A counsellor who charged his clients $129 for a 50-minute session has been caught lying about his qualifications and experience.
Tyson John Vacher, 23, who was known as Dr John Vacher, had an office in the Perth suburb of North Freemantle in Western Australia.
Vacher has been found to have made false and misleading statements about his qualifications and experience on the website for his practice ‘John Vacher Psychology’, the WA Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety revealed.
His website falsely claimed he received a psychology degree from the University of Southern Queensland and that he is a member of Australian Counsellor’s Association.
He also claimed to have 10 years experience in the field of psychology, which is not true as he would have been just 13 years old when he started his career.
Tyson John Vacher (pictured), 23, who was known as Dr John Vacher and traded as John Vacher Psychology, had an office in the Perth suburb of North Freemantle in Western Australia
Vacher said he previously worked in the private sector before he began to study for a Diploma in Counselling which was followed by a Masters in Counselling.
‘I completed my advanced major in Abuse and Trauma, with other areas of successful study including CBT, Acceptance Commitment Therapy and Solution Focussed Therapy,’ his website said
He claims to have attended regular supervision and consultation sessions with some of Australia’s leading psychiatrists and psychologists.
‘I first started working in the public system in 2011, with not-for-profit TEAR Australia,’ he said.
‘In his tertiary studies, he completed his advanced major in Abuse & Trauma. John has worked with TEAR Australia,’ the website said.
TEAR Australia told WA Today that Vacher never worked for them.
Vacher has been found to have made false and misleading statements about his qualifications and experience on the website for his practice, the WA Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety revealed
The website listed further professional experience which included working at several hospitals from 2012 onward.
He also said he was the Executive Director of Western Australia’s homeless counselling outreach service from 2013 to 2019.
‘In this role, I worked with some of the most vulnerable members of society, including those suffering from severe psychosis; substance dependency and victims of domestic violence,’ Vacher said.
‘I have a special interest in borderline personality disorder, eating disorders and self-harm disorder.’
Vacher listed his place of employment on Facebook as ‘John Vacher Psychology and Counselling’ as of Thursday but that job listing has since been removed.
Hie charged clients $129 per 50-minute session and his website falsely claimed he received a psychology degree from the University of Southern Queensland and that he is a member of Australian Counsellor’s Association
Commissioner for Consumer Protection Lanie Chopping expressed concern that vulnerable people suffering from mental health issues may be duped and not get the expert treatment they need.
‘It’s alarming to me that someone with no qualifications or experience as a practising psychologist should be offering professional help to people who may be suffering from depression, anxiety, sexual abuse trauma or other mental health issues,’ Ms Chopping said.
‘Our investigation into Mr Vacher has confirmed that he does not hold the formal qualifications in psychology that he claims and his assertion of having ten years’ experience is ridiculous considering he is only 23 years old.’
He also claimed to have 10 years experience in the field of psychology, which is not true either as he would have been just 13 years old when he started his career
In September 2017 Tyson Vacher, who then operated a business called Black Tie Waiters, was fined $4,000 by the Perth Magistrates Court and ordered to pay $489 in compensation as well as court costs of $3,000.
He was prosecuted by Consumer Protection for accepting payments to supply waiters for four functions but they failed to turn up.
‘Considering the previous prosecution by Consumer Protection and his lack of qualifications and experience in his current business venture, we believe Mr Vacher poses a danger to people who may be seeking help from him,’ the Commissioner said.
‘Consumers looking for the services of a health practitioner should check the AHPRA website to ensure that they are dealing with a suitably qualified and properly registered professional.’
WA consumers who have received treatment from Mr Vacher can lodge an online complaint with Consumer Protection or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1300 30 40 54.