Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Agency
Department of Health Professions
 
Board
Board of Psychology
 
chapter
Regulations Governing the Practice of Psychology [18 VAC 125 ‑ 20]
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3/19/22  11:00 pm
Commenter: Michael Moates, MA, QBA, LBA, QMHP-Trainee

Support of Professor Basharat Shah, MD Petition
 

Global Institute for Behavior Practitioners and Examiners

Hello, my name is Michael Moates I am a Licensed Behavior Analyst, Adjunct College Professor of Psychology, and non-profit leader. I am here representing my organization GIBPE which is a non-profit that recognizes the challenges of general specialties of mental health working with various populations.

As with many specialities in the behavioral and mental health realm, it is important to make sure that those who testify as expert witnesses are not general practitioners but rather specialized in this subject area. 

Psychologists who testify in the court system need to be able to address multiple areas including forensic assessment, Virginia law, clinical psychology (since Virginia licenses Applied Psychologists), etc.

A general psychologist may not be aware of the consequences of what they say in court and this is extremely important when evaluating cases because you have to way the values of one situation versus another.

I would take the petition a step further to:

Determine the qualifications of an expert witness, in this case a psychologist, and the requirements of practice.

Many states and organizations do this do this including:

American Board of Professional Psychology - https://www.dsh.ca.gov/Publications/docs/Regulations/2018_01_05/AB_1962_Education_and_Training_Draft_Regulations.pdf

American Psychological Association - https://www.apa.org/practice/guidelines/forensic-psychology

California - https://www.dsh.ca.gov/Publications/docs/Regulations/2018_01_05/AB_1962_Education_and_Training_Draft_Regulations.pdf

https://www.law.cornell.edu/regulations/california/Cal-Code-Regs-Tit-9-SS-4751

Texas - https://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext.TacPage?sl=R&app=9&p_dir=&p_rloc=&p_tloc=&p_ploc=&pg=1&p_tac=&ti=22&pt=21&ch=465&rl=18

Some psychologist finish their doctorate in 5 years and there is no way they have the ability to cover everything that is needed to testify in court. Making a wrong recommendation can have life altering consequences and the board should take that into consideration when making its decision.

Very Respectfully,

Michael Moates, MA, QBA, LBA, QMHP-Trainee

Executive Director, Global Institute for Behavior Practitioners and Examiners

CommentID: 120824