By Linda A. Nicolosi
February 8, 2007 - The Leona Tyler Principle, adopted by the American Psychological Association (APA) in 1973, has just been unanimously adopted by NARTH's Governing Board on the advice of its Scientific Advisory Committee.
In essence, the principle states that when psychologists are speaking as members of their profession, any advocacy in which they engage should be based on scientific data and demonstrable professional experience. Perhaps Dr. Tyler, then APA's president, was able to foresee the day when organized psychology would be influenced by activism, and she wanted to ensure that psychology as a profession would not be eroded.
"Ironically," noted NARTH Scientific Advisory Chairman A. Dean Byrd, Ph.D., "since the enunciation of this principle, the national mental health associations seem to have been taken over by ideologues whose activist agendas show little concern for science or professional experience. In fact, this principle seems to have been repeatedly violated by APA itself."
Dr. Byrd noted the acceptance of the Leona Tyler Principle does not prevent NARTH professionals from speaking out as concerned citizens, either individually or as members of groups. However, official positions taken by NARTH as a scientific organization must meet this standard.
The Leona Tyler Principle will be presented as NARTH's policy at the next annual conference to be held Dallas in October of 2007.