Advocacy: Promoting and protecting our profession

As psychologists, we help our clients develop tools for coping with mental health challenges, we attend CE events to enhance our clinical tools, but how often do we sharpen our profession’s tools? How well are psychologists’ interests represented in the workplace and health care industry? Are advocacy issues really pertinent to private practitioners?

  • Have you ever griped about dealing with insurance companies?
  • Have you ever complained about insurance reimbursement rates?
  • Do you think therapists licensed under other boards should be able to administer psychological testing?
  • Do you have an opinion on the number of CE hours that should be mandated?
  • Is the post-doctoral year necessary?
  • Do you think master’s level psychologists should have autonomous functioning?
  • Do you think health insurance companies should have to provide mental health benefits equal to physical health benefits?
  • Do you use or would you like to use health and behavior codes for reimbursement?
  • Have you become a Medicaid provider this year?
  • Are you satisfied with Medicaid reimbursement rates?
  • Do you think the Duty to Warn should apply to outpatient settings?

These are some of the issues that directly affect the daily practice of psychology and are addressed through legislative action. If psychologists do not have a voice in the legislative process, the practice of psychology will be shaped by people unrelated to the profession KPA is advocating for psychologists and working to ensure psychologists have a voice in the legislative process. Where can you contribute?

  • KPA’s Annual Psychology Day at the Capitol (Late February): Allows legislators to put a face to our profession and helps them understand the depth, breadth, and value of our expertise. Volunteers needed to plan and attend the event. See the details of this year's event
  • KPA’s Political Action Committee: Contributions of any amount are accepted and are used to support issues important to the practice of psychology with both political parties.
  • KPA Legislative Committee (LC): A small committee selected from KPA leadership and tasked with monitoring state legislative activity during Kentucky’s General Assembly.
  • KPA’s Director of Professional Affairs (DPA): Katie McBride, Ph.D. provides this member benefit that provides advocacy support as well as direct access to APA resources. Dr. McBride also serves as our liaison to KBEP and works directly with KPA's lobbying team.
  • Federal Advocacy Coordinator: Georgeann Brown, Ph.D. is KPA’s representative to this APA-sponsored group that provides important information on federal legislative activity and advocacy.

Another important aspect of advocacy is educating the public about psychology.  The Public Education Campaign engages in this important task.