Board Certification in Clinical Psychology
If we were considering heart surgery, it would be important to know that our surgeon is board-certified in his or her specialty. It is equally important to make sure that the person to whom we are entrusting our emotional care is similarly qualified. The American Board of Professional Psychology has been providing a rigorous process of certification of advanced competence for clinical psychologists since 1947. A candidate must pass an extensive individual examination of clinical understanding and skill given by a group of senior colleagues. In an era of increasing specialization in clinical practice, more psychologists are appreciating the importance of assuring their clients and the public at large that their level of expertise is greater than the entry level which states require for licensure. The importance of this higher level of competence has been recognized by the federal government, the Veteran’s Administration, and one of the major carriers of professional liability insurance for psychologists (as evidenced by a reduced rate for coverage). Psychologists who are board certified will generally make that known by displaying after their names the words “Board Certified in Clinical Psychology, ABPP”, or simply the initials ABPP.