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To Join or Not to Join? – A Complex Question

Members of the Iowa Psychological Association occasionally ask about IPA’s stance regarding the psychology interstate compact known as PsyPact. Most psychologists have received ample marketing from multiple sources regarding the primary stated objective: to increase ease of interstate telehealth practice, a widely supported objective for expanding psychological treatment accessibility. At the same time, these marketing messages provide limited information regarding the specific terms of PsyPact and thereby limit awareness of its challenges. The concept behind a compact like PsyPact contains some highly desirable components, while its implementation has left cause for concern. Upon examining specifics of the compact, concerns about patient protections become apparent. 

Due to these concerns, IPA has opposed adoption of PsyPact in Iowa in order to support ethical and sustainable psychological services in Iowa. It is worth noting that multiple state associations have expressed concerns about the rules of PsyPact that have kept their states from joining the compact (accessible via Internet search but not explicitly listed in the interest of discretion) and IPA leaders have encountered similar expressed concerns in private communications with current PsyPact members. It is the perspective of IPA that it would be best to wait for major concerns to be addressed before joining this compact (most notably, the compact’s current determination of the “home state” as the location of the psychologist). If PsyPact made changes to reduce the safety risks for Iowans, or if a feasible alternative were to become available, IPA would be open to reconsidering its stance. The primary concerns are detailed below.

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Reparative Therapy: What the Facts Really Are

As far back as 1990, Dr. Bryant Welch, Executive Director of the American Psychological Association stated, “Research findings suggest that efforts to repair homosexuals (sic) are nothing more than social prejudice garbed in psychological accoutrements.” Since then, mainstream medical and psychological health associations have taken unequivocal stances against what is called conversion, reparative, and reorientations therapies due to lack of evidence to support positive impact and the plethora of evidence documenting harm.  These organizations include: American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Nursing, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Association of Marriage & Family Therapy, American College of Physicians, American Counseling Association, American Medical Association, American Medical Student Association, American Psychiatric Association, American Psychoanalytic Association, American Psychological Association, American School Counselor Association, American School health Association, National Association of Social Workers, the Pan American Health Organization, and others.

These organizations, who represent the majority of U.S. medical and psychological health professionals have taken this stance not because of political positioning, but because, as the American Psychological Association (2007) noted:

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Taking Action to Sustain Care in Challenging Times: Supporting our TGNB Clients and Communities

We are in a time of significant legislative challenge focused on Iowa citizens who are transgender/non-binary (TGNB).  Recent changes to Iowa law include, amongst several actions, prohibiting youth who are TGNB from accessing gender affirming medical care. This creates challenges for psychologists who work with youth who are TGNB and their family and friends.

As a gay, cis-gender psychologist with a long history of working with people who are TGNB and their communities, I have had the privilege to deepen my understanding about the challenges people who are TGNB must manage and emotionally attend to, while also just moving forward with daily life.  State laws that then negatively impact youth who are TGNB make this “lifting” of daily life infinitely more challenging.  People of color who are TGNB may experience even heavier burden and may more strongly feel the impact of these laws.

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IPA Receives APA Grant Money

The Iowa Psychological Association is pleased to announce that we have again been awarded a Small State Operational Grant from APA services in the amount of $10,000 to help fund our lobbyist services. The grant will be used to go toward offsetting the lobbyist expense to help support IPA’s 2022 legislative agenda:

  1. Continue to advocate for parity in telehealth for services provided by psychologists.

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IPA Receives APA Grant

The Iowa Psychological Association is pleased to announce that it was awarded a Small State Operational Grant from the American Psychological Association Services, Inc. in the amount of $10,000 to help fund IPA’s advocacy efforts. More specifically, the grant will be used to go toward offsetting the lobbyist expense to help support IPA’s 2021 legislative agenda:

  1. Continue to push parity in telehealth and no restrictions on platform used by providers.
  2. Expand the postdoctoral psychologist training program to additional underserved communities even if they are not located in a federal shortage area.
  3. Allow licensed psychologists to receive reimbursement for psychological services performed by pre-doctoral interns under their direct supervision.
  4. Continue to advocate for and protect the value of psychology licensure and reject delicensing bills.  
  5. Support ongoing implementation of prescribing authority for specially-trained psychologists.
  6. Uphold Iowa patient protection and provider qualification requirements for services rendered to Iowans.

APA Services provided up to $250,000 for Small State Organizational Grants in 2021 to state psychological associations to support the needs of psychologists. Grants are administered by the APA Practice Directorate and the Committee for State Leaders (CSL). APA received 25 applications this year and the CSL weighted a number of important factors such as each state’s grant history and financial status to ensure that the funding were distributed fairly.

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