The Fraud Police

I had a visit from The Fraud Police recently. It was rough.

As a therapist I pride myself on knowing my shit. I’m well educated, experienced and enthusiastic about my work. More often then not clients leave my clinic with a great sense of having being treated well and to the fullest quality. I leave thinking, I love my job and I’m really good at it, yay for me.

There are times when a session doesn’t reach the therapeutic resolve I would like to see. It is possible, after one session, a client can leave less than content that I haven’t cured them forever and ever. Or the treatment didn’t live up to another expectation they had. It’s easy for me to drop into my little teacup of shame when this happens and The Fraud Police come to join the tea party. In these cases I stand accused of the crimes of not doing the right thing, not doing enough, not knowing enough, not being trustworthy, being a crap therapist, faking it.

The Fraud Police can visit even when I’m doing my job really well! In my second year working in a clinic in Melbourne, an Osteopath came to see me for treatment. He had chronic lower back pain, I suggested we work on adductors and hammies for the first session and take it from there. He totally trusted me and just let me do my thing. He came back about a month later, said he felt great, thought the work I did was great. He was totally delighted with my treatment and wanted up-keep.

That night I cried to my friend, telling him about this uber qualified, experienced Osteo who thinks I’m great, that the work I do is great and he’s totally delighted with my treatments. My friend couldn’t understand why I was upset. “ What happens when he finds out I’m a total fraud!” I sobbed. My friend listened, reflected, was really kind.
“Oh you’re scared about what’s gonna happen when he finds out you’re faking it,” he said.
“Yes,” I grumbled.
Then he said “can I tell you a secret? Everyone’s faking it”. I laughed. He was right. I told the osteopath the next time I treated him about my visit from the fraud police, he laughed. I continued to treat him right up to the time I left Melbourne.

In the video Palmer talks about The Fraud Police in the context of being an artist but I know they come knocking on everyone’s door, no matter what your profession, status or qualification.

artist @haethermalone

I’m not a magician (although I imagine they get visited by The Fraud Police too), I’m a physical therapist. I do my educated best to diagnose and treat to the fullest of my talent. It’s only with experience that I’ve learned to say with conviction to the Fraud Police that “no one called them, everything is fine here, get out of my head, it’s 3am, I wanna sleep”.


  1. Love it! Brene Brown talks about similar themes, worth a watch if you can find it 🙂