Mental Health Legislation:
Hon. Alison Xamon MLC, in WA Parliament
February 24, 2011
Audio | 4 Corners
For five years Britelle was under the influence of an untrained psychotherapist. The counselling for anxiety and depression is said to have been conducted in a way to implant false memories.
The un-named psychotherapist in question is said to be still practicing.
Psychotherapy is totally unregulated in WA and authorities have no power to act to stop therapists harming their clients. Consumer protection has not been able to respond appropriately to complaints of harm as they are hamstrung by the lack of legislation to act. Britelle's family was ripped apart by false memories of sexual abuse. Her mother Carlene has been calling for action on this issue of non-regulation for several years.
In her speech, Hon. Alison Xamon MLC, in WA Parliament on 24th February 2011, calls for regulation of psychotherapists. Other states have regulatory structures to protect clients from abuse. "The lack of movement on this for people who have been harmed is galling." says Senator Xamon. "This issue matters, and it is one where we should go ahead and engage best practice without further waiting."
"The experience of Carlene and her family is not a one-off incident, it is being repeated again and again."
Alison Xamon refers to the Four Corners program 'Over The Edge' which aired in April 2010 in which 11 people complained of psychotherapy abuses.
Alison Xamon concluded by saying "I am urging the ministers for mental health and the ministers for health to urgently get together to discuss this issue and prioritise addressing these issues because people and their families are suffering and we should be taking action on this now."
"We know there is a problem and we need to address it."
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