How can I recognize a fraudulent psychotherapist

How can I recognize a fraudulent psychotherapist

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Fraudulent psychotherapists can be hard to spot.

You should be concerned, though, if you are seeking help from a person who:

  • Does not have a psychotherapist’s permit
  • Promises results, whatever your problem may be
  • Insists on his specific skills or power
  • Makes disparaging remarks about work done by others, particularly professionals
  • Tries to entice you with glowing reports from satisfied clients
  • Encourages you not to seek information outside his own circle
  • Defines himself using terms like “soul therapist,” “medium,” “guide,”or “life coach,” while offering to treat a psychological disorder such as depression or anxiety
  • Talks about chakras, astrology, esoteric forces, shamanism, or balancing your energy as ways of treating a psychological disorder, or
  • Tells you that you have complete power and potential for change, and that if the treatment isn’t working, it’s because you don’t trust yourself enough or it’s because you are not opening up to the treatment.

Even if the person never uses the word "psychotherapy," if he is providing a psychological treatment intended to relieve psychological suffering or distress by transforming the way you are and the way you behave, then the law says he must either have (or obtain) a permit, or cease his activities.

How can I recognize an unlawful practice?

See our section on unlawful practice
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