An Essay on the American Psychological Association’s Hoffman Project
Just a Little Background and Context
Most of the people who will read this already know me, but for those that do not, I want to say just a few brief words of introduction about myself. It may help you to understand who I am and what I am trying to do in this essay.
I was cross-trained in clinical and community psychology at the University of Pittsburgh from 1968-1972. I received my Ph.D. there and have since had a career that includes: 15+ years of being a faculty member at several universities, 43 years of administrative and leadership experience in higher education, health and human services, and small business, 41 years of consulting to organizations of all types and sizes, and 7+ years as a senior staff member of the American Psychological Association (APA), 5 of which were spent as the Administrative Officer for Professional Affairs, in the organizational unit that was the predecessor to the current Practice Directorate. In addition, I have a master’s degree in professional writing from Towson University in Maryland, the effects of which will figure prominently in this essay.
I have participated in the governance of APA, on a Committee of the Maryland Psychological Association, and consulted for a variety of other national professional associations. I know some things about the workings of the defense establishment of the United States and some of the organizations that serve it. I have worked actively on a variety of social justice projects in my career. I am 69 years old and semi-retired. I work part time in my own business doing executive coaching and development.
I was in New York City on July 10th and opened the website of the New York Times. I read that paper every day as a subscriber. I read James Risen’s story and immediately knew that APA and the entire discipline of psychology was in very deep trouble. During the last 22 days, like anyone else who has been following the wide variety of events subsequent to the deliberate leak of the Hoffman Report to Mr. Risen, I have had a number of thoughts and feelings as I have read emails, historical documents, the Hoffman Report itself, pieces of psychological science with which I had not been familiar, and had a number of phone conversations with colleagues about what happened, why, and what seems to be happening and why. I was asked and agreed to serve as an advisor to the leadership team of the Society of Consulting Psychology (SCP), an organization that I now consider as my professional home. Finally, I have actively posted on the list serves of both the Maryland Psychological Association (MPA), my home as well and SCP.
Having completed my reading of the entire Hoffman Report and watching and reading the rising volume of email exchanges launched in anticipation of the Annual Convention of APA in Toronto this week and the associated meeting of its Council of Representatives, the policy making body of the organization, I wanted to offer some additional thoughts and responses based on what I have learned over the past several weeks. I take full responsibility for the ideas, opinions, and words that follow. If you choose to read this, I titled this as an essay for specific reasons. One of the principle rationales for writing essays is to identify a thesis or a point of view and then set out to advance it. My thesis is that Mr. Hoffman and his six colleagues performed the job for which they were hired by the Board of Directors of APA. Having done that job, the members of the Association are left in its aftermath to make sense of what they did, how they did it, seemingly why they chose the approach they did, the context in which it happened, and what we now face as a discipline and as an organization. Having done their job as they saw fit, I believe the Hoffman Report if read in a strongly deconstructed approach actually serves APA and the discipline very well. If read widely from a narrow perspective, it may prove to be one of the most destructive events in the history of psychology.
Quoting from the Hoffman Report, it states, “The specific question APA has asked us to consider and answer is whether APA officials colluded with DoD, CIA, or other government officials ‘to support torture.’ The allegations we have been asked to address frame the question more broadly at times. As a result of our investigation, we can report what happened and why. And as part of that description, we answer whether there was collusion between APA and government officials, and if so, what its purpose was.” Their answers were very clearly, yes there was collusion, the purposes of which were to curry favor with DoD, and perhaps to further the economic, professional status, and employment aims of parts of the Association.
The Sidley legal team was hired to help settle a conflict within APA and apparently within APA’s Board of Directors in 2014 regarding these allegations made by members of the Association, Mr. Risen in his book on the subject, and several other sources. In choosing this law firm and Mr. Hoffman, the Board stated that it wanted an independent review of all forms of evidence for collusion and a search for the truth. A cursory review of the credentials of Mr. Hoffman and his colleagues demonstrates they are all well trained lawyers. Mr. Hoffman himself has an extensive background as a Federal Prosecutor. Several of his colleagues are also very involved in defense work in criminal and civil litigation.
As the Board made this choice, they made an implicit statement that they did not trust any psychologist in the world to examine these issues independently and provide opinions. Thus, they started the venture with an unstated but I believe firm belief that psychologists could not be trusted to find the truth of these matters. In choosing lawyers, they went to another profession that has its own methods of collecting and reporting data, its own frameworks for establishing the reliability and validity of information and arguments, its own well defined behavioral settings for wrestling and resolving any discrepancies and conflicts, and its own ethics, history, traditions, and culture in which their practitioners operate. In essence, the Board chose to trust lawyers, led by a senior partner with substantial criminal prosecution experience to search all the available evidence and to come to a conclusion on whether there was collusion to support torture. After seven months of intense, but limited effort, the Hoffman team concluded that there was sufficient evidence to support parts of the allegations.
As a result, we have seen the departure of four members of the senior staff of APA, a spate of proposals from the Board of Directors to revise APA Policies, a virtual tsunami of responses from APA members, a modicum of external press interest, and a wide variety of other calls for radical action including criminal prosecutions, suspension of APA By-Laws, removing members from elected offices, and throwing the majority of the participants of the PENS process out of the organization.
Viewed from a different perspective, our training as psychologists, as scientists, results in mind-sets and mental models distinctly different than those of lawyers. Lawyers in effect have two major modalities to use the American Judicial System, criminal indictments and civil torts. The philosophical, historical, cultural, and legal foundations of that system are based on adversarial process. In other words, one lawyer or legal team submits a set of data and arguments that a defendant committed a crime or did something to injure another party. Another lawyer, or legal team then responds with its own data and interpretations of the data submitted by the prosecution or plaintiff. Depending on the venue chosen by the parties involved, the conflict generally goes to a judge for a hearing or trial, a jury trial, a mediator who is mutually agreeable to both parties, or to a negotiation between the parties and their lawyers. Once lawyers are invoked by one side, the other side is obligated to respond through lawyers of their own. One is not supposed to respond oneself for a host of reasons. The reliability and validity of the data, strength of the arguments, and virtue and outcome of the case is then decided with both sets of legal advocates joined in a formal conflict ritual that is publicly recorded.
