NCSPP

Northern California Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology

From the Editor

by Shlomit Gorin, MA

It's the last month of summer. Summertime conjures whimsical fantasies and flights of fancy involving remote beaches and hammocks and siestas. It summons childhood memories of playing outside all day, returning home sticky and dirty when called in for dinnertime.

But summertime is also a time like any other, a time of wars and financial collapse and tragedy. This summer, it turns out, is a time of exposure for the APA, psychologists' governing organization. APA representatives' complicity in U.S. torture has been revealed and confirmed. Exposure of this kind for a leading organization in the field of mental health is horribly ironic, though not entirely unprecedented in psychology's history, both in the United States and internationally.

The APA describes its General Principles as "aspirational in nature" and lists them as Beneficence and Nonmaleficence, Fidelity and Responsibility, Integrity, Justice, and Respect for People's Rights and Dignity. In the midst of our summertime adventures and daydreams, let's remind ourselves of these principles, even if they are only aspirational and "do not represent obligations," as the General Principles introduction states. Let's take time to reflect on the propensity of human beings, especially those in power, to sacrifice ethical principles -- including safeguarding the rights and well-being of others -- for gain of some sort. It's the least we can do, summertime or any other time.