"Unlicensed Psychotherapists"

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by jdawgg, Nov 29, 2010.

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  1. TanyaCAtoCO

    TanyaCAtoCO

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    Can any one help me get more info? I'm moving from CA to CO (Fort Collins area). I have a Masters in Counseling Psych and have worked at 2 different counseling centers as a therapist. In CA I have been working towards licensure, but would need a few more years to finish all the required client hours to become licensed in CA. Since I am now moving to CO, I am unsure of how to find a job in which I could obtain hours towards licensure. I called Jewish Family Service in CO (I was working for JFS in CA) and asked about getting a job there, but they said they only hire people who are still in school and that I would be considered an "unlicensed therapist" and not an "intern". In CA you are a "trainee" while still in school and an "intern" after school, before you are licensed. I want to become licensed in CO. Please help me navigate the path to becoming licensed in Co as when I spoke to DORA and other MFT places, they tell me just to read the site, but it doesn't really help with where to get a job. Thanks
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2011
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  3. MNGradToBe12

    MNGradToBe12

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    I was not aware that the Hypnotoad was practicing in Colorado. And without a license, no less. :eek:
     
  4. futureapppsy2

    futureapppsy2 Assistant professor Gold Donor SDN Moderator 7+ Year Member

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    All glory to hypnotoad! Hypnotoad on Ice! :laugh:
     
  5. aequitasveritas

    aequitasveritas PhD 7+ Year Member

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    uhh...point being?
     
  6. Darrengold

    Darrengold

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    If one were to thoroughly review the posts on this forum about unlicensed psychotherapy they may see what I see. In almost every post in defense of licensure requirement the manifestations of mental illness are obvious. The examples are abundant. I'd be happy to point them out if anyone is interested.
     
  7. ClinicalABA

    ClinicalABA 5+ Year Member

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    Please do.
     
    wesleysmith likes this.
  8. smalltownpsych

    smalltownpsych 2+ Year Member

    Anybody want to take a bet on whether or not this person posts again?

    I also wanted to state that I find that the use of the phrase "manifestations of mental illness are obvious" is ignorant and rife with prejudice and stereotypes of people who have the various cognitive, emotional, and interpersonal difficulties that we treat so I will be glad when they don't come back.
     
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  9. experienceisknowledge

    experienceisknowledge

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    I think that what you're saying is awefully prejudice and extremely ignorant. What exactly makes schooling any different than life experience? involvement in circumstance any different than a classroom? I have schooling. But I can assure you that spending those hours in the classroom learning about the "realities of the field", taking test after test, involved and intrigued with my studies- didn't teach me even a small fraction of the things I have learned through life experience. I may not have my masters or my doctorate, so I may not be able to diagnose or prescribe. However I have received my bachelors in psychology with a minor in corrections, and I'll tell you? It was a waste of time. For people like you who think that you have the right to be bad mouthing an entire group of people who are out there trying to make a living helping others in their own ways? Shows one of the largest problems with the field of psychology/psychotherapy altogether. That problem is entitlement and delusions of grandeur once you receive your diplomas. It's more about you than it is about the client! I will receive my masters and doctorate some day. But while I finish schooling I choose to spend my time as a psychotherapist in Colorado helping people. Truly helping. so please reply! Bad mouth my post. Make yourself sound even more ignorant. Show the world that you are an entitled person who only cares about his/her recognition. Because psychotherapy is about helping others, not about YOU. And one last thing? That exam is harder than any I took in school. I dare you to take it WITHOUT HELP in a days time without studying for a month or more. I bet you can't pass it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017
  10. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    Whoah there, killer! No need to revive a long dead thread because someone managed to somehow hurt you in the feels. Go ahead and practice unlicensed, but you're not a therapist, you're a life coach. Nothing wrong with that, just call it what it is and move on with your life.
     
  11. PSYDR

    PSYDR Psychologist 10+ Year Member

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    Says he/she learned nothing in school. Says school is useless. Says he/she is going to go back to school though. Derides a group for making judgement on a different group. Calls other people ignorant.
     
