Nina Funnell, one of the activists responsible for bullying universities into setting up kangaroo courts, attempted another hit job on me overnight (28th January 2020).
Through the online site, New Matilda, Funnell and her editor & co-writer, Chris Graham, have claimed I am faking my qualifications – alleging I’m not really a psychologist or clinical psychologist.
I am not currently a practicing psychologist. However, that was certainly my professional training when I started my career in the 1970s. I have postgraduate qualifications in clinical psychology.
It’s common practice for well-known people to use labels that include their professional background. Take a look at Bob Brown, and Brendon Nelson, for starters. They are happily described as medical doctors in various biographical and publicity blurbs, even though – as with me and psychology – they are not currently registered as such and haven’t practiced for quite some time.
According to the authorities regulating professional practice for psychologists, I am not doing anything wrong. They have knocked back a series of complaints about me.
Here are some more facts:
- This is simply the latest attempted smear job from Funnell, the End Rape on Campus founder, who is desperate that I am making traction in exposing her claims about a campus rape crisis and dismantling the university kangaroo courts she worked so hard to establish. Media sources quoting Funnell are breaching media ethics by failing to acknowledge her conflict of interest in reporting on me.
- In 1973 I completed a Master of Clinical Psychology degree at UNSW, which was a brand-new qualification, providing the best possible clinical-psychology training that existed at that time. My interest was in sex therapy and my thesis was on female orgasmic dysfunction.
- This was a time when there was no registration of psychologists in NSW – which remained the case for the next 16 years, until 1989. There are numerous interviews with me on the public record where I describe starting work as a sex therapist, but within a year I decided it was more effective to do sex education through the media and hence I didn’t register as a psychologist when that become a requirement in 1989. I have nothing to hide and have made my professional history extremely public.
- For the following 45 years I worked mainly through the media, so I had no interest in promoting nor updating my clinical psychology qualifications. I did not hang up a shingle nor tout for business as a psychologist.
- My professional background/tertiary qualifications were often included in descriptions used by the media – as is common with many well-known doctors and other professionals, despite them no longer being in practice or registered. I was very relaxed about being similarly described, but as professional registration of psychologists tightened up, I tried to control how I was described more carefully when being introduced on radio and television. This isn’t always so easy. Producers and researchers looking after these programmes change jobs frequently and it requires constant monitoring – as Nina Funnell herself has discovered. In her article published last weekend attacking me for using the psychologist label, editors used exactly this label to describe me.
- While the first 2009 edition of The Sex Diaries mentioned “psychologist” in the blurb, the second edition, published less than two years later, referred to the fact that I “trained as a clinical psychologist.” This is the language I currently use, which has been checked with the authorities and appears to be quite appropriate.
- Last year Nina Funnell was on social media recruiting people to complain about my qualifications – presumably part of the two years of research she has been conducting for New Matilda trying to dig up dirt to damage my reputation. This led to a number of complaints which were assessed by the authorities and were not substantiated.
- I agreed to an interview with the editor of New Matilda and was not informed by him at the outset that the co-author of this article would be Nina Funnell. Given her long history of malicious action against me, I would not have agreed to talk to him if I had this information. Her obvious personal investment and conflict of interest in this matter means this was a clear breach of media ethics.