What is our responsibility?

Today I went to a really nice mini-conference put on by Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility (PCSR) in London. It was just a few hours long but tried starting dialogue around something often on my mind. It was an opportunity for counsellors with connections to the activist community and activists to speak about provision particularly for those working towards social justice that have suffered trauma. It was a meant to be and felt like a safe space for this discussion. I hope more comes from it.

That reminded me of the article below that I read earlier this week. This piece looked at the participation of professional psychologists in torture, interrogation, and other questionable government tactics in the U.S. The article questioned the complicity of APA, the governing body of psychologists in the U.S. and the largest of its kind worldwide. As an American and therapist (though I live in London and am not a member of APA), I think it is worth at least thinking about these issues. Is it that far of stretch from past atrocities that doctors, psychologists, and other scientists participated in? Should we not have some sort of oath that cements our ethical duty to never use our knowledge for harm? Is there another way of handling it? Won't we look back on this with shame or will people look back saying it was necessary?

The dark side of psychology in abuse and interrogation | Chris Chambers - http://gu.com/p/3k578

Enjoy the editorial cartoon that also looks at this concern: