Is This Psychologist Qualified?

As the consumer, it is your right to ask your psychologist questions about their training background and clinical experience. Understanding whether a psychologist is prepared to provide services depends on your particular needs as a client. To get started, consider asking a potential psychologist these questions:

What university or program did you receive your doctoral degree from?

During your doctoral education was your graduate school or program accredited or designated by…

  • The American Psychological Association (APA)?
  • The Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) and the National Register of Health Service Psychologists (National Register)?

To see a list of doctoral programs that meet these standards, click here.

Are you a licensed psychologist in this state?

  • To verify that the psychologist is licensed in your state, click here to access a list of licensing boards in the US and Canada. If you are still unsure after reviewing your state’s website, try calling the licensing office or contacting the National Register.

What clinical experience do you have working with…

  • This particular kind of distress?
  • This particular age group?
  • This particular cultural group?

Do you accept insurance? If so, what types of insurance?

Have you ever been sanctioned or disciplined by…

  • Your graduate school or program?
  • Any ethics board or state licensing board for professional psychology?
  • The National Register of Health Service Psychologists?
  • The American Psychological Association?

To access information about psychologists who have been sanctioned or disciplined by the National Register of Health Service Psychologists click here. For disciplinary actions of state licensing boards click here.

Although these are important questions to ask, a psychologist’s answer to any particular question doesn’t necessarily mean they are either qualified or unqualified to provide good care. Rather than focusing on any one particular factor, it is important to consider a psychologist’s overall qualifications and your own feelings about a particular provider.