Is psychology anything more than a job? 

If psychology is anything more to members than a means of earning income, then it demands a willingness to defend it – and that is a very important aspect of this entire RAPS campaign.

The continuing entrenchment of this completely unwarranted financial and professional advantage for the minority ruling faction of clinical psychologists has had a profoundly negative  impact on the profession and on Australia’s mental health clients.

We are not just defending a means of earning an income. We are defending the integrity of a profession that has so much to offer, our clients, and the community at large.

What will it take for members to care enough about their futures and vote for change?

The collateral effects have been far-reaching. They include:

  • Perpetuation of control by the clinical faction on the board
  • The public denigration of highly skilled and experienced non-clinical psychologists as “the worst-educated in the Western World” by the current president of the society which represents them.
  • Delivery of exclusive rights to preparing reports and assessments to clinical psychologists, ending decades of tradition and practice
  • Continuing promotion to legislators, bureaucrats and referring authorities of the false proposition that clinical psychologists are superior to all other psychologists and that they should receive higher rewards.
  • The admission of bureaucratic control over the professional sanctity of the consulting room which has favoured CBT above all other approaches
  • A catastrophic realignment of academic courses which has produced a virtual mono-culture of clinical graduates
  • The abdication of APS influence in the mental health debate to psychiatrists and organisations including Beyond Blue and Headspace.
  • Consistent intimidation of opponents of the clinical faction with threats of potentially career-threatening retaliation

We are on the verge of great loss of not only our jobs and income, but a beloved profession that we have all invested years and years of study in.

Each and every one of us needs to speak up and encourage others to realise what is at stake – and to make them realise they can make a difference this year!

Insanity Is Doing the Same Thing Over and Over Again and Expecting Different Results


14 thoughts on “Is psychology anything more than a job? 

  1. Psychology is a profession and to maintain its professional status and recognition amongst other health professionals and to ensure scientifically valid and up to date approaches and practice, there needs to be a standard of education and practice common across the states and that can also be internationally recognised and comparable (as occurs with medicine and some of the other allied health professionals). There are undoubtedly some very good Generalist Psychologists, but the reality is that there is a necessity to keep up with the times. Many Psychologists have undertaken the necessary additional education and/or experience and I fully support that this option be available should this be the problem. To create unwarranted division and to portray clinical psychologists as being self protective and motivated by money is entirely unjustified and damaging to the profession as a whole.

    1. Yes I agree that, ” To create unwarranted division and to portray clinical psychologists as being self protective and motivated by money is entirely unjustified and damaging to the profession as a whole.” But that is not what the writer was doing.
      The ‘unwarranted division’ has been created by a elite group of clinical psychologist. A subset of the clinical psychology college.
      Clinical psychologists should be just as concerned as everybody else about this false dichotomy with no evidence base, created by the elite faction, because it is discrediting psychology as an evidence based profession and shows clear bias of a self-interested elite. The division was created by the APS. Infact they actually created a ‘division’ of general practicing psychologists.
      Did you know there are endorsed clinical psychologists with 4+2 and no masters? There are. Due to historical and political windows of opportunity. The whole profession is in jeopardy because of this lack of this divisiveness created by the privileged few. RAPS is just trying to correct that error.

      1. Gregory,
        You have done exactly what you chastised Marilyn for – commenting on points she didn’t broach. Marilyn’s point is that people who wish to use additional formal training as a way to extending their skillset should not be criticised for their wish to learn more about their profession. I think that is a valid observation to make, as are your concerns about other issues discussed on this site.

        If we want things to improve for generalist psychs, we need a constructive discourse not a cycle of pointing fingers at each other. Personally, I would argue that is the response to the article’s question (“What will it take for members to care enough about their futures and vote for change?”): For members to believe that their are informed candidates willing to engage in constructive reform – if comments reflect action, most of the people on this site would demand and deliver ultimatums if they were elected, most likely meaning the APS is even less productive in the ensuing term.

