Specialty Definition


Clinical Health Psychology is the specialty that applies scientific knowledge of the inter-relationships among behavioral emotional, cognitive, social and biological components in health and disease to the promotion and maintenance of health; the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of illness and disability; and the improvement of the health care system. It is dedicated to the development of knowledge regarding the interface between behavior and health, and to the delivery of high quality services based on that knowledge to individuals, families, and health care systems.
The specialty, as defined, serves as the basis for the examination, the practice sample submission and review, and the oral examination. The specialty definition is further elaborated through the competencies characteristic of the specialty, and serve as the basis for the evaluation of the candidate’s performance in the oral examination. The competency domains are:
· Assessment and Intervention
The assessment and intervention competencies related to the practice of clinical health psychology are fundamental aspects of the examination. Two samples of the candidate’s practice are submitted and reviewed together with the candidate’s pattern of practice through his/her professional statement.
· Science Base and Application
The science or discipline base of the specialty is the appropriate application of that base to the contemporary practice of clinical health psychology, including the applicant’s awareness of theory and research pertaining to issues of cultural, diversity, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation. Also necessary is familiarity with the fundamentals of physical illness and the professional techniques and systems providing treatment for them.
· Ethics and Legal Foundations
The candidate should be aware and appropriately exercise ethical and legal standards. This includes the APA Ethical Principles and current statutory provisions and case law precedents applicable for the protection of the interests of individuals, groups, organizations, the profession, and society.
· Professional Identification
The candidate is expected to demonstrate meaningful involvement with the profession in general and the specialty in particular.
· Consultation and Supervision
These competency areas have emerged as significant of practice for many specialties. They are often included in the specialist’s regular professional functioning.
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