• Petitioning The Honorable John W. Scibak

This petition will be delivered to:

The Honorable John W. Scibak
The Honorable Thomas P. Kennedy
The Honorable Paul Brodeur
The Honorable Anthony W. Petruccelli
The Honorable Timothy J. Toomey, Jr.
The Honorable Tackey Chan
The Honorable Tricia Farley-Bouvier
The Honorable Steven S. Howitt
The Honorable Angelo J. Puppolo, Jr.
The Honorable Rhonda Nyman
The Honorable Josh S. Cutler
The Honorable Frank A. Moran
The Honorable Joan B. Lovely
The Honorable James E. Timilty
The Honorable Kathleen O'Connor Ives
The Honorable Donald F. Humason, Jr.

Stop Unlicensed Mental Health Care Providers in Massachusetts Now! SUPPORT Massachusetts HB 3466 - OPPOSE Massachusetts HB 236

    1. Petition by

      Donna Taylor

      Bolton, MA

We, the undersigned consumers, write to SUPPORT House Bill 3466 and to OPPOSE House Bill 236.

House Bill 3466 prohibits an individual from  representing  that the service he offers is psychotherapy unless he is licensed by a board of registration.  Regulation of psychotherapy is critical.  Currently, consumers believe that all psychotherapists are highly educated and trained mental health professionals whose conduct is governed by a board of registration.   Unfortunately, however, many psychotherapists who provide psychotherapy services are not licensed, and many have not been formally trained or educated in an academic institution recognized by the United States Department of Education.  Unlicensed psychotherapists are not required to have a high school or college education,  nor are they obligated to adhere to standards of ethics.  Their actions are not regulated, and consumers are not informed of these limitations. 

If a consumer currently chooses to receive treatment from an unlicensed psychotherapist, there is no recourse if misconduct occurs.  For instance, if  patient confidentiality is breached, if a patient is sexually harassed, or if a psychotherapist manipulates a patient’s free will by portraying unintended benevolence for their own financial gain, the psychotherapist cannot be held accountable and is free to do so again and again. The Massachusetts Division of Professional Licensure currently regulates the conduct of many licensed mental health professionals, including psychologists and social workers.  These practitioners must receive formal education and training before going through the rigorous licensing process.  Once licensed, they are held accountable if they act inappropriately.  The Massachusetts Division of Professional Licensure can revoke or suspend a license or a licensee can voluntarily not renew his license following disciplinary action.

In addition to strongly supporting House Bill 3466, which would protect consumers, we are strongly opposed to Section 65F of House Bill 236, which would allow unlicensed psychotherapists who are members of the Massachusetts Association of Independent Psychotherapists (MAIP) to hold themselves out to the public as psychotherapists and thus be exempt from licensure if House Bill 236 were to pass. A large number of individuals at  MAIP do not report an academic degree from a college or university and multiple members of MAIP hold certificates in psychotherapy from the Cambridge Psychotherapy Institute (CPI).   

CPI is not an academic institution for psychotherapy training accredited by any agency recognized by the United States Department of Education.  CPI is a religious organization called the Society of Natural Science. CPI psychotherapists core belief is that all human decisions are completely determined by previously existing causes (parenting) and that no one is morally responsible for what he does (it was his parents fault). They deny the existence of free will and the ability to make choices not controlled by fate. The CPI psychotherapist training workbook “Lies and Truths About Self and Society” says that society's institutions (e.g., family, schools, traditional religions) teach many hurtful lies about self that create emotional sicknesses. The workbook also says that it may be necessary to have socially promoted licensing for reproduction, birth control and court ordered abortions (i.e., pre-natal euthanasia). These concepts are promoted to patients who are led to believe “unjustifiably” that their parenting skills are poor because they are adapted from their own parents (determined). Patients of CPI are often encouraged to take multiple psychiatric medications and are frequently in “treatment” for decades.  They are encouraged to isolate themselves from family and friends who are not in “treatment”, and because their “treatment” is not covered by insurance, they spend large amounts of money on their “treatment.” 

While individuals at CPI and MAIP are free to provide services to members of the public, members of the public should not be misled to believe that these services they are receiving are psychotherapeutic.  Nor should they be confused about whether the individuals providing these services are regulated by a licensing board.  While no licensing board is perfect, no regulation and accountability is far more dangerous to the consumer than some regulation. 

We ask you to support House Bill 3466 and oppose House Bill 236 so there is some recourse for consumers harmed by unethical psychotherapists. 

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 750 signatures
    2. February 4th Public Hearing

      Donna Taylor
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you all for your tremendous response! The petition was presented to the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure during the February 4th public hearing. The committee will issue a report recommending whether the petition “ought to pass”, “ought not to pass”, be subject to further study or discharged to another committee.

    3. Reached 500 signatures
    4. Keep up the momentum!

      Donna Taylor
      Petition Organizer

      Your response and personal comments will make a difference. We're close to 500 signatures – keep emailing, posting and tweeting this petition so our voices will be heard!

    5. Reached 250 signatures
    6. We are on our way to 100 signatures!

      Donna Taylor
      Petition Organizer

      Your enthusiasm and support is making a difference, we now have over 50 signatures. Every time someone signs the petition it is sent directly to the Massachusetts state legislators in their district. If you send reminders to family members and friends you have asked to sign I know we will be able to gather over 100 signatures!

    7. Reached 50 signatures
    8. Let’s reach a goal of 100 signatures!

      Donna Taylor
      Petition Organizer

      My sincere thanks to all petition signers for your support. It is clear that mental health issues touch many lives here in Massachusetts. Every signature from every district across Massachusetts can make a difference, so don't stop posting, emailing, and tweeting this petition until our voices are heard by the Senate and House.

    9. Reached 25 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Simone Rainaud HOLYOKE, MA
      • about 1 month ago

      I am a marriage and family therapist

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Barbara Paglierani MARSTONS MILLS, MA
      • about 1 month ago

      Harm done to consumers! As a trained, licensed professional (practicing as Barbara M, Maurer, LMFT, MA MFT license #77), clients tell me of clear malpractice violations they have experienced, such as directly recommending divorce in a first evaluation session. These charlatans weaken consumer faith in properly trained and licensed psychotherapists who will strengthen, not weaken families.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Patricia Gorman SPRINGFIELD, MA
      • about 1 month ago

      As a licensed professional educating students entering the field of marriage and family therapy, it is very important to uphold the considerable effort, time and training of licensed professionals in all the mental health professions.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • RICHARD ROSS NANTUCKET, MA
      • about 1 month ago

      Keeps non-professionals from harming and mis-leading the public

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Emily Bray PHILADELPHIA, PA
      • about 1 month ago

      I am a psychiatrist. Graduates from non-accredited, non-licensed institutions do not warrant the tite of therapist. That is misleading to the client who may be unaware of the high level of safety standards regulations required to portray yourself as a professional therapist.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

    Develop your own tools to win.

    Use the Change.org API to develop your own organizing tools. Find out how to get started.