Texas Law Hides Complaints Against Psychologists

Houston Chronicle/January 14, 1996
By Mark Smith

A Texas law passed last year which took effect in September forbids regulators to give out any information about complaints against psychologists unless the Texas Board of Examiners of Psychologists punishes them. Before the law, consumers could check up on psychologists by calling the board and asking whether any complaints had been filed against them. While details could not be given, the existence of a complaint against any of the state's 4,500 licensed psychologists could.

Only 12 psychologists faced any disciplinary action in 1994 and only eight in 1995. Most of these were technically suspended, but continued to practice while they completed therapy themselves and worked under the supervision of their colleagues.

A trade group of practicing psychologists lobbied hard for the change in the law. The reason given was that a psychologist with an outstanding complaint could not be accepted on a managed care panel. "It sounds like the psychologists have tried to cover up their tracks even more," said an advocate for the crime victims' rights group, Justice for All.

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