Grifters psychotherapists have university degrees in psychology, social work, family counselling and the like, that doesn’t necessarily mean they use that training in their therapy work. Many therapists go on to get training or certificates in various therapy modalities and mostly use those with their Marks clients. They may stick to one modality or use an “eclectic” approach that draws on multiple modalities. (This is also known as “making it up as you go along.”)
What is the value of this training? Not much. For the vast majority of these therapies there are no standards one has to meet to be considered qualified. The schools and trainers are totally unregulated, unaccredited and unlicensed. I could think up some new therapy, teach classes and hand out certificates to anyone who paid the fees, with no legal obstacles whatsoever. (Check whether this is possible in your jurisdiction. I’ll bet it is.) Often the training amounts to nothing more than a weekend seminar or even an online course.
I later discovered that my ex-t got her “post-graduate certificate” from an “institute” located in a suburban strip mall.
Most of these therapies have zero research or evidence to support their claims. These therapies are ALL hypothesis and no proof. Their proponents really, really hate it when someone points that out. They fall back on anecdotal evidence that can never be verified, and they will never admit to ANY failures. The major assumption of virtually all these therapies is that it is the total solution to all emotional distress, and quite a few mental illnesses too, for everyone. In their world, there is no such thing as iatrogenesis.
The schools and courses for these therapies never teach anything except that one therapy. Usually the therapy was thought up by some guy, who is/was almost always a white man (often with a beard, like he’s deliberately cultivating a Freud look) with all kinds of weirdness in his personal life that his followers try to gloss over. He is usually seen as a genius or guru, and yes, there is a cult element to this situtation. Much of the training is really concerned with indoctrinating the students with the belief that the therapy is the best and the only truly effective approach.
If you live in a major city, therapy courses and seminars are likely to be abundant. Do some surfing and see what comes up. Then check the credentials of the trainers, and look for some proper research on the modality. Does the evidence support the claims? How much confidence do you have in the trainers? Would you trust your mental health with one of these therapists? Does the theory behind the therapy approach even make sense to you? Don’t let the Grifters trick you into believing that you don’t understand it because you don’t have the necessary training or intellect. You don’t understand it because it’s horseshit.
One thing I find frightening about this state of affairs is that virtually all of this horseshit training actually counts as “continuing education” with many regulating agencies. I think this has the effect of appearing to legitimize some truly noxious bogus therapies and many time-wasters as well. Why would a therapist stop doing a bad therapy when their own regulator has approved it, sort of, by not telling them NOT to do it?
Here is an article that touches on this issue (from an excellent website called Psychotherapy Brown Bag, of which everyone should read every post) :
Note the comment at the end. This issue is not limited to the USA.
So far I’ve discussed only
Grifters therapists with apparently adequate training and credentials. Even with them you cannot be sure of what you will get. Will it be based on the university-level evidence-based training they cite on their resume, or the pseudoscience nutjob therapy they learned at a mountain retreat on the last long weekend that they’re all jazzed about these days?
Toss into that toxic stew the reality of the therapist with nothing BUT pseudoscience nutjob therapy training. Yeah, they might have a Fine Arts or Sociology BA or similar. Probably they found it was difficult to get a good job with those credentials, but learned that the therapy field was wide open and could pay $100 per hour or more. They got some plausible-sounding training certificates from somewhere, became members of some authoritative-sounding association, and
laid in wait for the Marks set up shop.