2014 Letter from the President - Dr. A. Lorenz
29 June 2014
Dear CAPDA Colleagues,
As the time for the annual membership renewal approaches, and having already sent along Dr. Louisa Gembora’s reminder to renew your membership, I will take this opportunity to write to you and offer you my thoughts about recent activities of the Board of Directors, and, to share with you our hopes and potential vision for CAPDA’s future. Please take a little time and familiarize yourself with CAPDA’s board of directors (who are representing you, the members) and our current and past activities.
Dr. Gembora has already offered a brief synopsis of CAPDA’s current activities and encouraged you, the members, to consider active participation in our current goals.
I would as well like to generate interest in the activities that your Board of Directors has initiated, and invite you to participate by writing to us and sharing your concerns, your thoughts, and your interests. We want to know how you feel about CAPDA’s future and what you would like to see started and accomplished. By writing this letter, I am hoping that we will receive the feedback and support that is currently needed the most, and that keeps the membership engaged in our CAPDA’s work and plans for the future.
In doing so, I am also asking that you consider joining one of our committees. We have several very active committees and the chairs need your help with education, credentialing, and others to which I will be referring to below. As promised in my last letter, I am offering an overview of our recent and future activities and ambitions.
Dr. Jeremy Frank, who is leading the credentialing committee, has announced that we are now ready to begin the process of admitting the first potential CAPDA member to our newly designed Diplomate certification exam. This is the first Diplomate of any kind created in Canada. Much work has gone into this innovative new program for experienced psychologists at the expert level; this is only offered by CAPDA and the first of its kind. It has been created with considerable vision, creativity and passion. I would like to express my appreciation to Dr. Frank and his committee for the great amount of energy dedicated to the creation of this Diplomate.
Our new education Chair, Dr. Janet Clewes, is committed to recruit presenters of national and international recognition. We intend that our future workshops and educational events are designed with our educational goals for both potential Diplomate applicants and for the continuing education needs as we anticipate that in accordance with our College’s future requirements for the profession we may need specific additional CE credits and educational updates on a routine basis. Our future workshops will focus on issues inherent in our work as experts both nationally and in our province of licensure, in the courts, in other litigation procedures, and as we offer our expert opinions as assessors in many fields of expertise. Future workshops will be designed to offer us new expertise and learning in the legal, and scientific (research) and treatment arenas.
Dr. David Kurzman is heading the committee devoted to the use of electronic means in expanding access to workshops (for example via future webinars), and in becoming more visible to our own and other, allied professions across Canada, thus expanding our mandate and reach as a professional organization.
Dr. Marek Zelinski has volunteered to head a review of our mission statement so that we can make our national focus and expertise more visible to all.
Dr. Brian Levitt is leading the Standards and Guidelines Committee. He is currently presenting to the Institute of Medicine at the National Academies of Science in Washington, DC on some of the issues inherent in validity testing. This is relevant as currently, this U.S. organization was asked to put together an expert committee to help evaluate validity testing in US Social Security Administration Disability claim determinations. Brian can inform us of some of the findings and opinions that are evolving in the U.S. in this regard and that can help us in our process of defining and understanding some of these issues in our own professional jurisdictions. Ultimately, CAPDA is hoping to become much more involved in a dialogue with other organizations, nationally and provincially, and in understanding and committing to psychological disability threshold determinations and the process inherent in the disability assessments our members are involved in on a daily basis.
Dr. Deborah Cowman, who was instrumental in getting our website up and running, continues as our secretary and continues to introduce enlightening ideas and solutions when we are struggling with complex issues.
Dr. Silverman continues in his tasks as our trusted treasurer, and he ensures that we are ever cognizant of the financial responsibilities we face when entrusted with the operation of an organization.
When I reflect on the current situation of the profession of psychology, and recent developments, our focus in new, additional credentialing to set us apart, and in increasing our knowledge and expertise, is very much in keeping with CAPDA’s goals, and ultimately, future directions, which I strongly believe CAPDA needs to consider.
That is, with some of the developments in healthcare in Ontario and across Canada, such as the changes in credentialing needed to be admitted to the profession of psychology in Ontario, for example, the recent developments in the federal government’s view on mobility for the profession across the provinces, and, the general, overall future of healthcare delivery, in the province of Ontario and across Canada, I believe it is especially important that CAPDA consider a review of its role and mission as an organization that can lead in establishing better and higher standards for admission into our profession, help better define the role of our profession in health care delivery, (for example, what constitutes best and ethical practice when we do not have the appropriate financial support?) and in guiding our members of the profession on how we practice our trade.
The Ontario Psychological Association, under the leadership of Dr. Jane Storrie has, with great energy and passion, renewed its efforts in advocacy and visibility for our profession in Ontario. As the Ontario Psychological Association is expanding its current goals and activities, CAPDA has the opportunity to review its role and mission, and set itself apart as an organization that is relevant for the development of standards and excellence in the practice of psychology on a national level, and one of additional and special expertise.
My vision for CAPDA is that we will offer leadership and guidance in our activities, in continuing education, levels of standards and expert knowledge requirements for a number of expert activities within the profession, and the evolution of an ultimately doctoral level entry profession of psychology across Canada. This I am hoping to see develop naturally as a mere necessity in offering our best standards of professional practice across Canada.
I am looking forward to having CAPDA participate with other national organizations, and with provincial stakeholders such as OPA, in developing higher standards, and offer education to our profession in how we can, and should, conduct ourselves in our professional activities as senior psychologists.
In summary, the most important message that I would like to offer you as I am inviting you to continue your membership with CAPDA, and participate as actively as you are able to, is that your Board of Directors will dedicate its energy to a highly focused effort in elevating CAPDA’s work to a national level, achieving more dialogue with stakeholders in other provinces, such as professional associations and psychology boards/colleges, as well as national stakeholders, and work on offering continuing education that is relevant to our current professional needs.
As your president, I am offering you my commitment to work towards expanding CAPDA’s efforts in becoming a more national presence, and in liaising with other organizations, yet setting CAPDA apart as a leader that offers the special expertise and experience of our members.
I am inviting you to go to our website (as Dr. Gembora noted in her letter from the membership chair), and review our future workshop by Dr. Randy Otto.
Dr. Randy Otto will present a workshop on ethics in forensic psychological assessment. This is the first in a series of workshops which we plan to dedicate to our goals in continuing education of members’ respective areas of expertise and interest.
This workshop will also be the first to be offered as a webinar.
Please consider helping us on one of our committees and, write or phone, as invited and well expressed by our Membership Chair, Dr. Gembora.
The Board of Directors and I hope to have your participation, on as active and committed a level as you are able to manage. And, we look forward to having you join us for our next educational event, in person or via Webinar.
With my wishes for a great summer,
and Best Regards,
Dr. Annette Lorenz, C. Psych.,
Letter from the President (June 30, 2014)