Mr Patrick McNally - Life coach/ Therapist / Counsellor - Permanent prohibition order

15 November 2021

The NSW Health Care Complaints Commission investigated the conduct of Patrick McNally, an unregistered health practitioner who describes himself as a Life Coach, Therapist and Counsellor.  

Based on a recommendation from a friend, the complainant made an appointment to see Mr McNally in relation to their mental health issues including anxiety stemming from previous sexual abuse. The complainant understood at the time that Mr McNally was a psychologist.

To treat the complainant’s anxiety Mr McNally used a technique which he calls 'spinning'. This involves rubbing someone’s throat, chest or stomach in the opposite direction to where the feelings of anxiety are being felt in the body.

Mr McNally represented himself on his website, in his books, and emails as a therapist and used the letters 'PhD' after his name. He published videos claiming to be able to reduce and cure anxiety through techniques such as ‘spinning’ and ‘tapping’.

The Commission’s investigation determined that Patrick McNally is not a psychologist and he has no training, qualifications or experience in mental health. The Commission’s investigation also found that Mr McNally’s PhD was not an accredited degree. 

Based on Mr McNally’s conduct, the Commission determined that Mr McNally breached the following clauses of the Code of Conduct for Unregistered Practitioners:

  • Clause 3(1): A health practitioner must provide health services in a safe and ethical manner.
  • Clause 3(1)(c): A health practitioner must not provide services that he or she is not qualified to provide.
  • Clause 2(d): A health practitioner must not use their possession of a particular qualification to mislead or deceive their clients as to their competence in their field of practice or ability provide treatment.
  • Clause 15: A health practitioner must maintain accurate, legible and contemporaneous clinical records for each client consultation.

The Commission has permanently prohibited Mr McNally from:

  1. Providing, or causing to be provided, any health services to clients for the care or treatment of mental health issues, either in paid employment or voluntarily, to any member of the public.
  2. From this date onwards, not to use the post nominals PhD.

Access the Commission’s Statement of Decision here

Access to the Commission's public statement here.

Further Information

For further information, contact the Executive Officer of the Health Care Complaints Commission, on 9219 7444 or send an email to media@hccc.nsw.gov.au.

The information in this media release is correct at the time of publication. Orders may change; for example, conditions may no longer apply. For current information regarding the status of a registered health practitioner, including any conditions that currently apply, please check the National Register at www.ahpra.gov.au.



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