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When is a clinical psychologist not a clinical psychologist? When she’s Bettina Arndt

By David Futrelle

Bettina Arndt has had quite a week, so far. On Sunday, the Aussie Men’s Rights Activist and sometime-pedophile-defender was inexplicably awarded one of Australia’s highest honors for her alleged “services to gender equity,” sparking a massive outcry from feminists and others actually committed to equality.

Then yesterday the independent Australian media outlet New Matilda released the results of a longtime inquiry into her credentials, reporting that while she’s often portrayed in the Australian press as a “clinical psychologist” or even as Dr. Arndt, she is “not a doctor, has never obtained a PhD and nor, as it turns out, is she a psychologist or clinical psychologist.”

In an interview with New Matilda, as the publication reports, Arndt

strongly denied allegations she has ever sought to intentionally mislead people about her profession.

Despite these denials, a New Matilda investigation can reveal Ms Arndt has actively participated in the promotion of material which portrays her falsely as a psychologist, clinical psychologist and doctor.

These false descriptions have been widely reproduced across hundreds of articles, radio, and television interviews, as well as on Ms Arndt’s own official website, YouTube Channel, Facebook page. Ms Arndt has curated and distributed multiple videos and images where others have falsely described her title, without correction.

Indeed, as New Matilda points out, the back cover of the first edition of her own book The Sex Diaries, from 2009, identifies her as a “clinical psychologist” with “thirty-five years of experience as a sex therapist and psychologist,” which might help to explain just how this particular rumor got started.

In Australia it’s illegal to falsely claim to be a psychologist, an offense that can carry several years of jail time or a $60,000 fine.

When New Matilda asked why she didn’t bother to correct media outlets misrepresenting her credentials more often, she said:

You can’t start every interview by correcting your host. I mean I do sometimes. [I have done] many times. Many times. But I’ve done, I don’t know how many thousands of interviews in my life. When you have a two-minute television interview and I have an important message to say I’m not going to spend the first minute going through my qualifications, am I?

Actually, she could and should correct this sort of misrepresentation every time it happens. And if she doesn’t want to take up her precious airtime with a correction she could always speak to the media outlets before her interviews to ensure they identify her correctly.

The New Matilda piece also goes into some details on other controversies surrounding Arndt, such as her weird soft spot for pedophiles. It’s well worth reading in full.

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Paireon
Paireon
2 years ago

Well, that’s a nice “gotcha!” moment. Couldn’t happen to a nicer person.

Now if only all the damage she was able to do by misrepresenting herself could be undone so easily…

Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy
Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy
2 years ago

Update: she’s being investigated by the health watchdog now – excellent news.

Nop
Nop
2 years ago

@tim gueguen: She has a degree, but she’s not registered & licensed (nor has she ever been, according to the registry body), so she can’t legally practice as, or claim to be a Clinical Psychologist. Also, she’s lying when she says she’s never claimed to be one, as it was on her CV until this all blew up in her face:
https://web.archive.org/web/20100703011015if_/http://www.bettinaarndt.com.au:80/docs/cv.pdf

Drdg
Drdg
2 years ago

When you have a two-minute television interview and I have an important message to say I’m not going to spend the first minute going through my qualifications, am I?

That’s a pure, distilled bs. Correcting someone of your credentials takes, what, 10 seconds at most?

I’ve been referred to as a Dr. before, when I’m not one (yet), and I’ve always rushed to correct that mistake instantly, while feeling a hint of embarrassment. Why the embarrassment? Because as someone who has been in academia for more than 10 years, titles like Dr. or Prof. have a distinct meaning for me, they’re not just fancy words that look good with your name. They carry a reference to your achievements and expertise.
My supervisor who was a professor for decades recently left teaching to focus on research. Now, generally everyone in my field know this very well, it’s just by habit people sometimes still call him “professor”. And he always takes time (meaning, a few seconds) to remind that he is not Prof. anymore and should be referred to as a Dr. and/or senior researcher.

Also, this case shows what a shitty job the committee of the Order of Australia did if this never came up prior her getting the award.

Bina
2 years ago

She’s being investigated???

Raven
Raven
2 years ago

The New Matilda piece also goes into some details on other controversies surrounding Arndt, such as her weird soft spot for pedophiles. It’s well worth reading in full.

Only if you want to throw up. Literally.

Would probably be too much to hope that this sickening creature will be jailed finally for her audacious con actions.
I just wonder whom she might have bribed to get this award. And if she hasn’t bribed anyone and the alternative nasty sexist stereotype clearly isn’t likely (even if it was as wide-spread as purported, who’d want to sleep with this repugnant old rag?) then I’d like to know just what exactly those responsible for this unfortunate choice had dropped when they made it.

P.S. David, you might want to correct the linked piece of yours stating she’s an sex therapist.

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