Category Archives: Front Page Story

Legislature Churning Away; Gov. Makes Remarks and Presents His Bill Package

On April 10 Gov. Edwards made remarks to open the 2023 Regular Session. As prepared for delivery, he noted that in this final year of his second term, the work is far from over. “When I took office in 2016, the state had a $1 billion dollar budget deficit to close out that fiscal year and a $2 billion deficit for the following year,” said the Gov. “It took numerous special sessions
and a lot of bipartisanship, but we were able to navigate a balanced approach with no gimmicks and no one-time money spent on recurring expenditures. […]

“Ever since my administration was fully responsible for the budget, FY 17, we’ve run surpluses. Because of those surpluses, the state’s rainy day fund will be the healthiest it has ever been.
Added to the revenue stabilization fund created in my first year as governor, we will start next fiscal year with more than $2 billion available for future shortfalls and emergencies. […]

“We’ve gone from a state that was disinvesting in higher education more than anywhere else in the country to a state making historic investments in higher education,” he said. “We are fully funding TOPS and have increased GO Grant dollars. We are dedicating money this year to address deferred maintenance and important safety enhancements on our campuses. Every student should have the opportunity to receive a high quality degree or credential right here in Louisiana and they deserve to feel safe when they are on campus. Through increased formula funding and new initiatives targeting critical workforce shortages and opportunities, we are  creating a world class workforce. […]

‘As you know, my first act as governor was to expand Medicaid to the working poor. […] Now, more than 500,000 working Louisianans have access to healthcare who otherwise wouldn’t. In 2015, 22.7% of working age adults in Louisiana did not have health insurance. As a result of
Medicaid Expansion, in 2022, the uninsured rate among adults fell to 9.4%, below the national average of 10.2%.”

In an April 18 press release, Governor Edwards reviewed the bills in his 2023 legislative package.

“This package of bipartisan legislation aims for a Louisiana that lives our pro-life values,” said Governor John Bel Edwards. “To truly be pro-life in my estimation, we must make it easier for parents to feed, educate and house their children. We need to raise the minimum wage, close our gender pay gap, and offer our people paid family and medical leave. We must also find empathy for victims of rape and incest who become pregnant. And I am calling on the legislature to abolish the death penalty, which promotes a culture of death and has proven to be expensive and ineffective at deterring crime.”

The governor’s priority bills are in addition to his state budget request, unveiled earlier this year, which calls for a $3,000 teacher pay raise, the largest-ever state general fund investment in early childhood education, a permanent increase of $100 per month (a 20% increase) in 
supplemental pay, and historic funding for higher education, according to the announcement.



Dr. Phillips Resigns as Head of La Department of Health

Last month Gov. Edwards announced that Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) Secretary, Dr.  Courtney N. Phillips, had submitted her resignation, effective April 6, 2023.

LDH Director of Legal, Audit and Regulatory Affairs, Stephen Russo, who has served LDH for 27 years and as executive counsel since 2008, will serve as secretary upon Sec. Phillips’ resignation, according to the announcement.

“Secretary Phillips is one of the hardest working, most capable, and most accomplished people I’ve ever met,” said Gov. Edwards. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, her decisive and thoughtful leadership saved lives. She spearheaded our response as we established an unprecedented mass testing program and innovative vaccine rollout and distribution program. Remarkably, she didn’t let the response to the COVID-19 emergency stop LDH from making progress on other important initiatives, like our work to improve health equity, address maternal mortality, and expand access to critical health services. I have no doubt she will continue her dedication to service in this next chapter for her and her family,” said Gov. Edwards.

“I’m a big believer in public service,” Sec. Phillips said, “so the opportunity to return to my home state and give back in such a meaningful way at such a critical time is something that will stay with me for the rest of my career,” said Sec. Phillips. “There’s a great deal to be proud of as the head of LDH, but the intentional effort that went into equitably rolling out the COVID-19 vaccines and ultimately saving thousands of lives ranks among my top accomplishments. I want to thank Governor Edwards for his leadership and all LDH team members, the Louisiana  Legislature and the entire healthcare system of Louisiana for their support and partnership over the past three years.”

According to the announcement, Phillips, who had previously led two state health and human services agencies in Nebraska and Texas, was named LDH secretary in April 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. She guided the agency through unprecedented challenge, overseeing LDH’s responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and Hurricanes Laura and Ida, but also led proactive efforts to strengthen the pipeline for a more diverse healthcare workforce; expand access to critical health services, including a suite of additional behavioral health services, the extension of dental benefits to adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities, the expansion of postpartum Medicaid coverage from six weeks to one year, and a focus on preventative screenings and services; and develop and implement a new, more sustainable payment model for hospitals, dental providers and ambulance providers.

Also according to the announcement, Phillips led the successful development and implementation of LDH Business Plans in FY22 and FY23 and the Department’s commitments, priorities and measurable goals on a range of health issues, including maternal health, behavioral health and chronic diseases. 


Board Publishes New Rules

After dismissing any significant changes suggested by the community members given at the December 16, 2022 public feedback meeting, the Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists has gone forward and finalized almost 19,000 words of new regulations published in the April Louisiana Register.

The most dramatic change may be the creation of a new registration category for assistants to psychologists, including new rules and regulations on how these assistants must be supervised.

In Chapter 11, Supervision of Assistants to Psychologists, the new rules note: “An assistant registered under the provisions of this Chapter shall utilize the title ‘assistant to a psychologist’ also referred to as ‘ATAP’ only within the context of their employment with a licensed psychologist or their employment within an agency or hospital while under the direct supervision of a licensed psychologist; […]

“An ATAP providing psychological services must be under the general and continuing professional supervision of a licensed psychologist. In order to maintain ultimate legal and professional responsibility for the welfare of every client, the supervisor must be vested with functional authority over the psychological services provided by an ATAP.

“Upon, or pending, employment of an ATAP, but prior to assisting in psychological duties, the Supervising Psychologist shall submit a complete application for initial registration, required registration fee, and documentation on such form and in such manner as may be prescribed by the board to demonstrate that the registrant meets all of the following criteria:

[…]”In §1103, Responsibilities of Supervisors, the new rule requires that the psychologist, “provides general professional supervision of the ATAP that shall include one cumulative hour per week as a minimum for direct supervisory contact,” and that “exceptions to this  requirement must have prior approval of the board;”

The board points out that, ” Neglect in maintaining the above standards of practice may result in disciplinary action against the supervisor’s license to practice, including suspension or revocation.”

The new rules also include changes in roles, for examples the inclusion of an advisory workgroup and a position, licensing examiner. Changes to the definition of an applicant include the criminal history background check. There are also changes in the definition of and requirements relating to the Provisional Licensed Psychologist and the applicant phase of the provisional license.

Chapter 3, training and credentials in the doctoral programs of psychology, includes changes. Qualifications for doctoral programs that are not accredited by the American Psychological Association are specified as having to meet several detailed standards.

In a section regarding specialty areas, the new rules outline definitions for Health Service Psychology and General Applied Psychology.

“The provision of direct health and/or behavioral health services requires training in an applied health service area such as clinical psychology, counseling psychology, clinical neuropsychology,
school psychology, or other developed health service areas that are offered under training programs that are accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) in a health service area. […]

And, “General Applied Psychology. The provision of psychological services in applied non-healthcare areas include services outside health and behavioral health fields; direct services to individuals and/or groups for assessment and/or evaluation of personal abilities and characteristics for individual development, behavior change, and/or for making decisions about the individual; and may also include services to organizations that are provided for the benefit of the organization. […]

The new rules also define clinical neuropsychology and add to the description, “[…] specialty internship in clinical neuropsychology (one year minimum), followed by the completion of one year of post-doctoral supervised experience in clinical neuropsychology; or, the equivalent of two full years (4,000 hours) of post-doctoral experience in clinical neuropsychology under the
supervision of a qualified clinical neuropsychologist […]”

For Chapter 7, supervised practice leading toward licensure, the new rule adds the following: “supervised practice and establishes that the legal, administrative and professional responsibility of supervision rests with the licensed psychologist or medical psychologist licensed in accordance with R.S. 27:1360.51 et seq., designated as supervisor.”

The text for §705, qualifications of supervisors, includes: “Responsibility for the overall supervision of the supervisee’s professional growth resides in the licensed psychologist or medical psychologist. Supervising psychologists shall be licensed to practice psychology at the doctoral level by the regulatory body that is vested with jurisdictional authority over the practice of psychology in the respective jurisdiction.”

Also, “The supervisor may not supervise any more than two candidates for licensure at the same time.”

New information on telepsychology and telesupervision is included in the new rules. Examples are: “The use of telecommunications is not appropriate for all problems. The specific process of providing professional services varies across situation, setting and time, and decisions  regarding the appropriate delivery of telepsychology services are made on a case-by-case basis.
The rules instruct psychologists to, “reflect on multicultural issues when delivering telepsychology services to diverse clients; obtain the necessary professional and technical training, experience, and skills to adequately conduct the telepsychology services that they provide;” and “have an Emergency Management plan.”

n §1702, Definition of Psychological Testing, Evaluation and Assessment, the rules note: “The Board of Examiners of Psychologists finds it necessary to formally define psychological testing in order to protect the people of this state from the unlawful, unqualified and improper use of
psychological tests. The intent of this rule is to provide a definition of psychological testing sufficient to allow this board to effectively regulate this aspect of psychological practice. […]

In §803, Requirements, the Board is adding: “Within each reporting period, two of the required hours or credits of continuing professional development must be within the area of multiculturalism or diversity in accordance with the limitations specified in §807.

In §805, Acceptable Sponsorship, Offerings and Activities, the board is making changes and clarifications to who may offer continuing education.

