUPS. He asked the participants to think about how ARUPS can address the development needs of their respective national associations.  He led the discussion of four issues: promoting communication and cooperation between member countries; training, qualifications and status; research, application and practice; research, application and practice; and dissemination of psychological knowledge.

Cooperation and communication Training, qualification and status
  • Regularly updated website to support national associations (bulletin boards, forum)
  • Faculty exchanges or study tour
  • Documenting lessons learned or good practices by member associations in similar issues (eg., dealing with the government)
  • Regional associations reaching out to emerging national associations (e.g., informing national associations on international standards)
  • Reaching out to non-psychology professional associations (e.g., psychiatry, guidance and counselling, psychotherapy)
  • Identification of possible contact persons from associations from other regions
  • Appoint a liaison officer among national presidents
  • Internet-based communication
  • Include department, colleges, university

 

  • Develop or come up with a set of competencies expected for undergraduate psychology students, psychology practitioners, researchers, educators (competency vs educational attainment model)
  • Recognize exemplary programs of psychology
  • Support the efforts to educate the public (general public, government and other professions) about the functions of psychologists
  • Disseminate success of psychologists in the public sphere (policy level)
  • Support efforts for national regulation and recognition of psychologists

 

Research, Application and Practice Dissemination of Psychological Knowledge
  • Come up with a network/directory of researchers and practitioners to facilitate possible collaborative work
  • Encourage international publishers to accept manuscripts in the local language and have local language editors
  • Support efforts to develop a research culture among national associations (e.g., encourage country members to explore locally relevant research topics, develop local measures)
  • Encourage international bodies to give a voice to and value locally-relevant research

 

  • Support capacity-building efforts by national associations to come up with peer-reviewed journal (e.g., have international experts to come in; provide writing workshops)
  • Engage publishers to support other means to disseminate evidence-based psychological knowledge

 

 

The Way Forward for National Associations

Elizabeth Nair, PhD

Dr. Nair asked the participants to think about the following: a) quality of psychology programs; b) challenges faced by practitioners; c) attracting international academics; and d) influence of psychology on public policy.

It was found that there are no existing accreditation systems among participating nations to ensure the quality of psychology programs (both undergraduate and graduate programs). This could be another area that ARUPS may focus on. Meanwhile, all participants see the importance of a regulatory system to ensure the quality of psychological practice.

The participants also admit that at present, except in Malaysia, there are no active steps in attracting outstanding international academics to teach or do research but recognize the potential of doing so in the development of the discipline.

Last, the participants also agree that there is a need to strengthen the influence of psychology in public discourse and public policy in their respective countries.

The status of global psychology

Sath Cooper, PhD

Dr. Cooper outlined several characteristics of contemporary global psychology which render non-Western psychologies at a disadvantage. These include:

  • Euro-American knowledge base, seminal research, standardized testing instrumentation
  • Boulder Model, feminization of psychology (psychology as becoming de-valued)
  • Peer-reviewed publications (skewed patterns), Citation: Impact factor
  • Influential textbooks, source materials
  • Policy impact, societal recognition, threat/fear factor
  • International visibility

However, he acknowledged that changing geo-political conditions highlight the need for non-Western psychologies to assert themselves in the world stage.

  • Conflict and crisis
  • Globalization and poverty
  • Economics of poverty and health
  • Development imperatives, resources priorities
  • Majority world representations
  • Human, socio-economic issues
  • Advances in brain and neuro-sciences

He also enumerated several features of national psychologies, especially in Southeast Asia, that may help in contributing to a truly global psychology: cultural diversity; indigenous experience; use of electronic communication; and sharing a time zone. Thus, it is important that national associations not only focus on strengthening its respective organizations but also reach out to other associations in the region in order to become a force in shaping the direction of a global psychology.

Statement of the Psychological Association of the Philippines (PAP) on the Proposed Guidelines in the Conduct of Psychological Examinations for Overseas Work Applicants Pursuant to Administrative Order No. 2010-0022

January 17, 2011

We, the Board of Directors of the Psychological Association of the Philippines (PAP),* would like to commend the efforts of the Department of Health – Bureau of Health Facilities and Services (DOH-BHFS) “to provide quality, effective and efficient psychological screening services to overseas work applicants,” thus making this “one of the basic minimum requirements for accreditation of medical facilities for overseas workers and seafarers” (30 November 2010 Draft of Working Document for the TWG).   In the spirit of professional partnership, we would like to share our expertise in the area of psychological assessment to help meet the objective of delivery of quality psychological services to applicants.  With this end in mind, we would like to clarify the standards regarding the use of psychological tests as articulated in the PAP’s Code of Ethics. Pertinent sections of the Code which we subscribe to in our practice of assessment are quoted below and are used as basis for our comments about some proposed guidelines.

