The Litter Box of Professional Credentials. If this week's story about suspect credentials in the world of personal training spooks you, take a look at the Web site located at http://users.snip.net/~drsteve/Articles/Dr_Zoe.htm. Psychologist Steve Eichel of Philadelphia, who studies and uses hypnosis in psychotherapy, seeking to prove the point that nearly anyone can get credentials deeming themselves "hypnotherapists," got a full set of bona fides for his cat Zoe. Zoe has been issued credentials by the National Guild of Hypnotists, the American Board of Hypnotherapy and the International Medical & Dental Hypnotherapy Association, and is a Professional Member of the American Association of Professional Hypnotherapists. She's also Board Certified by the American Psychotherapy Association (a group with no connection to the mainstream American Psychological Association or American Psychiatric Association) and holds coveted Diplomate status, indicating she'd met the "rigid requirements" met by a "a select group of professionals who, by virtue of their extensive training and expertise, have demonstrated their outstanding abilities in regard to their specialty." The lesson? "Be skeptical of any credentials [a therapist claims] that you aren't familiar with," Eichel said. Most therapists who have legitimate academic degrees (Ph.D., M.D. or M.S.W, for master's in social work) use those credentials. The legit organizations in the field of therapy that uses hypnosis, Eichel says, include the American Society for Clinical Hypnosis -- of which Eichel, but not Zoe, is a member.