Current status of ABPP Specialties & Subspecialties –
Two groups are moving ahead with examinations in the “monitoring phase” of affiliation with ABPP. These are Serious Mental Illness Psychology (SMI) and Addiction Psychology (AP). This process is initiated after all founding board members have been examined and applications are opened to the general profession. Each board is expected to examine a minimum of 30 candidates in the 2 years following beginning the monitoring phase.
The SMI is recognized by the Commission for the Recognition of Specialties and Subspecialties in Professional Psychology (CRSSPP) as a specialty, while Addiction Psychology, currently recognized by CRSSPP as a proficiency, is seeking affiliation as a specialty with ABPP. We encourage the latter to seek specialty recognition by CRSSPP. Including the two boards in the monitoring phase, ABPP now has 17 specialty boards and 1 subspecialty
Clinical Psychopharmacology presented their revised brief application at our Board of Trustees meeting in June 2023 and was approved to move to the next step, a formal application.
Continuing Work from Specialty Summit 4.0 – Previously, the Interorganizational Summit on Specialty, Specialization, and Board Certification Outreach and Communication Committee has worked on infographics regarding the Taxonomy as it may be perceived by various sectors (e.g., public, students, psychologists). This can be viewed at https://www.apa.org/ed/graduate/specialize/understanding-taxonomy.
We have also worked with CRSSPP, COS and APA on having articles in the APA Monitor on 1) the taxonomy, 2) specialist practice, and 3) board certification.
An online taxonomy tool for programs to use is available to assist in determination of the level (e.g., Major Area of Study, Emphasis, Experience, or Exposure) of training provided, using the taxonomy verbiage. A video instructional is on the home page of that site. See www.psychologytaxonomy.org.
The International Project on Competencies in Psychology (IPCP) –
This project continues despite having had some slowing due to the pandemic and related cancellations of meetings. The meeting is being held, after a 3-year delay, in Brighton, United Kingdom on July 3, 2023. ABPP anticipates continuing its participation and will report more after the completion of the meeting.
Competence in the Doctoral and Masters Realms
The profession has been busy considering the impact of APA accrediting master’s degree programs. ABPP has been involved as a liaison to a working group with the APA Board of Professional Affairs (BPA) and is monitoring activities in other organizations such as the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB). ABPP and ASPPB have each initiated task forces to review this issue and the implications for our organizations.
A recent meeting of the ABPP Masters Discussion group worked from the assumption that Masters degree accreditation and licensing are going to happen. The charge for the group was to discuss what, if any, action ABPP should take based on that assumption. It was concluded that for the near-term ABPP needs to attend to the way this unfolds and revisit the topic at a later date. Some discussion of implications for any certification was held, although the consensus was that it is too early to take action other than to monitor the situation.
Our Central Office and specialty boards are now using the new system designed for us by Cerebral Consulting on a regular basis and with significant success. As with any new system or process, there have been some adjustments that needed to be made, either in the technology itself and/or in the way we interact with it. When there have been glitches, the Cerebral Consulting team has been quite responsive. All told, this roll-out has been a very pleasant experience and many thanks to Cerebral Consulting, the ABPP Central Office staff, and specialty board volunteers that use this system daily.
David R. Cox, PhD, ABPP