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Oklahoma psychologists are licensed by the Oklahoma Board of Examiners of Psychologists. Licensure is granted to individuals who earn accredited doctoral degrees in psychology, pass a series of national and state examinations, and complete a supervised practice requirement.
The Oklahoma Board also issues Health Service Provider (HSP) certification. The process is not necessarily longer, but there are specific requirements.
Oklahoma psychologists must earn their doctoral degrees through programs accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). The requirement for APA accreditation does not apply to candidates who earned their degrees before 1997.
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Programs must be, at minimum, the equivalent of three academic years. Two years must be spent attending classes at the institution (except in the case of school psychology).
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Two years of supervised professional practice is required before full licensure. Clinical psychology, school psychology, and counseling psychology trainees do their first year at the pre-doctoral level in an internship. The internship is a planned, programmed training sequence. At least 10% of an intern's week is spent in supervisory sessions. Clinical and counseling psychology interns spend at least 25% of their time in direct contact with patients.
Clinical psychology internships may be full-time for one calendar year or part-time for two. Counseling and school psychology programs may also be full-time or part-time, but the time may be based on an academic year if the work takes place in an elementary or secondary school.
At least one year of supervised practice will be at the postdoctoral level. The candidate has the option of working part-time and earning hours over a period of up to three years. The Board considers 2,000 hours to be the equivalent of one year in all specialties but school psychology. School psychology programs may be based on an academic year. In school psychology, the number of hours in a full-time contracted position may be accepted as a year.
Candidates who seek HSP certification should do their postdoctoral practice in a setting where such services are delivered. Typically, state agencies are exempt from licensing requirements. If a resident/ trainee opts to work in a non-exempt institution or in a private practice, however, an application is required.
There is an annual fee for supervisees in private practice and institutional settings. The supervisor in a private practice setting will be a licensed psychologist in private practice who is trained in the same branch of psychology in which the supervisee completed his or her studies.
Over the course of the supervisory period, the supervisee will need at least 75 hours of individual, face-to-face supervision. Sessions must be scheduled and must be distributed over the experience period.
Prospective Oklahoma psychologists must pass three licensing examinations. Two of these examinations candidates become eligible for shortly after their applications have been reviewed. Candidates who do not take and pass examinations on the expected time line jeopardize their supervised practice privileges.
The Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) is a national licensing examination. Approved candidates may register through the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards. A candidate bulletin and preparatory materials can also be found on the ASPPB site.
Upon registration and payment of the $600 examination fee, the candidate will be issued an Authorization to Test (ATT). This authorizes the candidate to schedule at a convenient Prometric Center, either in Oklahoma or another state. The examination is administered via computer. A scaled score of 500 is the threshold for passing.
The jurisprudence or state ethics examination is administered four times per year at the Board office. A list of exam dates can be found on the Board site. Study materials are also posted. The passing score for the jurisprudence exam is 70%.
The last is the oral examination. It is given twice a year. The Board notes that the jurisprudence requirement must be met approximately two months before an oral examination date.
The oral examination is administered by committee. It is based on a vignette which is designed to simulate an actual patient and the various issues surrounding psychological care. Questions will address eight content areas, among them, assessment and evaluation, human diversity, and legal and regulatory mandates.
The candidate will be ranked from one to five in each of the content areas. The maximum score is 40; a 24 is considered passing. Results are typically reported within 14 days. It is possible to get an overall passing score with a score of less than three in one or more content areas. However, an individual who earns less than a three in any content area will be contacted by a resource person; the professional will make remediation recommendations. A licensing examination may be retaken if necessary, subject to mandatory wait times and additional fees. A maximum of four attempts is allowed.
Candidates must submit their license application at the onset of postdoctoral practice unless they are in an exempt setting (in which case a supervision agreement will still be required). The application must be submitted at least 30 days in advance of a board meeting in order to be reviewed at that meeting.
Applications may be requested from the executive officer. Candidates may email Teanne.Rose at psychology.ok.gov or call 405-524-9094 (http://www.ok.gov/OSBEP/Become_a_Licensed_Psychologist/index.html). Three professional references are required. There is a $400 nonrefundable application fee.
Oklahoma has signed the ASPPB Agreement of Reciprocity (http://www.asppb.net/?page=AOR). Other member states include Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Texas. The provinces of Manitoba and Ontario also have reciprocity.
To use this pathway, candidates must have practiced for five years and must have a good disciplinary history. A candidate for reciprocity will have application materials to submit, but the process will be less involved.
Psychologists may also be endorsed on the basis of either of the following credentials: Diplomate status through the American Board of Professional Psychology (ASBPP) or a Certificate of Professional Qualification (CPQ). ABPP certification may be used as evidence that HSP requirements have been met.
If you are still in High School, hold a High School Diploma/GED, hold a bachelor's degree, or hold a master's degree check out suggested steps to take along the path to become a Licensed Psychologist in Oklahoma.
Applicants and other interested individuals may contact the Board via contact form. The Board may be reached by phone at (405) 524-9094.
The Oklahoma Psychological Association is the state affiliate of the APA . The organization does not issue licenses but does keep members apprised of legislative issues.