American Psychological Association Declares Group Psychotherapy a Specialty

The American Psychological Association (APA) has declared group therapy a specialty. This good news came after several group organizations included ABGP and Division of 49 (The group division of APA) along with the American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA) petitioned for this recognition. Most group clinicians are well aware of the specialized training that group requires, but many psychotherapists who do not practice group are not aware of the years of training it requires.

The implications for group being recognized as a specialty have yet to be determined. Hopefully, more doctoral programs will be required to have classes and supervision in group. APA’s decision may also influence insurance companies to cover more group treatment. Again, we are at the early stages so no one is sure what changes will actually be made. A consortium of leaders from AGPA, Division 49 and ABGP are combining forces currently to see what can be done to promote specialized group training throughout the nation’s psychology training programs.