Why Become Certified?


The practice of American Psychology has become increasingly complex and competitive. There has been a decided trend toward practice focused in delimited areas with a number of such areas emerging as specialties. The ABPP establishes and continually incorporates the current developments in the definition and requirements of specialties in professional psychology. Over the past decade 11 new specialties have joined 3 traditional specialties which have been in the field for the past 55 years. The new specialties have emerged through public needs and professional advancements.

The public is not expected to be knowledgeable about specialty requirements such as accredited doctoral programs, internships, or supervised post-doctoral training. The clearest and most responsible way for a psychologist to represent herself/himself to the public, third-parties, and the profession as a specialist is to be certified through an organized peer process as meeting the standards and demonstrating the competencies required in the specialty. ABPP is the only non-profit professional unitary organization with multiple specialty board quality controls recognized by the profession as certifying specialty practitioners in psychology.

An ABGP shows the public that the psychologist has attained a high level of competency in group psychotherapy and group dynamics.  It demonstrates that the practitioner is dedicated to the practice of group in an ethical and responsible way.

Twelve benefits of an ABGP/ ABPP:

  • Board certification in Psychology indicates specialty expertise which distinguishes you from other psychologists who work with patients with health issues.
  • Board certification in Psychology distinguishes you on the job market!
  • Uniformed psychologists with board certification who work at the Department of Defense or Public Health Service receive a monthly specialty pay bonus.
  • Health care providers in other disciplines consider board certification as a minimum standard to document training and expertise for patient care.
  • Board certification facilitates license mobility in most states.
  • Many hospitals ask about board certification when applying for privileges.
  • Some hospitals or medical centers require a board certification for approval of privileges, and others are moving towards this policy.
  • Some academic and academic medical settings require board certification for promotion and tenure.
  • Health insurance companies routinely ask about about board certifications when applying to be part of their networks.
  • Consumers of health/mental health services will increasingly ask about board certification, and can identify board certified psychologists on line.
  • Access ABPP online resources for networking and referrals.
  • Join other leaders in Psychology to define excellence in our field!

To continue with Applying for Certification, go to The Candidate’s Path to ABGP page and follow enclosed instructions.