Beware! APS Survey is clever and deceptive.

RAPS supporters should be wary of the APS survey distributed recently by the APS. It is cunning and clever and beautifully constructed but clearly deceptive.

It’s not a sincere inquiry into members’ views of the two-tier system. Instead, it’s a masterpiece of tendentious wording, that seeks subtly to compromise respondents, forcing them to accept a particular point of view that is almost certainly contrary to their own.

Please note the following:
1. There is a long, and carefully-worded monologue regarding the “long and hard road” that APS has trekked for 10 years or so to get “where we are today”.

We say what utter rubbish! The APS has done nothing for the generalist psychologist, who always remains
the poor relation.

2. There is no direct question re: “Do you want the two-tier system to stay or go?”

We ask why haven’t they asked the critical question? Are they afraid of the response?

What will be reported to the board when they meet on Saturday week? The survey is engineered to put words in the mouths of recipients in order to get the answers they want.

3. There are several  trick questions in the body of the survey, e.g. “Should there be paths for ‘some’ psychologists to progress to the higher rebate?”

What sort of sophistry is this? Answer it how you will, you are agreeing that there should be a higher rebate. It’s an outrage that the APS has constructed a survey that literally blindfolds members, forcing them to navigate their way through a minefield without any map of the terrain. Be careful how you answer (not answer) these.

We urge you to complete the survey but please use the opportunity to write comments in the

Say what you want; what you feel. Be open and honest. Don’t be restricted in those boxes by the questions asked before them.

If you want to say, for example: “The APS has done nothing for me”. “I want a different Board that will represent the true opinions of the membership”. “What a farce we are faced with in this survey”.

Just say it in those boxes. Do please complete the survey though!!

5 thoughts on “Beware! APS Survey is clever and deceptive.

  1. Research methodology was a major component of my extensive psychological training. I was taught that psychological research questionnaires needed to be constructed with careful attention to wording, so they did not project biases or prompt for desired responses (consciously or unconsciously). That ethical scientific research questionnaires should explore hypothesis and be constructed to reveal a null-hypothesis if it should exist. And that psychologists, above all other professions, are trained to have the skill to do this above all others.

    So I was shocked when I started to answer the APS survey. Those who SHOULD be demonstrating the ability to avoid bias actually demonstrated that they have the ability to use their skills unethically. They constructed a survey that can only produce one or more outcomes that reflect the desired outcome of the survey constructor.

    The more I answered the survey questions, the more concerned I became. Do I try to select the best option from a very bad choice, which will then allow the APS to use their flawed research results to demonstrate to the government they have the support of members?

    My ethical compass would not allow that. I did not complete the survey, as there was not way I felt confident that the responses I want them to hear could be expressed via their survey. I felt that by not completing it, it would give a lower validity to the responses due to a lower N. As any undergrad psych student will tell you, the N and validity should be reported with any research stats. Somehow I don’t think the high level of research expertise in the APS will be analyzing the results with a the scrutiny that the Society’s journals would analyze papers submitted for publication.

    This makes me even more angry with the Society I contribute membership fees to uphold professional standards. Shame, APS, shame.

  2. I am a Counselling Psychologist with 20 years’ experience, a successful private practice and more Medicare referrals from GP’s than I can see. I have had extensive conversations with my Clinical Psychology colleagues over the years and have found absolutely no difference in the clinical presentation of clients who are referred to us. Whilst we may differ slightly in how we achieve our treatment goals, we are all required to have exceptionally high levels of training, qualification and skill in order to acquire our registration to practice psychology. The idea that as a Generalist Psychologist I am only allowed to provide Focussed Psychological Strategies to patients and not utilise the psychological skills and expertise I have spent my professional life developing is ludicrous and unethical.

    Whilst the Medicare rebate for psychological services has been profoundly beneficial for those in our community who are in need of high quality psychological support, the two tier system has placed an unfair burden on patients who are not eligible for the same rebate as other patients who are receiving the same service.

    In addition it has been a disaster for our profession. It has been incredibly divisive, resulted in toxic professional elitism, damaging resentment and inadvertently lead to the reduction of the rich diversity of areas of psychological study and practice.

    For the sake of equity of access to allied health services, the same Medicare rebates must apply for all in the community who access psychological services under Medicare.

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