American Board of Clinical Health Psychology

Consider American Board of Clinical Health Psychology (ABCHP) certification.

By W. Douglas Tynan, PhD
While there is no specific board for Pediatric Psychology through the American Board of Professional Psychology, those working in pediatric settings have two distinct options. The first is board certification in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. The current application for that board includes a check box to indicate whether you are applying for clinical child or pediatric. That does not indicate a specific subspecialty, it just lets the board know to send your materials and have an examination committee who more closely match your area of work.
The second option for ABPP, which affords some additional flexibility for applicants, is the American Board of Clinical Health Psychology (ABCHP) of ABPP. Now entering its 20 th year, ABCHP welcomes Div. 54 applicants. The very first group of ABPP diplomats in Clinical Health Psychology were drawn from distinguished clinicians from Div. 38 and Div. 54. A number of pediatric psychology clinicians have been included over the years, including the current president of Div. 54, Tim Wysocki and pediatric psychologists are represented on the board.
The flexibility in ABCHP is afforded by the Board’s recognition of the breadth of Health Psychology activities. Thus while two case studies are required, one of the two cases can be a description of a program (e.g. developing a school health promotion program), and clinical quality outcome work. In addition, ABCHP does not require video or audio recording of case sessions, written notes can be submitted for evaluation. Recordings are certainly accepted, but not required. For those who are doing programmatic work in areas such as smoking prevention, positive parenting programs, school based health programs, and in general, work for public health settings, ABCHP may be a better fit.
If you work in a health care setting, and not a mental health setting, ABCHP board certification could be a better match with your interests, skills and daily work. Examination committees for applicants from Pediatric settings will include pediatric psychologists. Examinations are routinely held in conjunction with the APA Convention and Society for Behavioral Medicine annual meeting.
If you have any additional questions regarding ABCHP, please contact Doug Tynan, PhD (ABPP in both Clinical Health Psychology and Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology).