August 6, 2021

A psychologist is suing the University of Florida for $1.2 million for allegedly failing to adequately train her on psychological construct theory and practices in a treatment for depression.

The lawsuit filed Monday in Seminole County Court argues that the university failed to train a psychologist who teaches a course on psychological constructs to address the “unnecessary” training of students on mental health issues in an attempt to prevent the “dangerous and dangerous-looking” mental health diagnoses they have in common.

In its complaint, the Florida State University alleges that Lisa Smith, a psychologist with the university’s School of Nursing, was responsible for training her students to be “critical thinkers.”

“We were aware of the negative effects of the ‘cognitive dissonance’ of these students’ inability to engage with mental health concerns, but the university did not adequately train its staff to respond to these concerns,” the lawsuit says.

“Instead, the school was unable to provide adequate instruction to prevent students from being confused about what is meant by ‘critical thinking.'”

Smith was one of a handful of psychologists who was forced to resign after being accused of practicing mental health care that was inappropriate for the job.

She had been a faculty member at the university since 2007, and the suit says she is the only member of the faculty to have been fired.

The complaint does not name the university.

It does not explain how the university responded to the allegations, and its attorneys declined to comment.

Florida State University spokeswoman Jessica Miller said the university had no comment.