Assessment Psychology: A fast evolving discipline and speciality.

The application of psychological and neuropsychological testing to human problems is a science-based discipline which has exploded with the development of new knowledge, tools, techniques, and skills.

Recognizing these developments, the American Psychological Association recognizes three levels of competence in professional psychology: generalist, proficiency, and specialty. Generalist training would be consistent with a doctorate and licensure. The APA defines a proficiency “as a circumscribed activity in the general practice of professional psychology or one or more of its specialties that is represented by a distinct procedure, technique, or applied skill set used in psychological assessment, treatment and/or intervention within which one develops competence.” A more advanced specialty “is a defined area of psychological practice which requires advanced knowledge and skills acquired through an organized sequence of education and training. The advanced knowledge and skills specific to a specialty are obtained subsequent to the acquisition of core scientific and professional foundations in psychology. Specialties may include several such proficiencies.”

The APA has recognized specialty level of competence in a number of core areas (clinical, clinical neuropsychology, family, forensic, psychoanalytic psychology, etc), and proficiencies (police, biofeedback, sports psychology, treatment of addictions, psychopharmacology, and personality assessment).

Is your practitioner practicing with a recognized proficiency or specialty?

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