Disaster Response Committee: History and Current Activities

On behalf of the Disaster Response Committee, we would like to share some information about our work over the past couple of years. Although IPA had a Disaster Response Coordinator in the past, that position had been vacant for several years prior to the formation of this committee in January 2022. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, it highlighted the need for a committee dedicated to supporting IPA members and the Iowa public in times of crisis or disaster. 

Since January 2022, we have worked to establish the scope and goals of the committee and explored how we can best serve IPA. We identified free training resources and encouraged members to obtain training in Psychological First Aid. For psychologists who are able to take a more active disaster response role, we provided information on volunteering with the Red Cross in the area of disaster mental health. The Red Cross continues to have a crucial need for volunteers who are licensed mental health providers. 

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The American Psychological Association Ethics Code Task Force: A Revision of our Ethics Code

May 20, 2024

HISTORY

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Presidential Update April 2024

4/30/2024

Time is interesting. I checked my IPA profile recently, and it seems I joined IPA on 5/1/1991. That was 33 years ago. It does not seem that long ago that I was green to IPA. Other (more notable) events that year included the first US-Iraqi war (Desert Storm), the beating of Rodney King, and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. While it seems those things are a long time ago, sadly they seem to have an ongoing echo today. And yet time passes, and it seems inconceivable that I am slipping into the old guard. Given that time seems to compress as we age (at least as long as we are “with it” enough to perceive time), so perhaps I can use that as my explanation for why my first blog post is appearing in April rather than in
February or March. Or not. 

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2024 Phil Laughlin Award for Meritorious Service

At the awards ceremony during the Iowa Psychological Association (IPA) Spring Conference in Cedar Rapids on March 23, 2024, Dr. Benjamin Tallman was presented with the Phil Laughlin Meritorious Achievement Award. Many in attendance were moved in hearing both Dr. Tallman's nomination and in his acceptance remarks. While his acceptance was offered extemporaneously at the ceremony, he was kind enough to reproduce his sentiments below. 

First, IPA would like to publicly share Dr. Tallman's nomination submitted by Alissa Doobay, Ph.D., Sam L. Graham, Ph.D., Sarah Fetter, Ph.D., Nicole Holmberg, Ph.D., Nicole H. Keedy, Ph.D., and Valerie J. Keffala, Ph.D., ABPP.  

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Carepatron Offers IPA Members Exclusive Benefits

Carepatron is proud to sponsor the Iowa Psychological Association. Carepatron is an innovative practice management software provider dedicated to empowering mental health professionals with cutting-edge tools and resources, enhancing their efficiency and patient care. Carepatron is offering an incredible incentive for new users: six months free of charge for the product, ensuring a seamless transition to optimized practice management.


This unparalleled opportunity represents a significant value addition for mental health professionals, allowing them to experience the full benefits of Carepatron without any financial commitment for half a year.

To avail of this offer, IPA members can sign up for Carepatron's services through the dedicated partnership link: https://www.carepatron.com/partners/ipa.

Why You Should Invest In Practice Management Software

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, companies have addressed healthcare challenges by offering practice management solutions. These facilitate remote healthcare delivery, which is crucial during social distancing.

The practice management system market, valued at USD 12.4 billion in 2022, is projected to grow at a CAGR of 9.72% from 2023 to 2030. Increased adoption is driven by cost reduction needs and income generation for healthcare professionals, alongside government initiatives and IT integration in healthcare, such as the Federal IT Strategic Plan 2020-2025 (Grand View Research, 2023).

As the world returns to normalcy, practice management systems remain vital. Carepatron offers an array of benefits tailored to the unique needs of psychologists practicing in the US. From comprehensive clinical documentation to seamless scheduling and billing solutions, Carepatron empowers psychologists to focus more on their clients' well-being and less on administrative hassles.

