The Institute Of Private Clinical Psychologists of Australia (IPCPA) was originally established in New South Wales, in the early 1970s, as they did not have a registration Board for Psychologists, like other states in Australia. The IPCPA served as something of a professional body for Clinical Psychologists in NSW, who had postgraduate qualifications in Psychology. Western Australia decided to join this group i n the mid-70s, to strengthen the profile of Clinical Psychologists in private practice.
The forerunner of ICP began in Perth WA in the mid-1970s and was known as The Association of Clinical and Consulting Psychologists in Private Practice (ACCPPP). It had six members, only one of whom worked full time in private practice The first members were: Jeff White, Leon Black, George Burns, Margaret White, Vicki Brown and Bob Flecker. Julia Solomon and Godfrey Barrett-Lennard joined the association at a later time.
Early on, Jeff White was instrumental in bringing private health rebates from HBF in WA. He was the first psychologist in private practice in WA.
This small group later linked up with colleagues in NSW, who had formed a similar organisation called The Australian College of Psychologists in Private Practice (ACPCPP).
The two groups then combined to become the Institute of Private Clinical Psychologists of Australia (IPCPA). The group in NSW drew up a constitution, which also covered IPCPA (WA Branch).
At that time, NSW did not have a Psychologists’ Registration Board, so IPCPA served as something of a professional body for Clinical Psychologists in NSW. From its inception in the mid-1970s as ACCPPP, then IPCPA (WA), George Burns served as President and office bearer until the end of 1986, when he resigned as he travelled overseas.
By the mid-1980s, the IPCPA membership more than doubled to 15 or 16. Other states in Australia soon followed suit and established their own groups of privately practising Psychologists. However, IPCPA in NSW and WA were the only groups comprised only Clinical Psychologists.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s there was a push for these privately practising Psychologists’groups to form a loosely linked Federal Organisation. This occurred resulted in The Federation of Organisations of Privately Practising Psychologists of Australia (FOPPPA). This combined group later became Psychology Private Australia.
It was this combined group that worked towards the establishment of a “Recommended Fee” for Psychologists in Australia. The work towards this goal was mainly carried out by Ted Milliken from Darwin, NT and Radek Stradtil from Adelaide, South Australia.
Conferences were held in various states, following the establishment of the FOPPPA and Psychology Private. The first was held in Canberra, followed by Adelaide, Darwin and finally Perth in 2001. The Perth IPCPA conference was entitled “2001 – Psychological Odyssey” and was held in Fremantle.
Prior to that time, Bruce Dufty, a Clinical Psychologist with the WA Government, began liaising with these Federal Psychology groups in a bid to approach the Federal Government about Medicare rebates for Psychologists. He met with all the groups, prior to FOPPPA being formalised, and assisted with a submission to the Federal Government, during a review of National Healthcare. Bruce then gave excellent presentations on behalf of the privately practising psychologist groups, to the review committee in Canberra.
As IPCPA (WA) grew as an organisation, it developed a great deal of influence among health services in WA and was able to lobby the State Government Minister of Health for “Specialist Registration” of Clinical Psychologists in Western Australia.
During the 1980s, IPCPA (WA) also negotiated with private health funds to establish rebates for Clinical Psychologists in WA. This was not only for assessments, but also for therapy. Negotiations with Workcover WA by IPCPA resulted in an established fee for psychologists treating injured workers and also individuals injured in motor vehicle accidents. IPCPA was also consulted in the establishment of the Mental Health Act 1976. During this crucial time, in the 1990s, Barry White, Bill Douglas, Leonie Coxon, Zyron Krupenia, Nigel Jones, Graham Taylor, Chris Semmens, John Manners and Graham Guest took on the role of President and were key committee members, each serving a term of office of around 2 to 4 years. Under Barry White’s leadership of IPCPA, the Institute decided to break away from the organisation in NSW and a new Constitution was drawn up by a legal practitioner and adopted in 1998 /1999. WA then had its own IPCPA. There was a later decision made to change the name to something shorter and more streamlined, which was ͞The Institute of Clinical Psychologists’ or ICP.
With the passing of time and the establishment of the APS Division of Privately Practising Psychologists (DIPP), a number of the state groups of the Federation (FOPPPA), and later (Psychology Private), all but “disappeared”, but ICP has remained a significant entity.
ICP has continued to negotiate with government, various private health funds regarding rebates, and also with Riskcover WA and ICWA, regarding annual set fees for Psychologists. ICP also liaised with the Psychologists Board of WA (now PsyBA).
Later, during Wendy-Lynne Wolman’s presidency of ICP, the theme of ͞Building bridges with all WA Clinical Psychologists’ was introduced to bring Psychologists together as a united profession. She gave talks to Clinical Psychologists in Government Departments and the Clinical College of the APS. She and her committee worked hard to raise the profile of ICP in WA, and the membership doubled. The membership / referral booklet was revamped and was well received by GPs and Psychiatrists.
Medicare rebates for Psychologists were introduced during Wendy-Lynne’s presidency in 2006 and the ICP committee attended regular meetings to investigate and communicate the changes for Clinical Psychologists as this system evolved. An ICP email list was introduced for the first time by Wendy-Lynne so that members could communicate digitally with each other about their concerns or any other professional matters. The Committee also organised discussion meetings regarding Medicare rebates for all psychologists in WA. These meetings were well received within the profession.
Jillian Horton’s contribution to ICP as President focused on raising greater awareness of ICP within the community and she raised the awareness of the probable loss of the specialist title in WA, with the move to National Registration. During his many years as ICP President, Darryl Menaglio continued work regarding the loss of our specialist title. He also and raised the awareness of ICP with politicians and the Psychology Board of Australia (PsyBA), over its approach to notifications, and preventing Clinical Psychology being moved to a position of irrelevance by generalist psychologists.
Marjorie Collins, the new ICP President from 2017 onwards, is focusing on updating ICP’s public face, revamping and updating the ICP Website and developing a focus on Continuing Professional Development events for members.