The fields of "Philosophy" and "Classical Music".
What do they have in common in the West?
They are broad terms that essentially mean between the lines, "Euro-centric philosophies" and "pre-twentieth century European instrumental string, wind, percussion, orchestral and vocal operatic music".
And what about the fields of western "psychiatry" and "clinical psychology"?
A psychiatrist is one who first obtains a doctorate in general medicine, and then goes on to learn about various types personality and mental disorders as defined by European and/or American psychiatric and psychological associations, and the various treatments or therapies for them as developed primarily by Euro-centric and Euro-American-centric psychotherapists. Then upon completing that education, which includes a clinical residency, publishable research, and written and oral-qualifying exams, one is awarded by the professional medical association of their jurisdiction board certification as a psychiatrist.
I never understood why in the West psychiatrists have to obtain a general Doctor of Medicine or O.M.D. degree first in order practice psychiatry. Dentists and podiatrists, for example, just receive the sufficient amount of medical and pharmaceutical training for their specialties without having to obtain a general medical degree first.
A clinical psychologist in most jurisdictions of the West must have a doctorate in that field to advertise as such, and is prohibited from prescribing or treating patients with controlled medications, although in the U.S. for instance, the states of New Mexico and Louisiana allow state-licensed clinical psychologists with certification in clinical psychopharmacology to prescribe most types of psychopharmaceuticals to their patients, and even administer electroshock therapy in psychiatric facilities. A shrink of that category is thus also known as a medical psychologist--basically a psychiatrist without an M.D.
And in countries like Mexico where most medications including most (but not all) categories of synthetic mood stabilizers can be purchased over-the-counter without a prescription from a licensed physician, psychologists can recommend such medications. In fact in most Latin American countries, one only has to have a minimum of a masters' degree in clinical psychology to advertise as a "clinical psychologist", and does not have to be licensed by the state to practice psychotherapy or relationship therapy in a private setting. Those that practice in state-funded clinics, hospitals, or institutions only need to register with the federal government for a cédula (professional certification), which just requires proof of completion of the minimal educational requirements for the field of specialty.
Most state-licensed psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, marriage and family therapists, and clinical social workers in the U.S., Canada, and Europe become aghast when they learn of those more relaxed requirements in third world countries because they treat their professions as exact and objective sciences that need to be regulated instead of the subjective pseudo-sciences they really are.
Granted, some mental illnesses and personality disorders are neurologically-rooted as opposed to being psychosomatic, and some of those that are neurological in origin can be medically and scientifically detected with CAT scans and other empirical, objective instrumentation and methods just as, for example, the mental retardation of some individuals can. It is those conditions that can be demonstrated medically and scientifically that must be separated categorically from disorders defined by professional psychiatric and psychological associations, and published in ever-evolving amended texts such as the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders; (DSM-IV, DSM-IV-R, and on-and-on).
There is a branch of western psychology known as "Experimental Psychology". It is only a "branch" because that's how most western psychologists as a collective treat it, even though in reality, the field of "Clinical Psychology" as whole and even psychiatry to a degree are nothing more than subjective, experimental, non-exact pseudo-sciences.
As a non-Euro-centric person, I have always regarded the field of western psychology as the white version of American Indian, Chicano (Mexican-American), and African American Studies. Such ethnic studies programs include an examination of the social psychology of such groups, and the field of social psychology can overlap to a degree with clinical psychology when it comes to certain general behavioral characteristics of an ethnic group and their cultural perceptions of certain behaviors. (My sometimes controversial friend Russell Means jokingly states that he has a Ph.D in White Studies from the State Penitentiary of South Dakota when asked about his academic background :).
Nevertheless, as a means of adding prestige to and limiting and controlling competition in the specialities of therapeutic Clinical Psychology, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Clinical Social Work, the elitists of those fields demand state licensure in them, and needless, rigorous academic requirements to qualify for licensure.
The protectionist psychiatric mafia even goes a step further by continual lobbying of most state, provincial, or federal legislatures to maintain the prohibition against other categories of psychotherapists from having the legal privilege of prescribing mood stabilizers and psychotropic medications to their patients.
Of course all of these professional restrictions and requirements are under the guise of "consumer protection" when in reality it is nothing more than "professional protectionism" from too much competition.
In California, the State Board of Behavioral Science Examiners will suspend the license of any state-licensed MFT (Marriage and Family Therapist) or LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) that publicly advertises, states, or even implies that he or she is a "psychologist", and will see that unlicensed persons that practice any type of psychotherapy for remuneration are prosecuted, except for "clinical hypnotherapists", who do not have to be licensed by the state as long as they do not treat DSM-IV-R defined "personality or mental disorders".
The California lobby of clinical psychologists on one hand moan because the psychiatric lobby prevents them from being able to prescribe psych meds, while on the other hand their lobby is zealously protectionist about MFTs and LCSWs from applying the term "psychologist" to themselves even though they have to have a minimum of a masters' degree in psychology or clinical social work to qualify for those state licenses academically.