Here's why investing in practice management software is essential for psychologists across the United States:

  • Streamlined clinical documentation. Carepatron simplifies the often cumbersome task of clinical documentation, allowing psychologists to organize and access client records securely. With customizable templates and intuitive interfaces, mental health practitioners can focus more on meaningful client interactions and less on paperwork.
  • Efficient scheduling. Say goodbye to scheduling headaches with Carepatron's intuitive scheduling feature. Psychologists can easily manage appointments, set reminders, and avoid double bookings, ensuring optimal utilization of their time and resources.
  • Seamless patient portal. Carepatron's patient portal provides a centralized platform for engagement between psychologists and their clients. Patients can securely access appointment scheduling and treatment plans and upload progress notes, enhancing transparency and empowering them to take an active role in their care.
  • Seamless billing. Carepatron takes the hassle out of billing with its integrated billing functionality. Practitioners can streamline the billing process, reduce errors, and ensure timely payments, ultimately improving cash flow and financial stability.
  • Transcription and medical dictation. With transcription and medical dictation capabilities, psychologists can dictate notes. Carepatron's AI-driven transcription tool boosts accuracy, efficiency, and error correction, precisely capturing complex medical terms using advanced technology.
  • Efficient electronic signing. With Carepatron's electronic signing feature, psychologists can easily streamline consent forms, treatment plans, and other documents. Clients can conveniently sign documents digitally, eliminating the need for paper processes and expediting administrative workflows.
  • Available resources for psychologists. Carepatron provides many resources explicitly tailored for psychologists, including therapy worksheets, guides, and educational videos. Whether navigating the software or staying abreast of industry best practices, practitioners have access to the tools they need to excel in their field.
With these features, psychologists and psychiatrists alike laud Carepatron for its remarkable efficiency.

"Carepatron saves me 2 hours every day," attests Jude Lee, a psychologist, underscoring the platform's efficiency benefits.

Moreover, Dr. James Thompson, a Psychiatrist, asserts that "Carepatron has made getting paid on time a breeze," making timely compensation effortless for healthcare practices.

The Future of Carepatron

As Carepatron continues to innovate and evolve, psychologists can look forward to being part of a dynamic community committed to advancing the practice of psychology. With ongoing updates and enhancements, the platform remains at the forefront of practice management technology, empowering practitioners to deliver exceptional care confidently.

To learn more about Carepatron and its benefits for psychologists, visit Carepatron's Psychology Software page.

For IPA members and those considering membership, seizing the opportunity to sign up for Carepatron is a pivotal step toward optimizing your mental health practice. This all-in-one solution will help you streamline administrative tasks, enhance patient engagement, and uphold the highest data security standards.

Investing in practice management software improves efficiency and transforms how psychologists deliver care, enhance client experiences, and thrive in an ever-evolving healthcare landscape.

Join the ranks of mental health practitioners who have revolutionized their practices with Carepatron. Sign up now and work towards a brighter, more streamlined future for your mental health practice.

Reference:

Grand View Research. (2023, May). Practice management system market size report, 2030. www.grandviewresearch.com. https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/practice-management-systems-market

IPA Receives Small State Operational Grant from APA Services

IPA Leaders are excited to share with you the letter we received from APA Services:

We are pleased to inform you that APA Services has awarded the Iowa Psychological Association a Small State Operational Grant in the amount of $15,000 to help fund the salary for the Executive Director or to support the cost of hiring an association management firm.

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Science Consistently Shows Conversion Therapy to be Harmful and Ineffective

The Iowa Psychological Association Public Education Committee has the sole purpose of bringing to the public’s awareness psychological research and science in about issues relevant to Iowans. The purpose of this committee is to inform and educate based on scientific research.  With that in mind, we share the following regarding the science on sexual orientation and the lack of science supporting sexual reorientation/conversion therapy.

In 1990, Dr. Bryant Welch, American Psychological Association Executive Director 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, or reorientations therapies due to lack of scientific evidence to support positive impact of these interventions, 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 Health Association, American School Counselor Association, American School Health Association, National Association of Social Workers, Pan American Health Organization, School Social Work Association of America, and others.

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The Gift of IPA Membership

As we quickly approach the IPA renewal date, the Membership Committee would like to highlight a few of the many benefits of membership in this outstanding association.

