It is with great pleasure that I announce that I have recently attained my license and am now a licensed clinical Psychologist (PSY26218) in the state of California.
I realize that not all individuals may know what this means, and I hope to provide some information about that here.
To start, most health care professions – along with many other kinds of professions – are licensed, meaning that in order to provide the services, an individual must have registered themselves with a governing entity (usually the state in which they practice) and oftentimes must prove that they have a particular amount of knowledge and/or experience. This also means that that individual can be disciplined by that board and is beholden to set of standards.
Regardless of the kind of health services you are seeking, it is always a good idea to verify the license of that individual. The state of California has a website available – BreEZe – through which any individual may check for the licensing status of any person or business governed by the state. Here is an example of what a result looks like:
So here you can see that both my status as Registered Psychologist and Psychologist are active, and that I have changed my name of record for the Board of Psychology.
If you click through on the Psychologist license, you will see details regarding when I became licensed and whether or not I have been the subject of any disciplinary action – which I have not.
For my part, becoming a licensed psychologist in California requires that an individual holds a doctorate degree in psychology, has 3000 hours of supervised professional experiences, takes several specific courses covering topics such as substance abuse and domestic violence, and passes each a national and state licensing examination. This is a lengthy and rigorous process, intended to ensure a minimum standard of competence in order to practice at this level.
I consider licensing to be a very important part of my work, and I encourage all people who ask me about seeking treatment to ask about the license of those from whom they may receive the treatment. Because it is possible to essentially provide mental health services without a license, receiving such treatment from an individual without a license leaves that person without any manner of recourse or any assurances that that individual will adhere to appropriate legal and/or ethical standards.