Category Archives: Bullying From Psychology Board

Psychologists: If You Know the Right People, You can Do What You Like

Oregon’s Psychology Board is still trying to give the impression that they actually do their job. On Friday, they issued a press release:

Press release by Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners in Shelly Kerr case.

Shelly Kerr, unethical UO psychologist
Shelly Kerr

As is so often the case, they leave out some important facts:

So it’s not even a slap on the wrist.

Deliberate? Or Accidental?

Charles Hill, Director Oregon psychology board
Charles Hill, executive director, OBPE

When dealing with the Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners, one should always stop and ask whether anyone knew what they were doing.

There can be no doubt that, in this case, they knew exactly what they were doing: when the fine was reduced from $5,000 to $2,500, it was at the plea of the University (which is actually paying it), not from Kerr.

Even the $5,000 is just a rounding error from the University’s point of view. So far, their expenses include:

This is the context in which the Psychology Board decided that a $5,000 fine was too large, so they magnanimously knocked it down to $2,500.

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Communicating with the Psychology Board, or Trying To

Communication with the OBPE has not been establishedHere’s an email exchange between myself and Charles Hill, the Executive Director of the Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners and the Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists. I think it speaks for itself.

My email to Hill:

Date: Mon, 8 Feb 2016 15:57:19 -0800

Subject: Licensure exemption workgroup
From: Robert Plamondon <robert@plamondon.com>
To: charles.j.hill@state.or.us

Mr. Hill,

If I were to submit a document, in advance of the meeting, for distribution to the members of the Licensure Exemption Workgroup, would it be distributed?

As you know, I suspect that communications sent to the OBPE are routinely withheld from the board members, and you refused to answer when I asked you about this directly. However, you promptly answered that, if I sent
material to the OBLPCT, it would be distributed.

Which rules are used with the Licensure Exemption Workgroup?

Robert

Hill’s reply to me, which I reproduce in full:

From: Charles J. Hill <Charles.J.Hill@state.or.us>
Date: Wed, Feb 10, 2016 at 2:03 PM
Subject: RE: Licensure exemption workgroup
To: Robert Plamondon <robert@plamondon.com>

Dear Mr. Plamondon,

At this point in time, I am not willing to put any responses to your comments in writing because you have repeatedly twisted, ridiculed and misrepresented things I, or members of OBPE, have said in the past, then published or verbally stated your misinterpretations as fact.  This is misleading to the public and I do not wish to support it.

I will be more than happy to respond to your questions when I see evidence of accurate reporting on your part.

Sincerely,
Charles J. Hill
Executive Director
Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners, (503) 378-4154  x4
Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists, (503) 378-5499  x4

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Department of Justice Puts a Stop to Psychology Board Pettiness

OBPE can never resist doing the wrong thing.The Oregon Department of Justice just stopped another act of pettiness by the Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners (OBPE), as described by University of Oregon professor Bill Harbaugh in his widely read UO Matters blog. Harbaugh is investigating the Psychology Board’s handling of the UO counseling records scandal, where the Psychology Board plans to deliver a mere slap on the wrist to Shelly Kerr, a licensed psychologist.

Shelly Kerr
Teflon Psychologist Shelly Kerr.

Kerr is accused of copying confidential records of a gang-rape victim without the knowledge or consent of the victim or her counselor, and delivering them to the University’s attorneys. For this, the Psychology Board proposes a slap on the wrist.

Where the Board once, for example, gave Christian Wolff a one-year suspension and a $10,000 fine for merely abbreviating “Psychologist Associate” to “PsyA,”* they calculate the value of betraying a rape victim at a $5,000 fine, and no suspension.** As you can imagine, this case is receiving a lot of attention.

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We’re Exempt! Boards Concede that Exemptions are Real

We're Exempt!After more than a year of foot-dragging, the Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners has conceded that the licensing exemptions in Oregon law do, in fact, exist, and that exempt practitioners are outside the authority of the licensing boards.

We’re Exempt!

Specifically, the “educational exemption” in ORS 675.825(4) was conceded. This exemption allows anyone to practice counseling or marriage and family therapy without a license. And since the definitions of counseling and marriage and family therapy are so broad, this exemption also covers practitioners who don’t even think of themselves as counselors or family therapists — hypnotherapists, NLP practitioners, and so on.

The Board’s Predicament

What kind of meeting was it? Let’s consider the context:

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Foot-Dragging, Silence, and Turnover

At the May 2015 meeting of the Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners, they once again put the issue of their own illegal harassment of unlicensed practitioners on the agenda (they called it “Exempt Practitioner Workgroup”), and once again they did nothing.

Money talks, and silences at the oregon board of psychologist examinersWarren Foote, the board’s attorney, said that they were not done “investigating the legislative history of the exemption.” But that’s just lawyer-speak for “We’re in the wrong, the case against us is open-and-shut, but I’m still combing through the dusty stacks of precedent, hoping against hope to find a loophole.”

In the meantime, what about the board’s false prosecutions? They’ve put them on hold, right? “Above all, do no harm.” Well, the OBPE is a different kind of organization. The investigations are continuing, as if nothing had happened.

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