Our association celebrated another strong year in 2023 and our membership numbers have remained robust. As of January 28, we have 304 members, 52 of whom are student members (quite an accomplishment – IPA has typically maintained a total 30-40 student members in recent history). In fact, IPA was recognized by APA for being one of the states with the highest proportion of licensed psychologists choosing to join their state psychological association - this is a testament to the wonderful community you all provide to psychologists across the state! Student membership has flourished since implementation of our Student Mentorship and Sponsored Student programs; thank you to those who responded to our recent call for sponsored student donations! IPA has continued to offer excellent professional development opportunities to members, including a fabulous spring wellness retreat called “Taking Care of Us,” our fall conference on Therapeutic Assessment, and additional trainings on Providing Affirming Care for Gender Diverse Youth, Ethics and Risk Management, and Clinical Psychopharmacology, among others. Members can access a wide variety of recorded trainings from this past year through our website. After the renewal process has ended, all renewed members will receive their annual code for four free online CEs to use in 2024! 

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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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President’s December 2023 Update and Farewell

The year’s end is rapidly approaching, and what a year it’s been for IPA! You can read my updates from spring and summer here and here.

I think one of the most exciting things this year is that IPA created a Marketing Consultant Workgroup, headed by early career psychologist Dr. Jenna Paternostro. This workgroup’s task is to complete a rebranding and website redesign project! IPA wants to position itself as Iowa’s leader in mental and behavioral health. The Executive Council (EC) believes this project will attract new members and frame IPA and its members as the experts in psychological science to better serve the public. This is a stepwise project, and the first step of logo redesign is already underway. The workgroup is collaborating with SuperWink Studio, an Iowa-based design firm, to enhance IPA’s recognition among members and the public. We are on track and projected to launch the new logo in early spring. The second step in the process will be the website redesign, and we hope to have a contract for this work signed by the end of the year. The website redesign is intended to improve user experience, enhance IPA’s visibility and inclusivity, and increase accessibility of our public education resources. As a nerd for all things design, I could not be more excited about this project and how it will benefit IPA!

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ISU Counseling Psychology Reunion on the 50th Anniversary of APA Accreditation

On October 28th, several IPA members attended a reunion at Iowa State University to honor the Counseling Psychology Program on its 50th anniversary of APA Accreditation. This event was the first reunion hosted by the department in over 20 years and was spearheaded by ISU Professor of Psychology and Associate Chair, Dr. Nathaniel Wade. The day’s events began with an open house in Lagomarcino Hall. Attendees toured the building, connected with former students and faculty members, and socialized at Della Viti Wine Bar in Ames.

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Collaborative/Therapeutic Assessment: IPA Fall Conference 2023

With traditional clinical assessment, clinicians are often guided by the question, “What do I want to know?” As psychologists, we can tend to prioritize own interests and goals when determining an assessment’s purpose as well as the questions we attempt to answer. In doing so, we can overlook the client’s interests and priorities. It’s much less common for a clinician to revise the question of “What do I want to know?” to “What do you want to know?,” and focus the assessment around what is personally meaningful to the client. Additionally, traditional clinical assessment tends to prioritize the identification of what’s “wrong” with the client. However, our client’s interests are often not limited to insights into what is wrong; they also have an interest in identifying their strengths and adaptive traits.

Moreover, it can be easy for clinicians to overlook what it is like to be “in our client’s shoes,” and recognize just how unnerving and intimidating an assessment can be. Think about it—some mysterious person is asking several mysterious questions, administering a series of mysterious measures and tasks with mysterious activities and items–all the while, providing limited feedback along the way. This uncertainty can make assessment a frightening and overall negative experience for our clients, which can potentially have an adverse impact the on the quality and accuracy of the collected data as well as the quality of the relationship with the client.

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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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2023 Ann Ernst Public Service Award

At the IPA Fall Conference on October 6, Dr. Bethe Lonning was presented with the Ann Ernst Public Service Award. This award honors a psychologist who has made, on a pro bono basis, significant contributions of a psychological nature that have benefited society as a whole. The contribution(s) may have been a single major contribution or reflect a consistent history of volunteer service to the community at large.

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Top 5 Reasons Students Should Join IPA

Hello, fellow psychology students! My name is Ashley Banta, and I’m the IPA Student Division Representative-Elect. I am eager to advocate for psychology doctoral students in Iowa. Today, I have the top FIVE reasons you should join IPA! 