 

Section VII.A.1. The expert opinions that we provide through   our recommendation, reports, and diagnostic or evaluative statements are based on substantial information and appropriate assessment techniques.

Section VII.C.1. We judiciously select and administer only those tests which are pertinent to the reason for referral and purpose of the assessment.

 

We are not in agreement with the proposal to use only one objective personality test (i.e., the 16PF) to assess the applicants because this will not provide substantial information and, thus, goes against Section VII.A.1. A basic tenet of assessment is the selection of not one but several instruments to address a specific question (e.g., is the applicant fit for overseas work?). No single instrument can provide all the information needed to make an informed decision. We, therefore, recommend the use of a test battery which, at the minimum, should include two intelligence tests and two personality tests.  The choice of intelligence tests (ideally, one verbal and one non-verbal)  and personality tests  should be based on the reason for assessment and on other variables like the position applied for, the educational attainment of the applicant, etc. (Section VII.C.1).

 

We are aware that Section 2.1 of the 30 November 2010 draft  (Working Document for the TWG on “Formulation of Guidelines in the Conduct of Psychological Examinations for Overseas Work Applicants Pursuant to AO No. 2010-0022”)  which states that “the medical clinic shall use the DOH minimum battery and, whenever applicable, additional appropriate psychological examinations which will assure the quality of psychological results” does provide for the possibility of using more than one intelligence test and more than one personality test. However, it is very likely that only the proposed minimum will be used given the cost that additional tests will entail. What we then recommend is essentially a change in the currently proposed minimum.

 

Section VII.C.3. We use tests that are standardized, valid, reliable, and have normative data directly referable to the population of our clients.

 

Section VII.C. 1 (as explained above) with Section VII.C.3 guides our professional practice and we recommend that this be used as basis for choosing the tests.  In this regard, we would be interested to know about the reliability, validity, and normative data of the 16PF, especially its Filipino version. The question is not just for the 16PF but for any other test that might be considered as part of the test battery.

 

The proposal to take the 16PF online is related to the issue of validity. Do we get valid results when the test is taken online? Is it the same as answering the test in the clinic?  How many in the population of overseas work applicants are conversant with the use of the computer? We then recommend that the advantages and disadvantages of this proposal be evaluated.

 

We are also alarmed by the statistics on the volume of applicants handled everyday at the clinics. The number surely has an effect on the quality of the assessment process. How can a few psychometricians or psychologists in a clinic do a comprehensive interview of all the applicants?  Given the volume that undergoes psychological screening on a daily basis, one cannot help but arrive at the sad conclusion that psychological assessment is probably not given the importance it deserves.  We hope that some measures can be put in place to address this serious concern. We are therefore heartened by the directive of the DOH-BHFS to work out a reasonable ratio of psychologist/ psychometrician to applicants in the medical clinics.  In addition, we suggest a review of the scheduling of applicants who need to be assessed.  We believe that psychology practitioners in OFW clinics aim for quality outputs, and a manageable  psychologist/psychometrician: applicant ratio will help them achieve this objective.

 

Principle IV of our Code of Ethics states that “as a science and a profession, psychology has responsibilities to society. These responsibilities include contributing to the knowledge about human behavior and to persons’ understanding of themselves and others, and using such knowledge to improve the condition of individuals, families, groups, communities, and society.”

 

These responsibilities are even greater now because, while the Implementing Rules and Regulations of The Psychology Act of 2009 (Republic Act No. 10029) are not yet in place, the PAP has been approved by the Professional Regulation Commission as the interim professional organization that oversees the practice of clinical and assessment psychology in the country.

 

We are aware of the complexity of the problems that are related to the assessment process, and we remain open to collaborative endeavors to meet the objective of DOH-BHFS to improve the delivery of psychological services to overseas work applicants.

 

Note:

This PAP Board position was arrived at in consultation with the PAP Public Interest Committee, the PAP Assessment Division Chair, and the five signatories of the September 20, 2010 position paper who were invited by DOH-BFHS as resource persons in drafting the guidelines for testing overseas work applicants.

 

PAP Board of Directors

03 December 2010

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* The Psychological Association of the Philippines (PAP), a professional organization of psychologists founded in 1962, is committed to the promotion of excellence in the teaching, research, and practice of psychology. It is a non-stock, non-profit corporation whose national membership includes teachers, researchers, and practitioners of psychology. Its members adhere to the Universal Declaration of Ethical Principles for Psychologists which recognizes that “ethics is at the core of every discipline.”