Psychologists learn to do science. We are taught that any piece of research or investigation is supposed to start with the null hypothesis. The null hypothesis is a logic structure designed by scientists to force themselves to always ask and answer the question, “compared to what?” In other words, it is difficult to get a piece of research accepted to any peer reviewed scientific journal unless the investigator very carefully explains how s/he went about answering the question they had in comparison to other conditions that might disprove the hypothesis. If the Board of Directors had started with the null hypothesis, the Hoffman team might have been instructed in very different ways. The Board could have asked:
- Tell us what happened, who was involved, to what ends, what means were used by whom for what?
- How was this set of events and activities similar to and different from how APA staff and governance usually operate?
- Are there other examples in recent history of similar events and activities?
- What should we learn as leaders and as an organization?
- What did staff and governance get right in these events and activities?
- What mistakes were made?
- How could we have done this differently or better?
In other words, the Board and Sidley lawyers had a variety of approaches available to them but they chose what seemed familiar and might best provide the answers they sought. The Sidley team described their approach in the Report. They are to be congratulated on the extensiveness of their work, for any close reading of the document demonstrates sustained and conscientious efforts to collect, comprehend, and present a coherent narrative of what they believed was most relevant. Therein lies one of the most central and crucial issues.
The null hypothesis requires a scientist to make efforts to describe what was included in the study and why. By implication and historical practice, a well-done piece of research also describes what was excluded and why. And the Hoffman Report makes virtually no effort to describe what was excluded. To be sure, the footnotes are extensive and reference external reports, books, the content of interviews, emails, memos, reports, etc. All of these documents are available to anyone who wants to read them to gain a better understanding of how Hoffman’s team chose material and what material they selected. One need go no further than the executive summary to answer the question of why the material was chosen, for the entire effort was by any reasoned judgment a well- disciplined effort by a very sophisticated group of lawyers to prove their case.
Why are these matters important? Psychologists learn very early in their research training about the perils and pitfalls of what is called experimenter bias. In other words, the way a scientist frames a question, sets up the conditions for an experiment, choses subjects, chooses means of measurement, chooses means of analysis, reports, and discusses findings have all been shown to be open to explicit and at times subtle forms of influence. Those biases then have been demonstrated repeatedly to significantly impact the results and therefore the reliability and validity of the science under consideration. There are currently 920 citations on experimenter bias in PsychINFO, APA’s extensive data base of the research in psychology. There are 112 citations on instruction bias. That is a specific form of influence that comes from what scientists ask their human subjects to do as part of their study. Science tells us with great reliability and validity that the way you investigate a phenomenon counts and any form of study can possess subtle and unseen forms of influence that can prejudice the findings. Peer review is the major tool the global science community uses to try to address these and many other problems. Before a paper is published in a peer reviewed journal, scientists independent of the investigator and the study itself are asked to read, question, and challenge every aspect of the report. In situations where there are really significant problems under review the actual data and methods of analysis are reproduced in order to check for accuracy. Clearly, the Board did not intend such scientific rigor in commissioning the Sidley firm, nor did the members of the Hoffman team. In essence, the Board said, “you are independent, go get any information you need, and we’ll trust your efforts and results.”
One final note, in my limited examination of this literature, Kestemont, Vandekerckhove, Ning, Van Hoeck and Van Overwalle (2013) demonstrated using functional magnetic resonance imaging that subjects who read descriptions of situations of social events activated different regions of their neuropsychological systems depending on the instructions they were given before reading the descriptions. Without belaboring the type of study or methods, the results present evidence that demonstrate that what you tell people before they read activates different regions of their brain. The results, while very limited, suggest in turn that if the null hypothesis had been used to direct the attention and thus neurophysiological systems of the Hoffman team in a different direction than hypotheses or directions to find evidence of collusion in a particular set of facts, the entire national debate on and response to the Report might well be taking place in a different way.
We are left then with a fundamental question about the origination of the investigation and the instructions given to the Sidley lawyers. If their instructions were different, would they have read all of their material, asked similar and different questions, and used different procedures and safeguards? No one will ever know. And we are left to ponder those implications
Points of View in the Hoffman Report
As I read the Report, I tried to engage the material from a variety of points of view including:
- An author with substantial publishing experience
- An editor of a wide variety of writing products
- A psychologist trained in scientific method and who has published scientific papers in peer reviewed journals.
- A consulting psychologist with 45 years of experience
- A leader/manager with 43 years of experience
- An ex member of the APA central office staff
- An ex member of a variety of governing boards, committees, and task forces
- A defendant in several litigations with experience in at least six depositions
- A consumer of superb legal representation
- An empathic human being
- A clinical psychologist with 20+ years of experience serving clients as an employee of an organization and as an independent practitioner
- A psychologist who has conducted workshops on the application of the APA Ethics Code to the practice of management for 16 years
- Their legal training, methods of analysis, presentation of arguments, supporting arguments with facts and other data, and legal terminology – investigation, witnesses, charges, etc. And in this document, seemingly a clear preference for the prosecutorial/plaintiff perspective rather than that of the defense of the accused.
- A consistent framing of Ethical Standards 1.02 and 1.03 involving the management of conflicts between the APA Code and law and organizational demands in terms of what they repeatedly referred to as the Nuremberg Defense.
- Routine reference to and a seeming preference for deontologically based ethical principles, referring to interviews and consults with ethicists who emphasized the importance of tight, restrictive descriptions of duties or proper behavior. No authors, advocates, or scholars of other perspectives seem to have been interviewed by the Hoffman team.
- The practice of psychology should be more tightly restricted with much more clarity about standards, policies, and adjudication of complaints, particularly those concerning activity in security and related settings.
- A seeming advocacy of the statements and policies of international bodies as frameworks within which APA Ethics and psychological practice should be managed.
- Seeming preferences for different emphases of the missions and values of APA, particularly the relative balance between advocating for the discipline and practice vs. what is referred to as social justice concerns.
- A framework within which to judge the roles and performance of APA central office staff.
- A framework within which to judge the roles and performance of APA governance boards and committees.
- How ethics and standards for psychological education, research, and practice should be taught.
Missing from the points of view are at least:
- An historical presentation and comprehension of the implicit and explicit attitudes, values, beliefs, biases, assumptions, mental models, tensions and conflicts within the various constituencies of APA and how they play out within and between the various elements of the governance and staff of the organization.
- An appreciation of the absence of a theory or policy within the organization on what constitutes a just war and the roles that APA and its members can and should play in its pursuit now and as the country moves deeper into the 21st Century.
- An appreciation for the absence of any specific mechanisms other than those already in place for dealing with the problems arising from the lack of a just war policy.