The first reason is networking. Student members have rich opportunities to make professional relationships. Everyone gets paired with a practicing psychologist mentor. These mentors can give you important information about practicum opportunities and future internship sites. Even if you don’t intend to stay in Iowa, you can learn from these mentors and take the culture of “Iowa Nice” out into the wider world!  I have personally benefitted from the connections that I have made with other IPA members. 

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On TikTok University, Therapeutic Assessment, and the IPA Fall Conference

When was the last time you got a new referral who had seen five therapists in recent years but didn’t feel like any of the clinicians really “got” them or helped them feel better? Or how about  worked with someone who checked their symptoms with Dr. Google or was taking some “classes” at TikTok University? We see folks with these types of experiences every day, and it might seem tempting to roll our eyes or sigh deeply at yet another person who has lived with their pain for so long or hearing about another self-diagnosis/TikTok-diagnosis of autism, DID, or another diagnosis de jour. Through the lens of Collaborative/Therapeutic Assessment (C/TA), these presenting concerns provide a chance to invite data from all sources into the room…believe it or not, even TikTok. When clients/patients come in seeking care, we can create a rich opportunity to deepen a person’s curiosity, increase their ability to understand their strengths and problems in living, develop new narratives about themselves and their life, and support meaningful change in just a few sessions.

If you haven’t completely written this off based on my generous acceptance of so-called “TikTok data,” thank you. And I’ll take this opportunity to remind you of the chance to learn more about C/TA at IPA’s upcoming fall conference, Following the Breadcrumbs: The Basics of Collaborative/Therapeutic Assessment and How it Can Enhance Clinical Practice. You may be thinking, “I do therapeutic assessment!” or wondering what C/TA is and how it’s different from traditional assessment. You may also be curious about how this semi-structured assessment method could enhance your practice, especially if your practice is more (or entirely) therapy focused. Or, if you’re a carb-lover like me, you may even have noticed your stomach rumbling at the mention of bread. While I can’t help you with a snack in this moment, I’m delighted to share a bit about my presentation at the upcoming conference, C/TA, and why (besides the snacks) it might be worth your while to spend the day together, learning and connecting as we engage our curiosity together. 

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Presidential Update Summer 2023

IPA’s mission is to promote the science and practice of psychology for the benefit of all Iowans. Our volunteer leaders and paid contractors have been working hard in 2023 to carry out that mission in alignment with our 2021-2024 Strategic Plan. I’d like to take a moment to highlight some of the important developments from the first part of the year and the people who have been generously donating their time and energy for all our benefit.

Education and Training

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An Abolitionist Approach to Safety Planning in Psychotherapy

 

We desperately need therapists who are abolitionists. So many of us can’t tell our therapists that we have suicidal thoughts because we fear the police will get sent to our house. It’s terrifying to see your therapist as a cop (#DepressedWhileBlack, 2021) 

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Membership Update July 2023

The IPA Membership Committee comprises a group of committed and creative members whose efforts center around three driving goals of recruitment, retention, and connection. This blog post serves to provide a summary of recent membership trends and much-appreciated efforts by the Membership Committee to maintain a trend of growth. Current committee members include:

Ashley Banta                      IPA Student Representative-Elect
Angelica Castro Bueno      Student Liaison from Diversity and Social Justice Committee
Alissa Doobay, PhD           Co-Chair
Eric Field                            IPA Student Representative
Suzanne Hull                     IPA Executive Director
Nicole Keedy, PhD            Co-Chair
Jenna Paternostro, PhD    Liaison to Early Career Psychologists Committee
David VanHorn, PhD         Newly Welcomed Committee Member






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Update on RxP in Iowa

Iowa holds its place in psychology history as the fourth state to pass legislation that allows psychologists to prescribe medication after additional education and experiential training. The initial legislation was signed into law in 2016 and administrative rules were finalized in February 2019, which opened the door to begin licensing prescribing psychologists in Iowa.

On April 28, 2023 Governor Kim Reyolds of Iowa signed HF. 183 into law. This legislation had passed the Iowa House 95-0 and the Iowa Senate 50-0, receiving excellent support from both sides of the aisle. This law removes several barriers in our original RxP law. Introducing RxP laws in any state often includes some compromises that need to be addressed in the future, which was the case with our law in Iowa. I am happy to report the following barriers were removed:

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