Nancy Belknap is a certified counselor specializing in the fields of substance abuse, trauma processing, life transitions, family work, and relationship issues. Her practice, Clinical Counseling Services, is primarily a client-centered therapeutic environment based in Southern California.
Nancy Belknap has extensive experience working with people and families that suffer from drug and alcohol addiction. Because addiction is such a painful and challenging disease to overcome, watching her clients grow and heal is an integral part of what gives Nancy joy. This sets her apart as a drug and alcohol counselor.
If I can showcase my practice, cut through the noise, and display a certification that supports me as a legitimate therapist, then this will be worth it in the long run.
– Nancy Belknap, certified counselor
In the following Q&A, Nancy talks about becoming LegitScript-certified, and how her private practice is using it to reach more people.
What prompted you to apply for LegitScript certification?
Google started to require certification from practitioners and facilities in the field, so I had to comply. However, I think this was an important moment within this business sector. There were many nefarious practices being committed toward a very vulnerable population, and this has supported better treatment and help for those who suffer from drug and alcohol addictions.
You had previously been certified but later qualified for lower-cost individual practitioner pricing upon your renewal, right?
Yes, the initial cost was a large burden as a sole practitioner and not being treated as a small business was hard. The principle of the certification was well-founded but the cost for me was high. Paying a lower rate, especially during a global pandemic, was imperative and a better practice on LegitScript’s part.
Why is it important for smaller practices like yours to get certified and then advertise online?
Smaller practices need to be visible. With so much noise in the treatment space, single practitioners need to be acknowledged so the people who need help can receive the right care.
How does LegitScript certification work into your online advertising plan?
My goal is to always be available to somebody who needs help. I utilize Google Ads and am currently reviewing social media as a potential outlet to increase my reach. If I can showcase my practice, cut through the noise, and display a certification that supports me as a legitimate therapist, then this will be worth it in the long run. I want everybody in this population to find safety and get the care they need.
Can LegitScript Certification help prospective patients and their families feel that your practice is safe and trustworthy?
I think so, as this has helped with referrals from legitimate and ethical sources. If we as an industry advise a potential client to a LegitScript-certified therapist or treatment center, the client will know that no money has been exchanged for a referral and that they can count on the right place for their issues.
Was there anything you had to fix to come into compliance?
No, it was just a matter of having all the right information, and then submitting it and being on time.
Any advice for other individual practitioners in your industry who are considering LegitScript Certification?
In the future, I hope individual practitioners will not be required to do this. Those who committed bad practices really hurt the industry and displaced the trust of many. However, if you want to increase visibility and support ethical standards in our industry, LegitScript is worth the expense.