- Any explicit appreciation for how the governance of the Association works including how policy is truly made, the routine and significant conflicts that arise over differences, and the roles and methods that staff and elected members often play and use.
- An appreciation of the history of the Association and in particular, the histories of the development of its Ethics Code and infrastructure and the practice of psychology in its 120 year long conflicts with American Psychiatry and Medicine.
- An understanding of the limits of the APA Ethics Code and infrastructures.
There cab be no doubt that the Hoffman team was vigorous in its examination. The Tables at the end of the Report are extensive, yet whenever one reads a scientific paper, one always asks what was not included, what was missed, what should have been done, was what was described accurate, were the data analyzed and interpreted appropriately.
In other words, editors and reviewers second-guess authors. The best of them do so in the effort to provide an accurate assessment of the work and its value as a piece of science worth contributing to a field of study. Mistakes that are identified and significant questions and issues that are caught in the review process are put in writing to the submitting authors who then have the opportunity to respond and to make emendations to the paper and resubmit. I realize that the Hoffman Report is not a scientific paper nor was the process meant to be scientific. But as I read it, I found myself asking if not science then what? Is this a plaintiff’s brief and a filing of a tort lawsuit in a court of law? Is this the summary of a prosecuting attorney to a grand jury in pursuit of a criminal indictment that will lead to a trial? Is this a report of mediators with legal training and education designed to help conflicting parties negotiate and settle their differences? Is this a contractual negotiation between parties who are ending a long-term agreement? What is this process that the Hoffman Report summarizes along with the data and conclusions it emphasizes?
It turns out that I have witnessed and participated in similar procedures before in my roles as a leader and as a consultant. It also turns out that attorneys are sometimes called upon to undertake fact-finding missions by executives and Boards in a wide variety of organizations. They use all of their considerable training in inquiry, fact finding, producing reports and documents, conducting investigations, critical thinking, narrative, analytic writing, and undertaking advocacy and adversarial procedures in the service of these roles. And when doing these types of engagements, lawyers, do not need to use all of the formal protections of the legal system. They do not even need to tell people what protections they are afforded. They are guided by a clear principle of their practices and ethics, first identify who your client is and then serve that client to the best of your ability. Using lawyers, can advantage a leader or Board that wants to assert attorney-client privilege, as near bullet proof a guarantee of privacy as words exchanged in a confessional with one’s priest.
Who is the client in this case? It is very clear that the client for Sidley is the subcommittee of the APA Board of Directors, the full Board itself, and probably APA as an organization because their fees most likely were paid by the Association. The Report does not provide a copy of the contract between Sidley and APA. We do not know the full terms and any limitations other than those that Hoffman reports in the opening section of the Report itself. However, with APA as the organization and its Board as their client, the decision made to conduct an attorney led investigation into the evidence for collusion as the charge, and no explicit agreements that we read in the report to provide the protections that are usually involved in tort, criminal, and other formal negotiations led by attorneys to anyone involved except the Board and the Association, the Hoffman team was turned loose.
As I read deeper into the Report and noted the number of footnotes going back to the interviews, I found myself remembering my own experiences with depositions, negotiations, and yes even criminal procedures that I have been involved with over these past 4+ decades. I noted the extensive use of quotations from interviews and I wondered whether the interviewees had had the opportunity to review the Report before it was submitted to comment on the accuracy of the quotes, make emendations for clarity, or to contest a quote taken out of context. I looked at the list of folks interviewed and sent a note to some of them with a list of questions trying to scratch this itch of mine. Here is the list of questions:
- At any time during this process, did anyone at APA Central Office, in APA Governance, or any of the attorneys involved inform you that this was an adversarial proceeding designed to produce evidence of collusion between staff and governance at APA and branches of the U.S. Government?
- Did anyone ever suggest to you, even informally, that participating was likely to lead to strong negative publicity about you as a professional and as a person?
- Did anyone ever suggest to you that you might want to consult your own internal legal counsel on how to best proceed in these investigations?
- Did anyone ever suggest to you that you might want to consult your own personal attorney?
- Which members of the Sidley team did the interview(s) with you?
- Did you ever ask what the possible negative outcomes might be for you, your family, your career, and whether you should be represented by counsel during the interviews and subsequent processes?
- Have you made an effort to collect all of your own records about these activities over all the years? Calendars, notes, emails, etc.?
- Who kept the record of the meeting? Was a court reporter present and charged with producing an accurate transcript that you had an opportunity to review and correct for substantive errors?
- Were you given any opportunity to review the notes or transcript of your interview(s) and asked to correct any factual errors or make clarifying statements?
- Were you given any opportunity to review and comment on the portions of the Hoffman Report pertaining to your participation in the proceedings and alleged misdeeds? If yes, when, how, by whom, via what means, etc.? Are there any records of what you said or did as a result?
- Did anyone suggest that you could be represented by your own attorney during the interviews?
- Did anyone from APA governance or staff reach out to you once the Report was finished and submitted to let you know that it was done - post July 2, 2015?
- Did anyone from APA governance or staff reach out to you to inform you that the Report had been leaked to the New York Times and if so whom and when?
- Has anyone from APA governance or staff reached out to you to inform you of steps they are taking actively to limit any possible damage to you as a person or as a professional?
I do not know if the same processes were followed with all of the other interviewees, but it they were, the Hoffman Report suffers from a significant flaw. No one can attest to the accuracy of any quote in the report attributed to anyone interviewed. We have only the integrity of the Hoffman team to trust. When I talked to two colleagues who are attorneys about this process, they simply rolled their eyes. One said something to the equivalent of, “I would have wanted to be in that room with you, if it were you.”
I am not claiming that the Hoffman team deliberately misquoted people. I am saying that a significant amount of the credibility of the Report can now be put in doubt because of these procedures. And, as of July 30, 2015, APA is now selling the Hoffman Report, unedited and unabridged through Amazon. APA would do that with no other book of that length without putting it through its own editorial procedures in APA Publications. I have published a lot of papers in APA journals and six books through the APA Press, and I can tell you that the reviewers and editors of that organization would have never authorized the release of the Report without very careful examination of the source material for every quote and reference. This raises a significant problem for me in fully believing and accepting the entire contents of the Report.