“A. Any individual or entity may apply for board approval of a proposed CPD offering or activity as follows. 1. The individual or entity providing the proposed CPD offering or activity files a completed CPD Approval Application on the form provide by the board. 2. The individual or entity providing the proposed CPD offering or activity provides information sufficient to the board that the CPD meets requirements set forth under §801; […]”

For Chapter 9, Licensees, the board is establishing §905. Psychologists Emerit: Retired.

“A. A psychologist emeritus: retired is eligible to renew their emerit status license provided they submit such renewal application along with the annual renewal fee at the reduced rate established under Chapter 6 of this Part; and are fully retired from the practice of psychology, not rendering psychological services in any form, and are not engaging in any activity that might be construed as the practice of psychology within the state of Louisiana.”The retired individual is not required to complete continuing professional development.

Also included was an extensive code of ethics for the License School Specialist in Psychology.
The complete rules maybe found in the Louisiana Register, April edition, pages 657-679, at



La Behavioral Health Notes Emergency in Children’s MH Needs


According to a March press release, the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH), Office of Behavioral Health, is introducing five new initiatives focused on the behavioral health of children and adolescents and their families. These initiatives focus on improved access to early childhood, adolescent, and family behavioral health services.

The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the challenges facing adolescents’ and children’s mental health, said officials, causing altered experiences at home, school, and during in-person social interactions. The pandemic also highlighted the need for increased access to healthcare and social services as an alarming number of young people struggle with feelings of helplessness, depression, and thoughts of suicide.

According to the announcement, the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Children’s Hospital Association have declared a national state of emergency in child and adolescent mental health.

Improving and expanding mental health services for Louisianans of all ages is the culmination of years of deliberate planning and focus, and I’m proud my administration has taken on this task in a thoughtful and targeted way,” said Governor Edwards. “The Louisiana Department of Health’s work to expand crisis services, add capacity for substance use treatment, and use evidence-based treatment for other behavioral health needs will help us address the trauma and other challenges brought on by the pandemic and the many disasters Louisianans have become so accustomed to.”

LDH Secretary Dr. Courtney Phillips said, “It has been our top priority over the past few years to confront the crises Louisiana residents have been facing with behavioral health strategies that improve the quality of life for our residents and hold the promise of a brighter future for Louisiana’s children. The five initiatives we are announcing today are critical new additions to the current array of specialized behavioral health services, and I am confident that our behavioral health partners will be able to use them to increase access to services and ultimately improve health outcomes.”

According to the announcement, OBH is building upon services currently available to Medicaid eligible children and adolescents through five additional initiatives currently under development through Fiscal Year 2024.

Initiative 1: Expanding substance use residential treatment facilities for women and dependent children – Pregnant women, and women with dependent children, are among the most vulnerable of all populations in need of stable residential services for substance use disorder (SUD) treatment. Louisiana currently has 3 statewide providers. However, in order to geographically diversify and expand capacity of treatment programs that allow children up to
12 years old to accompany their mothers, OBH will identify additional providers to fill statewide gaps in services to establish additional treatment beds.

Initiative 2: Implementing Early Childhood Supports and Services (ECSS) – ECSS will provide screening, evaluation, and referral services and treatment for children from birth through age 5 and their families through evidence-based behavioral health treatment. This includes support for enhancing positive caregiving relationships and comprehensive care coordination addressing family needs, including families’ environmental risks and social determinants of health. OBH intends to pilot ECSS with an early adopting entity, while pursuing a contractor for long-term management of the statewide program through a request for proposal (RFP), which is expected to be released in calendar year 2023.

Initiative 3: Building the foundation for statewide youth crisis services – Expanding upon the Medicaid adult crisis services continuum introduced in LDH’s Fiscal Year 2022 business plan, LDH is committed to extending Mobile Crisis Response (MCR) and Community Brief Crisis Support (CBCS) services to youth. With an anticipated launch in spring 2024, MCR is an initial
intervention for individuals in a self-identified crisis; while CBCS is a face-to-face ongoing 
crisis intervention response, designed to provide stabilization and support. LDH has identified start-up funding for providers and the budget proposal includes funding for Medicaid coverage of these services in late fiscal year 2024, said officials.

Initiative 4: Treating trauma through the implementation for Dialectical Behavioral Therapy –(DBT) programs DBT is an evidence-based, comprehensive intervention designed to treat adults and adolescents with severe mental disorders and out-of-control cognitive, emotional, and behavioral patterns that often result from early and/or chronic experiences of trauma, neglect, and abandonment. LDH will begin provider DBT training in the fall with initial implementation of service delivery expected in late calendar year 2023.

Initiative 5: Cultivating Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility (PRTF) services to treat youth with co-occurring developmental disabilities PRTFs are non-hospital facilities offering intensive inpatient and educational services to individuals younger than age 21 who have various behavioral health issues. OBH is currently developing this programming for a highly specialized PRTF with up to 25 beds, with treatment focusing on co-occurring mental health and developmental disabilities. This population will achieve better outcomes in a highly specialized setting tailored to their needs, said the officials.







Dr. Susan Tucker Returns to Shreveport

After a year in Mississippi as Mental Health Director for Mississippi Department of 
Corrections, Dr. Susan Tucker, innovative program designer, has returned to Louisiana to serve as Chief Operating Officer at Whole Health Treatment Center in Shreveport.

Dr. Tucker has been at the forefront of innovations for Louisiana for over two decades decades. She has earned state and national recognition for these achievements, including from the Vera Institute of Justice. She was also commended by Louisiana legislators for her work and the related cost savings of $15 million by earned “good time credits” through participation in the psychological programs designed by Tucker.

“I am so happy to announce I am the COO for Whole Health Treatment Center in Shreveport, Louisiana,” said Dr. Tucker. “It is a part of Intensive Specialty Hospital. I am so thrilled about this IOP/OP program for offering offenders re-entering the community, substance use disorders, and dual diagnosis, and alternatives to prison programs.”

North Louisiana Whole Health Treatment Center is committed to holistic care brings together an experienced multidisciplinary team to offer the most innovative and impactful treatment options possible.

Dr. Susan Tucker was the Assistant Warden at Forcht Wade Correctional Center-Clinical Substance Abuse Treatment Facility in Keithville, Louisiana, near Shreveport. She also served as clinical psychologist and the Assistant Warden at the Bossier Parish Medium Security Facility. 

She and her team used innovative approaches, modern communication technology, community coordination, and a keen awareness for doing what works, to improve lives, families, and
community safety.

Having worked in Mississippi this past year, Dr. Tucker said, “I am extremely proud of Louisiana as I see them as successfully being on cutting edge of prison reform.”

In late 2022, the Governor’s office pointed to a Pew news report highlighting the positive impacts of criminal justice reforms have had on Louisiana. Reporting for PEW, Michelle Russell wrote, “The state’s prison population has fallen 24%, driven entirely by a decline in people convicted of nonviolent offenses. Louisiana’s reforms sought to steer people convicted of less serious crimes away from prison and shorten the time incarcerated for those who could be safely supervised in the community. In the summer of 2017, before the new laws took effect, there were about 35,500 people under the Louisiana Department of Corrections’ jurisdiction held in prisons or local jails throughout the state. By the summer of 2022, that number had fallen nearly a quarter to about 27,000.”

Dr. Tucker has focused on treatment and research innovations that reduce recidivism. Her work is based in the fact that most inmates have a substance abuse problem, and few get the right kind of treatment. Due to her continuous efforts to work with inmates and provide services, and overall reforms, Louisiana no longer holds the title as “Incarceration Capital of Nation.”

The Times asked Dr. Tucker to tell us what her thoughts about the improvements.

“So, to a large degree,” Dr. Tucker said, “I believe the Louisiana Justice Reform Package is a broad move in the right direction. The legislation is reducing prison populations in the state and developing community partnerships to reduce recidivism. It is a logical and effective way to address an all-time high incarceration rate that was costly and offered little benefit. This bi-partisan reform package has seen a reduction in property and violent crimes. The reform of sentencing laws was long overdue for 1st or 2nd time drug offenses with no violent or sex crimes. This allowed shorter sentences and early release of thousands of offenders,” she said.

“The pandemic offered some additional challenges which slowed, if not impeded some of the progress of this reform movement,” Dr. Tucker explained. “With the decrease in community Mental Health centers and outpatient substance abuse treatment subsequently in our communities due to the pandemic, community resources were limited and sometimes void.
Probation and Parole offices had an increase in their caseloads of early releases and increase in probation cases as opposed to Innovator and Program Designer, Dr. Susan Tucker, incarceration. With the pandemic, the supervision of the probation and parole cases and the lack of community resources created a lag in our initial goal of justice reform,” Dr. Tucker explained.

“However,” she said, “the legislation for reform is in place, new P/P officers are being hired to manage new community supervision cases and resources have increased in the communities. If, in fact, the pandemic has helped our goal, it is the increase in telehealth. We are now able to reach those offenders in rural areas and those low-income communities that often did not receive services.”

“As so many agencies struggled through the pandemic, “Dr. Tucker said, “so did Louisiana Department of Corrections. We are now seeing a ‘return to our new normal’. We have ‘regrouped’ and are headed in the right direction again.”

How does this relate to the programs that she initiated and promoted in Louisiana?

“As you might guess, it’s hard to just walk away from the rehabilitation program I developed and ran for 23 years in LADOC. Rather than simply ‘warehousing offenders’ who will eventually be released into our communities,” Dr. Tucker said. “We are focusing on offering intensive treatment, skill development, and educational opportunities, as well as post release support and care.”

Dr. Tucker explained, “The philosophical approach to our treatment includes focusing on the thinking patterns, emotional reactions, and behavioral events that often lead to self-defeating patterns and eventually to criminal activity. We utilize psychological assessment instruments to illuminate areas of concern, including low cognitive ability, personality disorders or features, mood disorders, and thought disorders. We individualize a treatment program for that offender, and he works closely with his assigned counselor to meet the goals that treatment plan.”

Dr. Tucker said she is thrilled to be part of the reform here in Louisiana, as the COO for Whole Health Treatment Center in Shreveport, part of Intensive Specialty Hospital system. “The continuum of care is as ‘whole’ as it can get,” she said. “We can take a homeless person, male or female, directly off the street and treat them medically, physically, mentally, substance use, detox, and we can get them on Medicaid, Disability, or in Vocational Training through LRS.”

“We also provide transportation and housing! We treat substance use disorders with CBT, Risk Management, and Medication Assisted Treatment. This hospital has spared no expense in allowing us to develop a full continuum of care in a beautiful setting with professional counselors and an effective administrator,” Dr. Tucker said.

“The Clinical Director is Karen Baird, a well-established clinician and administrator. We are lucky to have such a dedicated and knowledgeable director. The entire group is enthusiastic, creative, and on the cutting edge of effective treatment. I am proud to be affiliated with such a treatment-oriented agency.”

What are her current major goals and programs?

“My goal for the rest of my public service life will focus on pre-trial alternative programs and re-entry programs exactly like what Whole Health Treatment center is doing,” she said. “It is imperative to continue to help the justice reform movement of removing the punitive aspect of incarceration and offer solutions for change in the pursuit of justice.

“There is a need for the implementation of fitness for duty assessments for correctional officers and police officers. To ensure the capability of new hires is reflective of a solid officer with the ability to stay calm and manage a difficult situation successfully with the least amount of force,” Dr. Tucker said.

“In addition, reaching mentally ill and substance users in rural areas is an important piece of this where minimal to no treatment access is available,” she said. “Obviously, more resources are needed in our schools for training on mental health, violence, and substance use disorders. The increase in the Seriously Mental Ill in prisons and jails is a direct reflection of our lack of community access to appropriate care.”

From her perspective, in terms of public health, what are the most important things that psychologists should be aware?

“Much work is needed from psychologists regarding how the mentally ill are managed with regard to the criminal justice system. We need more training of police/correctional staff about how to engage with mentally ill on the streets or while in custody.”

In 2015, Harvard honored Dr. Tucker’s Work the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University named Dr. Tucker and her treatment programs as one of this year’s recipients of the prestigious Bright Ideas awards for innovation. In the article, Stephen Goldsmith, director of the Innovations in
American Government Program at the Ash Center said, “The Bright Ideas program  demonstrates that often seemingly intractable problems can be creatively and capably tackled by small groups of dedicated, civic-minded individuals.”

Dr. Tucker’s programs have earned state and national recognition for results. The group received The Residential Substance Abuse Treatment grant for eight years. In 2010 they
were awarded the governor’s grant for prevention. Also, in 2010 the Vera Institute of Justice, an organization dedicated to improving justice systems through research and innovation, noted that Forcht Wade Correctional Center’s family program, should be a model for the nation.








Bills Flowing in for April 10 Start of 2023 Legislative Regular Session

The 2023 Regular Legislative Session is booming already with hundreds of bills being filed and the kickoff day set for April 10. New measures are being introduced and some familiar themes are reappearing in the Legislators’ efforts.

Rep. Green is introducing HB 226 which eliminates the death penalty. Rep. Travis Johnson is seeking Medicaid coverage for mental health and substance-abuse services via the Psychiatric Collaborative Care Model. SB 34, authored by Sen. Bernard, requires that the state add “Suicide Lifeline dial 988” to on the driver’s license, and Representative Larvadain aims to add firefighters to his previous effort that created peer support training methods for those in law enforcement. Rep. Hilferty is introducing HB 242 which would prohibit corporal punishment in elementary and secondary schools unless authorized by a parent.

See pages 5–6 for a number of other bills that are being introduced this year.








Ψ We Remember Dr. Ron Boudreaux

Dr. Ronald F. Boudreaux died February 4, 2023, at the age of 79. He had struggled with complications of Parkinson’s for two decades. Over his 40-year career, Dr. Boudreaux lead the state in establishing a comprehensive system of public health services for children and youth who suffered from severe emotional problems. Dedicated to the practice of public mental health, he built coalitions to integrate services across the state for serving children and their families, created advocacy groups such as the Federation of Families, and spear-headed innovative programs which embraced the scientific evaluation of effectiveness for the benefit of the citizens. Dr. Boudreaux created the standards of child and adolescent care for Louisiana  and wiith excellence, integrity, and humility. He was a joyful and positive influence on all those he encountered along the way.

In 2020 the Louisiana Psychological Association, state affiliate of the American Psychological Association, honored Dr. Boudreaux with the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

“In honor of Dr. Boudreaux’s dedicated service and pioneering career in establishing a comprehension system of public mental health services for children, youth and families in Louisiana, and as the Chief Psychologist for the state Office of Mental Health (OMH). Dr.  Boudreaux’s professional career is truly exemplary of the dedicated public service of a psychologist who has significantly advanced the state of the art of public mental health for children, youth and families in Louisiana. And yet, he has remained a very humble man of character. The Louisiana Psychological Association wishes to acknowledge Dr. Boudreaux’s pioneering professional contributions and to wish him well in his retirement.”

Close friend and work associate, Dr. Randall Lemoine, said, “I was blessed to have been a colleague of Ron’s during most of my 30+ year tenure as a psychologist at the State Office of Mental Health. During that time, I personally witnessed and admired Ron’s leadership, his professionalism, and his passion for service to those most in need. Ron’s contributions to public mental health programs for children and youth were unsurpassed––he literally put child/youth mental health services ‘on the map.’

Dr. Lemoine, now in private practice and also retired from the state, was Director, Division of Business Intelligence and Information Management for the Louisiana Office of Behavioral Health.

“Also, to my knowledge, Ron was the first statewide Chief Psychologist,” said Dr. Lemoine, “a trail blazer raising the stature of psychologists in pubic service. After he retired from state service, Ron’s dedication, compassion and skill as a clinical child psychologist in private practice were renowned in our Baton Rouge community. I am grateful to have had opportunities to visit with Ron during his final years at Saint James Place, during which time we got to reminisce about his remarkable career and the ‘good ole days’ of public mental health,” said Dr. Lemoine.

Current President of the Louisiana Psychological Association and professor at University of Louisiana Lafayette, Dr. Paula Zeanah, noted that Dr. Boudreaux “… held leadership positions in the Office of Behavioral Health. Notably, he ushered in an important era in mental health services by leading the development of services for infants and young children, Early Childhood Supports and Services. Prior to ECSS, young children were not served in community mental health clinics,” Dr. Zeanah said. “I had great respect and admiration for his deep commitment to children’s mental health in Louisiana. He was friendly and professional, had a calm yet strong presence, and was a pleasure to work with.”

Dr. Boudreaux’s distinguished public mental health career began in 1970’s as a staff psychologist and program grant lead on the adolescent unit at Central Louisiana State Hospital in Pineville. He then served as the Chief Executive Officer of Green Well Springs Adolescent Hospital in Baton Rouge.

In the 1980s, Dr. Boudreaux became the director of children’s services for the state Office of Mental Health. He served as the Program Director for CASSP – the Child and Adolescent Service System Program, a federal grant-funded program to transform the then traditional community mental health clinic-based service system to what is now recognized as the standard of care; i.e., child and family community-based services and supports offered throughout community settings, including homes and schools.

The Child and Adolescent Service System Program increased the availability of community-based, comprehensive, coordinated systems of care for seriously emotionally disturbed children and adolescents. State-level activities included needs assessment and planning, modification of the state mental health system, interagency collaboration, constituency building, technical assistance and training, and local system development.

Dr. Boudreaux spearheaded development of innovative services such as child and family intervention teams, home-based crisis intervention programs, care management, and parent respite programs. He worked closely with judges to establish juvenile justice programs and reforms. And, he facilitated the development of a standard definition for the educational exceptionality of Emotional/Behavioral Disorder for use by the State Department of Education Bulletin 1508 to promote services and supports in schools.

In the 1990s, Dr. Boudreaux’s work to establish a comprehensive system of care for children, youth and families continued under the Federal Block Grant State Mental Health Plan. He continued to build coalitions to integrate services across the state child-serving agencies, and through advocacy groups, such as the Federation of Families and the State Mental Health
Planning Council. He spearheaded a novel program evaluation of the quality and effectiveness of services (LaFete) through teams of parents trained to interview family service recipients and to report their findings in a service report card with quality improvement recommendations.

Dr. Boudreaux was very active in developing and implementing policies and procedures to divert children from hospitalization to less restrictive, more effective community-based care.

During this time, Dr. Boudreaux was also promoted to the Chief Psychologist for state mental health system, and in this capacity provided policy/procedure development and operational command for psychological services across the state, including internship programs.

Dr. Boudreaux retired from the Office of Mental Health after 40 years of public service. During his career, he also completed a fellowship through Tulane University’s School of Medicine in
infant mental health, with a concentration in attachment theory research in infant-parent bonding. His research and clinical training programs created widespread access to critical support for underprivileged families in crisis.

In addition to his public sector career, he counseled thousands of Baton Rouge area children and families through his private practice. He concluded his career – post retirement from the
State – working with Dr. Donna Farguson at Family Focus, a multidisciplinary mental health practice, in the early childhood assessment and treatment office.

According to family and friends from his obituary in the Advocate, Dr. Boudreaux was affectionately known as “Boud-dha” and “Paw Paw” to his family.

The family notes that he was a native of Lafayette, and from ninth grade until undergraduate graduation from Catholic University, Washington DC, was enrolled in the seminary to become a priest. Upon graduation, he became determined to be a psychologist instead. He earned a PhD in clinical psychology from Louisiana State University in 1971.

