For those of you who may like to read reviews when looking for a therapist and have concerns when there are none, it may be interesting for you to know why you may not see them, and why I do not use them. As well, with the seeming importance of reviews in business these days, I thought this would be a helpful thing to know.
Most therapists are members of professional bodies such as ACA (Australian Counselling Association), AASW (Australian Association of Social Workers) or APS (Australian Psychological Society). Professional bodies act to ensure members are appropriately trained, maintain regular and audited ongoing professional training (to keep their title) and adhere to set ethical guidelines or Code of Ethics.
A client needs to know the therapist they are entrusting with their story is beyond reproach. A person entering into therapy needs to know that confidentiality is respected and that they are protected from any form of exploitation. Breaches of ethical practice are taken very seriously and clients are encouraged to make complaints to the professional body to which the therapist belongs if they have any concerns.
The ones listed above have a comprehensive website (as do others such as PACFA and OTBA) and a section where Complaints can be lodged.
Here are three statements from three professional bodies in relation to testimonials and reviews:
Counselors who use testimonials do not solicit them from current clients nor former clients nor any other persons who may be vulnerable to undue influence (ACA Code of Ethics, 2014, C.3.b).
Psychologists do not solicit testimonials from current therapy clients/patients or other persons who because of their particular circumstances are vulnerable to undue influence (Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct, 2010, 5.05).
Social workers should not engage in solicitation of testimonial endorsements (including solicitation of consent to use a client’s prior statement as a testimonial endorsement) from current clients or from other people who, because of their particular circumstances, are vulnerable to undue influence (NASW Code of Ethics, 2017, 4.07.b).