Dr. John D. Perry — the psychologist who created the first insertable EMG sensors in 1975 — is now offering on-line supervision (“mentoring”) of PMD candidates in accordance with BCIA policies — thanks to the internet.
In 2003, after a decade of lobbying by Perry and others, the Biofeedback Certification Institute of America (BCIA) approved a new specialty Certification in Pelvic Muscle Dysfunctions. PMD includes both urinary and fecal incontinence and retention, as well as acute and chronic pain syndromes, such as levitor ani syndrome, vaginismus, vestibulitis and more complicated conditions such as vulvodynia. These standards are expected to lead to more complete insurance coverage at higher reimbursement rates.
The new Certification requirements include 24 hours of “didactic instruction” in both the medical conditions and the electronic instruments used to evaluate and treat them. In addition, 52 hours of experience are required, including 30 hours of clinical training, 4 hours of practicum, 12 hours direct supervision by a qualified clinical mentor and 6 hours of written case histories for review. Finally there is a 50-item multiple choice exam.
Candidates will treat their own patients in existing clinical facilities under local employment and supervision in accord with state laws. They will submit weekly case materials and computer printouts to Dr. Perry via email, preferably with scanned attachments, or by facsimile. The supervision can also include “face-to-face” meetings using on-line Instant Messenger services, such as Yahoo, MSN, and Netmeeting.
In 2000 Dr. Perry received the AAPB Presidential Recognition Award for service to the field. In 2001 he received the Adler Award for outstanding contributions to the the Biofeedback Association. Fees for Dr. Perry’s supervision will be based on several factors, including the amount of income the candidate derives from each patient session.
BCIA will allow “grandparenting” of experienced clinicians who have over 2,000 hours of clinical experience in pelvic muscle biofeedback. They also provide for a Special Review of persons who don’t all the basic requirements, including licensure in a healthcare discipline.
BCIA has been certifying clinicians in “General Biofeedback” since 1981, and in EEG or “Neurofeedback” for more than a decade. BCIA Certification is generally credited with encouraging more insurance companies to cover more types of “biofeedback” at better reimbursement rates.