“Ron had a way of making everyone feel heard, seen, loved and appreciated. To his children, he was their “rock,” and to his friends and family he was an incredibly warm, caring, kind and compassionate man. He could also make you cry laughing with his Cajun “Boudreaux” jokes and stories, hearkening back to his beloved Lafayette roots. Every Christmas Eve, he would light up children’s faces when he told ‘The Cajun Night Before Christmas’ in his jolly Cajun accent as thick as his mama’s roux,” noted the family.

“He built furniture, fences and barns with his own hands, was an excellent photographer, loved watercolor, and thoroughly enjoyed sports, especially playing tennis. Ron loved his family, hisprofession, reading, travel, music of all sorts-from Cajun to classical, cooking, good food, and good friends. He couldn’t begin the day without a mug of black coffee, loved the sound of the gulf surf, a good glass of red wine or single malt scotch.

“During the last twenty-five years of his life, he took up pilates, boxing, Tai Chi and indulged his love for travel, visiting Vietnam, Republic of Georgia, Egypt, eastern Europe, Chile, Tuscany,
Provence, and Spain, and many parts of the United States with his longtime ‘lady friend’ (his description) Mary Ann Sternberg.”

Dr. Boudreaux was preceded in death by his parents Florence (Daigle) and Felix Boudreaux of Lafayette. He is survived by his son Jonathan Michael Boudreaux and grandchildren Aaron and Araya; daughter Nicole Boudreaux Kleinpeter and grandchildren Camille and Thomas (Baton Rouge); his brother Kurt Boudreaux and wife Sherry and family (Lafayette); and longtime friend Mary Ann Sternberg (Baton Rouge).

Friend and colleague, Dr. W. Alan Coulter, organizational school psychologist, said, “Ron was a very effective, positive voice for children’s mental health. He significantly advanced awareness for infant mental health in Louisiana. Ron was wisely skeptical and abhorred organizational politics, although he practiced those politics very well. Personally, Ron was the gentlest Cajun bear who gave great hugs and free wisdom.”

Dr. Tony Speier, who served in the state mental health organization with Dr. Boudreaux for many years, wrote, “A grand and kind person who opened doorways every day for many in lifeand as joyful as any man and friend. Thanks Ron for being ever–blessed and thanks for your blessings.”

Dr. Kelley Pears, PTSD psychologist with the Alexandria VA Healthcare System, said, “Ron was an inspiration to my generation of psychologists. He was welcoming, friendly, bright and funny. Blessings to his family & friends.”







Dr. Ledet’s Innovations Aim to Reach Women Experiencing Stress

Dr. Sumer Ledet, licensed clinical and medical psychologist, and expert in anxiety disorders, is using innovative, psycho-educational methods to reach women who struggle with being overwhelmed due to their responsibilities as mothers, partners, and breadwinners.

Dr. Ledet’s education and experience has provided her with extensive evidence-based training  in a variety of anxiety disorders including PTSD, OCD, Panic Disorder, and Generalized Anxiety  Disorder. She has depth training in Prolonged Exposure and Cognitive Processing Therapy. Following years of training and experience in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy methods she has immersed herself in the theory and practice of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

Dr. Sumer Ledet’s psycho-educational training is a comprehensive, multi–method program for women stressed by their responsibilities as mothers, partners, and breadwinners. Her “Get  Present System,” a virtual group program for overwhelmed working mothers, helps with psychological issues and at the same time is reducing stigma associated with reaching out for  help, making psychology more accessible to more people.

Dr. Ledet has focused on treating anxiety disorders in private practice since 2012 and has  directed her efforts more specifically toward women, including women who do not meet full  criteria for any diagnosable condition.

“Many women feel tired, drained, invisible, anxious, and generally unhealthy,” said Ledet. “Many women are distracted and struggling with insomnia. Many women feel guilty and irritable. Most  of the same women are highly educated, successful in their chosen career, have healthy well  cared for children and happy partners, but they are ––often privately–– suffering and struggling,” she said.

“The culture demands so much of working mothers and the pressure is immense. Women feel  like they aren’t measuring up, and then label themselves failures. This is extremely common  and frankly heart-wrenching,” she said.

Her class includes five pillars that Dr. Ledet teaches to increase the individual’s ability to remain  in the present moment and to focus attention on valued actions. “The pillars also cover self-care and self-compassion,” she said, “as many overwhelmed women that I have worked with tend to overlook their own basic needs and to treat themselves harshly when they make mistakes.”

“I transitioned my business 100% online since COVID and plan to stay the course,” she said,  continuing to share high-quality, evidence-based, and often free content. “In my opinion, my strength is simplifying the ‘psychobabble’ so it is easily understandable and usable for real  women living busy lives,” she said.

Get Present, her eight-week independent study class, is a comprehensive, deep dive into  fostering self-care, self-compassion, and values-based action.

Dr. Ledet’s Innovations Aim to Reach Women Experiencing Stress and Anxiety, continued Dr. Ledet began teaching overwhelmed women online and began making educational Facebook videos on her Dr. Sumer Ledet Psychological Services Facebook page [@drsumerledet]. Then, toward the end of 2020, she started an ‘Insiders Community’ where she sends free weekly exclusive email content to this same group of women.

“I really want to reach a broader audience and teach the skills that have helped hundreds of my  clients, without the high price tag,” she said. “I no longer take insurance and it would cost  thousands in individual therapy to acquire this skill set…”

Back in 2012, Dr. Ledet started listening to a podcast all about holistic nutrition called Balanced  Bites. “I got really into it, learned a ton, and began to wonder how the two young women  hosting the podcast had grown such a large audience and successful business online,” she said. “Several years later, I found free education from successful online entrepreneurs like Amy Porterfield and Jenna Kutcher. Their work set a fire inside me to impact a larger audience, not  restricted to the closed doors of a therapy room.”

By 2019, she purchased an inexpensive microphone and started recording educational videos  for Facebook. “I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to create, but I knew I wanted to begin to build  an audience for spreading education about managing and healing from anxiety,” she said.

“Because I had run a private practice since 2012 as an anxiety disorder expert, I knew there were tons of women who didn’t necessarily meet criteria for an anxiety disorder, but were nonetheless wracked by overwhelm, confusion, and dysphoria about how to manage all of the  demands of life,” she said. “I desperately wanted to normalize this phenomena and provide resources to find a path toward peace and fulfillment. Having become a busy mom of two  myself by 2019, I felt a deep compassion for the ever-present but under-discussed struggles of these women.”

She kept creating videos and learning about how to improve the quality and clarity of her message online. “In September 2020, I made my first investment into my online business and  purchased Digital Course Academy, which taught me the process for how to create and market  my first digital course. I followed the steps, and it was so much more work that I had bargained  for. It was really draining, and by the time I launched the program, I was exhausted,” she said.

“Even still, it was a successful first launch. I enrolled 37 women into my digital course, The Get Present System (GPS), by early 2021. Originally, GPS was an 8-week program for busy moms who were struggling with overwhelm and anxiety but wanted a step-by-step path toward peace and fulfillment.”

She continued to spread the message with free content via email and social media marketing. “But,” she explained, “I knew I would need a slightly different approach to make the online course world a sustainable part of my business.” That was around the time she made a second investment into online course business, purchasing a program by @katieandfloyd about creating an automated system to market and sell online courses and programs.

“At the end of 2021, I experienced a significant spiritual transformation in my own life,” she said, “and I felt called to incorporate a Christian, faith-based aspect to my online programs. I followed the steps I had learned with @katieandfloyd, and the process was, once again, much more tedious and time-consuming than anticipated

In early 2022, I launched my second program, created specifically for Catholic moms desiring more peace and fulfillment, called the Break Free Blueprint (BFB). It was similar to GPS, but BFB had a strong faith component that shaped the evidence-based frameworks. It paired Catholic wisdom and tools with science-backed strategies to help Catholic moms break free from anxiety,” Dr. Ledet said.

For this launch, she increased the price, the length of the program, and the intimacy of the experience using question & answer sessions, audits of the work participants completed, prizes in the mail as they made their way through the program, and a community forum for support. The women had great results, and it was a truly enriching experience for all of us,” she said.

“I have continued to share free education with my online community, and it has been such a fulfilling and rewarding experience for me. I get messages all the time from people who feel inspired by the free education I provide. I love to learn, love to write, and love to share content to encourage and inspire others. It is definitely a calling and a passion project,” Dr. Ledet said.

This year, as a next step, she plans to update her website to create a “store-front” where moms can purchase self-study versions of the programs. “I am considering options such as sponsored social media ads and podcasting for continued marketing. I have created several free resources to help overwhelmed moms get connected to my content,” she said.

“So, I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I am continuing to learn and explore strategies for how to impact more overwhelmed Catholic moms without the intimidating and often cost and time prohibitive experience of private therapy.

“As you can imagine, there are so many ethical and legal questions to consider. I’ve consulted with many colleagues as I navigate these murky waters. I have also become part of a small group of psychologists with online businesses, and we meet, ‘mastermind style,’ to problem solve dilemmas unique to psychologists in the online business world,” Dr. Ledet said.

She warns anyone considering this path that it is more work that the gurus make it out to be, but if you can align the work to what you deeply value, it will be worth it, she explained. “I am learning to ride the wave of trial-and-error without getting discouraged. My predictable income comes from other sources so that I don’t feel a large degree of pressure around this work.  When I do make money with my content, it feels like such a gift.”

She still does not feel like she has found a complete system that is sustainable for her business and health. “I prioritize practicing what I preach, and with two little kids at home, this continues to be tricky. In addition, I have struggled with my own health and chronic pain condition for many years. In a way, this is a gift because I can truly empathize with my students and share what is working in my own life,” she said.

