August President's Message

07 Aug 2014 8:51 PM | Carol A. Bouldin (Administrator)

I hope you are all taking the time to enjoy your summer in this place of resort living.  I'm reminded of all the opportunities we have here, when friends and family visit.   

I wanted to pass on some of the information that was discussed at the Inland Empire Board Retreat on July 25, 2014, that you were all invited to attend.   

The issues covered were whether to sign the new CAMFT Chapter agreement and Assembly Bill 1775, which would require all Mandated Reporters to report any client who views child pornography. 

 Chapter Agreement

The Chapter Agreement was part of the CAMFT Board plan to transform CAMFT into a generic mental health organization and was sent out within days of the June 2013 bylaws passage. Since we as CAMFT chapter members voted against changing the name and organization, we see no reason to accept a chapter agreement that was created to implement that transformation. After an open discussion of Board members, a vote was taken and it was unanimously decided that we would stand with other Chapters to not sign the Chapter Agreement for the following reasons:

  • We already have a chapter agreement with CAMFT that encompasses what we need

·         There is conflicting legal double speak in the new agreement

·         It would obligate us to more administrative work and would indebt us financially

·         We were not given an adequate explanation as to the purpose this agreement serves for the chapters and we think there should be a clear explanation of the purpose.  This is a time of healing and reestablishing trust as an organization, so transparency is paramount in order to achieve that. 

 Assembly Bill 1775

In our discussion of Assembly Bill 1775 that would require mandated reporting of clients who view child pornography, there were various perspectives, but all were in agreement that, even though the bill had good intentions, it was a "slippery slope" with regard to how abuse is defined, especially when there is no identified victim who has been directly abused and unclear as to what would happen after the reporting. We too felt that it may be counterproductive in that the client would cease to be open in treatment or continue treatment if revealing the use of pornography would require a report to be filed.

We discussed an email that had been circulated through the CAMFT thread citing research which found that viewing pornography had kept some pedophiles from acting out. When I went on the Internet, I found a study which supported the opposite relationship, linking viewing child pornography with molesting children.  It is summarized below:

“Porn use and child abuse: The link may be greater than we think, a controversial study suggests” by Tori DeAngelis  December 2009, Vol 40, No. 11  Print version: page 56

The opening summary reads, “Clinical psychologists Michael Bourke, PhD, and Andres Hernandez, PsyD, have been making waves in the psychology and law enforcement communities with the recent release of a paper suggesting that men charged with Internet child pornography offenses and those who commit hands-on child sex offenses are, in many cases, one and the same."  See:  http://www.apa.org/monitor/2009/12/child-abuse.aspx

I hope whatever you believe about the bill or clients viewing child pornography, you will be encouraged to dialogue and do some personal research on this subject. With the Internet, this is a definite issue affecting many of our clients, whether they be victims or perpetrators.          

 

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