So let's say I would like to give life advise to people that is spiritually based.

If I make it clear I am not a licensed Therapist or Psychologist.

Is this acceptable?

  • I don't know if it's acceptable by general social convention, but it is legal. Is that what you're asking?
    – user6726
    Sep 6, 2018 at 3:52
  • @user6726 yes. This is law.se isn't it. The idea is that I would help patients with out being licensed.
    – William
    Sep 6, 2018 at 3:53
  • 1
    It depends upon which jurisdiction's laws apply. The law governing occupational licensing and advertising of occupations varies considerably between countries and between states within the U.S. For example, some jurisdictions require certain things like recognition by an existing recognized denomination to hold yourself out as clergy. In Saudi Arabia doing this would almost county as a confession of guilt of the capital crime of sorcery, or as heresy. Russia requires licensure for religious institutions and occupations, as does China.
    – ohwilleke
    Sep 6, 2018 at 17:32

2 Answers 2


You cannot call yourself anything that is deceptive or misleading.

Given that "Spiritual Councillor Practitioner" doesn't mean anything you should be OK.

However, be aware that if you give advice in a professional capacity and people act on that advice to their detriment then they can sue you.

That said, taking money from people for the provision of a service for which you do not have any particular qualifications may be unethical and could get you in some kind of hot water.

  • 2
    The dig at the asker's proposed title is entirely unnecessary and inappropriate. Please Be Nice.
    – user4657
    Sep 7, 2018 at 5:01
  • 2
    @Nij I disagree, taking money off people through their gullibility by providing a non-existent service while not necessarily illegal is unethical and should be called out as such.
    – Dale M
    Sep 7, 2018 at 5:18
  • 1
    That's not what Stack Exchange is for, and the new COC is specifically about exactly this kind of commentary.
    – user4657
    Sep 7, 2018 at 6:10
  • 2
    @Nij point taken - I have rephrased my answer.
    – Dale M
    Sep 10, 2018 at 4:17
  • 1
    Calling spiritual counseling a "non-existent mumbo-jumbo service" is insulting to the OP's (and others') religious beliefs. This answer still doesn't align with the Be Nice policy.
    – user17707
    Sep 10, 2018 at 16:02

It is not just what you call yourself - it is what you do and what you hold yourself out as doing, beyond the catchy name.

In California, for example -

The issue would be if you were performing a service that was regulated by a state to only livened professionals. In California Psychologists and Marriage and Family Counselors are regulated under two separate code sections. If you were accused of being an unlicensed psychologists the exception you would rely on would be under the Business and Professional Code 2900

  1. Exemption of other professions . . . or duly ordained members of the recognized clergy, or duly ordained religious practitioners from doing work of a psychological nature consistent with the laws governing their respective professions, provided they do not hold themselves out to the public by any title or description of services incorporating the words "psychological," "psychologist," "psychology,

If you are mistaken for an unlicensed Marriage and Family Therapist, a different rule (BPC 4980) applies -

4980.01 b) This chapter shall not apply to any priest, rabbi, or minister of the gospel of any religious denomination when performing counseling services as part of their pastoral or professional duties . . .

If you perform the covered services under a pseudo-religious guise you might have a hard time meeting the criteria of either. Another alternative is "Coach". However, in CA, I do not think a coach coach can address metal illness or delve into your past.

I recommend looking into the laws in the state you are planing to practice in.

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