“I’m happy to share my wins and lessons learned so far on this journey with you,” said Dr. Ledet. “I’m also happy to share details about the ethical and legal aspects that I’ve considered and addressed through informed consent, LLC creation, documentation, and consultation.”

Those interested in starting an online component of their business can reach out to her at







Medical Psych Advisory Committee Discusses Supervision Dilemmas

The Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners, convened a Regular Call meeting of the Medical Psychology Advisory Committee on January 27, 2023. The Medical Psychology
Advisory Committee met via live-streaming video and teleconference for the public session. New Business included: “1. LSBEP – Supervision of psychology licensure candidates.”

According to the medical board, members of the Medical Psychology Advisory Committee include Glenn Ally PhD MP – Secretary Treasurer, James Blackburn MD, Darla M. R. Burnett, Ph.D., M.P., Vincent Culotta, Jr. MD, ex officio, Warren C Lowe PhD MP, and K. Chris Rachal PhD MP.

The press release included the agenda as follows:

INTRODUCTIONS – Identification of participants and audibility per La. R.S. 42:17.1(C)(3). Finding that Agenda meets criteria under La. R.S. 42:17.1(A)(2)(d).

PUBLIC COMMENTS, pursuant to La. R.S. 42:17(C)(1).

OLD BUSINESS – Approval of Minutes from meeting on August 16, 2022

NEW BUSINESS                                                                                                                                1. LSBEP – Supervision of psychology licensure candidates
2. Replacement of MPAC physician member

Dr. Ally called the meeting to order and reviewed the agenda. He brought to the 
floor new business involving the Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists [LSBEP] and supervision of psychology licensure candidates.

Dr. Ally said, “As some of you may know LSBEP has attempted to suggest that medical psychologists cannot supervise potential licensees. And, suggests that the only way that medical psychologists should be able to supervise potential licensees is by being licensed also by LSBEP.

“We’ve kind of disputed that. It’s been a long-standing practice that that medical
psychologists have been able to supervise provisional licenses and potential licensees. I’m not talking about individuals already licensed but those that are provisional and those that are potential licenses.

“We’ve had meetings with LSBEP, LSBME, LAMP, a number of folks, attorneys were involved with this. The bottom line is the LSBEP backed off of that policy they were attempting to put forward. 

“However, Warren indicated to me that a supervisee had his provisional status sort of, wasn’t turned down, but they said they could not approve his provisional  proposal because he was being supervised are because he intended to be supervised by a medical psychologist. They are not saying that they will not approve him but they are not approving the pre-proposal. So they are not getting into the game of saying they are not going to approve you, if you have been supervised by medical psychologist, but we can’t approve the proposal. So that is where we’re getting stuck with this.

“The LSBEP attempted to pass a lengthy set of rules along with many other professional associations. In doing that they had attempted to suggest that only a psychologist licensed under their statute could supervise. We were able to insert into that, that medical psychologists could supervise.

Dr. Ally read from Revised Statute 37:2356.2, section D:

D. A provisional licensed psychologist shall maintain a relationship with a licensed psychologist or a medical psychologist licensed in accordance with R.S. 37:1360.51 et seq. for the purposes of clinical supervision. The supervising psychologist or medical psychologist shall have legal functioning authority over the professional activities of the provisional licensed psychologist.

“So I think that’s pretty clear that we are able to supervise but again LSBEP is raising this issue one more time. I don’t know how LAMP wants to address this but I think we’ll need to address it one more time.”

Committee members discussed the confusion between the rules and the statute.

Dr. Ally said, “I do know that LSBEP has been for quite a long time now wanting to get medical psychologist licensed under their board once again. It doesn’t behoove us to do that at this point in time, risking two licensures, risking two exposures of liability. It just doesn’t make sense for us. However, having said that, some medical psychologist do maintain two licenses under both boards.”

Dr. Lowe read a portion of a letter that the supervisee received from the LSBEP.

“LSBEP has reviewed your supervised practice plan with a medical psychologist, which unfortunately was not approved. Dr. so-and-so, the MP, is not a licensed psychologist under the jurisdiction of LSBEP thus you are not eligible for a provisional license. The board does not pre-approve supervision and relationships between an applicant supervisee and the supervisor if the supervisor is not licensed under the jurisdiction of this board.

“However the board will review and consider the acceptability of any supervised experience that is conducted under the licensing jurisdiction such as the LSBME on completion of the supervision provided the supervision meets the requirements of the Louisiana  Administrative Code. The supervisor will need to submit the post-doctoral supervision documentation upon completion of the supervision.”

Dr. Lowe said, “They are not denying that MPs can be supervisors of LSBEP potential licensees but what they’re saying is we’re not going to approve it ahead of time, we’re not going to give you a provisional license and we may not approve it after the fact, which is the only place we’re going to review it.

“I’m only putting this on the agenda because I want everyone to be aware of this, the way they have gotten around or made it difficult for MPs to supervise.

“You have to be, I think, risk inclined to have an MP supervise you not knowing ahead of time that it’s going to be approved and it might not be approved plus you interrupt your opportunity to be a provisional licensee.

The members discussed whether this is against the current statutes and provisional license. Dr. Lowe said, “This will eventually fall to LAMP and LAMP will have to decide what and if they want to try to remedy this someway.”

Dr. Ally said, “From my perspective I hesitate at this point in time to open up our statute for any revisions but at some point in time we may have to do that and try and make some clarification. We can’t undo their statute or we can wait for an opportunity if they try to revise their statute to amend their statute or rules which we have done in the past. I’m speaking for LAMP now.

“That something that LAMP will have to consider and look and address. As MPAC our responsibility is to enforce the statutes, the laws, and interpret them as they are on the books now.

The meeting can be viewed via YouTube. Go to the website at, and from the home page, click on “Advisory Committees” and then “Medical Psychology” where a YouTube link to the meeting will be posted at the appointed time of the meeting.

During the meetings of this type, according to the notice, Individuals who wish to make a public comment before or during the meeting may do so by emailing: 





Dr. Murray Weighs In on the Behavioral Immune System

Tulane’s Dr. Damian Murray co-authored the Association for Psychological Science
lead article, Psychological Science in the Wake of COVID-19 Social, Methodological, and  Metascientific Considerations.

The premier article was published in Perspectives on Psychological Science in March 2022.

Dr. Murray explained the importance of the behavioral immune system and along with national and international contributors, noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has extensively changed the landscape of psychological science, and it is continuing to raise important questions about the conduct of research.

How did Dr. Murray become involved as a resource for the article?

“I was simply approached by the lead author, as he was familiar with my work and my being among a (formerly much smaller) group of researchers studying the implications of disease threat for cognition, behavior, and culture,” explained Dr. Murray.

The article considers how the psychology of pathogen threat may elucidate many social
phenomena in the wake of COVID-19. One question of concern brought up about this was, “Why should psychological scientists care about COVID-19 and the day-to-day research?”

Dr. Murray explains that, complementary to our immune systems, people focus on avoiding disease-causing objects, including other people whenever possible, which is referred to as a type of “behavioral immune system.” This concept is explained by Murray & Schaller in their 2016 chapter for Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, titled, “The Behavioral Immune System: Implications for Social Cognition, Social Interaction, and Social Influence.”

“Broadly, the behavioral immune system,” said Dr. Murray, “is a set of cognitive, motivational, and behavioral mechanisms that help to minimize the possibility of getting sick in the face of recurrent infectious disease threats.” As an historical note he added, “This may have been more aptly termed the Psychological Immune System, but that had already been claimed.”

Dr. Murray and co-authors explain that a fundamental goal of any organism is to protect itself from threat, and humans must navigate both realistic such as biological threats to health and symbolic threats such as those to group identity, moral values, and worldviews. Because they pose both realistic and symbolic threats, pandemics have high potential to influence many cognitions and behaviors, explained Dr. Murray.

Until recently psychologists have mostly dismissed the implications of pathogen threat for social cognition and behavior. In general, disease avoidance does not involve a great deal of deliberative thought, given that it is motivated by disgust or embedded cultural norms, reported Dr. Murray and co-authors in a 2017 research article.

However, viewed from the functional perspective, most social phenomena have disease-related causes and/or consequences which include relationships, motivations, moral cognition, and even cultural systems and political institutions, explain Murray & Schaller.

What are some of the most interesting research findings in this area?

“I used to answer this question by saying that disease influences the fundamental ways in which we socialize,” said Dr. Murray, “but now that we’ve all been through a world-altering pandemic that seems like common knowledge. I guess now I would say that I consider the most interesting findings to be those outcomes in the areas that people don’t intuitively link to disease, like conformity or moral judgment,” he said. “Are you more likely to condemn someone who morally transgresses when you’re worried about disease? Are you more likely to conform to even the tritest of social norms when you’re more concerned about disease? The research says ‘yes’ to both of these questions,” said Dr. Murray.

When it detects threat, the behavioral immune system activates anti-infection behavior, such as by eliciting disgust and promoting social avoidance, according to Murray & Schaller. The authors state that when this happens, COVID-19 alerts psychologists to uncertain conditions of infection risk that, to date, have been underappreciated and understudied.

What are some of the most practical applications, or main takeaways, regarding the behavioral system that readers might need to know?

“It’s hard to overstate just how important a factor disease has been in how and why we are the humans we are today,” said Dr. Murray. “With access to remarkable modern medicine, it’s easy to forget that throughout human history, infectious disease has been the biggest
threat to our well-being and thriving…it’s been the source of more deaths than all famines, wars, and natural disasters combined,” he said.

“So, in the lab our work is showing that yes—when people are temporarily made aware of a disease threat, they are more likely to vote with the majority, are more likely to condemn those that violate moral norms, and more likely to say that they would prefer fewer sexual partners in the next 5 years (and/or in their lifetimes),” said Dr. Murray.

