After (seriously) exhausting all the self study/self help options if I had the means to hire an "expert" to get me where I wanted to go I would do it based upon the following criteria. (What goal am I striving to achieve? Does this person have a record of success helping others reach (my) particular goal?
I would not get caught up on degrees or credentials. The most important thing to me is (results)! Therefore a degreed counselor would hold no more weight in my eyes than a reputable Life Coach or Mentor.
For instance I don't believe Life Coach, Tony Robbins has a degree or any special credentials but he has built a reputation for getting results and charges up to $1 Million dollars to get one on one help from (him) for a year. He offers workshops/retreats which can run up to several thousands. He also has worked with several high powered and famous clients.