Regarding Weekend Events

By Joseph Weeks posted 04-09-2018 12:02


Good morning everyone,

On Saturday, April 7, a fire broke out at Trump Tower in New York City. A 67-year old man died in the fire. The cause of the fire in the apartment building is unknown and an investigation is ongoing.

As the news broke that there was a fire in Trump Tower, several took to twitter to joke about the incident. In particular, a mental health counselor made several outlandish and disturbing comments. Jeffrey Guterman tweeted that he was ‘excited’ and ‘glad’ about the fire. Although Guterman also tweeted that he hoped no one was injured and later deleted all of his inflammatory remarks regarding the fire from his account, his behavior, as a professional mental health counselor, is revolting.

The American Mental Health Counselors Association and the clinical mental health counseling profession renounce Guterman’s comments. Regardless of one’s political views, we are all Americans. We should never ever rejoice in any harm or death to an individual and the location where the incident occurred.

Mental health counselors are compassionate, empathetic practitioners who want to make a significant difference in the lives of others. We support clients through difficult life experiences, help them with personal issues such as depression, promote healthy lifestyles, address individual stressors to restore mental health, and adhere to a strict ethical code.

Obviously, Guterman is not about these attributes. One bad apple does not define a profession -- one of high principles and standards such as the mental health counseling profession.

My best regards,




04-09-2018 16:50

Ms. Meyerhoeffer, Thank you!  I sent a tweet to Mr. Guterman thanking him for his apology. I do believe in that old saying, "never stop believing that fighting for what's right is worth it."

04-09-2018 16:15

Hi @Sarah McDonald! I found his twitter page. He does refer to himself as a mental health counselor on his profile. It seems he has posted an apology as well.​

04-09-2018 14:44

Mr. Weeks, I have been licensed as a counselor since 1986.  First, in Virginia (one of first states to license counselors) and in Florida and hopefully in NY.  I have practiced this profession for 32 years and certainly value ethics and professional identity.  If you would just answer my questions this would help.

04-09-2018 14:39

Mr. Weeks,
Please excuse my confusion.  Are you talking about me re-reading your letter or some other post?  All I am asking is did this counselor post referring to himself as a licensed mental health professional or post with his credentials?  If there is some other public post please direct me to that post.  And, will you please answer my questions?

04-09-2018 14:10

Thank you for this statement. Generally, I do not read comments on an article but if anyone is wondering why this was an important statement to make, take a look at some of the comments posted about the fact that someone with a license to practice mental health made these comments.
Elizabeth Handley

04-09-2018 13:25

Hi Sarah,  

I urge you to read the article which is attached to the body of this public response and use your judgement.
AMHCA has taken the time to look at and discuss a course of action and feel it appropriate to make such a statement.
AMHCA is about professionalism and holding clinical mental health counselors to the highest standard and we must be mindful of the words we use when presenting yourself as a clinical mental health counselor in all settings. 

Thank you for your question and I hope that helps!

04-09-2018 12:48

Mr. Weeks,  I agree that the counselor in question used bad judgement in posting his comments. Did he post using his credentials as a licensed mental health professional?  If he did not post as such, I don't understand your need to write such comments.  Please clarify.