  12. jmiah717

    jmiah717

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    I guess I'm in the mood to bang my head into a wall, so here goes:

    I agree with what was said about calling yourself a life coach, not a psychotherapist. There are standards for practicing psychotherapy and if you haven't met them, you aren't a psychotherapist. I don't care what Colorado says. Could you be helping people? Sure. Could you be harming some? Most likely. Taking a legal exam is not the same as learning the nuance and subtlety of psychotherapy based on researched and data driven methods. You certainly can't be doing that because you need to be licensed. So what are you doing, exactly?

    Experience....whose experience, exactly? See this is the problem with "life experience" being used as a qualification for a job or a field. There's no way to quantify such a thing in any meaningful way. You think people with MSW's, MA's, and PhD's don't have life experience? I just find it sad that so many unsuspecting people out there are trying to get help with their very real problems and they have to run into people masquerading around as some sort of expert. This also makes the rest of us look bad when the unsuspecting client says they had a "psychotherapist" before and they didn't help them. Or worse yet, did something ethically or clinically inappropriate because they AREN'T A CLINICIAN!.

    Nobody's schooling teaches them more than life experience, that's not the point. The job of an actual therapist is NOT to help clients navigate their lives in the mirror image of the therapist using the therapist's "life experience" as a guide. That's called being a charlatan and it's shameful. The only delusions I've read about are that you're a therapist. Nothing makes me shudder more than the phrase, "I'm helping people." Ugh. I hope you do more good than harm, for the sake of your poor duped clients.
     
  13. rerope

    rerope 2+ Year Member

    Wait
    Wait so master's and graduate degree holders DON'T have life experience? Your point is that a therapist works for others and not themselves. Those who believe that just relying on life experience are doing a disservice to their clients by not learning as much as you can and widening your toolbox of techniques to include as many ebps/treatments/interventions as possible (which includes proper supervision by someone more experienced). As much as I've learned being one of the underserved groups I hope to serve in the future, that doesn't mean I know everything or I don't have some important hang-ups to dispel.

    Does this mean if you meet a client you can't help you won't encourage them to see A reputable licencensed therapist who can do a more effective job than you? Because that reeks of a big ego rather than altruism.
     
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  14. foreverbull

    foreverbull 2+ Year Member

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    1. A bachelor's in psychology most certainly won't teach you anything about providing therapy, agreed! The graduate degrees are for specializing in therapy practice, etc.

    Here's the thing: I probably thought the same way you did before I went to grad school. "I can help people without training!" Well, yes, and you can also do damage without even realizing it without the proper training and guidelines to practice within. Maybe you'd do "therapy" out of your own home, inviting a host of risks. Maybe you'd self-disclose so much about your life that you'd dissolve any professional boundaries and clients would be confused about your relationship and why they're paying you to be friends. Maybe clients would want to date you and you'd be okay with that, even though you have more power and it would be abusive and exploitative. Ethics is something you do learn with training and schooling, and it's not something I learned from my own life experiences at all. My concern is that you might be well-intentioned, but with poor ethics because you simply don't know them, thus unintentionally causing harm. And what if your client is suicidal, so you go out of your way to drive him/her to the hospital and take care of him/her...now your client calls you every day; now you have some serious boundary issues that you don't know how to handle because you didn't practice ethically. There are a whole host of issues that could arise because you don't have any rules or guidelines to practice within. It's risky for both you and your client, and this is what I learned from graduate school and training that I couldn't get from "life experience."

    2. Entitlement and grandeur: I understand what you're saying, but I disagree. After pursuing graduate degrees and getting 5+ years of training before practicing independently (and still practicing within strict guidelines), we have a right to protect the profession from people who want to charge the same thing after zero training. I think it's fair that we can be called psychologists and those who haven't had the training can't. Otherwise, we would have thousands upon thousands of people calling themselves "psychologists," charging the same thing, practicing "therapy" without any ethics or guidelines to protect themselves or clients from harm, thus leading to harm..it would be the downfall of the entire profession, and many people would be harmed. I shudder at that thought. We got the training because we value the profession and value the foundation it was built upon...years and years of research, training, and learnings over several decades distilled into a graduate degree so that we can be most effective at helping others, using well-researched/well-thought out principles and theories to guide us. To want to call oneself a therapist or psychologist without that foundation is spitting in the face of those who did years of research and wrote about theories to make therapists more effective.

