A View of Psychology

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Leadership, Mentoring, Service, and How Psychology Can Save America from Itself Jeffrey E. Barnett, Psy.D., ABPP APF Rosalee G. Weiss Lecture for Outstanding Leaders in Psychology. A View of Psychology. Former APA President, Pat DeLeon, described Psychology as one of the learned professions. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Leadership, Mentoring, Service, and How Psychology Can Save America from Itself

    Jeffrey E. Barnett, Psy.D., ABPPAPF Rosalee G. Weiss Lecture for Outstanding Leaders in Psychology

  • A View of Psychology

    Former APA President, Pat DeLeon, described Psychology as one of the learned professions.

    I view it also as one of the privileged professions. This provides us with both opportunities and responsibilities.

  • Our Responsibilities and ObligationsAs Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke stated in his recent Princeton University commencement address, citing the Gospel of Luke:"From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded"

    (Luke 12:48, New Revised Standard Version Bible).

  • Ability to Make a DifferenceAs Psychologists, we are so fortunate and so much has been given to us.

    Additionally, so much has been entrusted to us.

    With our education, training, and privileged position in society, we are uniquely positioned to be able to do great things to impact the lives of others.

  • Inspirational Leadership

    Effective leaders are role models for others and lead by example.

    Strong Truths Well-Lived. Choosing to live day-in and day-out consistently with the highest ideals of our profession.

  • Leadership as a Two-way Street

    Effective leaders are inspiring, but they are also inspired by others.

    We are active mentors who seek to inspire and positively impact those around us.

    We do not wait for others to take the initiative. We see challenges and opportunities, and then take positive action.

  • Mentoring as a Calling

    Transformational Mentoring (Brad Johnson); Mentoring as a two-way street.

    Meaningful connections.

    Transforming and being transformed though these genuine, caring, committed, and meaningful relationships.

  • Secrets of Successful MentoringBelieving in our mentees, being committed and loyal to them, and inspiring them to achieve more than they had believed was possible.

    Being truly invested in their professional and personal growth, development, and success.

    Being open and honest; conveying respect and caring. Able to create a safe holding environment in which to take risks, experiment, and flourish.

  • Psychology and Service

    Advancing our profession through service.

    Active participation in the profession of psychology.

    Being a leader and not sitting back and waiting (hoping) for others to do this for us.

    The future of the profession is in our hands.

  • Two Important Types of ServiceTwo Important Types of Service Essential for Us to Participate In:

    Service to the profession (local, state, and national professional association involvement and service).

    Advocacy work to advance and support our profession and to ensure that the needs of those we serve are adequately met.

  • Benefits of Service to the Profession

    We are provided the opportunity to improve and advance the profession that gives us so much.

    We are provided with connections with colleagues and enriching relationships that combat professional isolation.

    We are offered opportunities to develop leadership skills and to do meaningful work.

  • Benefits of AdvocacyEssential to the survival and vitality of our profession (and our livelihoods!).

    Essential to the public we serve to ensure they have unfettered access to needed care.

    Who is advocating for psychology, psychologists, the public we serve? A contemporary example: The Applied Behavior Analysts.

  • Leadership, Advocacy, and ServiceRabbi Hillel is quoted as saying:

    If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, then what am I? And if not now, when?

    Thus, we must advocate for ourselves as well as for others, we cannot wait for others to step up and do this important work, and we must each take action now, and on an ongoing basis.

  • Does American Need Saving?America, Land of Independence.

    Who is influencing our decision-making and is it truly independent?

    Impact on lifestyle and health.

    Despite being one of the wealthiest nations in the world we are all or near the bottom on all major indicators of health and wellbeing.

  • Leading Causes of Death in the U.S.Heart disease: 597,689Cancer: 574,743Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 138,080Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 129,476Accidents (unintentional injuries): 120,859Alzheimer's disease: 83,494Diabetes: 69,071Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 50,476Influenza and Pneumonia: 50,097Intentional self-harm (suicide): 38,364 (CDC, 2011)

  • Top Causes of Death in the U.S. The first 2 - heart disease and cancer -- accounted for almost 50% of 2,468,435 deaths in 2010. (CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 2013, 62, 152).

