“As a person in a government position, this is unacceptable”, “undermines the credibility of the institution” – this is how Internet users comment on the post about the petition regarding the dismissal of a national consultant in the field of psychotherapy. However, the video added to the post does not show the person entrusted with this position.
Less than a month after Renata Mizerska was appointed as a national consultant in the field of psychotherapy, there is an ongoing discussion about her potential dismissal. At the end of 2023 – on December 28 – a petition to the Minister of Health on this matter was published online, signed by six organizations, including: psychologists and psychotherapists. They list specific allegations against Renata Mizerska and demand her dismissal. To support the petition she encouraged on the X platform, among others Maja Herman, president of the Polish Society of Medical Media. In the entry, she claimed, among other things, that the domestic consultant “does not have adequate qualifications, or even has counter-qualifications.” “As a result, it legitimizes pseudoscientific and pseudotherapeutic content,” she wrote.
Maja Herman argued that the petition is “super important for you, your loved ones and me”, “because without it, they will soon treat us for ‘like’, like that lady from energy transfers who will cure everything for you” (original spelling) . She attached a video to the post, showing a woman holding a brown stone saying: “It charges you with divine energy from the source. Let the energy surround you. If you accept this energy, like this video.” Subtitles were placed over the film: “Ridiculous? But you know that in a moment this is what psychotherapy in Poland may look like. Sign the online petition to dismiss the National Psychotherapy Consultant, who promotes pseudoscience in psychotherapy.”
I’m explaining to you now. When the previous government was ending, the Deputy Minister of Health appointed a National Consultant in Psychotherapy. And you could write now. Hey, Herman, what bothers you? Well, it bothers me because the woman who was appointed doesn’t have… pic.twitter.com/C7VlKxIvEg
— Maja Herman (@MajaHermanMD) January 1, 2024
Maja Herman’s entry was viewed over 225,000 times in two days. people. Some commenters thought that the attached recording showed Renata Mizerska, whom the entire post is about. “What kind of wanna-be influencer is this?! ‘Specialist'”; “Great madwoman – can she do such a stand up?!! She beats Kaszpirowski”; “Can’t it be called a meditation blanket or something like that? For me it’s on the level of those healing masses for Catholics”; “The lady makes Rei-Ki gestures and it doesn’t bother me at all, as long as she does it for herself. As a person in a government position, it is unacceptable because it undermines the credibility of the institution,” Internet users criticized (original spelling of all entries).
However, many Internet users accused the author of the post of manipulation, explaining that the woman in the recording was not Renata Mizerska. “Dear Madam, this is a bit of a manipulation, because the video does not feature Mrs. Mizerska. Perhaps she is not a person who should be a national consultant, but I don’t think she would deal with esoteric mambo jambo”; “You write about someone else, you show someone else. There is no better manipulation”; “I understand the level of controversy surrounding the new National Consultant in psychotherapy, Ms. Renata Mizerska, but I do not agree with manipulation methods. The lady mentioned in the entry is not the person from the video. We can discuss, but let’s do it ethically” – they noticed.
We explain the allegations against the new national consultant in the field of psychotherapy and who the woman from the recording that was included in the popular post is.
The petition and four main objections
Renata Mizerska was appointed as a national consultant in the field of psychotherapy on December 11, 2023. This was one of the last decisions of Ewa Krajewska – Minister of Health in the two-week government of Mateusz Morawiecki (although Mizerska was appointed by the then Deputy Minister of Health Piotr Bromber). Mizerska became the first person to hold such a function. Previously, she was the president of the Polish Psychotherapy Council, which, after being elected to a new position, wrote in a statement: “Renata Mizerska is a certified psychotherapist and supervisor (PTPG, EAGT certificates), specialist in child and adolescent psychotherapy, psychologist.”
The very next day after Mizerska’s appointment – December 12 – posts by psychologists and psychotherapists appeared on social media and expressed reservations about this choice. “The newly appointed Consultant was against specialization in psychotherapy and against the medicalization of psychotherapy. She is a supporter of expanding access to psychotherapy for people with any education, emphasizing the lack of need for clinical experience” – she wrote on platform X, Elżbieta Krawczyk-Pasławska, MD, PhD. “A person who probably has an instant psychology degree, has no clinical specialization, but has experience in business and marketing as a master’s degree in management. Rich publications: not scored, not peer-reviewed. Instead of a title – brass!” – she stated psychologist Marta Boczkowska.
On December 28, Elżbieta Krawczyk-Pasławska and Marta Boczkowska, together with psychologists Stefania Rudnik and Igor Burdalski, posted a petition online to the Minister of Health Izabela Leszczyna “regarding the dismissal of a national consultant in the field of psychotherapy”. They listed four main allegations that, in their opinion, should lead to the dismissal of Renata Mizerska:
1. “there is no information confirming the scientific achievements of the new consultant in the area of psychotherapy understood as a treatment method”; 2. “the new consultant represents the views of communities that define psychotherapy as a humanistic field, divorced from clinical understanding, divorced from psychology and psychiatry”; 3. “there is no information about the consultant’s clinical experience”; 4. “the opinion of communities representing universities and scientific institutions, the largest organizations of psychologists and psychotherapists, as well as the largest psychological and medical centers educating in psychotherapy was completely ignored.”
“Such an important and at the same time groundbreaking – due to its priority – function cannot be performed by a person about whom so much uncertainty remains. We cannot forget that having solid scientific and professional achievements builds trust in the consultant as an expert and authority in the environment, which it cannot currently take place,” we read in the petition. The signatories are: the Polish Society of Cognitive and Behavioral Therapy, the Polish Trade Union of Psychologists, the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science Poland, the Polish Society of Behavioral Psychology, the Polish Society of Clinical Psychology and the Polish Society of Diacletic-Behavioral Psychology. Within a week, over 2.2 thousand signed the petition. people.
Not a domestic consultant, but a “clairvoyant, whisperer”
The recording attached to Maja Herman’s popular post, in which the psychiatrist encouraged people to sign the petition, indeed – as many commenters suggested – it depicts a woman who is not a national consultant in the field of psychotherapy. She confirmed the author of the entry herself in the comment: to the question “But the person in the video is probably not the consultant mentioned in the text?”, she replied “No, it’s not the consultant”. And in a separate one comment she added: “He is an example. If we do not monitor the quality of psychotherapy, this may end soon!!!”.
No, this is not that consultant.
— Maja Herman (@MajaHermanMD) January 2, 2024
The woman in the video is Aneta Dorociak, who introduces herself on social media as a “clairvoyant, whisperer and Akasha master.” The entire recording published on her Facebook account on January 1, 2024.
Therefore, the post about the petition to dismiss a national consultant in the field of psychotherapy is misleading because it is illustrated with a video showing a person who has nothing to do with this position.
Main photo source: Shutterstock