What is a “Coach” or “Behavioral Consultant”?

What Is an “ADHD coach” or “behavioral consultant?”

Who knows! And therein lies the problem.  The number of self-proclaimed “experts” in childhood disabilities continues to grow, and is truly alarming. There is a proliferation of so-called “therapists” in everything from “ADHD coaching” to “neurofeedback” to “autism specialist.” Amazingly, many of these folks do not even hold a bachelor’s degree in psychology!  How do they get away with it? The confusion about mental health providers in general amongst consumers allows these folks to masquerade, and terms like “specialist,” “counselor,” “coach,” “therapist,” and the like can be used by anyone.  Without a license, they are accountable to no one, and their training may be arbitrary or nonexistent.  Consumers beware!  If you have paid money to someone whom you feel may be illegitimate, you may be able to file a complaint with the CA Dept of Consumer Affairs, and it may constitute fraud.

Along similar lines, the worldwide web contains a plethora of information on childhood disorders…some of it good, some of it bad, and much of it incorrect or misleading. Most of the information on websites such as “About.com” regarding drugs, treatment, and other areas is being touted by persons who are far from qualified to be making these recommendations. The relative anonymity provided by the web seems to make these faceless “experts” even more audacious.  Those who are lacking the proper qualifications are doing you, your child, and the general public a disservice. At best they are feeding their own egos and at worst they are lining their pocketbooks.

Please also see:  Choosing a Provider

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Further Reading:   What is the difference between a Psychologist, a Neuropsychologist, a Licensed Educational “Psychologist,” and a School “Psychologist?”
Special education questions 
The What & Why of Psychological Assessment
Neuropsychology questions
 What Is Psychotherapy?