The Certification & Examination Process



The candidate’s application is reviewed by the credentials coordinator to insure that basic requirements for board certification in group psychology are met. The applicant is then admitted to candidacy.




Applicants admitted into candidacy for the Diploma in Group Psychology will be invited to submit a practice sample for evaluation of his or her work. The practice sample is the cornerstone of the oral examination. It is intended to provide a snapshot of the candidate’s practice of group psychology. The sample should allow the examiner to observe the candidate’s assessment, intervention, and conceptual competencies to understanding problems, and his or her professional sensitivity including diversity, ethical and legal aspects of practice.

The candidate is responsible for clarifying the underpinnings of the theory or system, which guide his or her work. It is expected that the therapeutic system will be grounded in an empirical database, which will be research driven and/or rooted in commonly accepted clinical theory. Candidates are encouraged to keep written material to a limit of approximately five double-spaced (typed, font 12 pt.) pages, or 2500 words.


The Practice Sample should be a recent effort produced within the previous two years and includes:


Four typewritten copies of professional work sample that include

1. Theoretical orientation; theory discussion statement of how you approach professional problems

2. Contextual and supplemental descriptions

  1. a) Interview date; session number
  2. b) Rationale or organizing principles for this group
  3. c) Individual member descriptions
  4. d) History and background of group or acceptable senior option practice sample materials 

3. Formulation and discussion of salient group and individual issues

4. Summary of major leader interventions including rationale for use

5. Description of an issue of diversity salient to this group

6. Formulation and discussion of salient group and individual issues

7. Summary of major leader interventions including rationale for use

8. Critique of the intervention(s)


Four clear and audible video/DVD or audio tapes are to be submitted. All tapes must be unedited. Appropriate permission should be obtained from all participants.


If audio tapes are used, these must be accompanied by four verbatim transcripts.


Four typewritten copies of professional statement must be submitted.


The candidate will also be required to submit a Professional Statement along with the practice sample.  This should include:

1. Tell the committee about the group work that you are engaged in at this time.

2. How would you describe your professional framework? What thinkers and theorists in the field have influenced you the most? If you call yourself eclectic, describe the major themes in your eclecticism.

3. What do you do for continuing education? What books, lectures or articles in the past two years have you found especially stimulating?

4. How do you handle:

  1. a) Clients who are in group and individual therapy
  2. b) Providing diagnosis to third parties

5. Describe an example of how you have dealt with an issue of diversity in your professional practice.

6. Under what circumstances would you provide pro-bono, volunteer or reduced fee services?

7. What are your long-term plans within the field of psychology?

8. Why did you apply to become a Group Diplomate? How do you react to the principle that Diplomates shall support the mission of the organization with volunteer activity and dues payment?

9. Please verify again that no ethical\legal action has taken place since admission to candidacy.

10. Please discuss in one - two paragraphs an ethical dilemma that you've faced during the past years.


The candidate should answer these questions in approximately five typewritten pages (about 2500 words) and submit this material with the work sample.


The Senior Option


Candidates with fifteen (15) or more years of post-doctoral experience may submit proof of their expertise in groups by submitting a Professional Self-Statement and two examples of professional writing from a variety of categories. The submissions must relate to either the direct provision of client services in groups or the supervision of individuals providing direct service of groups.  The categories are:


• A first authored or co-authored (not edited) book relevant to the practice of Group Psychology

• First authored, or co-authored substantive, peer-reviewed articles (not brief reports) that are directly relevant to the practice of Group Psychology

• First authored, or co-authored book chapter(s) covering topics relevant to the practice of Group Psychology. 

• Documentation of relevant approaches to the education/training/supervision of Group Psychologists or the delivery of Group Psychology services, including workshops or courses at regional or national meetings.See Form D-2 checklist.



The Group Psychology examination is conducted by an examination team of three psychologists board certified in Group Psychology. Exam dates will be announced with sufficient notice to allow candidate planning. Candidates can expect that examiners will arrange and conduct an examination that is consistent with the policies and procedures of the Board.


The format of the examination usually involves a “professional conversation” based upon the candidate’s practice samples, fundamental knowledge expected in the specialty, situational content representative of the specialty, and professional issues/ethical problem solving capacity of the candidate. The examination will cover the following content areas: stimulus group video/DVD, theoretical orientation/professional statement, assessment, ethics/professional standards and professional areas.


Note:  Mentors can be assigned from the existing ABGP diplomates upon request. CE credits from the APA are awarded for the Oral Examination at no cost to the candidate.

Complete guidelines for the oral examination will be forwarded to the candidate upon approval of the candidate’s practice samples.

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