What are your goals, as APA president, for APA’s international engagement and for infusing an international perspective into APA’s own vision, activities, and initiatives?
Steven Hollon, PhD
As president of the Society for a Science of Psychology (SSCP) I joined with Daisy Singla at the University of Toronto to take SSCP International. We reached out to scientists overseas and organized a series of symposia and invited speakers at conferences here and abroad including the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) and the International Congress of Psychological Science (ICPS). Invited speakers included David Clark from the UK who along with Lord Richard Layard the health care economist was the driving force behind the program Increasing Access to Psychological Treatments (IAPT), Vikram Patel who splits his time between India and Harvard who has shown that lay counselors can be trained to successfully treat depression in low and middle income countries, and Anke Ehlers from the Oxford who has focused on the treatment of PTSD.
I work extensively with researchers from around the world including Pim Cuijpers in the Netherlands (methodologist on the APA’s depression guideline panel), Ioana Cristea in Romania (meta-analyses on the stability of psychotherapy effects), and Toshi Furukawa in Japan on the role of severity as a moderator of psychotherapy effects.
The challenges we face transcend national boundaries but so too do many of the potential solutions. I have drawn on the expertise of Steve Pilling at the National Institute for Health and Clinical Evaluation (NICE) to help the APA organize its own clinical practice guidelines and I view the work by Clark and Layard who secured £700 million pounds to train psychotherapists in the NHS (described in their treatise Thrive) as a blueprint for what we can do in the US to ensure that the public has access to treatments that not only work but, unlike medications, endure beyond the end of treatment.
What I have done for SSCP International I will do for APA.