Your comment makes me wonder whether some sort of licensing and regulation is needed, just as for counselors. How do they get around it? These people are clearly dealing with people's emotions and thoughts.
Perhaps it is difficult to draw a bright line between what is and is not psychological counseling. Maybe selling books & CD's isn't counseling, but personal contact would seem to cross that line. Is anyone aware of any attempts to regulate these sort of "self help" services ?
No. I don't think it'll ever happen. Not as long as they can skate through the gray area between "awareness," "self-help," pop-psychology, and religion. I'm surprised, frankly, that legitimate, traditional therapists haven't complained en masse about these shysters but curiously, many have endorsed the "programs." I think there's as much chance of these folks being regulated as the purveyors of get-rich-quick schemes, multi-level-marketing pyramids, or no-money-down real estate investment seminars. The hawkers of snake-oil have pretty much free rein in this culture of the quickie-fix, E-Z route to riches, and instant mind-cure. I guess they may serve some corrective function for the gullible, careless, foolish, and/or uninformed or overly-trusting.