Very briefly, in 2015, Mrs. Heuring Larsen, Ms. Williams, and Ms. Luellen sought consultation from Ms. Dunbar and other former members of North Carolina Association of Professional Psychologists (NCAPP) leadership to explain the current supervision issues and the barriers to practice psychology for LPAs. Former NCAPP leadership educated and provided the start-up resources to what became the current NCAPP leadership, who were interested in finding a different approach to ending career-long supervision and increasing access to LPAs and psychological services across NC. This led to the careful selection of a highly experienced and award-winning legal team led by Ed Gaskins Esq. and his law firm Everett Gaskins Hancock, LLP.
Ed Gaskin’s law firm worked with the petitioners for nearly two years learning about the issues of career-long supervision, the history behind the former unsuccessful attempts change it, and the differences between how LPAs are treated in their area of behavioral health compared to other master’s and doctoral level practitioners. Hundreds of journal articles, letters, and documents were reviewed and considered to be helpful or included in the final petition. Mr. Gaskins had 30 years of litigation and other relevant experience in dealing with health boards in NC. He examined the matter of career-long supervision and concluded that the current requirement is in violation of Federal Anti-trust law, and thus, a small group of psychologists were recommended to raise the issue with the North Carolina Psychology Board.
Affidavits were drafted and notarized with the help of the legal team, and data were collected and assimilated into the final petition. On August 15, 2018, the petition to end career-long supervision for LPAs was officially submitted to the North Carolina Psychology Board (NCPB). On November 15, 2018, at the NCPB meeting in Raleigh, NC, the petitioners, a videographer, a stenographer, and the legal team were present to review the petition in person with the NCPB. Five out of seven NCPB members openly expressed support for the petition. The NCPB officially denied the request to make a rule change following the November 2018 meeting in order to further review the matter and review other rules that could be impacted by LPA independence. Therefore, an appeal of their decision was filed with the Superior Court of North Carolina as a matter of proper legal procedure. This appeal was put on hold when it became apparent that the NCPB was working on the issue and amenable to making a rule change following their review of supervision rules within the North Carolina Psychology Practice Act. Subsequent to the petitioners meeting with the NCPB in January of 2019, and their own deliberations, the NCPB submitted a proposed rule change with the North Carolina Rules Review Commission (RRC) that parallels the petition for a rule change submitted by the petitioners. Currently, the proposed rule change submitted by the NCPB is before the RRC to be put on their agenda.
UPDATE: While the NCPB supports the end of LIFETIME supervision, the RRC in a split decision, objected to the NCPBs authority to make the change. We are focused now on addressing this toward a path to independence.