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. Read More...

New Attack on Exempt Practitioners

Pirate Treasure MapOn Thursday I attended the third meeting of the Licensure Exemption Workgroup, whose purpose is to eliminate the licensing exemption for counselors and family therapists.

The idea is to introduce legislation for this in the 2017 full session of the Oregon Legislature, not the current 2016 short session.

Oddly, this attack on the counseling exemption is not being spearheaded by the counseling board (the Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists, OBLPCT), but by the psychology board (OBPE).

Why would the psychology board muscle onto another board’s turf? Because that’s what they do.

Rewriting History

The psychology board published a backgrounder on the licensing exemption that strives to explain it without understanding it first. You see, rather than contacting the counselors who are familiar with the counseling exemption, and who know its history, how it works today, its pros and cons, and its supporters and detractors, they chose to study only its legislative history, in isolation, without talking to anybody . This aversion to human contact is typical of the OBPE. Read More...

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 Read More...

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. Read More...

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: Read More...