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Re: “Oakland Counseling Guru Accused of Sexual Assault

Hats off to East Bay Express for pursuing and covering this story. It seems journalism is our last defense when consumer protections fail. As a licensed therapist I was appalled by the behavior of this organization's leader. I did a little research to find out how it is that he wasn't shut down sooner for practicing without a license. Part of the reason is that the Board of Behavioral Services or BBS only has jurisdiction over what they call "registrants." These are licensed or pre-licensed professionals with letters after their names such as LMFT, LCSW, & LPCC. (A separate agency oversees licensed psychologists, and per this article they did take action in regards to the alleged perpetrator's LinkedIn profile.) But the BBS oversees the vast majority of licenses in the mental health field in California. Because they have no jurisdiction over non-registrants (such as a coach or counselor) it is up to the Attorney General to to seek out some kind of prosecution for practicing without a license. I reached out to CAMFT , the statewide association of Marriage and Family Therapists, and they suggested increased pressure on the Attorney General to seek out these folks who are a danger to the consumer. Licensed clinicians can also write letters to the BBS to encourage that agency to also put pressure on the Attorney General. I'm going to do this and I hope others who read this will do it too.

Posted by MCC LMFT on 12/19/2017 at 9:25 AM

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