Quite a few ministry based counseling programs require that their students go through ethics boards, supervision of experiences professionals and other checks and balances. HOWEVER…there are few state sanctioned programs (I actually know of none). But being a christian counselor does not mean that one did not do all of this.
As background, I have two masters in pretty much clinical psychology…I dropped out of the phd program to go to med school…and when I decided it was not for me…and I had taken too long to come back to the program, I was forced to repeat a good chunk of my grad work. A good part of the second masters is religious based counseling…given that I’d have to deal with religious wackjobs on a regular basis, I figured it would be good to be able to come to these folks with respect (as opposed to how I normally deal with religious people)…but I took it because it wasn’t a pure repeat of the last program – but still followed APA guidelines and you could go down a traditional licensing scheme if you wanted.
Most of the folks in the program choose not to. Part of the idea of separation of church and state means that if you are acting in the capacity of spiritual / religious support – the gov’t is not going to specifically license you if you wish to not go through this process. And it isn’t a bad idea…if you put your bullshit into woowoo crap, then you are going to believe that a higher power regulates all this…and given that people go to wackjob religions and we encourage this as a majority in the US and it is constitutionally coded…I can pretty much guess that this person is not practicing above their legal competence. Especially when the legal competence is DOES YOUR SPAGHETTI MONSTER DEEM THIS POSSIBLE? YES…THEN GO ON.
Sadly, most states psychotherapy, psychologist, mental health counselor and things like this are protected…however, on the lower end, the religious angle trumps this in almost every situation where it was brought up. Mental health is too widely defined, as is counselor. Laws try to protect this, but the constitution overrules this in most cases…I don’t agree with it, but it is certainly a bedrock ideal in our system of laws. (Things like calling yourself a PSYCHOLOGY on the other hand…are protected from wackjobs…then again, you could be like me and never finish the PhD even the second time because you are an idiot and work in the university – where I can legally call myself an educational psychologist without any damn license at all! So long as I restrict my usage of the title to only my work within the specific educational system!)
So there are a LOT of ways around all of this.
And yeah…life coaches should just kill themselves. The only way you should be able to call yourself a life coach is if you successfully complete the life because until you get to the finish line, you could still prove to be an entire failure.