Definition Counseling Psychology

May 19, 2019

Counseling Psychology

For details about becoming board certified through the American Board of Counseling Psychology, click here

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The American Board of Counseling Psychology (ABCoP) is a member board of the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). The ABPP oversees and authorizes the credentialing activities of thirteen specialty boards. The ABCoP is responsible for establishing criteria related to the definition and requirements for education, training, competencies, and the examination, which leads to Board Certification in Counseling Psychology. The ABCoP is governed by a Board of Directors who are certified in Counseling Psychology and are representative of the specialty on a national basis.

The Board, in association with the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP), is responsible for conducting Board examinations in the specialty of Counseling Psychology, mentoring and training examiners, and awarding the Diploma in Counseling Psychology. Board Certification by ABCoP, is intended to certify that the successful candidate has completed the educational, training and experience requirements of the specialty, including an examination designed to assess the competencies required to provide quality services in the specialty of Counseling Psychology. The primary objective of the ABCoP Board Certification process is to recognize, certify, and promote competence in the specialty.


The definition used to determine whether applicants have been functioning as Counseling Psychologists is the adopted from The Society for Counseling Psychology of APA:

“A Counseling Psychologist facilitates personal and interpersonal functioning across the life span with a focus on individual, group, and community interventions for emotional, behavioral, vocational, and mental health problems using preventative, developmental, and remedial approaches, and in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of psychopathology. Counseling Psychologists participate in a range of activities including psychotherapy, assessment, teaching, research, supervision, career development and consultation. They employ a variety of methods closely tied to theory and research to help individuals, groups and organizations function optimally as well as to remediate dysfunction”.

The services provided by Counseling Psychologists typically include:

• Conduct of clinically relevant research

• Assessment (evaluation, diagnosis, formal psychological testing)

• Intervention (treatment, prevention)

• Consultation with others professionals in diverse settings

• Supervision, training, and management activities (e.g., program development, administration)

For more information about the American Board of Counseling Psychology, or to apply for board certification,

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