Psychology and Torture

Psychology and Torture

Authors Roy Eidelson and Trudy Bond welcome sharing this essay with other colleagues and listservs:

Psychology Association’s Torture Link Fails “Do-No-Harm” Ethics

This is a sad and convoluted saga into an aspect of the expertise psychology offers as specialists in Behavioral Science.

A long, but must read to be on top of the topic, is Ethics Abandoned: Medical Professionalism and Detainee Abuse in the War on Terror. This is a task force report funded by IMAP/OSF, published in November 2013:

Although barriers to mental health care for military personnel and their families are reported (see for instance:, psychology has much to offer and warrants holding a key role in providing for the health needs for military personnel. See the Task Force’s recommendations on page 52.

See also:

24/7 Help for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury Issues


Military Pathways:

And the Military Mental Health Blog:

And Army Behavioral Health:

In keeping with March is Brain Injury Awareness Month, here is a link to a useful site:

And article:

Baby your brain: Know the signs of TBI, get plenty of rest and keep an eye out for vision problems

Here’s the 2013 Interim Report on Intragency Task Force on Military and Veterans Mental Health:

And DoD-USPHS Partnership for Psychological Health” initiative:

And APA’s Division 19 description:

Division 19: Society for Military Psychology encourages research and the application of psychological research to military problems. Members are military psychologists who serve diverse functions in settings including research activities, management, providing mental health services, teaching, consulting, work with Congressional committees, and advising senior military commands. The division presents four annual awards at the APA convention, including the Yerkes Award for contributions to military psychology by a nonpsychologist, plus two student awards, one of which is a travel award. Members receive the quarterly journal Military Psychology and the newsletter The Military Psychologist, published twice a year.

Military Psychology Vol. 25 Issue 5:

And free sample articles:

During this time of heightened scrutiny about what type of mental health care specialist can provide what kind of service, with what kind of efficacy, at what cost, and as our profession encounters a combination of negative amidst continuing positive publicity, we need to monitor ourselves closely and hold ourselves to the highest standards of competent and ethical practice.

Roy Eidelson and Trudy Bond note the “dark side” of psychology in this statement:

When psychologists betray this trust, they cause harm not only to their direct victims but also to the profession as a whole. Just as importantly, when unethical acts are committed with impunity they lend a veil of legitimacy to forms of mistreatment that diminish and jeopardize our society’s fabric of decency.

it is imperative, nevertheless, to emphasize and point to the many services psychologists perform competently and compassionately, psychology’s “bright side.”

With an eye towards the future, this is consistent with the following statement made by Eidelson and Bond:

It is imperative that we live up to the public’s perception of us as ethically grounded practitioners and scientists with expertise in human behavior and a deep respect for human dignity.
Roy Aranda, Psy.D., J.D.

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