American Psychological Association publishes story on conflict between free speech and regulation of psychology

The implications of Serafine v Branaman on state laws regarding the licensing of psychologists is becoming more widely known among psychologists.

The American Psychological Association published this story in its May issue of Monitor on Psychology noting how the decision “significantly disrupted the regulation of the practice of psychology in Texas, and it has serious implications for states with similar statutes.”

While there are many professional associations in psychology, the American Psychological Association, with over 100,000 members, is by far the largest and most politically active.

The APA advocates a “model act” for licensing psychologists that purports to prohibit the defined “practice of psychology” and use of the word “psychologist,” except by government license. It is these two prohibitions in the Texas version of the act which Serafine succeeded in getting struck down as violating the freedom of speech.

Serafine advocates that states should certify psychologists as an option which would not infringe on First Amendment civil rights.


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