3-Days Course = Certified Therapist? Is it Legit?

“Certification in Adult Psychological Assessment”

“Certification in Expressive Art Therapy”

“Certification in Professional Adult Psychotherapy” and many more…

Wow! According to the NHMS 2017, 27% of Malaysians have mental problems due to stress. By attending these courses I can be a certified therapist and provide services to those living with mental health illnesses. Aren’t these courses providing me an opportunity to go into the business of mental health?

Recently, I had come across several advertisements on Facebook promoting these courses to the public. Guess how much it costs for each certification course? ONLY RM4800!!! These courses only required one to attend a three-day workshop. By measuring the costs & benefits, it sounds great. Should I enroll myself to these courses?

The answer from me is a straightforward NO based of several reasons below:

  1. In Malaysia, to become a mental health professional (eg. psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, counselor) an individual need to undergo years of supervised training, which may take up 1000 of hours or even more to become competent in providing mental health services. How much could I learn in these three-day certification courses?
  2. Meanwhile, for individuals who wished to practice in the field of mental health in Malaysia, he or she has to be registered under a recognized body / organization. For example, you may search for the name of psychiatrists at the “National Specialist Register”, a clinical psychologist with the “Malaysian Society of Clinical Psychology”, and for a counselor’s eligibility with the “Lembaga Kaunselor Malaysia”. Can these courses ensure your eligibility to register under respective bodies and competence to practice in Malaysia?
  3. Who are the trainers providing these courses? Based on the advertisements shown, there were no detailed information about the trainers including their education, working experiences, affiliation and etc. How am I going to make sure that my money doesn’t go wasted?
  4. These courses are accredited by “some” association. Yes, I would agree that accreditation is indeed important. Yet, who are these bodies who accredited this program? From similar advertisements, both the organization and the association who accredited these courses are founded by the same individual. Isn’t this sufficient enough to cause suspicions in you? Maybe not, but to me, I wouldn’t believe their accreditation easily.

Based on the FOUR points above, I would like to encourage the readers to inform any of your friends who are interested to enroll into these certification courses to think twice before progressing any further.

Additional information: for an individual to be certified as a therapist (music, play and etc.) he or she has to undergo several levels of training and not just a three-day course.

Read this. Think Twice.

** Note: You can also check the legitimacy of the trainer with the following bodies:

Counsellor –  Lembaga Kaunselor Malaysia : https://www.lkm.gov.my/

Clinical Psychologist – Malaysian Society of Clinical Psychology: http://malaysiaclinicalpsychology.com

Posted in Psychology articles.

Hi, I am Zong Yan, a clinical psychologist, graduated from UKM in year 2017. Currently also an educator in a private tertiary institution teaching degree in psychology.

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