    It is estimated that behavioral (lifestyle) and mental health related factors account for between 60% and 80% of the causes of health difficulties in the United States today.

  • Actual Causes of Death in the U.S.Cause 1990 2000 Tobacco 400,000 435,000Poor Diet and Physical Inactivity 300,000 400,000Alcohol Consumption 100,000 85,000Microbial Agents 90,000 75,000Toxic Agents 60,000 55,000Motor Vehicle Crashes 25,000 43,000Incidents Involving Firearms 35,000 29,000Sexual Behaviors 30,000 20,000Illicit Use of Drugs 20,000 17,000

  • Conclusions:These analyses show that smoking remains the leading cause of mortality. However, poor diet and physical inactivity may soon overtake tobacco as the leading cause of death. These findings, along with escalating health care costs and aging population, argue persuasively that the need to establish a more preventive orientation in the US health care and public health systems has become more urgent (JAMA, 2004; p. 1238).

  • Childhood Obesity Obesity has been linked with serious illnesses during childhood and an increased risk of developing conditions, such as type-2 diabetes, asthma and breathing difficulties during sleep, bone, joint, and muscle problems; and emotional, behavioral, and academic problems. (2007 National Survey of Children's Health)

    There has been a four-fold increase in the number of children and teenagers admitted to hospital for obesity-related conditions in the last decade.

  • Americas HealthAmericans under age 50 die earlier and live in poorer health than their counterparts in other developed countries. American men ranked last in life expectancy among the 17 wealthiest countries, and American women ranked second to last.

    All this, despite spending more on health care per capital than in any other nation.

  • Americas Health (cont.) The United States had the second-highest death rate from the most common form of heart disease, the kind that causes heart attacks, and the second-highest death rate from lung disease, a legacy of high smoking rates in past decades. American adults also have the highest diabetes rates. The United States has the highest infant mortality rate among these countries. (Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council, 2013)

  • Americas Health (cont.) Americans lose more years of life before age 50 to alcohol and drug abuse than people in any of the other countries studied. Americans also had the lowest probability over all of surviving to the age of 50.

    The U.S. ranked near and at the bottom in almost every heath indicator (Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council, 2013)

  • Amenable MortalityAmenable mortality remains an important contributor to premature mortality in 16 high-income countries, accounting for 24% of deaths under age 75. Amenable mortality continues to fall across high-income nations although the USA is lagging increasingly behind other high-income countries. In 2007, amenable mortality in the US was almost twice that in France, which had the lowest levels. (Nolte, 2013; RAND Europe).

  • Healthcare SpendingHealthcare in US will consume a fifth of GDP by 2020. Spending on healthcare will consume 19.8% ($4.6 trillion) of the total US economy in 2020, predict government actuaries at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (Roehr, 2011; BMJ). Direct mental health spending has remained roughly 1% of the economy since 1986, while total health spending climbed from about 10% of GDP in 1986 to nearly 17% in 2009 (Rampell, 2013, NY Times).

  • More on Amenable MortalityA new study says there are five things killing Ontario residents more than seven years earlier. These bad lifestyle choices include: Smoking, Drinking Alcohol, Poor Diet, Lack of Physical Activity, and Stress. Researchers found 60 per cent of all deaths in Ontario can be blamed on those five unhealthy habits. (http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2012/04/02/ontario-unhealthy-lifestyle-choices.html)

  • Conclusions and RecommendationsOur nation needs to change from an expensive and ineffective disease management system to a health promotion system. Psychologists and organized psychology can play key roles in this change.

    So much of what is needed is what we have to offer. As researchers, educators, and clinicians, we are ideally positioned to take the lead in this effort. And, as the data presented hopefully demonstrates, this is a dire situation and the time for action is now.

  • Conclusions (cont.)Perhaps all this seems quite daunting. But, I have one additional quote to share with you that I hope is relevant.

    Margaret Mead said: Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, its the only thing that ever has. So, I am hopeful that psychologys inspirational leaders will in fact lead the way toward a much healthier America.

  • Jeffrey E. Barnett, Psy.D., ABPP



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