With how this Report has been received and handled by many if not most members with whom I have exchanged emails and phone calls, the credibility of the document largely is unquestioned. The list serves are full of emails that simply begin with an assumption that everything that is in the Report is true. I have only seen a few emails raising anything like these kinds of questions, and I fully believe that the kinds of recommendations for policy changes being made by the Board and others are embedded in an acceptance of the Report as it stands as fact. I have severe questions as to the usefulness of the Report based on this issue alone.
A Pattern of Writing
When you edit a lot of manuscripts, you begin to develop a kind of expertise that most folks do not have in reading text. When you specifically train to do so, it becomes a kind of ambidextrous skill. You read the words for meaning, what the author is trying to say and simultaneously, you read for patterns such as how they use words, what kind of sentences are employed, use of adverbs, types of nouns, and verbs. You note transitions, types of paragraphs, and for more subtle uses of rhetorical devices like metaphor, simile, etc.
Along those lines, there were two things in the Report that jumped out at me throughout the manuscript. Both raise significant concerns for me. The first is the use of footnotes referring to the notes from the interviews. Statements are made in the body of the Report and then a footnote directs us very often to the content of one of the interviews. The interviews are located in a file on the APA servers. In order to check what the body of the Report is referencing, emphasizing, questioning, or validating, unless you go to that interview and read the entire thing, there is simply no way for a reader to understand whether the text is accurate, the implication more or less true, and the issue being raised valid. If one reads the Report as one would a novel, these matters drop away quickly. The footnotes are readily ignored. Of course the text is true, there’s a footnote. The documentation must be there. And by the implications of the structure of the charge to the Sidley team and the implicit and explicit structures of the Report itself, there are culprits to identify and thus be brought to justice.
However, as I have argued in the preceding section, if the interviews themselves were not recorded and what is available are notes from the meeting taken by the Sidley attorneys, and no one interviewed, or at least many of those interviewed, can verify the accuracy of what was in the notes, what is a critical reader left to believe? To me, this was very, very troubling. If you really want to accept the document as factual, then the validity of the notes should have been unquestionable. If you really want to believe that all of the individuals who were identified as having conducted themselves at best unprofessionally, they should be standing by what was said in the record. We do not have that and yet, we as members are faced with major organizational and policy changes being recommended based on the Report.
Even more troubling to me was a very, very subtle but consistent pattern in the writing of attribution of the thoughts and motivations of the individuals under close scrutiny. In virtually every place in the manuscript where the actions, and thoughts of key players in the PENS process were reported and examined, the explicit interpretation the Hoffman team nearly always went in the direction of the search for evidence of collusion and simple bad behavior.
I can note several examples of this just to illustrate the problem, but the pattern described below begins early in the Report and continues throughout. I have not taken the time to count the number of instances I uncovered, but the pattern is substantial and undeniable.
In the case of the lack of disclosure of a conflict of interest on the part of Russ Newman about the employer of his wife, the text initially states that his relationship with his wife was not disclosed. A footnote was provided. If you read the footnote, it states clearly that several people actually did know that his wife was in the Army and was involved in the interrogations issues. Because the footnotes do not contain the details of the associated questions and answers but merely a list of at least some of those who knew of the nature of her employment, the reader who flies through the text is left to believe there were nefarious motives involved by those who consulting with Russ’ wife and that therefore her inclusion in the consultations and deliberations of the PENS group was solely to protect the interests of keeping the torture going at the various DoD sites. In addition, the text in other places implies that the sole reason for all of this was to guarantee that psychologists would play a continuing and important role in interrogations as one form of intelligence gathering. Even if we accept this argument on the face of it, the manuscript text only tells a portion of the story. What it never addressed anywhere was who knew or did not know that Russ’ wife was in the room and was also one of the DoD folks. Subsequent posts by a variety of governance members in the past couple of weeks have implied that if that had been known to them, the deliberations of the PENS group would have ended up in a different place; perhaps one closer to the currently advocated positions of making psychologists involved in an operational role in intelligence interrogations explicitly out of bounds in the APA Ethics Code.
If the staff in the room knew about the relationship. If Russ’ bosses knew, and if others in governance knew, then the question is not one of conflict of interest or lack of disclosure. It seems to me to be about a lack of careful orchestration of the meeting and its mechanics. It can be explained as effectively by an assumption on the part of everyone who did know, that everyone in the room knew, and therefore it need not be emphasized. The Report makes no effort to provide an alternative explanation. We are not invited to a footnote that directs us to an interview or two in which the Sidley team explores this in full or specifically challenges the deliberate concealment explanation. We are not provided with information as to whether the introductions of the members of the PENS group were all publicly required as part of the process to disclose any potential conflicts as I have seen done routinely in other organizations.
In a related example, on page 291 readers are introduced to the substance of the conversations on day two of the PENS meeting. The documentation of those conversations is referenced to Dr. Arrigo’s notes from the meeting. The Report states that on the first day of the meeting the group established a norm about note taking that was agreed to that no process notes would be kept. Dr Arrigo continued to make notes. The Hoffman team puts them in the form of a bulleted list in the body of the report that presents it as a valid description of the discussions, and in a footnote states “all observations come from the Arrigo PENS meeting notes…unless otherwise noted.” No qualification of the limited reliability or validity of Dr. Arrigo’s notes was offered. No other source of information was provided to support the notes. I want to be clear, I am not questioning Dr. Arrigo’s motivations for violating the norm the group set or the accuracy of her notes. I am trying to direct people’s attention to the subtle forms of narrative and documentation that author(s) of the report used to present their arguments.
On a subsequent page, we are then given a piece of an email exchanged between Drs. Koocher and Anton that describes the reactions to some of Dr. Arrigo’s behavior in the meeting. It reads almost as a non sequitur, somehow perhaps implying that some members of the PENS group were working against Dr. Arrigo. No such allegation is made however, the quote from the email is just dropped there. That in turn is followed by a paragraph stating that Stephen Behnke put together a draft of the Report of the group that evening and sent it to five people. The Hoffman team then provides one quote from one email that appears out of context from anything else in any of the other emails. That quote looks like some of the staff and members of governance are trying to sanitize the Report in the direction of denying any torture had taken place. Then, in the next paragraph the Report takes us deep into day three of the PENS deliberations. The impression created was clearly that Dr. Behnke was working independently to take control of the draft report. No information is provided as to whether he volunteered for this task or whether the Chair of the Ethics Committee and the PENS group asked him to do it. One would need to go through the entire set of interviews with every member of the PENS group plus those with Dr. Behnke himself to see if this question was even asked by the Hoffman team.
