Is Your Therapist For Real? Practicing Without Credentials

Is your therapist for real? As in practicing with appropriate licenses and/or credentials? I mean, there can actually be “therapists” out there who lack the necessary education and credentials and/or licensure to practice.

When I worked in various agencies before entering private practice, it was never required of me to prove to my clients that I was indeed a therapist for real—I worked there, so obviously I was. Or was I?

Yes. I was. Looking back, though, I wonder how many of my employers even actually verified all of my credentials.

When I began my own practice, every now and then a client did ask about my education or experience. Whereas I freely shared this info, for the longest time I didn’t think it was necessary to display my diploma and other certificates in my office. Wouldn’t that be kinda showy?

Actually, no. Simply put, clients have the right to know that you’re for real. So now, all the framed evidence of the “letters after my name” hangs in my waiting room. Ha, joke’s on you—they’re fake! Anyone with access to the internet can…

Kidding.

In the 1999 film Mumford a man relocates to a small community named Mumford where he pretends to be a psychologist named, oddly enough, Mumford. It seems that in his previous life, Mumford—the man, not the town—had learned something about relationships even in the midst of some serious drug problems:

For some reason, probably because I was too stoned to talk, everywhere I went people would talk to me. Tell me everything. Their problems, their inner most thoughts. Sometimes they needed advice, but most of the people just wanted someone to listen.

Rehab then taught the man not yet named Mumford even more about how help is given and received.

When he moves on to become a fake shrink in Mumford the town and Mumford the movie, Mumford the man is remarkably successful—and greatly appreciated for his shrink-like capabilities. As you may have already guessed, no one has bothered to check out the credentials of this likable newcomer.

Eventually, though, in Mumford the movie and in Mumford the man and in Mumford the town, things do fall apart—as they should, given the deceptive circumstances.

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