President's Column

Regardless of our individual positions on the recent presidential election, we are in the midst of political and social changes as significant as any we have experienced in our lifetimes. We would have to go back to the 1960s to see the last time such changes occurred in the United States. This situation has left many uncertain about our country's as well as psychology's future.

According to some social scientists, this election is a referendum of the shifting sands of our country's culture and the impact of variance in the character of who we are. The election results tell us that the status quo is no longer viable and that this country, like the rest of the world, is changing much faster than many of us understand or are ready for.

The turbulence and divisiveness of the election creates a time of reflection, reconceptualization and opportunity.

For starters, at APA we are doing everything possible not only to identify, acknowledge and rectify the mistakes of our past, but to build a stronger and more robust organization to address the challenges before us. A total of 19 different significant activities have been undertaken since the Independent Review in 2015. One example is a comprehensive assessment and overhaul of our ethics program. Another is the selection of our association's next chief executive officer. Finally, we are taking this year to march on Washington to celebrate our history and expand our horizons. 2017 is the 125th anniversary of APA, the world's oldest, largest and most prestigious psychological organization in history.

Washington's ability to lead us into the promised land is increasingly a diminishing dream. What politics has not delivered, psychology might. Our discipline provides a methodology without bias that produces results without trajectory. We are then set free to begin the arduous task of making wise decisions that will rebuild not only our country, but our world. Our efforts today will forge the foundation for a stronger, more visionary and robust APA and psychology. In turn, our efforts will result in a greater ability to understand, to teach and to serve.

Let us climb this mountain together. Let us celebrate our history and our future. We have earned this right as psychologists and now it has become our responsibility. Our country and our world need us more than ever.

To read a profile of APA's 2017 president, go to "APA's 2017 president aims to build Latin American ties."