Finally, on page 295, the Hoffman team spends the first paragraph providing what seems to be a pretty accurate description of the positions advocated by several of the participants in the PENS process. In the first sentence of the next paragraph, they start off with, “That strikes us as either naïve or intentionally disingenuous.” Once I started to find this pattern early in the body of the Report, it repeated itself and was virtually always in the direction of the fundamental findings of the Report, that there was collusion to support torture. And in light of the facts that no one can validate the accuracy of the notes taken by the Hoffman attorneys during the interviews that are often used to support the suppositions and interpretations they made in the report; no one outside of members of APA’s Board of Directors was apparently allowed to read or react to the Report before it was leaked to the New York Times; no one has yet been asked to respond formally to what was alleged in the Report although some letters and notes are now posted on various list serves; and no interviewee was permitted or encouraged to have their own attorney be present in an interview or review the notes from them or help to clarify the nature and purposes of the questions being asked; it really gives me pause in simply accepting the Hoffman Report as a full and truthful summary of what happened at any time during the PENS process or what has happened since.
On Currying Favor
While all of the aspects of the Hoffman report discussed above raise significant questions for me, none is more puzzling that the rationale for all of the intense work on PENS and the follow up was to curry favor with DoD. My first response when I read the charge in the Times article on July 10th was that it was just plain silly. Everyone who has worked at APA or been in its governance structures understands fully that one of the primary purposes of the Association is to represent psychology to all branches of the U.S. Government. It has been doing that for a century. As the opening section of the Hoffman Report states clearly, American psychologists and APA have continuously been involved in helping to defend the country and to improve its war fighting capacities. I need not defend or elaborate on this. It is a matter of extensive public records in APA and in the government itself.
From briefs on issues to the Supreme Court, to routine testimony before Congressional committees, to orchestrating visits of APA members to their congressional representatives, to supporting a C6 lobbying organization, to using that organization appropriately to raise money for members of Congress who demonstrate their support of the various interests of psychology, APA advocates for psychology and its members. tat and does so proudly and openly. It consistently advocates for funding for a wide variety of psychological research including the science supported by every branch of the Department of Defense, the National Institutes of Health, and National Science Institute. It funds fellows who work in those branches of government with the explicit purposes of educating psychologists about how government works and in the hopes that psychologists will increasingly play visible and important roles in making and executing policy at the Federal level. Nowhere in the Hoffman Report is any information provided that APA staff or governance sought a quid quo pro with DoD or the CIA, or any other arm of the Federal Government. It is not only unseemly to operate in such a fashion, anyone who works in Washington knows it is just plain dumb and even more, it can be exceedingly dangerous. Mr. Hoffman works in Washington D.C. and undoubtedly knows this very well and consults directly with clients about what is in and out of bounds in these matters.
Personally and professionally, I find this allegation just so completely off base that it is hard to respond in any rational way. However, the Hoffman Report does in fact offer a clear and different narrative for what happened and why psychologists achieved a different type of status in DoD and the interrogation processes within military and presumably other intelligence agencies. And while the narrative does include the fact that some psychologists appear to have gone into the business of defense contracting and conducted coercive, even torturous interrogations, the narrative also includes the following elements:
- In the aftermath of 9/11 and the U.S. supported defeat of the Taliban in Afghanistan, hundreds, if not thousands of men were captured and detained. Some of them were no doubt hostiles and others no doubt innocent.
- Because the U.S. mainland had come under direct foreign attack for the first time, the Bush administration and most of the entire country were trying to figure out what was going on. Elements within the Bush administration clearly advocated for extraordinarily strong military action. They won that debate. Iraq followed. The U.S. defeated the Iraqi army and ended up with many more prisoners.
- As it turned out, the wars were not as simple as the Bush administration thought. In fact they are still being fought in different ways. Everyone save a very few wise people really did not understand what was happening.
- Every branch of the U.S. security and defense forces were literally at war and much of it was being conducted against non-uniformed combatants. That is still true. International treaties were not so clear on the status of these people. They are still not. A lot of U.S. soldiers began to die and be wounded. The need for operational intelligence increased a great deal. An initial atmosphere of tension about needing to be more successful in combat, protecting the troops and the mainland, and dehumanization of our adversaries permeated the country and the entire defense establishment.
- A wide variety of people acted out their anger, fear, and humiliated impotence. Torture by U.S forces became pretty routine in a variety of places.
- The Red Cross, members if the media, and other NGO’s started to report what they were seeing. It is likely that inside the Defense Department, notice had also been paid. Psychologists were involved in fact finding and restoring order and discipline as that activity came under formal investigation.
- The need for operational intelligence continued unabated. The methods being used were not as effective as various people wanted. Calls went out. The question was, “what might work?” The embedded question was “what might work that we can actually do?” “Does anyone know anything we don’t?” It turned out that a small group of psychologists had been experimenting on our own troops trying to increase their expertise. Those experiences included what clinicians might call “exposure therapy.” Troops were put into simulations as real and vivid as possible to give them mental models and physical experiences of what they might expect and what they could do in response in real combat. Some of the exposure conditions were coercive and torturous. Data suggested that some of our own troops “cracked” and gave up operational intelligence during the simulations. Those results were shared. DoD and the CIA were off to the races. They took a “let’s try it now approach.”
- Psychologists inside the government raised concerns along a number of dimensions – the generalizability of the findings of the pilot programs, the differences in the populations, and some of the types of methods used were historically classified as torture or cruel and inhumane. Senior officials and lawyers in the Bush Administration made the legal impediments disappear for a while. Experiments and practices began. Concerns inside DoD, the CIA, and in the media, the Red Cross, other NGOS’ and congress rose. A new presidential election was held. Bush won again.
- The practices continued but were not as effective as some had hoped. Critics, including psychologists, pointed out that torture and cruelty rarely produced results. The CIA stopped. DoD realized it needed more answers. They turned to psychiatry and medicine. They didn’t get much help. Psychologists inside DoD and the CIA said, “psychologists study this stuff, they can help.” APA was approached and worked with DoD and CIA to explore science and helped to organize two conferences. Turns out there are substantial literatures on interrogation, torture and its treatment, traumatization, trauma based learning, influence, degradation, physical, sexual, and mental abuse – see psychINFO on these topics. In fact, psychologists are probably the world’s leading experts in these fields.
