Why Become Board Certified in Counseling Psychology?

Greetings to all SCP members!

Counseling Psychology is one of fourteen specialty boards within the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). Becoming Board Certified in Counseling APA2014_45Psychology is a statement of commitment to your specialty, and a way of strengthening our specialty of Counseling Psychology. Your Board Certification helps you…and helps Counseling Psychology to continue as an essential specialty in professional psychology.


Board certification in all Psychology specialties indicates specialty expertise, which distinguishes you from other psychologists who work with clients or patients. Board certification in Psychology distinguishes you on the job market. Uniformed psychologists with board certification who work at the Department of Defense or Public Health Service receive a monthly specialty pay bonus.


Health care providers in other disciplines consider board certification as a minimum standard to document training and expertise for patient care. Board certification facilitates license mobility in most states. Many hospitals ask about board certification when applying for privileges. Some hospitals and medical centers require a board certification for approval of privileges, and others are moving toward this policy. Some academic and affiliated medical settings require board certification for promotion and tenure.


Health insurance companies routinely ask about board certification when applying for inclusion in their networks. Consumers of health/mental health services will increasingly as about board certification, and will seek board certified psychologists online. ABPP provides members access to online resources for networking and referrals.


Application for Board Certification with the American Board of Counseling Psychology involves three steps:

  • Credential review: Verification of doctoral degree, internship, licensure, and two years post-doctoral experience. Identification with specialty of Counseling Psychology
  • Practice sample: Submission of a professional self-statement, and a video/write up of a client session (or alternative practice sample for supervision/training, consultation, research, or administration). Candidates with 15 years of experience can submit two publications or other original work in lieu of video/write up.
  • Oral Examination: A half day series of discussions with Board Certified Counseling Psychologists on your Practice Sample, Ethics, and other topics.


In earlier years, Board Certification was reserved for the most senior psychologists. Over the last ten years, Board Certification as a Professional Psychologist parallels that of physicians who become board certified in their specialty fairly early in their professional lives.


Join the growing number of Counseling Psychologists who are becoming Board Certified. Candidates report that it is a positive experience that allows them to affirm their decision to excellence as a Counseling Psychologist. Go to www.abpp.org for more information or contact me at wiley510@gmail.com.


Mary O’Leary Wiley

President-elect, American Board of Counseling Psychology

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