Writing in an editorial published in The Dallas Morning News, Texas Medical Association President Dr. Don Read reiterates the group’s stance on disallowing marriage and family therapists from diagnosing mental disease.
Read, a Dallas-based colon and rectal surgeon, wrote the piece in response to a lawsuit brought by an association of Texas’ marriage and family therapists that wants its members to be able to legally diagnose mental illness. They are appealing a lower court decision that blocked them from doing so. Read quotes multiple legal filings that refer to protecting the livelihoods of the family and marriage therapists instead of increasing access.
And besides, Read argues, the crisis is more grounded in underfunding mental health and addiction treatment.
“Texas does have a severe shortage of mental health professionals. We don’t have enough psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurses, clinical social workers or marriage and family therapists. The problem is payment. Professionals who render a needed service should be paid for their work on behalf of their clients and patients,” he writes.