Why Choose a Psychologist?


In Washington State, there are many different licenses issued by the Department of Health to people who perform counseling and psychotherapy services, including Registered Counselors, Mental Health Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, Nurse Practitioners, Clinical Social Workers, Psychologists and Psychiatrists.

It can be confusing with all of these levels of licensure, and sometimes people in our profession don’t do much to help clear up the ambiguity…

The truth is, we all have differing levels of education, experience, and areas of expertise.

So, the relevant question here is: What does a licensed psychologist have to offer in particular?

In general, a licensed psychologist has the most training and education specifically devoted to the field of clinical psychology. To legally call oneself a psychologist in Washington State, a person must:

* Complete a doctoral degree (Ph.D., Psy.D., Ed.D., or DSW) from an accredited college or university which generally entails:

–5 years of full-time graduate study;

–3,300 hours of structured, supervised clinical experience;

–A doctoral dissertation project based on original research (mine may be obtained by clicking here.)

*Pass a rigorous standardized comprehensive examination called the EPPP (Examination for the Professional Practice of Psychology), which is administered by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (which includes both the United States and Canada). The exam includes the following domains:

–Ethics and Professional Issues

–Abnormal Psychology

–Clinical Psychology

–Industrial and Organizational Psychology

–Social Psychology

–Lifespan Development

–Learning Theory



–Statistics and Research Design

–Test Construction

–Psychological Assessment

*Pass a comprehensive Jurisprudence Exam, detailing the laws which apply to the practice of psychology in the State of Washington.

I encourage you to make an informed decision. For your convenience, all of the relevant licensing points of contact may be found by clicking here.