- Efforts inside DoD were then underway to do interrogations better. Armed with more knowledge and better science, DoD psychologists working in several branches devised new conceptual models and methods of practice.
- Psychologists inside APA and others outside in the media, Congress, and the general public expressed vocal concerns that psychological practitioners should not have anything to do with interrogations or associated practices. The rhetoric and opposition increased. The implicit underlying model was and still is that the practice of psychology is a health care profession. The explicit message is that in the practice of psychology, the foundational principle is the same as that of traditional medicine, “First, do no harm.” APA’s Ethical Code was revised in 2002 and the medicalization of the practice was formalized in Principle A, Beneficence and Nonmaleficence. By 2004 it was clear that the ambiguity of the Code was too great in the minds of many people. Standards 1.02 and 1.03 allow psychologists to make ethical conflicts known and work inside organizations to make changes. These were totally insufficient for some and they advocated for clearer, declarative language that makes certain practices in certain settings unethical. External criticism rose along with that inside. The APA Board reacted to these pressures and started a process independent of its normal governance operations.
- First suggested by Dr. Behnke as a task force, PENS was born. It was an operational nightmare. No more need be said. Nevertheless, the processes underway inside of DoD yielded new policies and procedures. Psychology and psychologists inside DoD who led the efforts for change found themselves in new and more influential operational roles functioning within guidelines that APA and the PENS process helped to develop. Critics were unappeased. Those in DoD leadership and nearly everyone else seemed relieved.
- Public and Congressional pressures continued. APA defended its stances against torture while simultaneously defending what is now called “operational psychology.” Some psychologists, well connected to the media continued to advocate for a more exclusionist set of Ethical Standards. In 2014, James Risen’s book criticizing psychology is published. In 2014, the Intelligence Committees in Congress publish long awaited studies. Turns out some psychologists did water board detainees, and some of them a lot. Turns out some psychologists, used sleep deprivation, beatings, threats, and a bunch of other techniques. Turns out not much of that was effective and it had been stopped by the policy and procedure changes in 2005. That did not matter. Collusion to torture was alleged. As it did in 2004 and 2005, when confronted by an external set of media challenges and internal criticism, the Board abandoned its own governing structures and procedures. They did not say it, but there is not a psychologist in the world they trusted to help them sort things out. They voted to hire a lawyer. A lawyer could investigate and they could look at the results under the cover of attorney client privilege. They decided as part of the process to do away with attorney client privilege and committed to sending the Report to the Council of Representatives with no reviews, edits, or emendations. Sidley was hired. Hoffman started to work. The Hoffman Report was given to the Board on July 2, 2015. Nothing was held in confidence because the Report was given directly to others not on the Board and a copy found its way to James Risen. July 10th, eight days after the Report was given to the Board, all hell broke loose.
- The Board responded with new proposals for policy revisions once again side stepping its entire policy infrastructure. An existential crisis was declared, similar to that in 2004-2005. Media interest quickly died. Letters from governance leaders appeared. They did not know what staff members were doing. If they had, none of this would have happened. Staff members were jettisoned. Apologies begin to appear all over list serves. Demands for suspension of By-Laws, more staff firings, deposing elected members of APA governance, and suspending the Ethics Procedures to dismiss people were made in writing on list serves. Long-term critics were lionized and said to possess the leadership abilities to clean up the mess.
- Members of the U.S. armed forces and security services continue to die in the field and at home. The nation is in a whole new kind of war that few people comprehend. On August 1, 2015 the New York Times front page reported that the Obama administration is preparing to attack China for its ongoing cyber war against the government and industries in the United States. APA prepares for a Council of Representatives meeting in which the Board will recommend that it is unethical for psychologists working in DoD or the security services and probably any other branch of local, state, or federal government to assist in interrogations other than for protecting the health and well being of detainees and other types of prisoners.
- Most of this parallel narrative is contained in parts of the Hoffman Report. It is largely invisible and layered beneath the structured presentations of data, information and arguments in support of the major thesis of that document.
If finding proof of collusion and identifying the culprits was the target, then the Hoffman Report hit the bull’s-eye dead center. It is perfectly clear to me that the Sidley legal team has done its work independently and as professionally as possible. The Board called for evidence of collusion. After seven months of prodigious effort and only the Board knows how much money, the Hoffman Report states that staff and governance members colluded with DoD staff, not to support torture, but to enable DoD psychologists to be involved in operational roles in interrogations. And that goal and its accomplishment was the objective of the collusion.
The wrong-doing has been identified and some of the wrong doers, mostly senior staff have been forced out of office. Those in governance are scrambling in public and probably in private to distance themselves from the whole bloody business. If the Board scenario is followed, policies will change, DoD psychologists and in other branches of the security services, police, corrections, and other types of organizations will be forced to choose between their jobs defending the country and its people, resigning from APA, or waiting until someone questions what they are doing and whether it is ethical. Their legal risks will increase. Public apologies will continue to be made, but it’s still not clear to whom APA needs to apologize except according to some of its own members, and perhaps James Risen and a few others outside of the organization who continue to point their fingers and say how terrible it is for psychology as a health care profession to be involved in such activities. Perhaps a new revision of the Ethics Code will get underway under the guidance of some sort of super “Commission.” The initial intents will be clear, to tighten up the Code and make more explicit that some other forms of behavior and practices by psychologists are deemed to be unethical in the eyes of APA as an organization.
What is missing from this picture? Here are a few things to consider.
- Empathy, positive regard, and any sense that all of the staff, members of governance, and volunteers involved in these matters and events were and have been doing their level best with incredibly conflicted, terribly complex, and emotionally wrenching issues.
- APA’s history, culture, traditions, rituals, and members have been intimately involved in the defense of the nation for a century. The close collaboration between APA, DoD, Congress, and various administrations on defense issues has provided some of the greatest gains for the science and the practice of psychology. The Hoffman Report and its deliberate characterization of DoD and CIA psychologists in negative and stereotypic ways have already damaged the APA and its scientific and general applied constituencies. APA’s Board, with the way in which it has managed the release of this document and its policy recommendations, has deliberately sided with external and internal critics who want to limit the practice and scientific expansion of psychology without consulting any of its own internal governance Boards and Committees, once again demonstrating that it seems prepared to side step normal processes in any situation in which a perceived public relations crisis looms.
