CERTIFICATIONS

What is a Certified Group Psychotherapist (CGP)?chairs

A Certified Group Psychotherapist (CGP) is a clinical mental health professional who meets nationally accepted criteria of education, training and experience in group psychotherapy. A CGP is an expert in group psychotherapy and an ethical practitioner who is committed to group psychotherapy as an autonomous treatment modality. The International Board for Certification of Group Psychotherapists offers this certification in group therapy for practicing clinicians. This credential requires a master’s degree or higher in a designated mental health specialty and clinical group experience with supervision/consultation. The CGP is valid for two years and then needs to be renewed. The CGP provides a mechanism of formal recognition that you have a specialty expertise in Group Therapy.

Purpose

The CGP certification was designed to strengthen group therapy services for patients experiencing mental health concerns. The purpose of this certification is to recognize and validate eligible mental health providers who have basic skills, knowledge and expertise in group therapy. The Certification Board developed the certification for eligible providers:

  • To promote and protect the public’s health safety and welfare through the dissemination of information which will enable the pubic to make informed decisions regarding appropriate group psychotherapy practices;
  • To assess health care trends which impact group psychotherapy;
  • To enhance the professionalism of group psychotherapists by establishing and advancing standards of professional practice, ethics and education;
  • To define, establish and promote criteria for the certification of professional qualifications in the field of group psychotherapy;
  • To grant recognition to and promote professional accountability for clinical mental health professionals who are certified;
  • To encourage group therapists lifelong learning through continuing education;
  • To promote cooperation among public and private organizations interested in the certification of group psychotherapists;
  • To conduct assessments of the effectiveness of certification including the impact of certification on group psychotherapy, the role of certification in mental health and the benefits of such certification

 

Earning the CGP will benefit you by:

  • RECOGNIZING YOU as having MET NATIONAL STANDARDS for providing group psychotherapy services

  • INCLUDING YOU in the Online Directory that is used by the public to search for therapists and by collegaues for referrals

  • PRESENTING YOU TO CONSUMERS AND EMPLOYERS as having met the educational and experience standards to be CERTIFIED IN GROUP PSYCHOTHERAPY

  • SUPPORTING your chosen profession in establishing and ADVANCING STANDARDS OF PRACTICE AND EDUCATION for group psychotherapy

  • PROMOTING PROFESSIONAL ACCOUNTABILITY for clinical mental health professionals who practice group psychotherapy

  • DEMONSTRATING YOUR HIGH LEVEL OF CONTINUED EXCELLENCE through continuing education and recertification

 

Earning the CGP credential also means that you will benefit from the many accomplishments the Registry has made on behalf of CGPs:

  • The Registry has certified over 3,000 group psychotherapists, setting a standard for group psychotherapy practice for consumers, the professional community, training institutions and the third-party payers.

  • As a CGP, you will be listed in the CGP online directory on our comprehensive group psychotherapy website www.agpa.org, which helps consumers find a group therapist. This valuable referral tool shows your particular areas of expertise and is searchable by name and geographic locale.

  • The Group Solution, the Registry newsletter, keeps CGPs informed of changes in the behavioral healthcare field, presents suggestions for developing a successful group therapy practice, addresses ethical issues specific to group psychotherapy, and keeps members informed about the Registry’s ongoing efforts on behalf of its membership.

  • The Registry advocates for group psychotherapy as a treatment modality in a number of professional and popular publications, as well as with insurance companies, government agencies, and opinion leaders.

  • The Registry promotes professional accountability through the regular recertification process by requiring continuing education and testament to ethical practice.

  • Your CGP listing in the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists includes a complete practice profile, which is distributed to your colleagues and third-party payers.

As a special benefit, your certification fee includes one year of membership in the American Group Psychotherapy Association. The Registry can present you to the outside world as a qualified group psychotherapist, but AGPA can help you stay one. From providing group psychotherapy training and continuing education through its Annual Meetings and thirty-three local and regional societies to keeping you up-to date on news in the field through the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy and The Group Circle, the Association perfectly complements the Registry; not to mention the international network of over 3,000 group psychotherapist colleagues you will have at your fingertips. As soon as your certification is approved, you will immediately become a Clinical Member of AGPA (instead of the usual entry category of Associate Clinical Member). Basically this all means that you’ll receive two for the price (and the paperwork!) of one.

We hope that you will take this opportunity to take the next step in your group psychotherapy career by becoming certified. Please call the Registry office toll-free at 877-668-2472 or 212-477-1600, or e-mail us at info@agpa.org if you have any questions.

Criteria for Being Certified

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Registry eligibility requires both general clinical credentials and specific group psychotherapy credentials.