“I think the bigger takeaways are that we see these effects play out at the societal level as well,” he said. “People living in countries or regions that have had historically higher levels of disease are (on average, of course) more likely to conform to the majority, more likely to
condemn moral-violators, and prefer fewer sexual partners. And even most importantly we see these psychological effects manifest in how countries and societies operate: more disease is associated with less trust of your neighbors, more authoritarian governance, and more restrictions on personal freedoms,” said Dr. Murray.

“We’ve found this when looking at both samples of contemporary nation states and samples of more traditional societies. Another huge downstream effect of disease threat (via its effects on less creative thinking) is less cultural innovation. You see this manifest in pretty much any innovation metric available…Nobel prizes, patents, global innovation scores, whatever.”

What are some of the other interesting findings in Dr. Murray’s publications?

“We’ve been doing a bunch of work over the past few years looking at how becoming a parent influences our political attitudes,” said Dr. Murray. “Most of this work has been led by Nick Kerry, a fantastic former grad student of the lab. As we know, motivations shift when one becomes a parent…as a parent you’re all of a sudden responsible for a very vulnerable other human, and you will be for many years.

“When we started this work,” said Dr. Murray, “we reckoned that maybe you’d see that motivational shift reflected in political attitudes, specifically in attitudes in the domain of social conservatism. Given that socially conservative attitudes emphasize group cohesion, familial stability, and more punitive punishments for people who might pose threats, we
predicted that parenthood is associated with higher political conservatism. This is exactly the pattern we find study after study—not just in America but all around the world. And this pattern is exclusive to social (and not economic) conservatism,” Dr. Murray said. “I think that this is fascinating work because so much work on parenting focuses on the other causal
arrow of how parents influence their children’s attitudes and behaviors. Our work shows how effects work in the opposite direction too; children influence their parents’ psychology simply by virtue of being children.”

How did he become involved in evolutionary psychology?

“I find ‘evolutionary psychology’ to be a term so fraught with baggage and misunderstanding that I don’t use it to categorize research programs or areas,” Dr. Murray said.

“Coming from early training in the biological sciences it never made sense to me why so many branches of psychology were uninterested in human origins, history, development, and culture. An evolutionarily-informed approach to the study of human cognition and behavior is complimentary to—not mutually exclusive of—the more proximal or situational
perspectives we see in the psychological sciences. It simply addresses our most fascinating ‘why’ questions at a different level of analysis,” said Dr. Murray.

“For example, if you were to try to answer the question, ‘Why do people fall in love?’ A common approach could be to look for all of the environmental and social triggers that cause people to fall in love. A complimentary evolutionary perspective could form answers to this question in a different way, by listing the ways in which the tendency to fall in love helped humans survive and thrive throughout history,” he said.

“It takes answers at both levels to best understand why people do what they do. Just as there’s no such thing as ‘non-evolutionary biology,’ neglecting the evolutionary level of analysis in psychology gives us an incomplete understanding of human cognition and behavior,” Dr. Murray said.

“So more basically my involvement/continued interest in evolutionary perspectives on psychology is that it more persistently asks the deeper ‘why’ question. We don’t get satisfactory answers to that ‘why’ question otherwise.”

Some of his current publications include:

Kerry, N., & Murray, D. R. (in press). Politics and parenting. In V. A. Weekes-Shackelford
&T. K. Shackelford (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology and Parenting. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Kerry, N., & Murray, D. R. (2020). Politics and parental care: Experimental and mediational tests of the causal link between parenting motivation and social conservatism. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 11, 284-292.

Murray, D. R., *Prokosch, M., & *Airington, Z. (2019). PsychoBehavioroImmunology:
Connecting the behavioral immune system to its physiological foundations. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 10:200. 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00200

Murray, D. R., Haselton, M. G., Fales, M. R., & Cole, S. W. (2019). Falling in love is associated with immune system gene regulation. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 00, 120- 126.

Damian R. Murray, PhD, is an Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, at Tulane University. He has a PhD in Social Psychology and a PhD in Minor Quantitative Methods, from University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC.

According to his bio at Tulane, Dr. Murray’s research programs follow two themes:

1) The consequences of a disease-avoidance motive for interpersonal relationships, social attitudes, personality, and cultural differences, and

2) The dynamics of new interpersonal relationships—the individual differences that predict formation, stability, and satisfaction in new romantic relationships, and the implications of these relationships for physiology and health.







LSU’s Dr. Todd, Creativity Expert, Named to National Sea Grant Program for La

Dr. Michelle Todd, Assistant Professor in the School of Leadership and Human Resource Development at Louisiana State University (LSU), was named Fellow in the Louisiana Discovery, Integration, and Application program, part of the National Sea Grant Program.

The Louisiana Sea Grant is a non-profit organization that funds coastal and sustainability research and projects in Louisiana. According to officials, the Louisiana Discovery, Integration, and Application program (LaDIA) strives to highlight leadership for the Louisiana coast area and to promote stewardship of the state’s coastal resources through a combination of research, education and outreach.

LaDIA Fellows receive training from national experts in science communication and outreach, as well as broaden their knowledge of coastal concerns, say officials. The Louisiana Sea Grant, based at Louisiana State University, is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Sea Grant Program, a network made up of 34 Sea Grant programs located in each of the coastal and Great Lakes states and Puerto Rico. LSU was designated the nation’s thirteenth Sea Grant College in 1978.

The Times asked Dr. Todd to tell us about the LaDIA Fellows and Louisiana Sea Grant Program.

“From what I have learned,” she said, “traditionally LaDIA Fellows Louisiana Sea Grant’s efforts have mostly come from a hard science (e.g., biology, marine science, engineering) space, but they have begun to value and integrate social sciences like psychology and anthropology,” Dr. Todd said. “A lot of knowledge and expertise about building hurricane-sustainable structures and remaining resilient in Louisiana’s tumultuous weather can be
gained from the coastal Louisiana indigenous communities. Currently, there are projects that include interviewing and learning from indigenous tribes,” she said.

“Additionally, more investment is being placed in Louisiana communities to teach Louisianans how to be weather-aware, prepared, and resilient,” said Dr. Todd. “I am
currently working on a grant proposal that will investigate the most effective methods
for bringing together and leading community groups to solve coastal/environmental
community problems,” she said.

“For example, if a community is interested in bettering its recycling program or its hurricane-preparedness, we will work with them to facilitate those group meetings,
including providing methods for structuring those meetings, communication strategies,
planning tools, leadership development, etc.,” Dr. Todd said. “We plan to do this with multiple communities and to collect data to assess which methods are most effective in solving community coastal problems.”

Training received as part of the program helps support innovative solutions to the 
coastal challenges facing the Mississippi River Delta and coastal systems worldwide, according to officials. The LaDIA Fellows program offers a one-year fellowship to highly talented tenure track faculty from institutions of higher education in Louisiana. A candidate’s selection is based on their innovative research and how it is relevant to Louisiana’s coast.

What other activities is Dr. Todd engaged in currently?

“I met a colleague,” she explained, “Dr. Anurag Mandalika, who I have been working with on Agricultural issues in Louisiana. Most recently, he and Dr. Deborah Goldgaber applied for a grant from LSU’s Center for Collaborative Knowledge to sponsor a Faculty Research Seminar on Ethics of AI, Automation, and Agriculture. The grant was just funded, and the scholars mentioned above, along with me and a few other interdisciplinary researchers across LSU, will begin meeting monthly to discuss the ethical issues that impact the agriculture industry as it becomes more automated, as well as potential solutions to these problems,” Dr. Todd said.

“A major issue is that as the agriculture industry becomes more automated, many Louisianans and migrant workers have lost or will lose their jobs,” she said. “Successful automation requires knowledge capture and transfer from skilled workers, while potentially harming these same workers in the future. Some of the questions we are looking into are,
‘What sorts of policies and procedures ought to be in place for conducting research in these areas? How can experts at LSU inform and affect policy in these areas?  What sort of ethical and professional frameworks ought to guide us in these areas?’”

What are her ideas on how to improve retention of the agricultural industry workers?

“Dr. Anurag Mandalika and I have specifically been discussing potential methods for improving the retention of agricultural workers agricultural industry workers,” Dr. Todd
said. “We are currently outlining a grant proposal on ways to better train leaders of agricultural companies on how to prepare their workers for increased automation, including providing their workers with cross-training of multiple skills so that workers may be better prepared to take on other jobs in the company if their current job becomes obsolete due to automation.”

Along with the LaDIA Fellows Louisiana Sea Grant Program and the ethics seminars, she is also working on her research in creativity. “I have been working with my colleague, Dr. Keith Strasbaugh on a large project investigating the impact that COVID-19 and increased telecommunicating (or complete telework) has had on creativity,” Dr. Todd said. “I am leading a symposium called ‘Novel Approaches to Managing Creativity in Organizations’ at this year’s Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology conference where we discuss some of the findings of this work,” she said.

“The first noteworthy finding is that the extent of telecommuting seems to have no relationship with creative job performance,” Dr. Todd said. “This is good news considering the shift to telecommuting or complete telework environments that are more prevalent in the modern workplace. This result suggests that organizations should not be weary of the CJP [creative job performance] of teleworkers,” she said.

“The next series of findings also seem to support this conclusion. Notably, problem solving, job complexity, and interdependence did not influence the relationship between telecommuting and CJP. This suggests that even with varying levels of problem solving, job
complexity, and dependence on coworkers, varying levels of telecommuting may be just as viable as in-person workplace environments,” said Dr. Todd.

“Social support was the only significant factor impacting telecommuting and CJP, delineating that high social support in increased telecommuting environments is key to increased CJP,” she said.

