The Minnesota Psychological Association (MPA) presented Representative Deb Kiel, R-Crookston, their legislator of the year award at a luncheon on Thursday, December 14. Rep. Kiel was instrumental in passing legislation to support the profession of psychology, ultimately improving access to psychological services for Minnesotans.

    The Minnesota Psychological Association (MPA) presented Representative Deb Kiel, R-Crookston, their legislator of the year award at a luncheon on Thursday, December 14.  Rep. Kiel was instrumental in passing legislation to support the profession of psychology, ultimately improving access to psychological services for Minnesotans.

    Rep. Kiel’s legislation brought needed clarification to the requirements for psychology licensure.  While working on the bill, concerns arose that the language could negatively impact the work of life coaches, resulting in many frantic calls to legislators.  Representative Kiel brought representatives for psychologists and life coaches together, expertly defusing what could have been a contentious situation, allowing both groups to come to consensus so neither group’s scope of work was negatively impacted.

    “Representative Kiel’s quick intervention ameliorated a potential powder keg, which could have negatively impacted Minnesotans.  Her ability to bring together disparate groups and facilitate dialogue is priceless,” said MPA President Dr. Steven Girardeau.  

    The legislation also included provisions to increase flexibility in the timing and content of diagnostic assessment services for individuals with mental health concerns, paving the way to greater access to care that better meets individual needs.

    “It’s an honor to be recognized by the Minnesota Psychological Association,” said Rep. Kiel. “I will continue to advocate for legislation and policies that focus on mental health and the well-being of Minnesota citizens and professionals in this field.”

    Representative Kiel, first elected in 2010, is currently serving her fourth term in the Minnesota legislature. The mission of the Minnesota Psychological Association is to serve the science of psychology and its applications throughout Minnesota so the interests of public welfare and psychologists are mutually enhanced.