Specialty Definition


The definition used to determine whether applicants have been functioning as Counseling Psychologists is the adopted from The Society for Counseling Psychology of APA:
“A Counseling Psychologist facilitates personal and interpersonal functioning across the life span with a focus on individual, group, and community interventions for emotional, behavioral, vocational, and mental health problems using preventative, developmental, and remedial approaches, and in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of psychopathology. Counseling Psychologists participate in a range of activities including psychotherapy, assessment, teaching, research, supervision, career development and consultation. They employ a variety of methods closely tied to theory and research to help individuals, groups and organizations function optimally as well as to remediate dysfunction”.
The services provided by Counseling Psychologists typically include:
• Conduct of clinically relevant research
• Assessment (evaluation, diagnosis, formal psychological testing)
• Intervention (treatment, prevention)
• Consultation with others professionals in diverse settings
• Supervision, training, and management activities (e.g., program development, administration)




Specialties, by definition, are advanced levels of practice including doctoral and post-doctoral preparation. Board certification assures the public and profession that a Counseling Psychologist has successfully completed requirements of the specialty, including an examination designed to assess competencies required for effective practice in Counseling Psychology.




Board certification assures the public and the profession that a specialist in Counseling Psychology has met the educational, training and experience requirements, and has demonstrated advanced competencies required by the specialty through an individualized, peer reviewed examination. The certification process encompasses the following interrelated domains of professional competency.


Theory, Research and Practice 


A competence-based practice relies on the appropriate application of therapy and research in order to warrant effective and efficacious outcomes. Included in the competent contemporary practice of Counseling psychology is an awareness of theory, research and practice pertaining to issues of diversity e.g. ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, family cultural issues, family populations, and disability.


Assessment and Intervention


The assessment and intervention competencies related to the practice of the specialty of Counseling Psychology are fundamental aspects of the certification. A sample of the candidate's practice is submitted and reviewed together with the candidate's patter of practice through his/her professional statement. This constitutes the practice sample.


Consultation and Supervision


Demonstrate the ability to communicate and apply knowledge of consultation, program evaluation and/or supervision with others.


Individual and Cultural Diversity


Demonstrates awareness of all aspects of individual and cultural diversity.


Ethics and Legal Foundations 


The awareness and appropriate exercise of ethical and legal standards includes the APA Ethical Principles for Psychologists and Code of Conduct and current statutory provisions and case law precedents applicable for the protection of the interests of diverse individuals, groups, organizations, the profession, and society.


Interpersonal Interactions 


Demonstrates sensitivity to the welfare, rights, and dignity of others, as well as an ability to relate to clients/patients and others in ways that enhance the effectiveness of services provided.

Professional Identification

Candidates are expected to demonstrate meaningful involvement with the profession in general and the specialty in particular.

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