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The National Psychologist
Michigan Mandatory CE Efforts Confront Roadblock
When Michigan Gov. John Engler signed the massive state budget bill last October, it included one unobtrusive and seemingly unrelated paragraph. It mandates continuing education for psychologists and would have made Michigan the 42nd state with mandated CE.
But whether it actually happens is unsettled. A group of Michigan Psychoanalysts is vehemently opposed to mandatory continuing education. The Michigan Psychological Assn. Contends otherwise. And a public official in Michigan asserts the paragraph on continuing education for psychologists in the budget bill is irregular. The budget bill has a one-year life and will then lapse. So will the C.E. provision.
According to Tom Martin, director of the Office of Policy and Legislative Affairs in the state’s Department of Consumer and Industry Services (CIS), provisions related to licensing Michigan psychologists, including mandatory C.E., must be part of the state’s public health code. “The Legislature amended the annual appropriations bill to say that it’s the legislature’s intent—but it doesn’t require—that the Department will implement CE for psychologists,” Martin explained in an interview. “We are not authorized to do that because the public health code doesn’t allow us to do it.”
But Dennis Hicks, executive director of the Michigan Psychological Assn., takes exception, stating MPA does not accept that legislation mandating CE lapses late this year.
The prospect that Michigan continues as a state without required continuing education would mollify Patrick Kavanaugh, Ph.D., and Marvin Hyman, Ph.D., both former presidents of the Michigan Psychological Assn. (MPA) and widely-known psychoanalysts. They were so upset by what they thought was the surreptitious tactic of MPA in lobbying for the legislation that they fired off letters of protest to trade newspapers and pertinent individuals in the field. Two of their principal contentions were that MPA represents only 16% of Michigan psychologists—not all of them practitioners—and that the association lobbied for the legislation without the knowledge or support of its own members. MPA rejected the arguments outright.
March/April 2002, Vol. 11, No. 2. Copyright 2002, reprinted with permission by The National Psychologist, 6100 Channingway Blvd., Suite 303, Columbus, Ohio 43232; 614/861-1999.