practice guidelines, group, group therapy, certification, group therapist qualifications, eligibility, application

How to Apply

Click here to download a PDF version of the certification application.

ELIGIBILITY

Becoming a Certified Group Psychotherapist signifies that a clinician has met nationally accepted standards to practice as a group psychotherapist. This required that the applicant has documented clinical credentials and specific group psychotherapy credentials (see below). Candidates must have completed a graduate degree in a mental health discipline accepted by the Certification Board and achieved the highest state clinical licensure and/or clinical membership/certification in their designated national professional organizations. They must also meet specific group training requirements and provide documentation that they hold current malpractice insurance either through their practice or agency. The Certification Board requires a recertification process every two years to maintain one's CGP. 

FEES:

One-time Certification Fee:  $420.00 
Current AGPA Members receive a discount fee:  $295.00
50% of the amount paid is a non-refundable processing fee.

Please note that this is a one time, initial fee; there will be a nominal fee for recertification every two years.

Recertification Fee:
CGP Member $180, CGP Non-Member $270
CGP-Retired Member $90, CGP-Retired Non-Member $180

CLINICAL CREDENTIALS:  Requires a graduate degree and the highest state clinical licensure to practice independently and/or clinical membership/certification in designated national professional organizations as further described below.

State Licensure
Most states now regulate clinical practice with discipline licensure.  You must have the highest level license available to practice independently for your discipline in your state. (Applicants who practice in states that have more than one level of licensure for independent practice should contact the IBCGP office.)

Membership/Certification in National Professional Organizations
This section is only for use by applicants for whom discipline licensure is not available.

If licensure is not available in your state or if you reside outside of the United States, membership or certification at the highest clinical level in designated national professional organizations may be used to verify credentials as a clinical mental health professional for the purposes of the CGP.
 

DOCUMENTATION BY DISCIPLINE:

Please refer to your specific professional discipline listed below for required clinical credential documentation.  Please note that membership/certification in national professional organizations is only for use by applicants for whom discipline licensure is not available.  In states where licensure is applicable, required documentation will be a copy of your current license.

PSYCHIATRISTS:

State licensed to practice medicine
            AND
Completion of an APA approved residency training program in psychiatry

PSYCHOLOGISTS:

State licensed at the highest level

SOCIAL WORKERS:

State licensed at the highest level

NURSES:

State licensed to practice as a Registered Nurse
           AND
Registration or license by the State Board of Nursing at the highest level as a Clinical Nurse Specialist/Advanced Nurse Practitioner in Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing

Documentation Required: 
Copy of State Board of Nursing authorization to practice
           OR
American Nurses Credentialing Center:  Certification as a Clinical Specialist in Adult or Child and Adolescent Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing 

Documentation Required: 
Copy of certification certificate and recertification (if applicable)

MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPISTS:

State licensed at the highest level
            OR
American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists:  Clinical Member 

Documentation Required: 
Letter of verification of active Clinical Member status from AAMFT

ALCOHOLISM AND DRUG ABUSE COUNSELORS:

State licensed at the highest level in one of the disciplines recognized by the Certification Board.
           OR
National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors:  Master Addiction Counselor 

Documentation Required: 
Copy of certification certificate
           OR
International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC): Advanced Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Counselor
Documentation Required:
Copy of certification certificate

CLINICAL MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELORS:

State licensed at the highest level
            OR
National Board of Certified Counselors: Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor
Documentation Required:
Letter of verification of active CCMHC credential from NBCC

CREATIVE ARTS THERAPISTS:

State licensed at the highest level in one of the disciplines recognized by the Certification Board

            OR
American Art Therapy Association: Art Therapist Registered-Board Certified
            OR
American Music Therapy Association Music Therapist Board Certified (with Creative Arts Master’s Degree) Advanced Certified Music Therapist
            OR
American Dance Therapy Association: Dance Therapist Registered or Academy of Dance Therapists Registered
            OR
American Society of Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama: Board Certified Practitioner or Board Certified Trainer, Educator and Practitioner
            OR
National Association for Drama Therapy: Registered Drama Therapist
            OR
National Association for Poetry Therapy:  Registered Poetry Therapist

Documentation Required: 
Copy of certification certificate and recertification (if applicable) for any of the above creative arts credentials

PASTORAL COUNSELORS:

State licensed at the highest level in one of the disciplines recognized by the Certification Board
             OR
American Association of Pastoral Counselors:  Fellow or Diplomat

Documentation Required:  
Copy of current membership

PSYCHOANALYSTS:

State licensed at the highest level in one of the disciplines recognized by the Certification Board
            OR
American Psychoanalytic Association: Active Member

Documentation Required:  
Copy of current membership

SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGISTS:

State licensed at the highest level or in one of the disciplines recognized by the Certification Board
             OR
National Association of School Psychologists: National Certified School Psychologist

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPISTS:

State licensed at the highest level
             AND
Board Certification, National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy 

GROUP THERAPISTS:

State licensed at the highest level in one of the disciplines recognized by the Certification Board
             OR
American Group Psychotherapy Association: Clinical Member or Fellow

Documentation Required:  
None

INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS:

For clinicians residing outside the United States, if you do not meet one of the memberships/certifications listed above, please contact the Certification Board office.

GROUP PSYCHOTHERAPY CREDENTIALS: 
Include group psychotherapy education, experience, supervision, and references.

WAIVER: 
Current Clinical Members and Fellows in good standing of the American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA) who qualify for Certification acceptance under Section A: Clinical Credentials will be exempt from completing Sections B3-5, Group Psychotherapy Experience and Supervision, including the provision of references.  Applicants with 10 or more years of group psychotherapy experience following completion of clinical graduate training will be exempt from listing group psychotherapy supervision hours in Section B4; please indicate the number of years of practice in Section B5 and submit two completed Group Psychotherapy Colleague Reference Forms to meet CGP reference requirements.

Note:  This waiver does not apply to AGPA Associate Clinical and Adjunct Members.

1. Group Psychotherapy Education:
Required: Completion of 12 clock hours of study in group psychotherapy theory and practice.  Applicants may meet this requirement through one 12-hour course, or through multiple workshops, graduate courses and/or training program segments.  The following content areas should have been covered within the 12 hours of coursework:  foundations of group psychotherapy, the group leader, group dynamics and group process, and the change process in groups.  Please list the course(s) which covered these areas (total time must equal at least 12 hours), date(s), instructor(s), and sponsoring organization(s), training program(s) or schools(s).  Verification of completed coursework will be affirmed by applicant’s signature on applicant statement.

Click here for training events to meet the Group Psychotherapy Education requirement.

2.  Group Psychotherapy Experience: Refer to eligibility requirements for waivers
Required:  300 hours of group psychotherapy experience as a leader or co-leader accrued during or following clinical graduate training.

Definition:  To qualify as group psychotherapy experience, the groups must be clearly for the purpose of providing psychotherapy services to designated client/patient populations for valid mental disorders listed in DSM-IV.  Family therapy (unless multi-family groups), peer groups, self-help groups, training groups, and any groups that are not clearly designated to provide psychotherapy services to designated clients/patients do not qualify.  Please list only those groups that meet the above definition.

As hours are a determinant, please list carefully the dates groups began and ended and the hours accumulated for each group.  For ongoing groups, write “ongoing” with today’s date in lieu of the ending date.  Only 300 hours of group psychotherapy experience must be listed, not all groups in which you have been a leader or co-leader.

3. Group Psychotherapy Supervision: Refer to eligibility requirements for waivers

a.  Supervision:
Requirements and Definition.

Required:  75 hours of group psychotherapy supervision accrued during or following clinical graduate training.

Definition:  To qualify as group psychotherapy supervision, such supervision must have occurred with an approved group psychotherapy supervisor in either an individual or group format and must have involved the regular presentation of group psychotherapy clinical material.

As supervision hours are a determinant, please list carefully the dates such supervision began and ended and the hours accumulated for each supervision experience.  Only 75 hours of group psychotherapy supervision must be listed.

Addendum: Please note, the term "supervision" used on the application refers to both supervision and clinical consultation of group therapy. The term "supervisor" refers to both supervisor and consultant of group therapy. 

b.  Approved Group Psychotherapy Supervisor:
Requirements and
Definition.

Required:  All group psychotherapy supervisors who are listed under the 75 hour group psychotherapy supervision requirement must fill out a Supervision Verification Reference Form with the exception of the specific situations listed under Section B4.

Definition:  To qualify as an approved group psychotherapy supervisor, the supervisor must be a group psychotherapist who is listed, or is eligible for listing with the International Board for Certification of Group Psychotherapists and who has a total of 600 hours of group psychotherapy experience.  This requires an additional 300 hours beyond CGP eligibility standards.  Verification of supervisor qualifications will be affirmed by supervisor signature on the Supervision Verification Reference Form.

4.  Group Psychotherapy Reference Forms: Refer to eligibility requirements for waivers 

Required: 
All applicants must submit a minimum of two completed reference forms with the application. 

The Certification Board will use two types of reference forms to meet this requirement:  the Supervision Verification Reference Form and the Group Psychotherapy Colleague Reference Form.  Supervision Verification Reference Forms are completed by applicant’s group psychotherapy supervisors.  Group Psychotherapy Colleague Reference Forms are completed by colleagues who are practicing group psychotherapists and are familiar with applicant’s group psychotherapy skills.  Please note that family members may not be used on either type of reference form.

Applicants are required to submit completed Supervision Verification Reference Forms for all supervision used to meet the 75 hour group psychotherapy supervision requirement with the following exceptions:

In those cases where a single group psychotherapy supervisor has provided the 75 hours of group psychotherapy supervision, applicant may substitute a Group Psychotherapy Colleague Reference Form for the second reference.

In those cases where applicant cannot locate one or both supervisors, Group Psychotherapy Colleague Reference Forms may be substituted provided applicant states, on the Eligibility Form, the reasons supervisor(s) is not reachable.

PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY INSURANCE: 
The International Board for Certification of Group Psychotherapists requires that you submit a current copy of your professional liability insurance certificate (not the policy).  Please be aware that most third party reimburses require verification that clinical providers have liability coverage.

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