Mary Lou Serafine provided a primer on Serafine v Branaman, occupational licensing, and First Amendment issues to the First Five podcast series produced by the Washington, D.C. Newseum Institute. From their website:
In this episode of The First Five, lawyer and psychologist Mary Louise Serafine discusses her fight against Texas state laws that forbade her from identifying herself as a psychologist because she didn’t have a Texas license…. Mary Lou herself takes issue with the concept of putting speech into different categories, and discusses how difficult it can be to determine whether something is “professional speech”–especially a profession like psychology, where there’s no universal definition of what the practice is (by some standards, running a Weight Watchers meeting or writing an advice column could qualify as “practicing psychology”).
The president of the private group Texas Psychological Association has just filed suit against the Texas psychology board, seeking a temporary restraining order to stop the board from moving forward with new rules which would have the effect of promoting more free enterprise in the area of psychology.
Continue reading “Texas Psychological Association sues Board of Examiners over competition”
The plaintiff, TPA president Dr. Carol Grothues, wants to stop this good effort. The reason? Aside from trivial (in my view) procedural complaints, the law suit contends the rules would be bad for business for licensed psychologists because they would lower the price for services and increase competition by increasing the number of service providers.
“You can’t make this stuff up,” is a phrase that fits here.
This is the most remarkable law suit I have seen in the anti-trust area: A cartel suing the government because the government is limiting the power of the cartel.
One of the new rules would allow masters-degreed psychologists to practice psychology independently, without having to pay money to and be “supervised” by a doctoral-level psychologist. I consider this practice to be a “protection fee,” in essence, and at a minimum an anti-trust violation. But the psychology board is proposing to do away with it, which is good. Dr. Grothues is suing to put a stop to this good development.
Dr. Grothues’ letter to the members of the TPA is here and here or google “Texas Psychological Association” and scroll down.
I consider this a very good development for all helping professions because it shows the public how far the psychology cartel will go, including against “its own” state agency. At a minimum I believe the law suit will diminish the power of these professional organizations over state government.