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Holding Yourself Out To Be a Psychotherapist
 

Under the HPCA Act (2003) unless you are registered with the Psychotherapists Board of Aotearoa New Zealand you cannot call yourself a psychotherapist or hold yourself out to be a psychotherapist. However, others can practice psychotherapy, as long as they do not call themselves a psychotherapist or hold themselves out to be a psychotherapist.

HPCAA Section 7 - Unqualified person must not claim to be health practitioner
 


(1) A person may only use names, words, titles, initials, abbreviations, or descriptions stating or implying that the person is a health practitioner of a particular kind if the person is registered, and is qualified to be registered, as a health practitioner of that kind.

(2) No person may claim to be practising a profession as a health practitioner of a particular kind or state or do anything that is calculated to suggest that the person practises or is willing to practise a profession as a health practitioner of that kind unless the person—
a) is a health practitioner of that kind; and
b) holds a current practising certificate as a health practitioner of that kind.

(3) No person may make an express or implied statement about another person that the other person is prohibited by subsection (1) or subsection (2) from making about himself or herself.

(4) Subsection (2) does not prohibit a person from stating his or her willingness to practise a profession for the purposes of seeking employment if the person is, or would on obtaining that employment be, qualified to be registered as a health practitioner of that profession and to hold a current practising certificate as a health practitioner of that profession.

(5) Every person commits an offence punishable on summary conviction by a fine not exceeding $10,000 who contravenes this section.

Joint Statement from the New Zealand Psychologists Board and the Psychotherapists Board of Aotearoa New Zealand:
 

In accordance with section 7 of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act (2003), both Psychologists and Psychotherapists can legally claim to be practising psychotherapy. The use of these titles Psychotherapist and Psychologist is, however, legally protected. To avoid doubt:

  • Only practitioners registered with the Psychotherapists Board as a psychotherapist may use that title or otherwise claim to be practising as a psychotherapist.
  • Only practitioners registered with the Psychologists Board as a psychologist may use that title or otherwise claim to be practising as a psychologist.

    A registered practitioner can only practise psychotherapy if it is in within their scope of practice and if they are competent to do so."

  • Using the Title Psychotherapist
     

    Board Guideline
    "All psychotherapists should inform their clients of their scope of practice and any conditions on their Annual Practising Certificate"


    The title "psychotherapist" is protected. Only those registered by the Psychotherapists Board of Aotearoa New Zealand may use the title psychotherapist.

    Practitioners may call themselves a psychotherapist or a registered psychotherapist provided they are registered. People who are not registered may not use either title.

    The Board suggests you use the following titles when advertising yourself i.e. business cards or any promotional/marketing material

    Psychotherapist or Registered

    Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist

    Interim Psychotherapist

    Although registration within the Interim Psychotherapist Scope of Practice or Psychotherapist Scope of Practice does not restrict you from working with Child and Adolescent Clients (provided it is within your area and level of expertise) only Psychotherapists registered within the Psychotherapist Scope of Practice with Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist Specialism may call or hold themselves out to be a Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist.

    For example:
    First Name, Last Name
    Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist
    Contact Details

    Your title will depend on the scope of practice that you are registered to work within.

    All psychotherapists shall practice within their areas and level of expertise and with due regard to ethical, legal and Board-prescribed standards.