This is the Age of Science, So Let’s Crunch the Numbers!

scientists_studying_psychologistsThe Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners has come under a lot of criticism recently, but how can we tell if it’s justified? Well, this is the Age of Science, so let’s do some research!

May 25, 2015: This is a work in progress. I’m putting the framework here and providing access to the raw data. As I work my way through the data, I will post conclusions. I will also add links and references over time.

June 2, 2015: I’ve uploaded a spreadsheet with most of the data entry complete, but not the analysis. See the update at the end of this article.

Purpose of the Experiment

To see where the Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners (OBPE) lies on the spectrum between scrupulous, even-handed fairness and the reckless, biased, abuse of power.

Background About the Fairness Problem

Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
— Lord Acton

“How Can I Get Licensed Practitioners to Take Me Seriously?”

How Do You Avoid Getting the Cold Shoulder, or Worse?

Licensed therapists often want to stone unlicensed practitionersA few years ago, shortly after I’d started my practice, I naively decided to reach out to licensed counselors. Why not? I love a good conversation about the different ways we see the change process happening, and I learn so much from a conversation with a counselor, psychologist, or other therapist. I especially like talking with folks who don’t think or work the same way I do, who bring a different approach to their work.

For example, I’m currently attending an attachment training that facilitates a deep sense of connection between therapist and client. But the counselor I’m talking with most lately does dialectical behavior therapy, and while she’s excellent at facilitating connection with her clients, DBT skills are quite different from the ones I’m learning in the attachment training. If I hung out only with clinicians who thought like me, how would I keep learning? Talking with practitioners who do things differently from how I do them alerts me to other ideas, other trainings to look at, and other ideas to consider. And it helps me know who to refer clients out to when my approach isn’t the right fit for them. Read More...

A Tale of Two Coffee Makers

Making and sharing coffee is a bonding experience with clientsSome time after I started my practice, I decided to bring a coffee maker into my office. This small pot worked perfectly for making coffee or tea to share with a client.

For several of my clients, a tradition evolved around this coffee maker. I had several varieties of coffee and tea. Most clients would establish a favorite flavor early on, and we would brew a pot together. One of us would fill the pot with water while the other dealt with the filter and the coffee or tea. And as the pot was brewing, the client could check in with me about the week.

There was a lovely togetherness about this ritual. It gave clients a routine that helped them to settle and to transition from whatever they’d been doing or thinking about to that, “you and me together, right now” feeling that I like to facilitate in clients. Us both having an equal role in making the coffee also conveyed an equality and a collaboration that was useful to the kind of collaboration I like to facilitate in sessions. Read More...

An Epic Fail: How Not To Intimidate Someone

So there I was, attending the Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners Meeting on March 20. It was sparsely attended, as usual, with just myself, Christian Wolff (a licensed Psychologist Associate who attends all the board meetings), someone associated with the Oregon Psychological Association, and another guy.

A Mysterious Stranger

After the meeting, Christian and I went out to the lobby and were talking, and the other guy also went to the lobby, so Christian did the polite thing and went over and introduced himself. Then he came back and told me what he learned:

(The laughter is mostly mine.) In short, the other guy was a security guard: a Mr. Colton of Advanced Security, Inc. in Salem. (Nice guy, by the way.) Now, normally I’d have assumed that the only reason for a security guard to attend something as sedate as a Psychology Board meeting would be to catch up on sleep, but he showed too much interest in us for that. In short, he oregon_board_of_psychologist_examinerswas there for us! Read More...

Kurt Swensen Talks about Psychology Board Bullying

Kurt Swensen, host of the popular podcast Online Recovery Support Radio (with around 200,000 listeners) talks about the bizarre bullying he’s undergoing from the Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners at the beginning of podcast Episode 307.

As with the Psychology Board’s other victims, he has received a vague and incoherent letter from the OBPE, followed by a bullying phone conversation that left him shaken. But now he’s lawyered up, and his listeners are ready to help in any way they can.

I wish him well, and will watch events with interest. I fully expect him to win. As usual, the Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners has no case.