Friday, July 26, 2013

No unlicensed advice in Kentucky

The WSJ reports:
Was Dear Abby a career criminal? Can "The Dr. Oz Show" show be censored? Absolutely—at least according to the Kentucky attorney general and the state's Board of Examiners of Psychology, which just banned one of the most popular advice columns in the United States from all of Kentucky's newspapers.

This act of censorship has forced a showdown in federal court over one of the most important unanswered questions in First Amendment law: Can occupational-licensing laws—which require the government's permission to work—trump free speech? Some government licensing boards, which function increasingly as censors, certainly think the answer is yes.

Consider the facts of this particular case, which involves an advice columnist named John Rosemond, who is also a licensed family psychologist based in North Carolina and the best-selling author of more than a dozen books on parenting. Since 1976, Mr. Rosemond has written a column on parenting that is syndicated in more than 200 newspapers across the country, including some in Kentucky.

In February, Mr. Rosemond wrote a column responding to a question from parents about their 17-year-old son, whom they described as a "highly spoiled underachiever." Mr. Rosemond, who believes that children need clear boundaries and discipline, wrote that their son was in "dire need of a major wake-up call" and advised that they suspend his privileges until he shapes up.

The day after Mr. Rosemond's column ran in the Lexington Herald-Leader, a retired Kentucky psychologist contacted the Kentucky Board of Examiners of Psychology to complain. Astonishingly, the Kentucky attorney general and the board sent Mr. Rosemond a letter ordering him to stop publishing his column in the state.
A psychologist writes:
State licensing boards are designed to protect the public from any "Tom, Dick or Harry" who decides to hang out his shingle and call himself a psychologist. Feel free to keep dispensing what sounds like good advice, Mr. Rosemond. Just don't call yourself a psychologist in a state that stipulates that you must have a doctorate and the relevant training to do so.
To me, licensed psychologists are the last people to give child-rearing advice. The Kentucky AG might be contacting me, since this blog reaches Kentucky and I do not have a license there.

I guess the problem is that a Kentucky newspaper is labeling Rosemond a psychologist, when he is not licensed in Kentucky as a psychologist. He has a masters degree (MS), and is licensed as a "psychological associate" in the State of North Carolina. He says that he is no worse than Dr. Phil.


Anonymous said...

Well, let him simply make his actual credentials clear, then if the govt. of Kentucky repeats the same actions he'd have a case. This seems to be more about misrepresenting your professional credentials than suppressing unlicensed advice.

Anonymous said...

This is why I hate government licensing as it really does nothing to protect the people from incompetent workers (whether they be contractors, lawyers, engineers or Psychos) but does server to protect those workers pay scale and pump money and control into the state. Never fails though as it's human nature to try and bar the door after you've gone through.