The Psychologist’s Commission met with more than 1,000 psychologists in Brussels, for a day of reflection on how to define their profession. The patient will be at the centre of how they operate. The talks took place in the presence of Health Minister Maggie De Block and the Minister for the Middle Classes, Willy Borsus. The latter spoke about their intention of putting in place an order of psychologists, by working together.
In his speech to the assembly, Willy Borsus spoke of his plan, in conjunction with Maggie De Block, to give the Commission of Psychologists’ more tasks. They also want to change it into a professional modern institute. “Maggie De Block and myself plan to set up an communal rights organisation for psychologists, which we will run. All psychologists will be represented”.
This order or psychologist’s institute – a name has not yet been chosen – will also be based on the existing Commission’s experience, the Middle classes Minister said. “It will have even more power, and benefit the whole sector. We will be careful to ask for input from the diverse sections of the profession to do this”.
“Such a change will let us regulate psychologists and proactively detect and follow up any abuses of the title, like doctors. As a separate professional institute, we would also be able to manage the regulation of clinical psychologists ourselves. This will mean long-term quality benefits for the whole corporation, and will help open the door for the refund of psychological consultations”, said the president of the Psychologist’s Commission, Catherine Henry.
Mrs De Block spoke of the plan she unveiled in February, to regulate the exercise of clinical psychology. They also spoke of the importance of the sector. “One Belgian in three has to deal with psychological problems during their life. We have to break the taboo and deal with the subject transparently. These people could benefit from professional help. We need well trained people to give them mental health treatment”.