Can you be a counselor or give advice (life-coach/ Self improvement) with a Bachelors degree in psychology?

I really want to do like self help, self improvement, spiritual (non-religious) counseling, life coaching…..

If you can, what are some restrictions?
For example, can you give advice (personal advice)?
etc….

I’m going to start my masters in MFT in August, but I want to do some counseling to gain experience while im doing it. I’m really entrepreneurial, so I want to do this as a business, like doing group and individual sessions. Any advice; anything helps. Thanks all!

It is against the law in many areas to present yourself as a counselor, social worker, psychologist, etc.without having a state license and the appropriate degree, which is at least a master’s. In your course work for an MFT you will have some kind of internship, where you will learn how to do counseling under the supervision of an experienced therapist. Most therapists, even those in private practice have a supervisory or consulting relationship with another therapist to help them when they run into difficult situations or feel they are moving in the wrong direction with a client. Would you know what to do with a suicidal client? With someone who is being abused? Will you know when a depressed person needs referral to a psychiatrist? Do you know what resources are available to help people? Suppose someone was unhappy with you as a therapist and decided to sue you for malpractice? Counseling is more than just having a pleasant chat with someone or handing out advice. There are issues of timing, deciding what approach will work with a particular client, ethical issues- all kinds of things that I doubt you are prepared for at this point.

Please, do not attempt a practice without supervision. At the very least, it is unethical and as I mentioned above, likely to be illegal.

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2 Responses to Can you be a counselor or give advice (life-coach/ Self improvement) with a Bachelors degree in psychology?

  1. Connie says:

    It is against the law in many areas to present yourself as a counselor, social worker, psychologist, etc.without having a state license and the appropriate degree, which is at least a master’s. In your course work for an MFT you will have some kind of internship, where you will learn how to do counseling under the supervision of an experienced therapist. Most therapists, even those in private practice have a supervisory or consulting relationship with another therapist to help them when they run into difficult situations or feel they are moving in the wrong direction with a client. Would you know what to do with a suicidal client? With someone who is being abused? Will you know when a depressed person needs referral to a psychiatrist? Do you know what resources are available to help people? Suppose someone was unhappy with you as a therapist and decided to sue you for malpractice? Counseling is more than just having a pleasant chat with someone or handing out advice. There are issues of timing, deciding what approach will work with a particular client, ethical issues- all kinds of things that I doubt you are prepared for at this point.

    Please, do not attempt a practice without supervision. At the very least, it is unethical and as I mentioned above, likely to be illegal.References : Thirty years as a therapist

  2. Life Coach Nicole says:

    Life coaching is currently unregulated in the US so there is no specific license that is required to work as a life coach unlike other mental health fields. I suggest looking at what the specific restrictions are concerning any use of the MFT designation before conducting your activities.References : http://www.lifecoachcourses.info

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