- If the critics’ publicly espoused position that the practice and science of psychology must be driven as an affirmative public commitment by the principle of beneficence, much of what psychologists already do will come under attack. The psychotherapy communities of practice who lobbied successfully for an Ethical Code and procedures that would rest on a base of education and continuing professional development may well face increasingly harsh and critical legal attacks. The explicit promise to first do no harm cannot be realized. Every physician in the world understands that. APA and its public interest, social justice, and some elements of the psychotherapy communities apparently do not. The negative outcome literature in psychotherapy will become increasingly interesting to malpractice attorneys. There are 409 cites as of today. More research will show that psychotherapy its not benign, that much of what is being done can be questioned in courts, and psychotherapists will spend more to defend themselves. We may even see some of those television ads that go something like, “Have you been treated by a psychologist for a mental and nervous condition and injured? If you have, call 1.800.JUSTICE now!” I am not kidding about these implications.
- The structure of the Council of Representatives will not change. The state and provincial associations have 63 representatives currently. The health oriented division representatives add more than 30 other votes. If they vote together, nothing or anything will become policy. This coalition elects all Boards therefore and Committees. The deals are done on line and off line. The Hoffman Report demonstrates how task forces are often appointed in APA. The Hoffman team seemed surprised. They were naïve. It is likely they did not ask anyone they interviewed about how Council works or whether what happened with PENS was unusual. In my experience, it was a little atypical but mostly business as usual. Because it was an extra legal process aimed at fact finding to support a hypothesis, few effective comparisons were made by the members of the Hoffman team. The Hoffman Report serves some constituents and undermines others. And the Hoffman team failed to comprehend what they noted briefly in their Report, that these issues were highly contentious in a political sense within the Council of Representatives and the Association and as a consequence would be used to settle scores, count coup, and advance agendas just like normal in Council.
- The Hoffman team was completely blind to the way the staff in Central Office work and why they work the way they do. Staff were excoriated in the Report for suggesting ideas, keeping the records of meetings, drafting and editing correspondence for chairs and other governance members, meeting with staff of government agencies, developing intimate working relationships with staff of government agencies, educating people who work in the government about psychological science, education, practice, and the Association’s ethics and stances on various social issues, and being incredibly powerful, knowledgeable, professional, and vocal advocates. Hoffman’s team used the selective analyses and presentation of emails and other sources of data to suggest that new practices and policies within DoD were promised in return for APA support. I could not find any explicit evidence presented by the Hoffman team to support this allegation other than after the PENS process and report and the scientific consultations supported by APA helped DoD to revise its approaches, psychologists were given formal recognition and advancement within DoD as a result of their work. No suggestion was made by Hoffman’s team that APA was involved directly in these matters internal to DoD. Rather, the implication was drawn by the narration of the sequence of events, comments by DoD staff and leaders, and exchanges of congratulatory communications. Governance members who until three weeks ago had nothing but positive feedback for staff performances have now expressed shock and surprise at the contents of emails, memo’s, and letters. These are governance members who often know very little about the content of what they are elected to supervise, have little if any leadership or managerial skills, are part time at best, and who often simply ask staff to do what they think is best and then sign off on the work products. The Hoffman Report speaks not one word about this except to repeatedly point out how competent and powerful staff were and are and how they dominate the deliberations and activities of the organization. They do so because governance can and will not and they recognize that without such powerhouses in its employ, they would be cripples in the processes of defending and advancing psychology and APA. I have seen no courageous defenses of APA staff since July 10th. It is appalling to me.
- What is broken in the Central Office is reflective of the true nature of the Council of Representatives and its constituency politics. From 1975 to 1985, the staff of APA had evolved a set of normative processes and procedures that were embraced by all. This was with the clear understanding that what had been in place prior to that time was both divisive and not very effective. They worked very diligently to understand their roles and to assess their performance together. Routine retreats were held in which staff deliberated on these performance issues and how they could operate more effectively and in the service of the organization and the discipline. They recognized the inherent strengths and weaknesses of a volunteer led organization supported by full time professional staff. I was on that staff from 1978 through1985. That informal code of conduct emphasized:
- A recognition that conflict between the constituencies was inevitable, unavoidable, and if unmanaged, could pose an existential threat to the organization.
- Required every staff member to recognize and pledge allegiance to two clients, their own Board and its committees, constituencies, and work and simultaneously to the entire diverse organization and its well-being.
- Required that there be no secret deals or initiatives. All moves by governance for or against anyone or anything were to be reported up the chain of command. These reports usually resulted in systematic staff consultations across the affected units and an illumination of what was happening in and to other constituencies. When surprise attacks were being planned, efforts were undertaken to mitigate them. When major conflicts arose, efforts were made to mediate them. If mediation and mitigation were not successful, other steps were taken. Close coordination was expected between staff and governance. Weaker leaders of Boards and Committees were strongly supported. Stronger leaders with specific agendas were systematically cultivated and supported to help them see that they needed to work with everyone in the organization to accomplish their goals.
- The caucus system of Council was started to help reduce the historical conflicts that manifested there and the trouble that large group had in managing itself. Close communications between staff and governance were maintained prior to and during every Council meeting to try to ensure that conflict did not become destructive and that the diversity of interests in the Association was recognized and treated with reverence.
- Policies and position statements as well as significant new initiatives were worked and reworked until staff and governance saw that the vast majority of interests and concerns were accommodated.
- This code held and was mostly successful until 1986. At that time, the health service practitioners achieved a two decades long ambition and they gained control of the Council of Representatives. A new executive officer was selected. Over the next several years, most of the senior staff was either fired or left. The Administrative Offices were reorganized into the Directorates. They became more powerful and better funded. They still are. The long-standing conflicts between the health service practitioners and the scientists and other academics finally reached a negative conclusion. Scientists and academics left the Association en masse and established their own organization. Those that remain serve as a rear guard with primary interests in protecting the integrity of the APA Press and the capacity of students to present posters at the APA meetings. APA Convention has changed as has the emphasis of the organization.
- A recognition that conflict between the constituencies was inevitable, unavoidable, and if unmanaged, could pose an existential threat to the organization.