“When social support is low for people who telecommute more, their CJP appears to suffer. Therefore, organizations and supervisors should provide opportunities for more social support for creative workers who telecommute. Examples may include specified time for
peer-to-peer and subordinate-to-supervisor discussion and developmental feedback.,” she said.

Dr. Todd is currently in the process of publishing this paper, in addition to other work investigating the interaction of emotions, job engagement, and telework on creativity at work, she explained.

“Our first notable finding was that, in general, more positive emotions were reported by participants than negative emotions over the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and these positive emotions predicted greater CJP. Similar to the findings outlined above, this suggests that creativity at work was and is possible despite the stressors induced by the pandemic,” Dr. Todd said.

“However, we also found that negative emotions significantly diminished the relationship between job engagement and creative job performance during the pandemic. These finding stress that positive emotions during the pandemic are key to effective creative work, and
organizations concerned with creativity and innovation may benefit from initiatives to keep spirits high at work,” she said.

“When we examined telework in tandem with emotions and CJP, we found that telework did not significantly affect these relationships. That is, despite different work environments and differing hours of telecommuting, reported emotions were similar. This finding provides further evidence that creativity, along with emotion regulation, may thrive just as well in a telework environment as in a physical office.”

Dr. Todd has published her research in notable peer-reviewed outlets, including The Leadership Quarterly, Accountability in Research, and the Creativity Research Journal, in addition to editing a book, Creativity and Innovation in Organizations, published by Taylor and Francis.

She has conducted research funded by the Army Research Institute, the National Institutes of Health, and the state of Oklahoma. She has also collaborated on research and consulting projects with the U.S. Army, Department of Homeland Security, and U.S. Secret Service.

Dr. Todd’s publications include:

Todd, E. M., Higgs, C., & Mumford, M. D. (2022). Effective strategies for creative idea evaluation and feedback: The customer’s always right. Creativity Research Journal, 1-19.

MacLaren, N. G., Yammarino, F. J., Dionne, S. D., Sayama, H., Mumford, M. D., Connelly, S., Martin, R. W., Mulhearn, T. J., Todd, E. M., Kulkarni, A., Cao, Y., & Ruark, G. (2020). Testing the babble hypothesis: Speaking time predicts leader emergence in small groups. The Leadership Quarterly, 31, 101409.

Todd, E. M., Higgs, C. A., & Mumford, M. D. (2019). Bias and bias remediation in creative problem-solving: Managing biases through forecasting. Creativity Research Journal, 31,
1-14. DOI: 10.1080/10400419.2018.1532268

Mumford, M. D., Todd, E. M., & Higgs, C. A. (2018). Eminence and genius in the real-word:Seven critical skills that make possible eminent achievement. Journal of Genius and Eminence, 3, 13-25.

Dr. Todd received her PhD in Industrial-Organizational Psychology with a minor in Quantitative Psychology from the University of Oklahoma. Her research focuses on creativity, innovation, and leadership in organizations, as well as the development and training of
individuals for creative and leadership roles. She has also published work on ethical decision-making and ethics training.

She is Assistant Professor in the School of Leadership and Human Resource Development, in the College of Human Sciences & Education at Louisiana State University.






Dr. Woods–Smith in Election for LSBEP

Shawanda Woods-Smith, PsyD, from Ball, Louisiana is the sole candidate qualifying and offering to serve on the Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists and named in the current election to fill the board member vacancy occurring on June 30, 2023.

Dr. Woods-Smith is the Director of Psychology at Pincerest Supports and Services Center in Pineville, Louisiana, part of the Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities. She was licensed in clinical psychology in 2014 and earned her degree from Argosy University in Dallas in 2008, according to her application.

The election, conducted by the state psychology board, opened January 7 and will end midnight on Tuesday, February 7, 2023. Licensed psychologists are eligible to vote by electronic ballots through the licensing board.

Dr. Woods- Smith provided a statement of issues facing the LSBEP, and was asked to describe her role as a regulator in enforcing the laws, standards and ethics code, and goals for her tenure on the Board. She gave her statement as follows:

“I view that an overall role of an LSBEP member encompasses the promotion and advancement of the Psychology profession in adherence with state laws and ethical standards. Additionally, inherit within this role is the responsibility to educate and protect the welfare of members of the profession and ensure the initial and continuing professional
competence of providers within mental health to provide consumers with access to safely delivered psychological services.

“As a member of the LSBEP, it would be a goal to increase the visibility and facilitate mental health services awareness within the state of Louisiana. Additionally, with increased exposure the objective would also include the recruitment and retainment of future and current Psychologists within the state by collaborating with other disciplines (Social Work, Counseling, Substance Abuse, Marriage & Family Therapists, etc.) and entities such as the State Board of Education and State Colleges & Universities.”

If appointed by the governor, Dr. Woods- Smith’s term will be from July 2023 until June 2028.

Pinecrest Supports and Services Center supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to reach treatment goals and to return to more integrated community living settings. Pinecrest Supports and Services Center specializes in the treatment of people with comorbid intellectual and developmental disabilities and complex medical, behavioral, and psychiatric support needs, according to officials. The Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities (OCDD) serves as the Single Point of Entry (SPOE) into the developmental disabilities services system and oversees services for people with developmental disabilities.







No Substantive Changes After Public Feedback on Proposed Rules from Psychology Board

After publishing over 19,000 words of new proposed regulations, the Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists conducted a public hearing on December 16. The board dismissed calls from the public for substantive changes.

Proposed rule changes include those for fees, registration and oversight of assistants, continuing education rules, training, credentials and scope of practice for neuropsychology, specialty designations, ethics for school specialists, and the rules for using an Emeritus title.

More than 20 individuals submitted criticism of the proposed rules, the majority of comments had to do with the oversight of assistants to psychologists.

As required by law, the State Board published a “Notice of Intent” of the changes in November 20 issue of the Louisiana Register. According to several sources attending the public meeting, the board members wanted to avoid “substantive” changes brought about by feedback, which would then require a second Notice of Intent.

Dr. Kim VanGeffen from the Public Affairs Committee of the Louisiana Psychological Association, noted, “The Board stated that they will be unlikely to make major changes to the Rules as, to do so, would require reposting the Rules and having another period of commentary. They may make what they would term minor changes.”

The Times asked Dr. Greg Gormanous, current chair of the State Board, to comment and he  agreed to provide individual feedback. ” I am offering my comment as an individual. Also I am stipulating that you include the entire quote,” Dr. Gormanous wrote.

“The public hearing on rule making initiated by LSBEP served its purpose. Written comments  were read into the record. The written comments were from many people who were attending virtually. LSBEP also requested oral comments from a member of the public who attended in person. When the hearing ended, the Board, being sensitive to public attendees, next devoted a substantial amount of time and discussed most of the comments. Those deliberations resulted in several important non-substantive tweaks,” he said.

The board appeared to ignore the requests to show evidence of a need for the new detailed oversight and management regulations for assistants, a problem voiced by many of those commenting.

Public comments also included details of managing assistants. According to VanGeffen, “The  Board explained that the process of registering assistants will require an ‘administrative review’  and not full approval of the Board,” said VanGeffen. “Some people commented that the current wording of the Rules suggests that one would have to employ the person first before submitting the application for registration.” Also, “Currently the Rules require that the supervisor be “on  site” while the assistant is performing services,” she noted. “There were a number of comments  about how this is not consistent with the new Medicare guidelines […]. “There were questions about whether ATAPs who are currently employed would be “grandparented.'”

The new regulations effort stems from the 2021 House Bill 477, legislation put forth by the  Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists, now Act 238.

HB 477, authored by Representative Joe Stagni, was a compromise measure following the downsizing of a 23-page bill introduced by the psychology board in 2020 and then again in 2021. Under pressure from opponents, the board agreed to substitute a fee bill, telling sources that without the increased fees the board would not be able to operate in the future. This  message resonated with the majority of those attending a special meeting of the Louisiana Psychological Association called for by petition of those opposing the measure.

According to the Notice of Intent, the proposed rule changes will increase revenue collections for the LSBEP by $21,000 for FY 23 and $18,050 in FY 24 and FY 25. The estimate is 420 assistants.

Also according to the Notice, the Board claims that benefits include a positive impact for licensed psychologists and also for competition.

“The proposed rule changes will benefit Licensed Psychologists by reducing their risks associated with hiring unqualified individuals to work with vulnerable populations…” And, “The proposed rule changes are anticipated to have a positive effect on competition and employment. Licensed Psychologists who utilize ATAP’s are able to serve a larger client base than if working independently.

Next, the Board is required to respond to all comments and submit a report to legislative oversight committees, House Committee on Health and Welfare and the Senate Committee on Health and Welfare, according to the Administrative Procedures Act.

“The agency shall issue a response to comments and submissions describing the principal reasons for and against adoption of any amendments or changes suggested in the written or oral comments and submissions. In addition to the response to comments and submissions, the agency may prepare a preamble explaining the basis and rationale for the rule, identifying the data and evidence upon which the rule is based, and responding to comments and submissions. Such preamble and response to comments and submissions shall be furnished to the respective legislative oversight subcommittees […]

Also, “Prior to the adoption, amendment, or repeal of any rule or the adoption, increasing, or decreasing of any fee, the agency shall submit a report relative to such proposed rule change or fee adoption, increase, or decrease to the appropriate standing committees of the legislature and the presiding officers of the respective houses as provided in this Section. […]

This review is to include numerous items including: “(3) The specific citation of the enabling legislation purporting to authorize the adoption, amending, or repeal of the rule or purporting to authorize the adoption, increasing, or decreasing of the fee. […] ” (ii) A summary of all comments received by the agency, a copy of the agency’s response to the summarized comments, and a statement of any tentative or proposed action of the agency resulting from oral or written comments received.”

The oversight subcommittees determine among other things, whether the rule change or action on fees is in conformity with the intent and scope of the enabling legislation, and whether the rule change or action on fees is acceptable or unacceptable to the oversight subcommittee.