    If you want to be a spiritual advisor/shaman and get that training from spiritual mentors, by all means, that would be a good alternative that wouldn't infringe on the field of psychology/therapy. You'd still have some of the same ethical risks, but it's also a way to help people within a particular framework (spiritual advisor, etc.), which you could do. In fact, I know a social worker who went on a few vision quests and had that training, and I respect her. I also know a spiritual teacher who (aside from starting a non-profit) had years of one-on-one training/mentorship in meditation/self-awareness work, is truly gifted as a teacher/guide, and I deeply respect him. He practices his own kind of spiritual guidance, and that's fine. It's in a completely separate area than psychology/therapy, but I want to note, again, even these individuals had specialized training, and didn't just go out and try to "help people" without knowing themselves and their own limitations. Main point being: training is important, regardless of the field/profession.

    Life experience certainly helps with empathy and perspective when working with clients, but isn't enough to practice ethically and effectively, unfortunately. It's also the expertise that comes with training.
     
  15. modestmousktr

    modestmousktr 2+ Year Member

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    lmaoooo i get sick a lot, can i call myself a nurse or medical doctor from my life experience?
     
  16. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    I went to space camp and have watch the entire Star Teek Next Generation series...I'm basically an astronaut.
     
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  17. experienceisknowledge

    experienceisknowledge

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    Very well put. I agree with your thoughts about ethics. Wholeheartedly. If anything, this would be the biggest issue as far as using life experience as credentials. I believe it would be more geared towards feeling a personal obligation or desire to intervene or assist in ways that would be extremely inappropriate and totally against all codes of ethics. That would be a fine line and a hard one to walk. I appreciate your outlook in that. I have nothing negative to say about your reply whatsoever, I appreciate your constructive criticism and opinion. In regards to your statement about psychologists and psychotherapists in defining roles, I think I understand your viewpoint... Psychologists, (at least in my own mind) are trained and carry a certain weighty and respectable role versus psychotherapists. To me, psychotherapists are not psychiatrists, psychologists or LPC's. They are more spiritually guided and directed, opinion based versus DSM defining with a goal of labelling and seeking a diagnoses for an inficudual. Maybe that comes from my being in Colorado. Who knows.








     
  18. experienceisknowledge

    experienceisknowledge

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    This is a terrible comparison. Psychology and anything associated is about mental health. Not about physical ailments. No, you couldn't call yourself any of those because you get sick. Obviously. However if you have gained the knowledge to guide others, and give support in An ETHICAL WAY (thank you for the criticism bull), then I think that it is only fair that one be able to be titled a psychotherapist. If you learned all necessary lessons and we're able to perform the same tasks as a doctor in the same ways a typical doctor would perform them? Even if you or they learned those things from being sick so often? Then I feel it is common sense that that person should be able to consider themselves a doctor!! My entire point with my reply, is that a piece of paper and a registration with the state, a license number and a business with your name on the door, does not add any credibility to your capabilities, nor your understanding. It is your learning, whether it be through school, life experience or bill nye that is what is important.
     
  19. experienceisknowledge

    experienceisknowledge

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    Yes those people do have life experience. What I meant to convey is that I felt that if you have gone through similar things and learned the best ways of dealing with those things, then that would make you just as qualified to address them as someone who has learned those things through schooling. Maybe even more qualified, granted there are many things (such as the points that foreverbull pointed out) like ethics and the proper relationship that one has with their clients, or dsm criteria, etc that would also need to be present for said person to be as qualified. I just don't think that one should HAVE TO HAVE GONE TO SCHOOL AND FOLLOW THE SAME NORM THAT EVERYONE ON HERE IS SO UP IN ARMS ABOUT. if a person can do the job just as well, does it matter how they got their training?!

