Avoiding mental health scams: Choose a well-practiced therapist
Mental Health Counseling License Categories: MidSouth Mental Health "How To" blog series
It’s true: There are scams in mental health care, ethics code violations, practitioners operating outside their knowledge scope of care. To ensure you’ve partnered with the right person, consider what their licensure letters mean ahead of time to better understand legal practice guidelines. It can seem like an overwhelming step, so I’ve synthesized the mandatory TN and Federal practice guidelines, carefully outlining each title’s strengths, limits, and non-negotiables.
To start, let’s consider the legal rights and responsibilities of a Licensed Professional Counselor, the initial, formal professional counseling position.
Licensed Professional Counselor: According to the TN Department of Health, a LICENSED PROFESSIONAL COUNSELOR (without a mental health service provider classification) exists to:
Provide “individuals, groups, organizations, or the general public any service involving the application of principles, techniques, methods, or procedures of the counseling profession, including appraisal activities, as defined by the law, counseling, consulting and referral activities” in order to assist “with their personal, social, career or educational development as they pass through life stages.”
Let me be very clear:
A LICENSED PROFESSIONAL COUNSELOR IS NOT A THERAPIST. AN LPC SHOULD NEVER ATTEMPT TO PROVIDE MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT
for diagnoses like:
depression, anxiety, bipolar mood disorders, emotional disorders, opposition defiance disorder, and behavioral disorders,
attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder,
autism spectrum disorders,
obsessive-compulsive disorder, borderline personality disorder, narcissism, split personality disorder, personality disorders, etc. schizophrenia, etc.
If you suffer from a mental experience deep emotions and behaviors that derail your day-to-day activities, occupations, or personal fulfillment, must work with a legally recognized practitioner with LPC-MHSP or higher professional classification. Most importantly, you are the greatest, most accurate litmus tester for your personal wellness.
To be short, partnering with undereducated practitioner working outside their educational scopes is like taking apart a motorized vehicle without any automotive awareness or experience, then seeking to drive the irreconcilable vehicle. Inadequate and misleading attention to mental health wounds is a malpractice.
For a visual description, check out the visual below. For more information, speak with a trustworthy therapist with mental health service provider, a registered psychologist, a Licensed Professional Social Worker, or someone meeting the TN/US requirements to practice in the mental health field.
For further information: Credible online resources
2018 Psychology Degree Information article Psychology 411 website, an online resource delineates each Psychology Degree level and Specialty Degree certifications for specific practice environments, including:
Clinical Child, Counseling,
Clinical Health, Sport,
Forensic, Business, etc.)
and Frequently Asked Questions
Psychology 411 is formally affiliated with The Top 50 Psychology 411s and Accredited Business professional organizations
Then, lastly, what article is among my favorite of all time: The National Conference of State Legislature blog, contextualizing current events to identify their implications and influence within the mental health community.