- The Hoffman team touched on these issues but apparently could not understand them appropriately. They identified the primary problem as being in the behavior of individual staff members working closely, in collusion with staff in DoD. One problem is surely the power and influence of the staff, but that only exists because of the political power of constituency politics on the Council of Representatives. As a result of these controversies and the Hoffman Report, the practitioner coalition now appears to have buckled temporarily under the strains of this conflict. The leadership of the opponents of operational psychology appear to consist of a new coalition of some people in the traditional health service divisions and state associations and some leaders of the social responsibility and social justice divisions. The political aims appear to be to restrict the practice of psychologists in the military and security services, as well as components of the practice of forensic, police, corrections, consulting, and management psychology. Under the banners of specific, deontologically oriented ethical restrictions on being involved in interrogations, efforts are also underway to elevate “do no harm” as the centerpiece of APA’s Ethical Code and to undermine ethical standards 1.02 and 1.03. The Hoffman Report takes explicit sides in these conflicts and issues. One can reasonably predict it will be used in the conflicts to come. Psychotherapists working in organization settings, counseling centers, and school and educational psychologists among others will be significantly affected if this occurs. The Hoffman team’s misapprehension of the political and organization situations inside of APA and their uses of sophisticated extra legal processes and procedures may yet present the Association with even more problems than it attempted to solve.
- The Hoffman Report is not an organizational assessment. It is not a document or process designed to improve organizational, governance, or staff performance. It has promoted conflict, finger pointing, regressive group and organizational processes, not learning. It does not address the strategic positions of American psychology in its widely divergent markets. It makes no sustained effort to examine the structures, processes, or performance of the Association. It was designed to find evidence of collusion and wrong doing. I am not surprised in the least that it did.
- The Board of Directors in 2014 and in 2015 under the same type of constituency pressure and negative external publicity acted in what they truly believed was a way that would find a factual case and support their efforts to find a constructive way forward. I would submit that a primary problem for the current Board, APA governance as a whole, and the central office staff is a total lack of comprehension of the global geopolitical, economic, demographic, and ecological situation in which the United States finds itself. As a result, it has no theory or mental model of what constitutes a just war or the roles of just war in the current world. Without such models and theories, the leadership, staff, and membership are left to cope with crises like this one in the absence of any overarching strategic understanding. We are an organization and communities of scientists, practitioners, and educators that have always answered the calls of our country and our government to assist them. Now, we face a situation in which some of our internal constituencies so mistrust the government and our security and defense organizations that they are ready to cede authority to the United Nations and other international bodies. Proposals have been thrown about to make APA members ethically obligated to the policies and positions of these institutions on a parallel with or even superior to the Constitution and laws of the Untied States. The Hoffman Report would have us commit to bringing in medical ethicists and other professional ethicists to “help us” revise our own Code. Imagine, psychiatrists will help us revise our Ethics Code. Some members seem to believe this is a wise direction in which to head. My own take is we need far less medicine and law and far more psychology.
- I will not launch into my own particular ideas about the strategic positions psychology now holds, the challenges that are imminent, or the ones just over the horizon. I can only hope that the leadership of APA will find the strength and wisdom to begin to look in those directions. For now and in response to the situation we are currently in, my best advice is for the Council of Representatives and the Board of Directors to:
- Spend as much time examining and debating these issues as it believes and feels are necessary.
- Contain the impulse to react to constituency calls for immediate actions, particularly those of a punitive and restrictive nature. Such actions are far more likely to be driven by the anxiety, shame, grief, and anger that the Hoffman team and their Report have generated in all of us. Instead, resist the pressure to act and trust each other and your colleagues to find a way through this. Refer the Hoffman Report and associated matters back to the APA Governance Boards and Committees where they should have been directed in the first place. Have patience for the democratic mess that it will produce. The solutions that will be forthcoming will be compromises and thus will be far more representative of the diversity of our membership.
- Appoint a representative group of members to do a post mortem on the Hoffman Report, associated issues, and processes with sufficient means and resources to:
- explore what happened inside of APA and outside of APA to bring us to this point
- identify errors in structure and process – problem solving, decision making, conflict management, diversity management, etc.
- identify errors in judgment – politically, administratively, ethically, scientifically, professionally, educationally, and in terms of social responsibility and justice
- identify directions and choices that may have been considered and were not taken but in hind sight might have been better
- identify directions and choices that may have been available but were not considered
- identify sources of information and communication that were overlooked or underappreciated
- produce a statement of findings as closely supported by objective sources of data and information as possible but also supported by the best intuitions of those involved
- let the Boards and Committees consider the findings
- deliberate carefully and together on what actions to take based on the findings
- finally take such actions as you believe are necessary for the good of all of us and remember, no matter what you choose to do, it will be an experiment. Plan to monitor and evaluate its results.
- explore what happened inside of APA and outside of APA to bring us to this point
- Spend as much time examining and debating these issues as it believes and feels are necessary.
What we have been through together has been and will continue to be traumatizing for the organization and all of its members. Trauma based learning is the most powerful kind there is especially when the individuals that experience it use it to further their growth and development. These individuals are pretty rare. Most humans learn how to defend themselves better and that often works against them in the longer run. The energy required to do better defenses is not available to become more virtuous and extend one’s expertise. In the Association’s case, it and all of us as members will need structures and processes that continuously remind us that we must manage what we hold dear and in common even as we expand outward in what we do in the world. Our military and security service communities need to engage directly and effectively with our social justice and social responsibility communities and health care providers. The rest of us need to help them do so in ways that move beyond labels, finger pointing, and platitudes. We must find ways that we can and do defend our nation without threatening our humanity and commitments to our Constitution and human decency. We need to do this in a time when the new global war is still being defined and the strategies and tactics of our nation and its allies are being sharpened.
We’ve already learned a great deal together. It’s been agonizingly necessary but completely insufficient. These are the matters that the Hoffman Report failed to point out. Their efforts could have been resulted in a major call to pull together and use our science, practice, education, and social responsibility communities to carve new, exciting, and useful directions for our Association and our country. Instead, they provided the means for us to in fact torture each other in most virulent and public ways. I wish the Hoffman team had been charged more scientifically and supervised more closely. Their extensive and useful work could have been much more beneficial. I have come to believe after the past few weeks that their independence may have actually been an immediate and long term disservice to all of us.
We must also remember the admonitions of John Campbell, that most distinguished social psychologist of the mid 20th Century. He advocated that all government and organizational changes and reforms must be considered as experiments. Without proper uses of scientific methods and procedures, we are doomed to simply do trials without an assessment of the errors and successes. Without scientific consideration and methods, we seriously diminish our capacities to learn and earn our abilities to live and work together. And for me personally, I am constantly hearing the voice of Harry Levinson, our distinguished and deceased consulting colleague, my mentor and friend. He constantly reminded me that “all change involves loss and all loss must be grieved.”