Q: Why is ABPP CFP any different than joining any family therapy association?


A: All family therapy associations are good.  Family Therapy is empirically validated and a wonderful way to create a clear case conceptualization.  But, what makes APBB different is that ABPP Couple and Family Psychology (CFP) is directly linked to Psychology.  Therefore, research is integrated into clinical thinking in a different and advanced manner. For those who understand developmental, individual, and systemic issues, including diversity, as well as psychological assessment, and prefer to work with the family, the ABPP CFP is the preferred association within which to professionally grow. Our integration of research and embracing of diversity makes us standout from other professions who have not developed similar integrated criteria at an advanced level.



Q.  I'm a practicing clinical psychologist, and sometimes I see couples and families. So tell me what is unique about couple and family psychology?


A.  To a very large degree people's presenting problems concern their relationships with others, especially with those to whom one is very close. Spouses, parents, children.....everyone has encountered moments and issues in these relationships. Couple and family psychology provides the expertise and competence to focus on the complexity of close relationships. By looking at the social system of the relationship, as well as the individuals themselves, a couple and family psychologist can be much more effective in helping people address and resolve complex relationship issues.


Q: What if I’m not sure if I meet ABCFP specific training requirements? Should I apply anyway?


A: If you are unsure, you can get in touch with the ABCCCF Credentials Reviewer to discuss your situation before you apply.  This would allow you to get a read on whether your current credentials meet the training requirements.  And, if your current credentials don’t meet the training requirements, you could discuss possible ideas about additional training that could get you to the point of meeting the ABCFP requirements.  Please visit the ABCCAP Roster for contact information for the current Credentials Reviewer.


Q: Where can I take my oral exam?


A: Exams are routinely held at the APA Convention and meetings sponsored by APA Division 43.  Additionally, groups of examiners are geographically distributed throughout the country to minimize travel for candidates for examinations occurring at times other than those noted above.  The board is happy to work with you to schedule an exam at a convenient time and location.


Q: What should I expect at my oral exam?


A: The Board aspires to conduct the oral exams in a collegial manner. You can expect that the examiners will pose questions about the specific features of the cases that you provided for your work samples. Typically, examinees are asked to put their cases in the context of supporting theoretical and scientific literature. Examinees should be prepared to present the systemic rationale and support for their intervention, consultation, and assessment techniques. A portion of the exam will include ethical vignettes for discussion.  Examinees are encouraged to review the competency areas listed in the Exam Manual to be familiar with which areas are likely to be addressed.


Q: How can I digitally record my practice samples?


A: Devices such as the iPad, iPhone, and other digital tablets and smart phones usually come with a built-in camera application. Most of these cameras can be switched between taking still photographs and video. The iPad can easily be set up on its frame and positioned to capture the assessment or therapy session. The finished video can then be downloaded to a DVD and sent in with the candidate’s application materials. Please include the signed authorization for the taping and for sending the video in for review.


Q: Why should I apply for the ABPP if my work setting does not require or acknowledge it and there is no remuneration for it?


A: This is a question similar to: Why should I stop for a traffic light if no one is around?  Because it’s the right thing to do. Without it, you’re just one of many practicing clinicians who treat couples, families, or parent-child dyads without demonstrated competence, and potential clients and the general public have no way to determine your ability, except for hearsay. Due to the many intractable difficulties presented by CFP clients, there is great potential for ineffectiveness or harm without a minimum of training and supervised experience. 


Q: The process for applying for the diplomate appears so daunting, and I don’t seem to meet all the stated qualifications, so why should I try?


A:  The process and criteria are templates for maintaining consistency and high standards. In reality, there is flexibility for determine equivalency, and a mentor from the Academy will guide you through the process.

Follow ABPP on Facebook