The Michigan Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology
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From the Editor
Cynthia McLoughlin, Ph.D.
In the spring of 2000, a rumor circulated that the Michigan Psychological Association was about to win passage of a law requiring mandatory continuing education (MCE) for psychologists. I researched the issue of MCE and wrote an informational article on what I found in the June 2000 newsletter.
By October of that year, I had received several letters written in response to the article, and had also discovered that Governor Engler’s Department of Consumer and Industry Services (the state agency that counts among its many activities the licensing of psychologists http://www.cis.state.mi.us/home.htm) had turned down the proposal because of the governor’s interest in curtailing government regulation.
In December 2001, I again heard an MCE rumor—this time that MCE legislation had already passed. I phoned MPA Executive Director, Dennis Hicks, who said the legislation had, indeed, been passed two months previously (in October 2001). He said that the MPA had worked hard to win passage of this bill. The principal reason the MPA advanced, he said, was that the majority of other states and the majority of other occupations and professions (including accountants and nail technicians) have mandatory CE requirements. Hicks said the MPA’s view was that, if nail technicians have to earn CE credits, psychologists, who have more potential to affect people’s lives for good or ill, should certainly be required to earn them as well.
Hicks said that the next step in the process would be that the Board of Psychology (Licensing Board) would draft “administrative rules” that would spell out the nuts and bolts of how MCE would be administered in Michigan. Before any set of administrative rules was adopted, he said, there would be a public hearing in which psychologists would be invited to express their views.
Over the next month, I received materials in which the MCE requirement and MPA’s role in winning its passage were announced to the MPA membership. Among them was the MPA newsletter, in which MPA Director of Professional Affairs, Judith Kovach wrote, saying, “Beginning January 1 2004, the Board of Psychology will require psychologists seeking renewal of a license to furnish the Board with satisfactory evidence that the psychologist has obtained not less than 36 hours of continuing education (CE) credits in the two years preceding the application for renewal….In the next few months, the Board of Psychology will implement specific rules to address the CE requirements. MPA plans to work closely with the Board.”
This edition of the MSPP News was put together based on that information, which, as you will see, was shared by a number of our contributors. At the eleventh hour, however, contradictory information began to arrive on my desk, so that, as we go to print, I am uncertain as to whether MCE is now the law in Michigan or not. Called about the dates for the expected public hearings, Tom Martin, the legislative liaison from the Department of Consumer and Industry Services to the state legislature, said that the CIS had no plans to implement MCE for psychologists, and therefore no hearings would be held on the matter.
The MSPP President and other contributors to this edition of the News have decided to go ahead with the (MCE-related) articles that were planned. If MCE is now mandatory, then they are immediately relevant. If, once again, efforts to pass MCE legislation have reached a roadblock, we have the unexpected luxury of reading in this issue about a past that has not yet taken place. Let us, in that case, take advantage of the opportunity to educate ourselves about mandatory continuing education and to make our individually considered views known to the state agencies and professional organizations that will determine if, when, and how the law and administrative rules are written.
In the June issue, we will do our best to clarify the situation of Michigan psychologists with regard to MCE. In the interim, updates will be posted to the announcements section of the MSPP website at www.mspp.net
Also in this edition, I am very pleased to have contributions from three new authors (new to the News, that is). Bernard A. Green has contributed a poem that might have been (but wasn’t) written especially for this issue. David P. Stanislaw has written a thoughtful and engaging review of Leonard Shengold’s Delusions of Everyday Life. John Bradley Carroll has written a tour de force “Readings” piece for our continuing series. My sincere thanks go out to each of these authors, first for going to the trouble to write down his thoughts and second for having the generosity to share them with the rest of us.
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