People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public.
So suppose you’re an alternative counselor operating under Oregon’s generous exemptions, meaning you don’t need to have a license. What does it sound like when the Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners tries — illegally — to bully you into shutting down?
It sounds just like this (shared with the permission of its recipient):
Note that Karen Berry, the “Investigator” for the Board of Psychologist Examiners, doesn’t even pretend that she’s investigating “the practice of psychology,” which is the only thing the Board is authorized to investigate. She admits that she wants a counselor to shut down a counseling practice.
Why Would Psychologists Turn Abusive?
Why? Who knows why people become abusive? You’d think that members of the helping professions would have a better handle on this.
And you’d expect psychologists, in particular, to be mindful, because psychologists have all studied the infamous Stanford Prison Experiment, where student volunteers were divided into “guards” and “prisoners,” and the guards, once given a little power, quickly became abusive — so abusive that the experiment had to be terminated early, before more people were harmed. Psychologists are supposed to know better.
It’s Against Federal Law
Note that, in the message, Berry is trying to convince the counselor to shut her doors before having a hearing in front of a judge. That’s against the law. Having your day in court comes first. Innocent until proven guilty, due process of law, and all that. This is just as illegal as a cop telling you that he won’t give you a ticket if you pay him a bribe.
This sort of thing is common enough that the Federal Trade Commission has to prosecute state licensing boards pretty often, and just a couple of months ago the Supreme Court upheld a conviction of a state licensing board for doing exactly what the Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners is doing all the time.
Don’t be a Crime Victim
So if you get one of these, know that you’ve just become a crime victim. Don’t take it lying down! Instead, lawyer up. (I recommend Mike Flinn in Corvallis, either to represent you or to bring your own lawyer up to speed.)
How does the psych board get away with it? Because, until recently, people have been taking it lying down.
The Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners won’t be able to keep this up much longer. They’re too clearly in the wrong, in too many ways, and have riled too many of the wrong people.
Sadly, there’s plenty more where that came from.
See my Legal Update post for more on the legal issues.
See my Main Page for the big picture.