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Integrative Therapy Institute

of New Jersey

How to Find Professional Help

Unlicensed Psychotherapists

In most states the terms psychologist, social worker, psychiatric nurse, doctor, and sometimes counselor are protected by law, which means that it is against the law for anyone to describe themselves as one of these without the necessary state license. In some states terms like therapist or psychotherapist or some similar terms are not protected, meaning that anyone can use them. Therefore there are people who advertise psychotherapy-type services who have no training or qualifications.  

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Please Note:  You are using this document subject to a Creative Commons License, rather than a standard copyright.  Under the Creative Commons License, you are free to reproduce and distribute this document without prior permission.  However, you must attribute this document to the Integrative Therapy Institute of New Jersey and to Dr. Thomas Hollenbach, Ph.D.  You are not allowed to alter this document, to sell it, exploit it, or make money from it.

You want your therapist to be licensed or supervised by a licensed professional as part of their training.  States maintain lists of licensed professionals, by profession, and you can find out from them whether someone is licensed. If your therapist is under supervision you have the right to know the name and license number of the supervisor. Insurance companies generally only allow licensed professionals into their networks.

Thomas B. Hollenbach, Ph.D.