Public Statement - Mr Lachlan Hinds – Emotional Intelligence Expert - Prohibition Order

18 February 2021

The NSW Health Care Complaints Commission (Commission) conducted an investigation into a complaint regarding Mr Lachlan Hinds, an unregistered health practitioner who uses the title Dr Lachlan Hinds Ph.D, D.D, M.Ms, B.Ms, D.Hom, D.R.T. Mr Hinds’ website www.drlhinds.com.au  states that he is an emotional intelligence expert, cranio-sacral therapist and dream therapist with more than 20 years’ experience.

The complaint raised concerns about the care and treatment Mr Hinds provided to a 43 year-old patient (Patient A), in particular the nature of the treatment, the cost and frequency of consultations, and whether Mr Hinds was appropriately qualified to provide such a service.

The Commission’s investigation found that although Mr Hinds has attained qualifications in remedial therapies and homeopathy, his current scope of practice extends well outside his qualifications, training, and experience, by providing treatment to patients suffering from mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Mr Hinds promotes that he also specialises in the treatment and management of stress, grief, chronic lethargy, and self-harm.

The Commission considers this to be concerning in view of the evidence that Mr Hinds has not obtained any formal qualifications, training, or education in counselling, psychology or mental health.

The Commission has determined that as Mr Hinds’ qualifications obtained from the International Metaphysical Ministry and the University of Metaphysics are not recognised by any accredited educational or training body, these qualifications, as well as the pre-nominal ‘Dr’ and the post nominals of Ph.D, D.D, M.Ms, B.Ms, should not be used by Mr Hinds as a basis for promoting or providing any health or counselling services. 

In relation to the treatment provided to Patient A, the Commission’s investigation found that Mr Hinds wilfully took advantage of and financially exploited Patient A’s vulnerability for his own personal gain. Mr Hinds provided treatment for Patient A, wholly unqualified to diagnose and deal with the complexities of Patient A’s mental health issues. Mr Hinds continued to treat Patient A as his condition deteriorated, increasing the frequency of consultations at great financial expense to Patient A, and delaying his recovery and opportunity to obtain treatment from an appropriately qualified practitioner.

The Commission is concerned that vulnerable members of the public suffering from complex medical and mental health conditions may make detrimental health care decisions based on Mr Hinds’ advice, as well as forego the opportunity to consult an appropriately qualified practitioner.

The Commission considers that Mr Hinds has not reflected on his practice or demonstrated insight into the limitation of his training and qualifications and his competence to treat serious mental health illnesses.

Accordingly, the Commission determined that Mr Hinds has breached the following clauses of the Code of Conduct for unregistered health practitioners set out in Schedule 3 of the Public Health Regulation 2012:

  • Clause 3(1): A health practitioner must provide health services in a safe and ethical manner.
  • Clause 3(2)(b): A health practitioner must not provide health care of a type that is outside his or her experience or training.
  • Clause 3(2)(c): A health practitioner must not provide services that he or she is not qualified to provide.
  • Clause 3(2)(d): A health practitioner must not use his or her possession of particular qualifications to mislead or deceive his or her clients as to his or her competence in his or her field of practice or ability to provide treatment.
  • Clause 3(2)(f): A health practitioner must recognise the limitations of the treatment he or she can provide and refer clients to other competent health practitioners in appropriate circumstances.
  • Clause 10(3): A health practitioner must not provide services and treatments to clients unless they are designed to maintain or improve the clients’ health or wellbeing.
  • Clause 11:A health practitioner must not diagnose or treat an illness or condition without an adequate clinical basis.
  • Clause 12(1): A health practitioner must not engage in any form of misinformation or misrepresentation in relation to the products or services he or she provides or as to his or her qualifications, training, or professional affiliations.
  • Clause 16: A health practitioner should ensure that appropriate indemnity insurance arrangements are in place in relation to his or her practice.

Due to the nature of the breaches of the Code of Conduct and Mr Hinds’ limited insight into his limitations as a practitioner, the Commission finds that Mr Hinds poses a significant risk to the health and safety of members of the public.

In view of this the Commission has made the following prohibition order pursuant to section 41A(2)(a) of the Health Care Complaints Act 1993 (Act):

Mr Lachlan Hinds:

  1. is permanently prohibited from advertising or providing any type of counselling, psychological or mental health services to any person, in either a paid or voluntary capacity.
  2. is not to use his qualifications obtained from the International Metaphysical Ministry and University of Metaphysics as a basis for advertising or providing any other health service.

For the purposes of this order, a health service carries the same meaning as defined under section 4 of the Act.

Further Information

Access the Commission’s Statement of Decision here. 

Access to the Commission's media release here.

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



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