Most first world psychotherapists in private practice charge outrageous hourly fees, even just for talk therapy.
As libertarian psychiatrist Thomas Szasz originally pointed out in his well-known book The Myth of Mental Illness and in related subsequent works of his that have been published, most western definitions and descriptions of the various categories of personality and mental disorders are essentially determined or amended by the votation of an elite collective of Euro-centric psychiatrists and clinical psychologists. For example, homosexuality was classified as a mental disorder by the American and European psychiatric and psychological associations for many decades until enough lesbian and gay shrinks and their straight, progressive counterparts became voting members of those associations and got homosexuality removed from the list of mental disorders (and rightfully so I might add).
I once had the honor of meeting Dr. Szasz some years ago, and consider myself a small "S" Szaszian, in that I share many of his views, but am not anywhere near as anti-psychiatric medication as he is, being that the vast majority of people who are prescribed synthetic mood stabilizers and psychotropics gain a certain amount of benefit from them as opposed to adverse side effects.
And although at least one semester course in Cross-Cultural Psychology has been required in most western schools of clinical psychology and psychiatry out of political and social correctness for the past several decades, some behavioral traits and actions on the part of non-Euro-centric and indigenous peoples of the western hemisphere are nevertheless treated as personality or mental disorders in both clinical and legal settings.
For example, what is defined as autism in the West is not regarded as such among many traditional Hindu peoples of India, who instead view autistic-like traits as being a form of intoxication with the divine. Such people are called maasts.
Most Euro-centric westerners also assume that psychotic and schizophrenic episodes are purely hallucinogenic fantasies, whereas many indigenous peoples regard such episodes as uncontrolled perceptions or altered state of consciousness voyages into alternate states existence, but which can be controlled with the ingestion of certain medicinal plants.
Most types of western psychotherapy, particularly when it's outpatient, involves at least a certain amount of conversational counseling and talk therapy whether it be cognitive, hypnotic, or behavioural. Yet in the U.S., Canada, and most of Europe, there is no such thing as the right to free speech if you want to pay someone skilled in the art of psychotherapy to dialogue with about your emotional. mental, or relationship issues if he or she does not have a permission slip to do so from the special interest-pandering protectionist nanny state.
Many people that have a natural talent in a visual art elect to go to art school to sharpen their skills. Most people who go to art school to learn to be artists normally don't succeed in becoming good artists because they lack the natural aptitude.
Likewise, providing competent psychotherapy is not a skill one acquires by going to graduate or medical school. Psychotherapy is an art form that one must already have a natural aptitude for before entering a graduate school of clinical psychology or specializing in psychiatry after medical school. Like with art school, such formal education is for sharpening the natural skills one already has for practicing psychotherapy, especially when it comes to talk therapy. I have known board certified psychiatrists and state licensed Ph.Ds in clinical psychology who I wouldn't refer anyone to for therapy even if they didn't charge for it.
Of course the rigorous academic requirement and state licensure advocates would reply that is the reason why all shrinks should meet those requirements for the "privilege" to practice for remuneration; i.e., to deter incompetent and unethical shrinks from victimizing their patients.
For example, if a therapist ends up having sex in his or her office with a consenting adult patient, and the patient later claims to have been emotionally traumatized from the event even though it was consensual, and files a complaint with the state bureaucracy that investigates such complaints, most license fetish authoritarians would say that the shrink should have his or her license suspended or revoked by the state if proved guilty as charged.
Now I'm not implying that shrinks having sex with their patients should be condoned ethically, but there are other ways consumers, i.e. patients, and even HMOs and health insurers that provide coverage for mental health services can get an idea as to whether a potential therapist has good reputation or not if not referred to one by reliable word-of-mouth. There are already local, state, and national private organizations of mental health professionals that shrinks can join if they meet those organizations' minimum requirements. All the consumer/patient, HMO or health insurance company needs to do before hand is research which organizations have been around the longest and have the best reputations, and see if the potential therapist candidate is a member. Plus out of all the health-related professions, clinical psychologists, MFTs, and LCSWs are charged the lowest mal practice insurance rates by insurers that provide that category of insurance because very few of them get sued for mal practice.
Also, a lot of therapists in private practice don't charge for their first session. In most cases, a patient can get a good enough indication as to whether he or she will be comfortable or not with that therapist for further sessions, and whether or not the shrink or relationship therapist seems competent in the art of psychotherapy or marriage and family therapy.
There is less of a pragmatic argument for requiring the licensure of those that exercise the subjective profession and art of psychotherapy than there is for licensing dogs. Doing so just smacks of cultural bias, pretentious elitism, and competitive protectionism.
U.S. federally-recognized Indian tribes can't hire federally-funded shrinks as part of their reservation health services team unless they're licensed by a U.S. state, which puts limitiations on competent Indigenous American centric mental health professions who have no desire to exercise their profession off-reservation, and thus have no need to pursue all the extra bullshit required for obtaining state licensure.
Since when did the tribal medicine man or woman have to have permission from the chief to provide counsel and healing?