Checking Credentials & Licensure
If you meet someone on the internet and they say they are a therapist, don’t be afraid to ask for proof. You can ask for their licensure or certification number and ask what organization they licensed or certified through. If they are truly licensed/certified they will be more than willing to provide you with the information. There are numerous ways you can check licensure. Some licensing boards are located online and have searchable databases. Please do not rely on that information alone. I have included a page for you to view the many state licensing boards. There is at the very least a phone number and address for each license board. Try to become familiar with some of the different licenses and credentials. Hiring someone who is licensed or certified online helps you the consumer to have some kind of recourse should something go awry. However, it is important to remember that just because a therapist is licensed or certified does not guarantee competence.
Start with ABCs of Internet Therapy to find out as much background information about online counseling as you can, including the history. You check licensure by visiting the state boards page to obtain a phone number, address and many times an URL also. You can also go to PsychCentral to see if they you can find the person in an online database. Please remember if you do not find someone in the database, it would be appropriate to follow up by calling the licensing board directly since there is no replacement for talking to a human being (computer errors have been known to happen). Consumers who would like to engage in some sort of online counseling or therapy may be hesitant to do so without verification that the person they are writing or talking to online has accurately represented their academic and therapy credentials. Read an article called Therapist Credentials: The Truth Revealed about the professional credentials of psychotherapists.
AMA Physician Select – This site provides information on virtually every licensed physician in the United States and its possessions, including more than 650,000 doctors of medicine (MD) and doctors of osteopathy or osteopathic medicine (DO). All physician credential data have been verified for accuracy and authenticated by accrediting agencies, medical schools, residency training programs, licensing and certifying boards, and other data sources.
American Board of Professional Psychology – A psychologist may be listed on this site if they are Board Certified members. Not mandatory.
National Register of Health Providers in Psychology – Membership is not required. It does require setting up a free account. But searching the database is free.
I am not a health care professional. I am an abuse survivor. The resources on
this site are for information and education only. Information on this website is meant to support
not replace the advice of a licensed health care or mental health care professional. Please consult your own physician for health care advice.
last revised: 07/21/05