My wife and I are receiving counseling about some marital issues. We met one time with the counselor, and my wife told him I'm depressed. He took that as fact without investigating, and pressed me to consider medication, listing several. He also did not ask about existing medications to consider interactions. As far as I know, this person has no medical license, but I'm planning to ask.

If it's the case there's no license, has this crossed the line into practicing without a license? If so, what's the appropriate action to take? More generally, is there a way to tell when the line is crossed?

  • 4
    I don't see how they would be "crossing a line"... They can recommend a medication, but you would still need a doctors prescription to obtain that medicine.
    – Ron Beyer
    Aug 7 '19 at 14:41
  • You might like to compare it to those commercials: "If you have symptoms X, Y, Z, ask your doctor about drug Q." Aug 7 '19 at 18:35

There is a world of legal difference between a doctor or counselor "pressing" you to consider meds and even suggesting several and them actually writing a prescription.

The line to cross is a non-doctor writing you a prescription for prescription meds; this has not yet happened. And 99.99% of the time, it won't happen. The counselor is licensed by the state and will clearly know their legal limits, which are an important part of their education and licensing; they are not going to risk their license or a lawsuit by doing something illegal.

If the counselor is a doctor and is able to write prescription, then they will ask you about medical history and other meds during a formal clinical visit in order to write the prescription.

If you feel the counselor may be pressing you too hard to consider meds, he may be crossing an ethical line, but that's entirely different than breaking the law. Determining if he crossed an ethical line is for his licensing board to consider, not you. You can ask the licensing board how to proceed. Ask the counselor for their license number; they will freely give it and tell you who to contact.


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