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Three things psychology professionals should keep in mind about disciplinary proceedings

We’ve previously looked at how physicians are regulated in the state of Minnesota, and the role of the Board of Medicine in licensing, regulating, and disciplining physicians in this state. Just as the medical profession has a professional board to handle regulatory and disciplinary matters, so too does the profession of psychology. According to the Minnesota Board of Psychology, ensuring safe, competent and ethical provision of psychological services is its primary mission.

Under Minnesota law, those practicing in the profession of psychology are bound by the various ethical rules of conduct governing the profession, just as physicians are. These rules touch on a number of areas of practice, including client privacy, provider competence and objectivity, handling of client records, informed consent, clients’ rights, public statements about a provider’s practice, termination of services, and mandatory reporting. 

The regulations on professionals in the field of psychology are intended to protect the public from practitioners who are unqualified, unethical or who act unprofessionally. They play an important role in helping identify those who lack the qualifications a licensed professional in the field should have. At the same time, practitioners who are under investigation for a complaint need to understand that they have rights in the process as well.

There should be sufficient grounds for discipline

First of all, a psychology professional has a right to know the allegations brought against him or her and the grounds upon which any disciplinary action is based. If the allegations are vague and lack specificity about the provider’s actions, or if there is no credible evidence to back up the allegations, a professional needs to make sure he or she fully engages in the disciplinary process, preferably with the help of experienced legal counsel, to protect him- or herself.

We’ll continue this discussion in our next post.