Summer 2011: APA attends regional conferences of psychology

A team of representatives from APA, including 2011 APA President Melba Vasquez, participated in regional psychology conferences in Medellin, Colombia, and Istanbul, Turkey

pi-2011-07-regional-conferences1APA President Melba Vasquez and several other APA leaders and staff were active participants in the two major regional conferences of psychology during Summer 2011 — the 33rd Interamerican Congress of Psychology (SIP) in Medellin, Colombia, and the 12th European Congress of Psychology (ECP) in Istanbul, Turkey.

33rd Interamerican Congress of Psychology (SIP) Medellin, Colombia

APA President Melba Vasquez and staff from International Affairs and APA Books joined over 2,000 colleagues from 100 countries at the SIP Congress, whose theme was "Science Serving Humanity." Spread over 5 days in the Medellin "Plaza Major" Exhibition Center, the Congress provided a forum for psychologists to meet and share experiences, to network, and to gain new professional contacts and ideas. It also provided an opportunity for international organizations and national associations of psychology in Colombia and the rest of the Americas to meet together, exchange information, and develop plans for future collaboration.

APA President Melba Vasquez and COLPSIC President Gloria Ampara Vélez pose with the newly signed Memorandum of Understanding.APA President Melba Vasquez’s keynote talk on APA’s social justice activities attracted lively discussion, as did round table discussions with leaders of other psychology associations on collaboration and exchange, and on international communication. Vasquez also hosted a welcome reception for the Congress organizers, local universities, invited keynote speakers, student volunteers and APA members, that was held in Medellin’s botanical garden.

On the occasion of the SIP Congress, APA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Colegio Colombiano de Psicólogos (COLPSIC), an organization of 17,000 psychologists in Colombia. APA and COLPSIC will develop activities under the aegis of the MOU to foster ethics education and training, as well as curriculum development. Colombia joins six other associations that have signed an MOU with APA — the Jordanian Psychological Association, the Psychological Society of South Africa, the British Psychological Society, the Australian Psychological Society, the Canadian Psychological Association and the Norwegian Psychological Association. APA also plans to sign an MOU with the Mexican Psychological Society at the APA Convention in August.

International Affairs Director Merry Bullock and APA international journal editor Judith Gibbons lead a discussion on communicating about psychology around the world.While in Medellin, APA representatives also met with faculty at universities to discuss strategies for international exchange and collaboration, and visited local community projects such as "Buen Comienzo" (Good Beginnings), a preschool program to provide community based education and support in some of the poorest areas of Medellin.

The next Interamerican Congress will be held in Brasilia, Brazil in July, 2013.

12th European Congress of Psychology (ECP) Istanbul, Turkey

Melba Vasquez gives a keynote speech on the challenges and complexities of a thriving psychology at the ECP in Istanbul, Turkey.APA President Melba Vasquez, Board members Carol Goodheart (Past-President), Barry Anton and Kurt Geisinger, and APA staff from the Office of International Affairs, Ethics, Books, and Marketing attended the European Congress of Psychology and participated in symposia on ethics, international collaboration, evidence based practice, and testing.

Along with over 2,200 attendees from 70 countries, the ECP — whose theme was "Understanding & Embracing Diversity" — included special tracks on ethics, tests and testing, and European education (see Interview with Melba Vasquez).

After the Congress, APA staff attended the General Assembly of the European Federation of Psychologists’ Associations (EFPA) as observers. Highlights included reports on the EuroPsy process, a new look to the European Psychologist as it encourages more "big picture" contributions and reviews, and strategic mechanisms for public information and knowledge initiatives.

APA presentations

Interamerican Congress of Psychology:
  • "Ethics in Psychology" — Keynote, Melba Vasquez

  • Symposium: "Colaboración Internacional en la Psicología: Retos y Oportunidades (International Collaboration in Psychology: Challenges and Opportunities)" — Participant, Melba Vasquez

  • "Communicating about Psychology Around the World" — Merry Bullock & Judith Gibbons

European Congress of Psychology:
  • Symposium: "Ethics in Action: Documents, Decision Making, and Regulation" — Merry Bullock & Stephen Behnke

  • Symposium: "Psychoquackery: Discredited Tests and Treatments in Psychology" — Discussants, Melba Vasquez & Barry Anton

  • "A Thriving Psychology: Challenges and Complexities" — Keynote, Melba Vasquez