Specialty Specific Requirements

Group Psychology

In addition to the generic foundation requirements, specialty requires completion of an organized doctoral education and training program in Professional Psychology, which includes an internship. The specialty also requires postdoctoral supervised practice and experience in the specialty.

The specialty’s specific program requirements are met if:

  • A doctoral degree from a program in professional psychology, which at the time the degree was granted, was accredited by the APA or the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA), OR
  • A doctoral degree, which at the time the degree was granted, was from a program listed in the publication Doctoral Psychology Programs Meeting Designated Criteria, OR

the Degree Requirement can be met if:

  • Applicant holds current ABPP Board Certification in another specialty,
  • Applicant holds a current Certificate of Professional Qualification in Psychology (CPQ) from the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB), OR
  • Applicant is credentialed as a health service provider in the current Directory of the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology (NRHSPP), or the current Canadian Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology (CRHSPP), OR
  • Applicant holds a doctoral degree in psychology and has subsequently been certified as completing the requirements of a formal, doctoral level, professional program that meets the APA accreditation requirements.

Individual exception reviews are available for degrees granted outside the U.S. or Canada, doctoral degrees granted prior to 1983, or for applicants claiming equivalent doctoral degree and program requirements. Such exceptions are coordinated through the ABPP Executive Office and the appropriate Specialty Board.

Internship Requirements
A one-year full-time or two-year half-time internship program is required. The internship requirement is met if:

  • Accredited by the APA or CPA  OR
  • Listed in the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) Directory for the year the internship was completed, OR
  • Met APPIC equivalency guidelines, OR
  • The applicant is listed in the NRHSPP or CRHSPP Directory or holds the CPQ.

Postdoctoral Practice Experience and Supervision Requirements
The specialty of Group Psychology denotes a level of practice requiring preparation beyond doctoral requirements. The post-doctoral requirement includes:

  • Three years of group experience
*One of these may be pre-doctoral (internship level) OR
*Two or three years may be Post-Doctoral Experience.

The Senior Option
The Senior Option is for Applicants whose licensure was obtained fifteen (15) or more years before the date of application and who have substantial experience in the field of Group Psychology as clinicians, teachers, and/or supervisors.
The intent of this option is to show the accretion of knowledge and expertise in the field of group psychology. The Professional Samples may be, but are not limited to, professional writing (books, chapters, articles); demonstration of didactic expertise in group theory and practice and which may be accompanied by original course outlines and syllabi prepared for courses and professional workshops; audio or video/DVD material developed to teach or demonstrate group theory and/or technique; any previously prepared professional products, which allows the candidate to demonstrate his or her mastery of group theory and the application of group techniques. The submission must relate to either the direct provision of client services in groups or the supervision of individuals providing direct services of groups.

Directions to Satisfy Specialty Requirements for the Senior Option
  1. Once an Applicant passes ABPP’s Generic Requirements, he or she becomes a Candidate and required materials are sent to the National ABGP Exam Coordinator.  At that time, the Candidate’s Specialty credentials and experience will be evaluated. Even though a CV has been submitted to the Central Office with the Generic Application, a second copy must be submitted to the Exam Coordinator. 
  2. A list of graduate and postgraduate courses in Group Psychology are required.  All graduate and post-graduate training, workshops, and independent study must be clearly listed for the examiner’s review.
  3. The Candidate must document 400 hours of direct group contact, 100 of which were supervised; include all current and past groups indicating the number of hours of practice per year with each group.  All supervisors must be listed, even those who cannot be contacted.
  4. The Senior Applicant is also required to submit two references to ABPP’s Central Office from professionals familiar with his or her work. One letter of endorsement should be a submitted by a practicing group psychologist who can attest to the Applicant’s experience and competence in Group Psychology.  In addition, copies of all letters of endorsements must be sent to the Exam Coordinator.
  5. Finally, an electronic copy of both the Practice Samples and the Professional Statement must be sent to the Exam Coordinator.  See Form E checklist.
Proof of Expertise for the Senior Option
Candidates with fifteen (15) or more years of post-licensure experience may submit proof of their expertise in groups by submitting a Professional Self-Statement and two examples of a Practice Sample 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:  
  1. A first authored or co-authored (not edited) book relevant to the practice of Group Psychology.  
  2. First authored, or co-authored substantive, peer-reviewed articles (not brief reports) that are directly relevant to the practice of Group Psychology.
  3. First authored, or co-authored book chapter(s) covering topics relevant to the practice of Group Psychology.   
  4. 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. 
  5. See Form D-2 checklist.