Ethics are irrelevant to those unqualified providers practicing in Kuwait with unauthenticated diploma mill doctoral degrees and others who simply adopt the “doctor” title and claim to be ‘licensed professionals’ without even bothering with any of the technicalities. Naturally, the lay person practicing as a Psychologist in Kuwait with no formal education or training in the field cannot be expected to follow professional standards or to abide by ethics for which they have no real understanding. Of course, the ethical therapist always puts client/patient interests before their own and readily forgoes any potential financial gain to be had at the expense of the emotional/mental health of the people they are supposed to be serving. But, the temptations are great in the ethical vacuum which characterizes the current state of mental health services with Kuwait’s lack of professional standards for the practice of psychology. So in the end the vulnerable mental health client suffers emotionally and financially, usually after answering one of the inflated internet ads or reading one of the numerous ads disguised as articles in local magazines and newspapers. Once ensnared, hapless clients may be forced to pay very high fees sometimes up to four times that of a real licensed psychologist! The status quo “provider” is adept at divesting the client of the bulk of their mental health budget as soon as possible by manipulating them with false claims and promises before they have time to get a second opinion. Ironically, ethical practitioners who dare to speak out against such heinous practices risk being socially ostracized and marginalized through the manipulation and usurption of their own hard-earned reputation and decimation of their legitimate referral base. Once the voice of the ethical therapist has been silenced, the traumatized client has no recourse but to continue with the status quo provider. Maintaining the status quo is a lose-lose situation for the client and the community and a win-win for the substandard service “provider” and their promoters in Kuwait.
Vincenza Tiberia July 24, 2012