A little history:

The North Carolina Association of Professional Psychologists grew out of a grassroots advocacy effort starting in 1994 by an ambitious group of Licensed Psychological Associates (LPAs) who realized that a shift was taking place in the behavioral health field, leaving insufficient room for LPAs to serve and thrive in the community. Other master’s level clinicians including master’s level addiction specialists, counselors, social workers, family and marriage therapists, and behavioral analysts were all gaining a place to serve in mental health care and on panels. The two-tiered field of psychology, however, was not allowing a place for LPAs to thrive and serve at their full capacity.
In the 1970’s Doctoral-level psychologists were in a very similar position, where supervision and oversight were required by Psychiatrists (MDs) in order to bill insurance panels and have access to the mental health care. In 1979-1980 Doctoral-level psychologists took the matter to the legal system and achieved full independent practice from Psychiatrists on insurance panels from decisions made in the “Virginia Blues Case” (Virginia Academy of Clinical Psychologist v/s Blue Shield of Virginia et al.). Since then, other cases have determined that health care provider licensing boards have the responsibility to ensure that the rules within their practice acts best serve the public by not only ensuring safe practices and standards but also allowing for a fair and competitive marketplace among providers. In 2015, the North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission determined that state licensing boards were not immune to federal antitrust anticompetitive law and needed to ensure that licensing laws were truly a matter of public safety rather than a method to sway the market to favor one group of individuals over another. More recently, in Texas, portions of their Psychology Practice Act were ruled unconstitutional and were re-written. Master’s level psychologists have earned independence in this case that not only challenged overreaching control of the marketplace via unnecessarily applied supervision requirements, but also an overly broad set of parameters controlling the use of the terms “psychologist, psychological etc.” .
Based of the review of data collected by a NCAPP/NCPA task force in 2013, it was determined that the data supported no increased risk to the public by allowing LPAs to serve without career-long supervision (data collected from eight states where master’s level psychologists practice independently). In 2015, current NCAPP leadership started a revitalized mission to take on and end career-long supervision of LPAs in North Carolina. To date, a 102 page petition (available on our website) has been presented to the North Carolina Psychology Board and they have been tasked with reviewing with NCAPP leadership and our legal team. NCAPP has faith that they will see where the current rule violates reasonable standards for a fair marketplace by the Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust policies, and thus, need to be changed as soon as possible.
Once again, we thank you for your support of this effort.

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