Couple & Family

The American Board of Couple and Family Psychology (ABCFP) is a member board of the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). The ABCFP is responsible for establishing criteria related to the definition, education, training, competencies, and the examination leading to certification as a specialist in Couple and Family psychology. The Board membership includes only members board certified in Couple and Family psychology and representative of the specialty on a national basis.

Couple and Family Psychology is a broad and general specialty in professional psychology that is founded on a systemic epistemology, including explicit awareness of the importance of context, diversity, and developmental perspectives, to understand, assess, and treat the comprehensive issues of psychological health and pathology, including affective, cognitive, behavioral, and dynamic factors across individuals, couples, families, and larger social systems. Our specialization includes not only couple and family psychotherapy practitioners, but psychologists who apply a systemic orientation to their professional work including but not limited to teaching, supervision, consultation, research, administration, workforce development, forensic assessments, and policy development and advocacy. The crucial element of the specialty is a thorough systemic conceptualization and the application of systemic concepts to human behavior. CFP includes a body of knowledge and evidence-based interventions that require specialty competence (Stanton & Welsh, 2011). Psychologists who work primarily with children/adolescents and are unsure whether they should seek an ABPP in Couple and Family Psychology or in Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology should review the FAQs here.

The Couple and Family Psychology specialty is delighted to incorporate the 2017 APA Multicultural Guidelines: An Ecological Approach to Context, Identity, and Intersectionality into its foundational competencies for Board certification. Chaired by one of our members, the guidelines represent a truly inclusive, systemic approach to understanding and intervening with couples, families, and larger social systems. The complete guidelines are available here.