Jonathan Flier, LMFT
Past President, LA-CAMFT
CAMFT Board Directors
Notes from the CAMFT Board Meeting
Do you turn to the “spider pages” upon receiving your copy of The Therapist magazine?
The Board of Directors of CAMFT are currently in deliberation concerning the so-called “Spider Pages” published each month in The Therapist magazine. A proposal, by Ventura CAMFT member, Kristi Walsh, PhD., was made to the board to end or amend the publications of disciplinary actions. In her proposal, Dr. Walsh states, “Rather than supporting those who err or fail to maintain appropriate professional behavior, we publically expose and humiliate them.” She notes that “having already suffered the lengthy and oppressive BBS investigation, and been issued their consequences, they do not need the added misery of wondering, forever, who now holds this error against them.”
In 1987, and revised and updated through 2005 the CAMFT policy states: The results of disciplinary action taken by the Board of Behavioral Sciences against any person regulated by the board and the results of disciplinary action taken by the Board of Psychology (BOP) against any person regulated by the board shall be published in The Therapist. The information published shall be the information provided by the BBS and the BOP in making public the results of their action and/or to such other information as shall be a matter of public record or information. Publication of the information shall be made at the earliest time possible following receipt of the information from the BBS and the BOP.
The BBS wants the information in these pages to be public to help consumers make informed decisions in their choice of therapists. Another reason proffered is to inform and assist MFTs, LCSWs and Psychologists to understand the circumstances and consequences of illegal and ethical miscues.
The question that is begged in Kristi’s proposal and also in the minds of many of our CAMFT members is why add personal public humiliation to the offending therapists? Is it a necessary or effective added deterrent designed to shape behavior? Does this added punishment cast aspersions that last, on the Internet, forever despite reformation by the offender? What alternatives are available to help teach clinicians how to avoid lapses in professional conduct?
What are your answers to these questions?
At the September Board meeting, we reviewed sample language for a member survey to assist the Board in determining whether The Therapist should continue the 1987 policy that directs CAMFT to publish BBS disciplinary actions against licensed and pre-licensed clinicians, including the names of those disciplined. The survey will again be reviewed at the December meeting.
Here is your opportunity to weigh in on the issue. Please email comments to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jonathan Flier, MFT is currently serving on the Board of Director of statewide CAMFT. In 2008 he became President and restarted the Los Angeles Chapter of CAMFT. He has supervised interns for over 20 years at the Southern California Counseling Center and has a thriving practice that specializes in working with men, treating trauma and anxiety with somatic based therapies including EMDR, high conflict couples and passionless couples and consultations with licensed MFTs and LCSWs.