Clinical Psychology

 

The American Board of Clinical Psychology (ABCP) is a member board of the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). The ABPP oversees and authorizes the credentialing activities of thirteen specialty boards. The ABCP is responsible for establishing criteria related to the definition and requirements for education, training, competencies, and the examination, which leads to Board Certification in Clinical Psychology. The ABCP is governed by a Board of Directors who are certified in Clinical Psychology and are representative of the specialty on a national basis.
 
The Board, in association with the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP), is responsible for conducting Board examinations in the specialty of Clinical Psychology, mentoring and training examiners, and awarding the Diploma in Clinical Psychology. Board Certification by ABCP, is intended to certify that the successful candidate has completed the educational, training and experience requirements of the specialty, including an examination designed to assess the competencies required to provide quality services in the specialty of Clinical Psychology. The primary objective of the ABCP Board Certification process is to recognize, certify, and promote competence in the specialty.
 

DEFINITION OF CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY SERVICES

 

Clinical Psychology is both a general practice and a health service provider specialty in professional psychology. Clinical Psychologists provide professional services relating to the diagnosis, assessment, evaluation, treatment and prevention of psychological, emotional,psychophysiological and behavioral disorders in individuals across the lifespan. These services include procedures for understanding, predicting, and alleviating intellectual, emotional,physical, psychological, social and behavioral maladjustment, and mental illness, as well as other forms of discomfort. In addition, it includes services for the enhancement of functioning in all of these areas.

 

The services provided by Clinical Psychologist typically include:

 

Conduct of clinically-relevant research

  • Assessment (evaluation, diagnosis, formal psychological testing)
  • Intervention (treatment, prevention)
  • Consultation with others professionals in diverse settings
  • Supervision, teaching, and management activities (e.g., program development,administration)

 

It is expected that Clinical Psychologists will demonstrate sensitivity to and skills in dealing with multicultural/diverse populations. In this manual, we will use the terms multicultural and individual and cultural diversity interchangeably. Individual and cultural diversity recognizes the broad scope of such factors as race, ethnicity, language, sexual orientation, gender, age,disability, class status, education, religion/spiritual orientation, and other cultural dimensions.1

 

COMPETENCIES CHARACTERISTIC OF THE SPECIALTY OF CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY

 

The ABCP examination process encompasses the following inter-related domains of the competencies required by the specialty of Clinical Psychology. A successful Candidate
demonstrates knowledge, skills, attitudes/values and experience necessary to provide specialty level services in the practice of Clinical Psychology through discussion of the Curriculum Viate, Professional Statement, and Practice Samples.

 

Science Base and Application

 

A successful Candidate is aware of and conversant with scientific and scholarly developments in Clinical Psychology and applies them in professional practice. Examiners explore the Candidate’s awareness of and ability to discuss critically the implications and applications of contemporary knowledge in the practice of Clinical Psychology. This includes knowledge of the integration of theory, research, and practice concerning interpersonal interactions, issues of individual and cultural diversity (e.g., ethnicity, race, gender, age, sexual orientation, disability status, and special populations1), ethics and legal foundations, and professional identification. If applicable, attention is paid to the Candidate’s own scholarly contributions as they inform the practice of clinical psychology.

 

Assessment

 

A successful Candidate conducts assessments that can range from the administration and interpretation of standardized tests to behavioral observations and clinical interviews.
Assessment cases may come from any developmental level across the lifespan. In some forms of professional practice, assessment and intervention are integral parts of the same process. Examiners explore the Candidate’s level of sophistication in discussing choice of assessment methods or approaches to address diagnostic issues and/or case formulation consistent with whatever theoretical foundation and evidence base is proposed as guiding assessment work. Attention is paid to interpersonal interactions, individual and cultural diversity, ethics and legal foundations, and professional identification as related to assessment.

 

Intervention

 

A successful Candidate performs interventions that may take the form of any modality of psychotherapy or environmental modification. Intervention cases may come from any
developmental level across the lifespan. In some forms of professional practice, assessment and intervention are integral parts of the same process. Examiners explore the Candidate’s level of sophistication in discussing choice of therapeutic or environmental interventions to address therapeutic or systemic/organizational issues consistent with whatever theoretical foundation and evidence base is proposed as guiding intervention work. Attention is paid to interpersonal interactions, individual and cultural diversity, ethics and legal foundations, and professional identification as related to intervention.

 

Consultation

 

A successful Candidate demonstrates the ability to serve as a consultant and communicate and apply his/her knowledge in consultation to others such as other persons who provide psychological services, health care professionals from other disciplines, educational personnel,social service agencies, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, industry, legal systems, public policy makers, and individuals in other institutions and settings. Clinical Psychologists, additionally, serve as consultants regarding clinical research. Attention is paid to interpersonal interactions, individual and cultural diversity, ethics and legal foundations, and professional identification as related to consultation.

 

Supervision/Teaching/Management (If Applicable – NOT REQUIRED FOR ALL CANDIDATES)

 

This competency domain will only be addressed for those Candidates who engage in supervision/teaching/management. With regards to Supervision, a successful Candidate
demonstrates the ability to communicate and apply his/her knowledge in supervision with others such as psychological technicians/assistants; psychometricians; other persons who provide psychological services; psychology trainees in practicum, internship, and postdoctoral settings;and individuals conducting research. In terms of Teaching, a successful Candidate demonstrates the capacity to effectively teach clinical psychology to undergraduate or graduate students, interns and postdoctoral residents, and colleagues. With regards to Management, a successful Candidate demonstrates the ability to effectively carry out administrative activities and/or program design, implementation, and evaluation. Attention is paid to interpersonal interactions,individual and cultural diversity, ethics and legal foundations, and professional identification as related to supervision/teaching/management.

 

Interpersonal Interactions

 

A successful Candidate demonstrates sensitivity to the welfare, rights, and dignity of others and an ability to relate to clients/patients and others in ways that enhance the effectiveness of services provided. Successful Candidates must be aware of their own impact of others and countertransference vulnerabilities.

 

Individual and Cultural Diversity

 

A successful Candidate demonstrates awareness of all aspects of individual and cultural diversity (e.g., ethnicity, race, gender, age, sexual orientation, disability status, and special populations) as these influence their understanding of the science base and its application, assessment,intervention, consultation, upervision/teaching/management, and interpersonal interactions. The Candidate conveys awareness of his/her own individual and cultural diversity characteristics as these influence their functioning across competency domains and their interpersonal interactions.

 

Ethical and Legal Foundations

 

A successful Candidate is aware of: (1) current ethical principles and practice standards of the APA; (2) current statutory and regulatory provisions applicable to professional practice; and (3) implications of these principles to protect clients/patients, the profession, and society.

 

Professional Identification

 

A successful Candidate identifies with the profession by appropriate memberships and involvement in international, national, state, or local professional organizations and by awareness of current issues facing the profession. The Candidate pursues continuing professional education commensurate with licensure requirements and professional development in the Specialty of Clinical Psychology. They seek consultation and supervision when necessary and engage in ongoing training and continuing professional education.

 

 

 

For more information about the American Board of Clinical Psychology, or to apply for board certification, click here
 

1 American Psychological Association (2002). Guidelines on multicultural education, training,
research, practice, and organizational change for psychologists. American Psychologist, 58 (5)
377-402. http://www.apa.org/pi/multiculturalguidelines.pdf

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