The Certification & Examination Process



The completed application is reviewed by the ABPP Executive Officer for compliance with general doctoral degree and licensure/certification requirements, and the Couple and Family Psychology Specialty Board for specific requirements of the specialty. Following favorable review and verification, the applicant becomes a Candidate for certification and moves to Stage II, or the practice sample stage of the process.


In Stage II, the practice samples and Professional Statement are completed, guided by clear instructions. A Mentor for this stage is available from the Academy of Couple and Family Psychology. The practice samples should reflect the Candidates usual practice of Couple and Family psychology. This stage is reviewed by Central Office for completeness and the Specialty Board for adequacy of preparation. Upon approval, the Candidate moves to Stage III, the oral examination.


At Stage III, the Examination Coordinator of the Specialty Board appoints a chairperson for the Candidates (oral) Examining Committee. The Chair works directly with the Candidate until the conclusion of the examination. The Chair shall try to select examiners whose areas of theoretical orientation, practice, and professional interests are similar to those of the Candidate as set forth in his/her Professional Statement. The Chair and the two other examiners review all documentation and samples submitted by the Candidate in preparation for the examination. Standardized ethical issue vignettes are used as part of the examination. The examination normally takes one half day and is administered at a time certain, agreeable to the Candidate. Details of the examination procedures, criteria and rating methods are available to Candidates prior to the examination. The results of the examination are forwarded to the Executive Officer for notification to the Candidate.





The application fee to establish candidacy is $125. The fee for Stage II is $250 and for Stage III $450. Upon granting Board certification a yearly fee of $185 is assessed to support the many services of the ABPP and the representation of the organization to the public and the profession. The ABPP is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The ABPP maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Certified Specialists receive the ABPP publication The ABPP Specialist, are part of the online Directory of Specialists in Psychology representing ABPP Specialists and the availability of specialty services to the public, qualify for reduced professional liability protection, and a number of other benefits.

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