2. Ads (including websites, business cards, etc.) must include licensure information as follows
a. EITHER the complete name of the license (eg “Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist,”
“Associate Clinical Social Worker,” “Marriage and Family Therapist Intern,” etc.)
b. OR the initials of the appropriate license or registration AND the number (eg MFT, Lic. No. 99999”)
3. For interns and associates, ads must include the licensure information (see #2) of the supervisor.
4. If using initials of the licensure status, write out “MFT Intern,” not “MFTI,” to avoid being misleading.
5. No one can use the terms “Psychologist” or “Psychological Services” without a Psychologist license.
Therapists correct clients’ misperceptions about their licensure status (eg calling therapist Dr. __”).
6. Ads cannot include the terms “Psychotherapy” or “Psychotherapist”
UNLESS they include the complete name of the license (option a in #2).
7. Advertising should not guarantee results (could be misleading and/or compromise informed consent).
8. It is unethical for therapists to ask clients for testimonials or use them in advertising.
9. Therapists should not directly solicit individuals to become clients (compromises informed consent and possibly creates a dual relationship).
10. It is unethical to pay anyone to refer clients.
Law and Ethics Nuts and Bolts
Several legal and ethical rules apply to the way therapists advertise and bring in clients.
1. Advertising must not be false or deceptive.