Editorial Ethical standards, truths, and lies
Bethany L. Brand Ph & Linda McEwen MA
Journal of Trauma & Dissociation Volume 17, Issue 3, 2016 pages 259-266
This is an editorial about recent social and professional ethical developments that may signal attempts to arrive at truth about critical aspects of trauma after decades of lies and cover-ups. The first development came with the release of the Hoffman Report (Hoffman et al., 2015a), an investigation of the American Psychological Association’s (APA) complicity in abusive, traumatizing interrogations of political detainees, with one particular reference of note to this discussion. Another development was the publication of The Witch-Hunt Narrative by Ross Cheit (2014), which challenges widely held misconceptions about victims of child abuse and their credibility perpetuated since the preschool child abuse trials of the 1980s.
The ethical standards for International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD) members are derived from the ethical guidelines of national and professional groups (ISSTD, 2015). For psychologists who are members of the ISSTD, the APA provides ethical principles (APA, 2010), including general principles and ethical standards. Not only did some powerful people within the APA fail to follow its principles and standards, but, as noted in the Hoffman Report, it was the APA ethics director who was among those complicit in this failure.