Many times, I receive telephone calls from individuals or hear clients express the fact that they would like to become a psychologist and are interested in knowing what that involves. They are often horrified to hear that I have the equivalent of 11 ½ years of university education as well as 2 years of Provisional internship.
In Canada, licensure and discipline are provincial matters and in the United States are state matters. Most jurisdictions require that individuals have an approved graduate degree in psychology or the equivalent (6 years of university study) before applying for Provisional status. Then a supervision plan is developed which focuses on the branch of psychology for specialization and a suitable supervisor and placement arranged. Some areas of study include:
Educational/School Psychology Clinical/Counselling Neuropsychology Forensic Psychology Industrial/Organizational Psychology Health Psychology Rehabilitation Psychology
The candidate then experiences supervised practice for a minimum of 1600 hours (approximately 10 months). or the amount determined by the state/provincial body.
The EPPP examination which is used throughout North America requires a passing grade of 70 percent. An oral examination is conducted and, if the individual passes all the requirements s/he can apply to become a Registered Psychologist. The word "psychologist" is a protected title in most areas and only those who have registered able to use it.
Frequently individuals tell me that they think they would like to have my "job" but when they hear about the requirements to Register, immediately state that they have changed their minds.
Although the process is long and demanding, the results are rewarding and a sense of competency, confidence and accomplishment are experienced.