Feb 15 2008
Most states require that health care professionals acquire continuing education (CE) credits (or continuing medical education – CME – for MD’s) in order to maintain their license. This is a good concept but unfortunately the system is completely broken. What I consider to be a minor problem with the system is that it is haphazard – professionals can get CE/CME credits essentially on random topics within their field. There is no attempt at ensuring that critical updates are part of continuing education. But as I said, this is a minor flaw.
What completely breaks the system is the absurdly low standards for what kinds of information qualify for CE credit. A professional could easily fulfill their CE requirements without having to expose themselves to any legitimate educational information. For example, nurses can get CE credits for learning how to do therapeutic touch, even though this modality has no scientific legitimacy at all. Of course the bigger problem here is that TT is used by nurses at all.
Now I think I have seen the worst example of worthless CE credits for a health care professional (I know, I’m setting myself up for counter examples). CE provider PESI is offering a seminar (worth 6.25 contact hours) for counselors, social workers, and other mental health professional, on psychic ability. That’s right – now psychologists can acquire the valuable skills of how to heighten their psychic ability, and how to tell the difference between telepathy and clairvoyance. They can learn about the “non-local mind” and all about “medical intuitives” (those are people who simply make up diagnoses). Here are the listed goals of the seminar:
1 Identify and categorize ESP events.
2 Understand what psychics and mediums do and the impact on the client.
3 Respond appropriately to psychic events and to resistance to ESP.
4 Utilize psychic events as a tool in end-of-life care and griefwork.
5 Increase the frequency of your own ESP experiences.
6 Understand the relationship between psychic events and spirituality.
Personally, if a psychologist tried to use psychic events for end-of-life counseling I think they should be sued for malpractice and have their license taken away. But that’s just me.
This all relates to the standard of care, and what the basis for the standard of care should be. If anything goes, then by definition there is no standard of care. Unfortunately that is pretty much what we have in the mental health field today. Past life regression therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, recovered memory therapy, and a host of other dubious modalities are used by various practitioners without first having to meet any threshold of scientific legitimacy. So I guess it should not be surprising that using ESP is also acceptable.
Don’t get me wrong – I think that there is a very legitimate science of mental health and counseling, with serious research and evidence-based modalities. The problem is that they are mixed in with the full spectrum of woo and nonsense and it’s basically up to the individual practitioner to decide which modalities to use. So going to any kind of therapist is a crap-shoot. Potential clients, therefore, need to take a careful look at any counselor or therapist before utilizing their services. At the very least you should ask them their therapeutic philosophy and which modalities they use.
You may also want to ask them what CE credits they have claimed recently.
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