The public meeting was held December 16 and according to the Administrative Procedures Act was required to be at least 35 days after the notice was published. The Notice was published November 20, 2022. According to the Act, “Any hearing pursuant to the provisions of this Paragraph shall be held no earlier than thirty-five days and no later than forty days after the after the publication of the Louisiana Register in which the notice of the intended action appears.”








Gov. Edwards Touts Positive Outcomes of Criminal Justice Reforms

In two press releases, Gov. John Bel Edwards touted the state’s improved criminal justice program after a November report by PEW and a bipartisan report by the Pelican Commission Institute highlighted significant improvements in Louisiana’s criminal justice reform outcomes.

In December, the Governor said the Pelican Institute, a conservative think tank, released an analysis of crime data in Louisiana that drew four conclusions:

1) Property crimes are decreasing in Louisiana 2) Increases in violent crime were a nationwide event in 2020, impacting almost every state 3) Violent crime increases in Louisiana were lower than in other southern states 4) Increases in violent crime are not correlated with criminal justice reforms or decreased incarceration rates.

According to the announcement, one of the key goals of bipartisan criminal justice reform was to reserve prison beds and law enforcement resources for more dangerous offenders.  Incarceration numbers for Louisianans convicted of non-violent crimes have dropped significantly thanks to bipartisan criminal justice reform, but Louisiana now has more people incarcerated for violent offenses than before criminal justice reform. According to the Pelican Institute analysis, violent offenders are also serving longer sentences now than they were before bipartisan criminal justice.

“This report proves that bipartisan criminal justice reform has actually helped Louisiana
fight the nationwide increase in violent crime by focusing our law enforcement resources on violent offenders,” said Governor John Bel Edwards. “Don’t let lazy narratives fool you. We have gotten smarter on crime, and tougher on violent crime. Conservative, liberal, and non-partisan experts all agree that our reforms have been successful, because the data proves it. We still have a lot of work to do to bring down crime rates, but we’re better off thanks to bipartisan criminal justice reform.”

In November, the Governor’s office pointed out that the Pew Charitable Trusts published
Gov. Edwards Touts Positive Outcomes of Criminal Justice Reforms, continued a story highlighting the transformative impact bipartisan criminal justice reforms have had on Louisiana in the five years since taking effect.

Reporting for PEW, Michelle Russell wrote:

“This fall marks five years since Louisiana enacted its landmark criminal justice reforms. Signed by Governor John Bel Edwards in 2017, the 10 bills passed with strong bipartisan majorities and followed the recommendations of the Louisiana Justice Reinvestment Task Force, an interbranch body of justice system leaders and stakeholders.

“The new laws included changes to sentencing, corrections, and community supervision. In the legislation, policymakers focused on ensuring adequate prison space for those who pose a public safety threat, strengthening probation and parole practices, eliminating barriers to reentering society, and reinvesting savings to reduce recidivism and support victims. Using the most recent publicly available data, here are five findings about how Louisiana’s system has changed since the reforms took effect.

“The state’s prison population has fallen 24%, driven entirely by a decline in people convicted of nonviolent offenses.

“Louisiana’s reforms sought to steer people convicted of less serious crimes away from prison and shorten the time incarcerated for those who could be safely supervised in the community.  In the summer of 2017, before the new laws took effect, there were about 35,500 people under the Louisiana Department of Corrections’ jurisdiction held in prisons or local jails throughout the state. By the summer of 2022, that number had fallen nearly a quarter to about 27,000. A report recently presented to lawmakers showed that the declining prison population was entirely driven by a reduction in people convicted of nonviolent offenses. That number shrank by about 11,000 between 2016 and 2021. Over the same period, the number of individuals who were incarcerated for violent offenses increased by almost 1,400.”

Dr. Susan Tucker, psychologist, was involved in these reforms. She was previously the Assistant Warden, licensed psychologist, and program developer at the Bossier Parish Correctional Center, designed the Steve Hoyle Intensive Substance Abuse Treatment Program. The program first began at the Forcht Wade Correction Center Keithville, Louisiana, and was relocated to the Medium Security Facility for the Bossier Sherriff located between Benton and Plain Dealing, LA.

Tucker’s programs earned state and national recognition, including a legislative commendation, the Residential Substance Abuse Treatment grant, and the governor’s grant for prevention. In 2010 the Vera Institute of Justice, an organization dedicated to improving justice systems through research and innovation, noted that the program, “…should be a model for the nation.”

In 2015, the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University has named Dr. Susan Tucker and her treatment programs as one of this year’s recipients of the prestigious Bright Ideas awards for innovation. 





State Board to Take Control Over Psychologists’ Assistants

The state psychology board is proposing new rules and regulations to govern the use of  assistants to Psychologists. The notice for new rules was published in the November issue of  the Louisiana Register. The proposed rules include the conditions for the use of assistants , the responsibilities of supervising psychologists, and the disciplinary activities that the board may engage in for those registered as assistants.

The new oversight conditions stem from the 2021 House Bill 477, legislation put forth by the Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists, now Act 238.

HB 477, authored by Representative Joe Stagni, was a compromise measure following the downsizing of a 23-page bill introduced by the psychology board in 2020 and then again in 2021. Under pressure from opponents, the board agreed to substitute a fee bill, telling sources  that without the increased fees the board would not be able to operate in the future. This message resonated with the majority of those attending a special meeting of the Louisiana  Psychological Association called for by petition of those opposing the measure.

The language reads:

§2354. Fees

(4) The board shall charge an application fee for the initial registration of each assistant to a psychologist that shall not exceed fifty dollars. The board shall adopt rules in  accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act to implement the provisions of this Paragraph.

Sources from both the state board and the Louisiana Psychological Association that supported  the measure acknowledged that the new regulation was an attempt to raise revenue for the board, which has been struggling financially for a number of years.

The public may submit comments and criticism to the boards office by noon on December 12.  According to the notice, “LSBEP will conduct a Public Hearing at Noon on December 16, 2022, at  the board office located at 4334 S. Sherwood Forest Blvd., Suite C-150, Baton Rouge, LA 70816.  All interested persons are invited to attend and present data, views, comments, or arguments,  orally or in writing.”

The Louisiana Register’s Notice of Intent for new rules and regulations includes the following: 

§1101. Conditions for Utilization of Assistants
A. Upon employment of an ATAP, [Assistant to a Psychologist] but prior to assisting in psychological duties, the Supervising Psychologist shall submit a complete application for initial  registration, required registration fee, and documentation on such form and in such manner as  may be prescribed by the board to demonstrate that the registrant meets all of the following criteria:
1. is 18 years of age or older;
2. possesses a minimum of a high school diploma or its equivalent;
3. is of good moral character as determined by a criminal background check conducted under  the authority of R.S. 37:2356.1 and the provisions of this Part;
4. is not in violation of any of the provisions of the La. Revised Statutes Title 37, Chapter 28.  Psychologists; or the Louisiana Administrative Code, Title 46, Part LXIII; or any provision governing the practice of psychology under the jurisdiction of the board;
5. is qualified, or will receive supervised training commensurate with the services to be performed and is under the direct and continuous supervision of the Supervising Psychologist  as defined in this Chapter.
B. Prior to the approval of any registration, the registrant shall initiate a criminal background check from the Louisiana State Police, Bureau of Criminal Identification and Information in accordance with this Part, and the criminal history records information report must be received  and cleared by the board.
C. Upon review of the application, the board shall notify the licensed psychologist of record that the application and evidence submitted for registration is satisfactory and the registration has  been approved; or that the application or evidence is unsatisfactory and rejected; or other pending status. If the application is rejected, a notice from the board shall include the reasons for the rejection.

§1103. Responsibilities of Supervisors
A. The Supervising Psychologist:
1. is responsible for the registration and renewal of an assistant to a psychologist in conformity  with this Chapter on such form and in such manner as prescribed by the board;
2. directs the provision of psychological services to clients;
3. is administratively, clinically, ethically, functionally, and legally responsible for all activities of the Assistant to a Psychologist;
4. is accountable for the planning, course and outcome of the work. The conduct of supervision  shall ensure the welfare of the client, and the ethical and legal protection of the assistant;
5. is responsible for general communication regarding the needs of the clients and services rendered;
6. is responsible for continuing professional supervision of the ATAP;
7. provides general professional supervision of the ATAP that shall include one cumulative hour  per week as a minimum for direct supervisory contact:
B. Neglect in maintaining the above standards of practice may result in disciplinary action  against the supervisor’s license to practice, including suspension or revocation.

§1109. Exceptions to the Registration of an Assistant to a Psychologist
A. The provisions of this Section shall not apply to the following:
1. a medical psychologist utilizing assistants under the provisions of RS 37:1360.61 under the  jurisdiction of the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners.
2. an individual licensed under this part as a licensed specialist in school psychology who is  providing services defined under RS 37:2356.3.

§1107. Denial, Revocation, or Lapse of a Registration for an Assistant to a Psychologist
A. and take such actions permitted under RS  37:2351-2378, et al in matters involving the ATAP and/or their supervisor. The board has the authority to conduct investigations
B. The board may deny or revoke the registration of an assistant to a psychologist (ATAP) that is  in the best interest of public health, safety, and welfare for any unethical, unlawful, or other  unprofessional conduct under the jurisdiction of the board.
C. Immediate action may be taken to administratively suspend an ATAP’s registration in the  event information is received that the action(s) of an ATAP is causing harm to clients, is  otherwise likely to cause harm to future clients or patients, or the action(s) is unethical or  unlawful. Such action may be taken in instances including but not limited to falsifying  information in an application; and/or receipt of information involving an arrest, warrant for an  arrest, or conviction of the ATAP.