This is why, as your article notes, "Psychology and Psychotherapy are notoriously dynamic fields. What may for a time be seen as standard theory is often refined or discredited only a few years later."
I don't think the state should give any sort of legitimacy to a field that cannot demonstrate empirically that it deserves it. While I sympathize with the desire to keep out the unqualified, I don't see that the data supports making any distinctions between these people and any person off the street. Certainly, the methodology of licensing the students but not the professor is bizarre, but the whole idea assumes scientific support for the field that does not in fact exist. Without such support, any licensing system is entirely arbitrary.
Just think of the savings if we all used paraprofessional therapists with minimal training!
My big problem is that the board is probably going to deny the supervision I received in the early '80s, because the board insists that those who gave me supervision back then must fill out the board's new supervision forms. One of my supervisors is deceased, I fear. The board will then require me to close my private practice and go to work for two years and repeat the process of getting my supervision.
I am 62 years old and am raising one of my husband's grandchildren, who is 11. We took him in two years ago.
I read with interest the article in the Tucson Weekly. I certainly believe the intent of your bill was not to injure anyone, other than the dangerous, abusive therapists out there. There are a few points I'd like to make regarding the implementation of this bill.
Behavioral health issues are different from, say, physical medicine issues. With counseling, you cannot draw blood or take a urine sample, make an accurate diagnosis, then treat according to commonly accepted protocol. Counseling is, in my opinion, more of an art. With each of us being individuals, products of our upbringing and our genetics and our experiences, the same treatment protocol does not work for everyone. Treatment must be individually tailored to meet the learning style, temperament and experiences of each individual. I do believe patients who are emotionally or physically harmed by a "therapist" should have the same recourse as a medical patient who had their appendix taken out instead of their gall bladder. The recourse is: Stop seeing that therapist or doctor, and consider a lawsuit.
I am appalled by the impact of this new law, and not just on professionals such as Jane Martin, Carl Ridley and Richard Poppy. What most concerns me is the clients of these individuals. Sometimes, consumers of counseling don't want or need to be given a diagnosis, such as "anxiety disorder." I don't want to have to have a diagnosis other than "person asking for counseling" in order to receive treatment. I don't want to require that my therapists' handwriting be legible at all times. I don't even want him or her to have to keep notes unless that is the process that works best for him or her. I don't want a "treatment plan." I want my counselor to be there in the room with me, 100 percent, to interact with me in the ways we have determined are most effective for me. Consumers just want to work through their stuff with a person they feel most comfortable with. Will there be licensure in the future for "best friends" to ensure no individual gets emotionally hurt by hearing something truthful or difficult, or to protect us from having a jerk for a best friend?
The state, by providing licensure, cannot weed out all the bad apples. People will be hurt. We cannot prevent that by making laws. I don't mean to sound flippant; I know a lot of work went into this bill with nothing but good intentions, but I want decide who will be the best at helping me, whether or not they are licensed.
There are many people who have a relationship already with a counselor. For whatever reason, when that counselor can no longer be there, there will be people who will be horribly harmed. Many of these people will kill themselves. Perhaps they will have to band together and sue the state for taking their counselor away, or perhaps families will do so on behalf of loved ones who are no longer with us.
Please, please take a harder look at how this is going to be implemented. People who have mental-health challenges already have enough to deal with without losing one of the most important people in their lives. I no longer think the answer is to grandfather everyone in, although that might be an immediate measure. I think the entire bill must be reviewed.
Beth Goldman Porter
I have written countless letters to the Arizona Daily Star on this topic, usually soon after another poor biker is sent off to meet his maker by some inattentive motorist. It would be laughable if it wasn't so sad that these murderers get off with the equivalent of a parking ticket, $50 or so.
As is the case with any topic, there are always two sides. Every time I see some idiot riding on the wrong side of the street, towards traffic, at night, with no lights, reflectors, or helmet, running stop signs and red lights, my blood boils. And to the Lycra-clad "hammerheads" who persist in riding more than two abreast down Speedway Boulevard during morning rush hour: Get with it! And parents, how can you let your precious child climb on their two-wheeler without a helmet strapped on their noggin? It is the law for kids under 16.
I didn't mean for this to be a rant, but Tucson motorists and cyclists could co-exist peacefully with just a modicum of common sense on everyone's part. Then we really could be the "bicycle friendly" city the tourist bureau touts us to be.
The problem with Tucson (as well as the TPD) is not a shortage of funding, but gross mismanagement. A real solution to the financial problems of Tucson is to deny the bureaucrats additional funding once they waste what was originally allotted and then to replace said bureaucrats with competent individuals capable of actually achieving something.
Libertarian Candidate for Pima County Sheriff
The only good thing about reading The Skinny in the Tucson Weekly was that the article was worth every cent I paid for it.