Skip to main content

Kentucky Psychology Board Tries to Shut Down Advice Columnist John Rosemond

John Rosemond has been writing a parenting column for 37 years and has written 11 parenting books.

Rosemond has been known to ruffle feathers because of his tough-love approach.

According to, he recently told the parents of a “highly spoiled underachiever” son to take electronic devices out of the boy's room and suspend his privileges until he brought his grades up.

In response, the Kentucky Board of Examiners of Psychology told Rosemond to cease-and-desist because it considers one-on-one advice to be the “practice of psychology,” which the board claims Rosemond cannot do because he doesn't have a Kentucky license.

Rosemond has filed a lawsuit to ban the Kentucky Board of Examiners of Psychology from taking any legal action to violate his First Amendment rights.

“This case is about censorship. If one thing is clear under the U.S. Constitution, it’s that the government can’t censor opinions in a newspaper,” stated Jeff Rowes, a lawyer who represents Rosemond. “Occupational licensing laws are the new censors. They’re aggressive, and they don’t think the First Amendment applies to them.”

“If the First Amendment protects advice to foreign terrorists, then it must protect the ordinary parenting advice from someone like John Rosemond."

Kerby Neill, a retired child psychologist in Kentucky, is the one who originally objected to Rosemond's column.

“If I was a physician, and I got a letter from someone I didn’t know, asking me to help them with an issue they described in cursory fashion in a letter, and I sent them a prescription for a medicine that had disastrous results, I would be hard-pressed to use free speech to justify what I’ve done,” said Neill.

However, Rosemond does not prescribe controlled substances, he writes a newspaper column, which does not require a DEA license.

Neill added: “He does not know if this child is on drugs, if the child is clinically depressed, if the child will respond to this advice by becoming suicidal.… If he writes that advice and calls himself a bar of soap I’ve got no problem. But if he writes that advice and calls himself a psychologist, that’s different.”

“His use of the title of psychologist is a violation of the title act, that’s all this is about,” stated Eva Markham, chair of the Kentucky Board of Examiners of Psychology.

Rosemond and his attorney claim the cease-and-desist letter from the Kentucky Board of Examiners of Psychology also said that giving individual advice without a Kentucky license is illegally practicing psychology.

However, the Kentucky Board of Examiners of Psychology has not tried to stop Dr. Laura Schlessinger, who does not have a Kentucky license, from giving advice on her syndicated radio show, which is broadcast in the state.

Dr. Phil McGraw gives advice on his syndicated TV show, but is not licensed in Kentucky either. The board has not tried to stop his TV show from being broadcast in the state.

Nor has the Kentucky Board of Examiners of Psychology tried to shut down other advice columns such as "Dear Ann Landers" or "Dear Abby."



Popular Video