Doctors as Referral Sources

Doctors are an excellent source of referrals for unlicensed and alternative practitionersSome people believe that there’s a big war going on between conventional and complementary and alternative medicine. But I have news for you: the war’s over!

Physicians now routinely recommend complementary and alternative medicine to their patients. No, I didn’t say, “they roll their eyes, but they’ve given up arguing.” I said they “routinely recommend.” The doctor brings the topic up. The doctor makes the pitch. The doctor refers patients to specific practitioners — if they know any good ones.

To paraphrase an article in JAMA Internal Medicine from March 9, 2011, When Conventional Medical Providers Recommend Unconventional Medicine: Results of a National Study:

In a 2007 study including 23,393 respondents, 2.9% answered “yes” when asked if they had used a mind-body therapist in the last 12 months because it was recommended by a health provider. Extrapolated to the whole US population, that’s 6.4 million successful referrals per year. Read More...

Why Join a Professional Organization?

Licensed professionals like to claim that “unlicensed people can’t be trusted because they have no formal code of ethics and no committee that hears complaints.” Setting aside the crucial issue of whether this kind of formalism has  any real effect on misconduct (and, if so, in which direction), the premise itself is false. Lots of professional organizations have codes of ethics and compliance boards.

I belong the the National Guild of Hypnotists, and it has an ethics committee that can throw me out if I do something they find unacceptable. But more importantly, if I mess up and someone complains, they’ll try to set me straight first. There are some very good people on that committee, because the best of the best always believe in the power of helping others. Read More...

What the DSM and the Medical Model are For

ketchupThe “medical model of mental illness” and the new fifth edition of the DSM (DSM-V) have been kicked around by a lot of people recently. But let’s not lose track of the fact that the DSM serves a useful purpose. Most people wouldn’t put ketchup on everything, but they won’t claim that ketchup is useless, either. So, too, with the DSM.

Let’s keep in mind that DSM stands for “diagnostic and statistical manual,” and its main purpose is to allow different professionals to talk to each other with an agreed-upon vocabulary, and for records and statistics to be kept that had an agreed-upon meaning. This function is essential!

For example, suppose a guy goes on the rampage and breaks 57 windshields with a baseball bat because (he claims) this is the only way to keep the vampires at bay. After the sound of broken glass dies away, any number of people want to know, “Now what?” — starting with “jail or hospital?” and continuing on down the line. What to do depends on what’s going on with this dude, and that’ll influence actions by the cops, the courts, the hospital, the health-insurance company, the prosecuting and defense lawyers, his placement or probation if found guilty, and on and on. Read More...

Book Recommendations

The Obvious Expert

The father-son team of Eldridge and Eldridge has created a must-read book for anyone in private practice, whether licensed or unlicensed: How to Position Yourself As the Obvious Expert: Turbocharge Your Consulting or Coaching Business Now! It fills in an important gap in most people’s education: how to get the word out about who you are and what you do, in a way that’s ethical, effective, and even fun!

The Eldridges have many accomplishments under their belts. For example, the elder Eldridge, Elsom Eldridge Jr., has been running the annual convention of the National Guild of Hypnotists, with its 300+ seminars and workshops, for years. But their book presents the task of building up your local visibility, credibility, and reputation in a simple, straightforward way. Highly recommended. Read More...

Practicing Your Profession In Oregon Without a License, Legally and Ethically


Can therapists and alternative practitioners practice without a license in Oregon? In many fields, yes, they can! Are there any rules at all? Yes, there are. I created this Web site to make this information easier to find and understand.

When I started my hypnotherapy practice in Oregon, I found the few online resources scattered and confusing, and this is still the case: No agency takes much of an interest in us. Hence, this Web site.

Oh, and if you’re a licensed practitioner, welcome! Most of the posts on this site will be 100% applicable to you, too, as we discuss topics such as ways to build your practice and give it a compelling, personalized Web presence.

Oregon Mellow

One thing you need to understand about Oregon is that it’s not one of those states where the Legislature is license-happy. As in some other states, the Legislature deliberately keeps things a little loose here, as you’d expect in Oregon. Read More...