Comment removed

After a good deal of agonising, we have decided to remove a comment which made allegations that a generalist psychologist’s office was invaded and her daughter subjected to verbal assault.

The allegations suggested the incidents were a form of retaliation against the commenter’s support of generalist psychologists.

We are not in favour of censorship, but we are equally concerned about the potential impact of false or unwarranted claims.

While a number of generalists have reported experiences of unwelcome comments from some clinical psychologists, we believe that by far the majority of clinical psychologists would deplore this sort of behaviour, and indeed, many have offered their support to Reform APS.

A number of scenarios have been offered relating to to possible motivations for the comment.They are all speculation.

We have therefore decided to remove the comment in the interests of the profession as a whole.

We sincerely hope that no psychologist would be involved in the sort of actions complained about, or of inventing such a complaint.



16 thoughts on “Comment removed

  1. The problem with this site is that no all comments get posted, not all comments challenging or questioning get published. A shame as it stiffles the discussion of important issues for all psychologists.

    1. The most cursory view of the site should make it quite clear that apart from Apart from the obvious trolling and defamatory comments, we publish all sorts of comments and criticisms.

  2. I was trying to stay out this whole debacle as honestly its simply embarrassing to the profession as a whole. I’ll be clear. I am not a member of the APS only ever reached the status as an associate member. As a matter of background the APS lost my support almost 20 years ago when the powers that be at the time almost made it impossible for me to conduct my post graduate studies as they would not recognise my Canadian undergraduate degree – thankfully after a rigorous self written comparison between Australian and Canadian Psychology degrees the Queensland State Rego board had the wisdom to accept my undergraduate 4 year degree.

    Fast forward I completed a masters in sport psychology (but now can’t call myself a sport psychologist – thanks bureaucracy) and a doctorate in clinical psychology (but can call myself a clinical psychology – thanks again bureaucracy) – but as I finished my doctoral coursework, placements with only my research thesis left the APS still refused me as a full member – that was the last straw – I see no point now. For almost $800 per year to be a member plus AHPRA on top of that – for what – I actually see no real value in the APS and haven’t for a long time.

    In the end, if all this argy bargy is about service level between one psychologist to the next then every registered practitioner might consider engaging in a customer value analysis/ satisfaction assessment/ agreement by an independent body of registered market research practitioners – other service organisations do this – I used to conduct these types of services while working in consumer psychology roles.

    Will there be disgruntled clients who give you a bad rap/ rating – of course there will be – let us not be naive a psychologist regardless of their qualifications can’t service everyone well given the client brings the majority of factors to the consulting room that determine the greatest likelihood of a positive outcome regardless of our therapeutic intervention or our style. Maybe that’s why as helping professions this type of customer value analysis/ satisfaction type work has never been done to my knowledge – this way poor psychologists in ALL the specialities and from all the different academic pathways can continue to hide.

    On the other hand, just as a medical doctor who does their 4 year bachelor of medicine bachelor of surgery (MBBS) gets to all themselves a medical doctor, we as psychologist regardless of our training pathway would be granted the same respect upon completing ones training whether that be in counselling, education, neuropsych, forensic, clinical, sport etc. If these are specialities in their own right then just as medical doctors specialise into their own areas and have there own item numbers maybe there has to be a more thorough understanding in the bureaucracies about services offered by the specialities and then established item numbers for these services – really to me it’s been lazy establishment of a system. EG. A practitioner who is qualified and trained in say advanced assessment and treatment and uses a WAIS, WPPSI or WMS should have specific item numbers to use as they are specialised assessments with corresponding treatment item numbers associated with the assessment – medical practitioners do. What do we actually pay APS and APRHA to really do is my bigger question – shuffle paperwork?


  3. Just report the facts and not the speculations. The fact is this argy bargy in the APS is resulting in abuse of general psychologists. It doesn’t matter who does it. The apartheid is resulting in attacks on Generalists. Don’t censor the facts. Just the speculation.


      1. Thankyou so much for your question Angelique. Allow me to edify you. What comments are your refering to Angelique Fraser? Youth is not a problem. Inexperience and being duped into a false sense of superiority is. Inexperience and hubris hand in hand are a danger to the profession and to the public. The public interest is not served by encouraging inexperienced people to believe they are superior in wisdom to experienced people and encouraging the public to believe the same. A Masters degree in Clinical Psychology does not make a psychologist superior to a Ph.D. in Counselling or Forensic psychology, nor a Generalist with a 4 plus 2 registration. The available evidence does not support the false claim that MPsychs Clin deliver a superior service to generalists. Yet many MPsych students and graduates exude an almost laughable false sense of superiority. I say “almost laughable” not “laughable”, because it is actually a very serious threat to the public good to encourage graduates and the public to believe that MPsych Clin graduates are superior deliverers of Psychological services, when they are not. It is quite dangerous and divisive to the profession.
        The profession is brought into disrepute when it does not apply its own standards to questions of evidence when actively promoting one group of psychologists over another. And public interest is not served by encouraging young and inexperienced people with a masters degree in a particular field to feel superior to their colleagues. They also require a further 2 years supervision in the real world before gaining full registration. Why? because they are inexperienced. Many people chose not to become registered as psychologists early in life in the public interest and instead wait until they are seasoned by life and have more wisdom and scope in matters social, legal and political as have I, before completing full registration requirements.
        My comment above about reporting the facts is simply stating that I believe in reporting the facts over speculation. There have reportedly allegedly been verbal and other attacks made against generalists. Some have been reported here. And it is not too hard to imagine that treating generalists as second-class then disparaging them for objecting to that, might lead some individuals such as teenagers overhearing their parents , friend’s parents, or therapists, disparagements of second-rate generalists, to engage in attacks such as have been alleged herein.
        What I would like is to see reporting of the facts and room for speculation. We are all intelligent adults with minds to think with. Why should we cower away from discussing the issues? Is it not in the best interests of the public to raise the problems and fix them?
        Why are people so afraid to speak up about the concerns they have? Why are others so quick to attempt to gag dissent?
        The divisiveness in the profession is institutionalised in the very structure and even more so now with the new ill-gotten constitutional changes that deliberately divide people up into camps.
        The answer to Unity is to treat us all the same with the same respect and the same medicare tier. And stop quietly allowing Government and NGOs etc to continue to discriminate against non Clinical Psychologists in job advertising and contract and referals etc.

