1977 John Grabel, Ph.D.
The first continuing education program for local psychologists was sponsored by the Academy. The presenter was Paul Watzlawick from the Mental Research Institute of Palo Alto. He gave a workshop on psychotherapy and change.
The Academy co-sponsored a Child Abuse Conference with the Mental Health Association of San Diego County, the San Diego Police Department, The Sheriff's Department, and CMH. The conference was both for professionals and for the public.
Medi-Cal raised psychologist's reimbursement rates for one hour of individual psychotherapy from $20.50 to $21.75.
Brand Brickman, President of the San Diego Psychiatric Society and I addressed the County Board of Supervisors and voiced opposition to the reorganization of the County Healthcare Agency. The proposed reorganization would have excluded mental health professionals from any policymaking process for delivery of mental health care services.
Senator Daniel Inouwe introduced legislation to provide for the independent reimbursement of psychological services under Medicare. Interestingly, his legislative assistant at that time was Patrick H. DeLeon, a psychologist who is familiar to most of us though APA. The Academy supported this legislation.
A bill was introduced in Congress to recognize clinical psychologists as providers for workers' compensation services.
The Trial Lawyers Association advised the courts not to accept the list of psychologists submitted by the Academy for referral of psychological evaluations for legal cases, on the basis that psychologists are less competent in this area than psychiatrists. Dick Worthington and Tom Overbaugh were selected to meet with a superior court judge and representatives from the Trial Lawyers Association to educate them about the training of psychologists.
Brand Brickman, President of the Psychiatric Society, requested that the Academy participate in joint ventures.
The Academy grew to a dues paying membership size of 173.
I was invited to attend the Psychiatric Association installation banquet at the West Gate Hotel. There were approximately 90 people in attendance.
CPA initiated a lawsuit against CMH for discrimination. CMH was precluding psychologists from filing positions and duties in violation of the Short-Doyle Act, and also referring to psychiatrists in private practice and not to psychologists.
The Academy sponsored its Third Annual Psychological Convention for Non-psychologists. Various members of the Academy made presentations during this one day convention.
Senator Alan Cranston responded to my letter and assured Academy members and myself that he would fight to have psychologists recognized as independent practitioners under Medicare.
The above is not a complete list of all of the important events pertaining to professional psychology in San Diego in 1977. However, there was much of significance that was happening. I had an excellent Board to support me. However, I would like to end this bit of history by acknowledging two psychologists, Javad Emami (deceased), and Thomas MacSpeiden. These two men were my mentors and inspiration because of their dedication and commitment in the advocacy of professional psychology.
In 1976, there was a merger of the San Diego County Psychological Association and the San Diego Society of Clinical Psychologists. One of the first things that occurred during my tenure as President was that the new organization was named the Academy of San Diego Psychologists. This name may sound unusual, however, it was selected primarily for pragmatic reasons. We wanted to be listed early in the yellow pages in an attempt to solve some of the problems described by Tom MacSpeiden in the last chapter. Choosing a name that began with the letter A, along with listing under our logo, definitely helped in this regard. Rosalie Chapman became the first editor of the Academy newsletter. Much happened to affect professional psychology in 1977 and I shall attempt to give you some of the highlights.