AAP was founded in 1974 for the purpose of promoting human welfare through the advancement of the profession and science of psychology. AAP promotes the interests of all psychologists in several ways including: 1) representation of psychologists before public and governmental bodies, 2) cooperation with other organizations and agencies in furtherance of the profession, the science of psychology, and the education and training of psychologists, and 3) support and operation of a political committee known as Psychologists for Legislative Action Now (AAP/PLAN). It is this last function which makes AAP unique among all national organizations representing psychologists. AAP/PLAN is the only “separate segregated fund” or PAC, as defined by the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, which is exclusively devoted to promoting psychology’s national legislative agenda. AAP/PLAN is a bi-partisan PAC which contributes to candidates regardless of party affiliation. AAP’s fundamental mission is the support of candidates for the U.S. Congress who are sympathetic to psychology’s concerns, through electioneering activities.
Membership is divided into three classes: regular, organizational and student. There is one 6-member Board of Trustees serving terms of four years. The Chair of the Board and the Secretary-Treasurer are elected from and by the Board.
Top Legislative Priorities and Issues
AAP has targeted as a top priority the wide range of mental health services in legislation covering the broad continuum of care required by mental health patients. Chief among the reforms desired by psychologists is legislation to insure a high level of quality standards in health benefit programs: legal accountability for negligent acts, a choice of providers, and nondiscrimination of providers. Another key priority for AAP is secure that regulations passed governing the Mental Health Parity Act of 2008 will be consistent with the intent of the new law. It is also critical to psychology that legislation be enacted to protect the confidentiality of patient’s mental health records. Read about the major legislative issues being targeted by AAP this year.