        Look for solutions – not blame

        1. Thanks Ash for the chastisement. But I think it is off beam. By the way, I didn’t chastise Marilyn. I responded and clarified that RAPS is not against clinical psychologists. RAPS is upset by the ungrounded elitism of some powerful clinical psychologists and their grabs for more power over decisions that affect the psychology profession as a whole and the provision of public good. Please do not miss-attribute behaviour and motive to me or others if you want to remain free from judgement for the blamey chastisement you have wrongfully accused me of.
          Yes. Let’s stay on task and get real about the evidence and the outcomes. Purely and simply let’s all apply scientific method to this debate and use the measured outcomes to decide which pathways produce competent and effective clinicians, not mythologies spun by elitist interest groups, and reward equally those that produce equal results in mental health care provision.

          1. If I misinterpreted your comment, Gregory, I apologise. For me, this read as she shouldn’t comment if it is not a direct response to the post, which it sounds may not have been your intention.

            Part of a constructive discourse is respecting different perspectives and this can be poorly realised on this forum – I apologise if in my attempt to support this I inadvertently acted hypocritically and hope all can appreciate – as you appear to – the intention of my (apparently misdirected) remark.

            Look for solutions – not blame

      2. Wasn’t there a grandfathering period for those without Masters to be able to gain clinical endorsement? From memory it was quite a long period of time to apply for this and you had to show proof of your work history, etc.

        1. I believe the window period was for counselling psychologists or other master level psychologists to demonstrate equivalence. Additional bridging programs were required to skill up.

          1. Dear collegues. In my opinion and based on my experience, as far as I was aware, there was no “grandfathering” for those who gained expertise via 4 + 2 pre AHPRA and if your last degree was acquired more than 10yrs one could not apply for Masters! If by chance an academic institution did accept you for a Masters program, I was told by a clinical “selector” to a Masters program that I could not engage in my private practice as I was a student and I would be under supervision and then when I was undertaking the + 2 for endorsement requirements again I could not run my private practice but would need to practice under supervision! So you see my successful “clinical” business of 20+ years would collapse! I would be financially bankrupted! Many years ago a prominent psychologist involved in the APS and member of an APS College told attendees at an evening forum that major changes were afoot and we all needed to have a Masters and if we didnt we needed to get asap! It was impossible for me as I did not qualify for the “10” yr rule! No details were provided and having no APS College affiliation there was no one advocating for me and my APS non College collegues! I was a part of the APS Division of Psychs in Independent Private Practice and when this was dismantled by the APS I was not informed and nothing replaced it! So who was advocating for the APS Member who did not have a Masters (which was never mandatory) the marginalized non college APS Psychologist Member?

            1. Hello concerned psychologist, uour comments reharding grandfathering are not correct. Many 4+2 pathway psychologists without postgrad gained endorsement across all areas including clinical. And your reported advice ylfrom the clinical course person is not at all correct. Of course you could continue your private practice!! But for endorsement, yes, you would have a supervisor to further develop clinical skills. I very much hope that wasnt the advice uou got as its very wrong.


                1. PS If our clinical college academic colleague was and most likely continues to be engaged in provision of such advice, which YOU state is WRONG! (I AM NOT WRONG THE CLINICAL WAS WRONG!) how will this be redressed?? What authority do you have to state what is wrong or right if what I am sharing is my actual experience? Clearly according to your view, the clinical avademic who was at the time an assic prof involved in selecting candidates is WRONG. Is this an abuse of their position of power? After all they are the gatekeepers! Who audits their processes and decisions? You were not there! Who are they accountable to?
                  This whole system in my opinion is flawed!

          2. Actually no it wasnt just for masters level trained, it was gor all to show equivalence of level required for endorsement. 4+2 colleagues were able to achieve ths through demonstrating practice, experience, PD, expertise.

            1. Sorry..,,, I hear what you say … you seem to be an authority on everything “clinical” BUT this was not my actual /lived experience. I paid the $$$$ and was not prepared to appeal and pay extra $1000. I did not have that magic masters! End of story! From my lived experience at that time when the whole system was transitionong in my opinion it became an exercise re who you know not what you know. So perhaps people you know were fortunate enough to be connected to other clinicals who endorsed them.

Leave a Reply