    Yes they
     
  20. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist 10+ Year Member

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    ignorant statement

    K. You are right. And the whole rest of the world (that came up with these ideas and supports and reinforces them) is wrong.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2017
  21. PSYDR

    PSYDR Psychologist 10+ Year Member

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    So your standards are superior to those created by society.

    If you had an education, you'd know that this is literally a common question.", that self assessment has been demonstrated to be basically meaningless, that no psychotherapy uses the therapists own personal experience as a bench mark, etc.

    I'll bet I could find a 6 year old that could drive pretty well. Doesn't mean that the state should let em.
     
  22. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    Can some people perform the duties of certain licensed professionals without the same amount of schooling/training? A very small number probably could. If we didn't require licenses and training, a much, much, much, larger number would say that they could, leading to untold damage. Training and licensure exist to limit damage and protect the public. It exists as the lowest bar, and it is already extremely low, to that end. That bar exists to limit the number of shysters, and to limit the stupidity of people who don't know what they don't know.

    If you want to do your own brand of "life experience" hogwash or whatever you see it is, hang out your sign as a life coach or whatever. That way people know what they're getting, instead of someone falsely presenting their credentials as a psychotherapist and possibly harming people in the process.
     
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  23. psych.meout

    psych.meout

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    See, the problem here is that you're asking and answering only some of the right questions. It's not simply a matter of, "Can I learn all the same stuff through life experience that someone would learn through a traditional didactic and experiential graduate education in clinical/counseling psychology?" That's part of the equation, but questions of equal or greater importance are, "What don't I know?" and "What don't I know that I don't know?" Then, there are other questions that spring from these more general questions, especially "What harm could come from not knowing these things and not knowing that I don't know them?" Finally, consider this, whose needs are being served here by you conducting clinical services, but without the formal requisite training? Is this about the clients' needs or about your needs to feel fulfilled or make a living, but without having to go through all the work and training that everyone else in the field does?
     
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  24. rerope

    rerope 2+ Year Member

    This makes no sense...How can someone with just life experience match up or surpass to the skills of someone with life experience AND rigorous academic training? That's like saying 1=/>1+1

    Ughh I'm done with this overcompensating. I'd get more done playing slime rancher...
     
  25. foreverbull

    foreverbull 2+ Year Member

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    Well, ethics are just the tip of the iceberg, but I'm glad that you were able to get something from my comments. However, I was also speaking about psychotherapists, not just psychologists. "Psychotherapists" (is a general term for any licensed mental health therapist) also get training, but usually the term relates to master's level therapists or clinical social workers (psychologists can also be psychotherapists, but generally keep their psychologist title instead because it implies additional training). I don't see them as any more spiritual by nature....they fall under their state behavioral boards for practice as well, and they also have to diagnose per billing rules/medicare, etc. I think there might be a little confusion about the labels. Both master's in counseling and doctoral psychology are generally respectable paths, and both get trained in psychotherapy, which doesn't imply any type of spiritual practice.

    As I said, life experience counts for something, but the training (at master's or doctoral level) is what supports growth in clinical skills, understanding the role of research/best practices/competency, development of ethics, etc. which are all important components of good practice. Being supervised and honing skills and understanding of the theories are also important to practice ethically and effectively.

    Since you are so excited about practicing and seem to want to help others, why not get into a master's program and then come back and see how your perspective may change and evolve with formal training? And you'll be able to practice psychotherapy, which sounds like might be your ultimate goal. My perspective certainly changed the more training I received.
     
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  26. MCParent

    MCParent Bronze Donor 5+ Year Member

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    Life experience tells you how you got better. It does not tell you how to help others get better. Other people are different from you. People who hold onto the idea that the stuff that helps them is the stuff that helps everyone are a PITA to train. It's a shortsighted, narrow, egotistical, vain approach.
     
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  28. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    If you have a hammer, everything you see is a nail. It's the problem of not knowing what you don't know. Life experience is woefully inadequate for teaching that.
     
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  29. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    Maybe life experience expanded their internet expertise. So much that he can now work as an upper level executive at Google.
     
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