United Profession – Equality of Practitioner – Freedom of Treatment
Reform APS welcomes Executive Director’s remarks in the February edition of InPsych magazine, where she acknowledges “the unintended consequences and hurt felt by many of our members as a result of the two-tier structure established by the Government”.
To our knowledge, after a decade of inaction, it’s the first indication that the APS has any inkling at all that there were unintended consequences and that members have been hurt.
But is it going to be enough?
The profession faces the gravest crisis in its history, engineered by a prolonged and short-sighted campaign to advance the interests of clinical psychologists over those of all their colleagues.
In the pursuit of financial and professional advantage, this campaign has resulted in the two-tier Medicare rebate system under the Better Access scheme.
This campaign is the root of the two-tier Medicare rebate system under the Better Access scheme, which grossly favours clinical psychologists, despite the conspicuous absence of any evidence to justify this inequity. The latest research and post hoc analyses show that there is no difference between the treatment outcomes of clinical and registered psychologists.
The continuing entrenchment of this completely unwarranted financial and professional advantage for a single minority faction has had a profoundly negative impact on the profession and on Australia’s mental health clients.
The collateral effects have been far-reaching. They include:
- A catastrophic realignment of academic courses which has produced a virtual monoculture of clinical graduates
- The admission of bureaucratic control over the professional sanctity of the consulting room which has favoured CBT over other evidence-based techniques.
- The abdication of APS influence in the mental health debate to psychiatrists and organisations including Beyond Blue and Headspace.
- The public denigration of highly skilled and experienced non-clinical psychologists as “the worst-educated in the Western World” by the current president of the society which represents them.
- Continuing promotion to legislators, bureaucrats and referring authorities of the false proposition that clinical psychologists are superior to all other psychologists and that they should command professional debate and receive higher rewards.
- Delivery of exclusive rights to preparing reports and assessments to clinical psychologists, ending decades of tradition and practice.
- Consistent intimidation of opponents of the clinical faction with threats of potentially career-threatening retaliation.
- Perpetuation of control by the clinical faction at the last APS board meeting.
The President and the Executive Director continue to promote the carefully constructed undemocratic governance review, despite many concerns expressed by members. This will have serious consequences for the practice of psychology in this country. If the governance review passes, it will deliver the profession into the permanent control of those who support the medical model of mental health – completely out of step with their colleagues in Britain, the US and Europe.
- If approved, this regime will end the power of APS members to directly elect their representatives and ultimately result in the complete disintegration of the APS as the profession’s peak body, and the splintering of representation of the profession. This is highly likely to result in a public scandal with damaging consequences for all psychologists.
- This simply would not be permitted by our overseas counterparts. The British Psychological Society, for instance, is displaying genuine leadership.
Here is your chance to help fix the problem.
Vote against the Governance Review! They have not set the date yet. It could be any time!
This is your chance to be heard – or accept that in future you may belong to the ACPS – the Australian Clinical Psychology Society – not the APS.
How can I help? Contact Us!
Reform APS (RAPS) is dedicated to achieving genuine unity for the Australian Psychological Society and to advance the practice of psychology and the treatment of mental health conditions in Australia. Our aim is to reach a point of equality between clinical and non-clinical psychologists in the Society.