 

Additional Information:

 

WAIVERS

 

  • Current Clinical Members and Fellows in good standing of the

American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA) who qualify for

Registry acceptance under Section A:  Clinical Credentials will be

exempt from completing Sections B3-5, Group Psychotherapy

Experience and Supervision, including the provision of references.

 

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

 

  • 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 Registry reference requirements.

 

PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY INSURANCE

 

The National Registry of Certified 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 reimbursers require verification that clinical providers have liability coverage.

 

RECERTIFICATION

 

The Registry will require a recertification process every two years.  Eighteen (18) hours of continuing education in group psychotherapy will be a requirement for recertification as well as active state licensure and/or active clinical membership/ certification status with designated national professional organizations.  Detailed information will be forwarded upon Registry acceptance.

 

FEE

Certification Fee:  $420.00

Current AGPA Members receive 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.

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

 

  1. Identifying Information:

Name must be listed as it appears on your license or

membership/certification.

 

  1. Education

List all graduate degrees.  A minimum of a Master’s degree in a clinical mental health field or related health field is required.

 

If you are a physician, please complete information on your residency training program in psychiatry.

 

  1. Clinical Discipline

If you have advanced degrees in more than one discipline, please list the primary one for which you are licensed or certified to practice as a clinical mental health professional in your state.

 

  1. State Licensure

Most states now regulate clinical practice with discipline licensure.  You  

 must have the highest   level license available for your discipline in your 

 state. 

 

  1. 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 this Registry. 

 

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

Registry

OR

National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors:  Master Addiction 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 Registry

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 Registry

OR

American Association of Pastoral Counselors:  Fellow or Diplomate

Documentation Required:  Copy of current membership

 

SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGISTS:

State licensed at the highest level or in one of the disciplines recognized by the Registry

OR

National Association of School Psychologists:National Certified School Psychologist

 

GROUP THERAPISTS:

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

OR

American Group Psychotherapy Association: Clinical Member or Fellow

Documentation Required:  None

 

PSYCHOANALYSTS

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

OR

American Psychoanalytic Association: Active Member

Documentation Required:  Copy of current membership

 

INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS:

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

 

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

 

  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.

 

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. Group Psychotherapy Supervision: Refer to eligibility requirements for

    waivers

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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, in the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists and who has a total of 600 hours of group psychotherapy experience.  This requires an additional 300 hours beyond Registry eligibility standards.  Verification of supervisor qualifications will be affirmed by supervisor signature on the Supervision Verification Reference Form.

  1. 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 Registry 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.

 

Recertification Information

You can now Recertify Online!

Just follow these 3 easy steps:

1. Click on the Members Only section on the left hand side.

2. Type your login and password. If you have forgotten the

    information, please call us toll free at 1-888-808-AGPA (2472).

3. Once logged in click on “Renew Your Certification” on the top

    then follow the online process form.

A total of 18 group psychotherapy continuing education hours is required in formal and informal learning activities as indicated below. DO NOT send certificates or other documentation of attendance/participation at this time; however, retain these documents for two years in the event an audit of your records is required.

MAINTENANCE OF LICENSURE: Recertification requires you to maintain the active license to practice in your discipline and/or clinical membership/certification in designated national professional organizations which you held at the time of certification. Your signature on this form verifies this.

FORMAL LEARNING ACTIVITIES: Required: Minimum of 9 hours (50%) or the total 18 hours (100%) of continuing education credits may be in this category.

Definition: Learning activities that are formally organized and accredited events which have specific objectives related to the theory and practice of group psychotherapy. Each contact hour is equivalent to one credit hour.

The approval of such formal learning activities by an accrediting body will be an acceptable indication that such continuing education activities meet the standards of the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. (e.g. the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, the American Psychological Association, State Associations of Social Workers, the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation, State Associations of Marriage and Family Therapists, or the National Board of Certified Counselors)

INFORMAL LEARNING ACTIVITIES: Required: None required; maximum of 9 hours (50%) of continuing education credits may be in this category.

Definition: Informal learning activities which meet the Registry’s continuing education requirements include study groups, peer supervision and non-accredited professional learning events which focus on group psychotherapy theory and practice. Each contact hour is equivalent to one credit hour.

In addition, preparation and presentation of lectures, workshops, and courses as well as preparation and publication of papers, articles, chapters, and books on group psychotherapy are accepted activities in this category. In the case of teaching, 2 credit hours may be accrued for each hour of actual instruction. For publications, an article, chapter or book may be counted as 9 credit hours. Reading journal articles or chapters of books pertaining to group therapy are accepted activities; .5 credit hours may be counted for each article or book chapter.