Originally Posted by wigflip
Treading lightly as an outsider/prospective here, but do you think that most people who initially seek (or are somehow mandated to acquire) mental health care understand the differences in scope of practice between various mental health subfields without someone overtly explaining it to them?* Most of the laypeople I know, including academics in fields other than psych, lump everyone together in one category or use "psychiatrist" when they mean "psychologist" or "psychologist" when they mean "LMFT."
*A genuine question, not sassy-challenge.
I have seen quite the range of knowledge. Some people are pretty familiar with the system and some have no clue. Some ask more questions and some seem fairly apathetic about the whole thing. When I engage in this discussion with my patients about how I am an unlicensed postdoctoral fellow, they seem to appreciate it.
My point is that folks should be conservative. I think it is important to educate people so that they are aware of the limitations of your credentials, especially if they know less about the system. For me, if I see medical specialist who calls herself "Dr. X" then I assume she is credentialed in that specialty. If I went in for a surgical consultation and a neurologist ended up seeing me, I'd expect them to tell me that they are not a surgeon. That's my point...the Doctor of Divinity should probably explain this to folks when they are working as an LPC in a mental health clinic. They don't have a doctorate in providing mental health services.
At the extreme level, it reminds me of Marcus Bachmann, who got an online PhD in Liberal Arts/Interdisciplinary Studies with an "emphasis" in clinical psychology (unaccredited), but says he has a "PhD - clinical psychology" on his website. "Dr. Bachmann" is the same guy who is practicing without a license and trying to turn homosexual people straight at his mental health clinic.
Think Dr. Bachmann should tell people he is a Dr. of "Interdisciplinary Studies" and note that he is unlicensed at the doctoral level? Well, he calls himself "Dr. Bachmann" but I'll at least give him credit for never overtly calling himself a "clinical psychologist."