        1. Greg, thank you for your lengthy reply, although there appear to be some errors in your argument. The comments by you I am referring to are – “many of those clinical psychologists are young and inexperienced bungling fools tripping over their textbooks”, under the post title “Member writes to the APS National Executive”. I’m sure you remember these, and they were pointed out to me by some colleagues who have been interested in the arguments on this site. These are concerning comments, and quite disrespectful to those who have committed to 2-3 years of further postgrad training – whether it is clinical, counselling, health, or otherwise. Can I check – when you say a clinical masters does not make someone superior to someone with a PhD in Counselling or Forensic psych – do you mean PhD with masters incorporated into the degree (MPsych/PhD)? Because a PhD by research is not a professional practice training and registration program. If it includes the MPsych, then it is – you may not have been aware of this. If it is a PhD alone, well, then yes the MClinPsych is ‘superior’ to use your terminology in terms of practice and meeting registration requirements. And just to correct something else you said – those coming out of a masters degree do not require a further 2 years of supervision for registration – the masters is the required training program leading to registration; you may be referring to 2 years post-masters of supervision for endorsement – this is voluntary if you want to pursue endorsement. Saying that people purposefully wait until in life, until they are more ‘seasoned’, have more wisdom, etc is absolute nonsense – I wasn’t aware that life experience was a requirement for psychology training, or for training in any other profession for that matter. But sounds like you have gained personally from dong it this way. So when you talk about disparaging comments and reporting facts over speculation, can I suggest that we all do this – make sure what we put forward as facts is correct, and not make disparaging comments as you did (see above) regarding those who have chosen to undertake masters training in any of the areas of speciality open to us. Respect between all of us is very important, as I’m sure you’d agree. Regards, Ang

    1. Greg, have you personally been attacked by anyone? Has anyone you know been attacked?

      If our colleagues truly are getting attacked, then these attacks are terribly misguided and there are adequate channels to address them, but I have to respectfully disagree with you that disseminating these occurrences here adds value to the debate.

      I’m a Generalist and I feel just as passionate as you about the issues at stake! However, at this time, we need to be thinking strategically, not combatively. All these allegations (whether fact or fiction), set us up for combat and detract us from our end goal of uniting our profession.

      1. Hear hear. I am a Clinical Psychologist. I certainly do not condone attacks on anyone. The behaviour by the youths is disturbing. I f the Police’s alleged response to these incidents is so nonchalant, it is of concern. However I do not consider it censorship to remove this complaint. The incidents are, in my opinion, a criminal matter. it is not known exactly how this abusive behaviour came about. Speculation is a time-waster and inflammatory and can incite colleagues into false hatred and suspicon. i read these posts with mixed feelings. I want to understand the issues tha are posted on the RAPS forum. I have respect for gneralists and colleagues from other colleges. I do not believe in censorship. However, I am surprised and dismayed at thenature of some comments on this site. Well, each to their own.

      2. Dear Tia, for your information I must say that I have experienced such attack from a clinical psychologist in his 60s who also gives lectures and workshops, who bluntly told me that “It took years of study on top of my psych study and cost thousands of $. And I’m a much better clinician because of it.” I call this a blunt attack, because he said it to me as I was active in the cause and a clinical psychologist that suppose to be an intellectual who directs others to become a good psychologist, well, to me it is nothing but expression of his anger, and anger we are allowed, but a false sense of superiority because having done Masters in Clinical psych? that is another story, I must say he is somewhat delusional thinking that having done a masters has made him a better clinician.

        1. Dear Hamid, I can appreciate that given this sensitive time, all discussions around these issues have the potential of sparking conflict. I think most of us are feeling quite bruised by the current climate and mounting sense of injustice; however I do feel it is important to be able to discern actual attacks from perceived attacks and overcome the temptation to assess interactions from an emotional perspective.

          Without knowing the context of this particular Psychologist’s comment, it is hard for me to discern his intent, so please don’t take this the wrong way; but in my opinion, I think there is a big difference between someone saying “I have spent thousands training and perfecting my skills, and I’m a better clinician for it” versus someone saying “I have spent thousands training and perfecting my skills and I am a better clinician THAN YOU for it”. The latter is a clear attack, however the former, is more a mix of statement of fact and subjective opinion that are self-directed.

          I guess all I was trying to say in my previous comment is that I feel these discussions are becoming more about trying to tear each other down, rather than addressing the core issues from a rational and constructive place. Rightly or wrongly, at present there is greater scrutiny of our conduct and a growing need to demonstrate that our claims of equivalence are valid and I feel that emotional reactivity undermines this.

      3. Combat is not required. Truthfulness is required. Communicating about the issues is required. Disagreement can be constructive and respectful, as you have demonstrated. Without discussing the issues there can be no Unity of association and without acknowledging the truth of the inequities that exist, there can be no Unity. Fairness and respect for the hard work and experience of our fellow psychologists is a precondition of unity.

  4. So you remove the comment after a few days so it can’t be scrutinized for evidence of fabrication … but felt the need to reiterate in detail one more time the defamatory and inflammatory accusations it made about generalist psychologists being “attacked”?

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