Board Certification: Psychoanalysis in Psychology

Marilyn S. Jacobs

Board certification is essential to medical specialties in the Western world. It elevates the specialty's standards, protects the public against irresponsible/unqualified practitioners, authorizes educational resources, sets requirements for testing specialty candidates and issues certificates of qualification.

Consumers, professionals, employers, insurers, credentialing organizations, legal systems and licensing boards all consider the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) certification the best measure of competence within a particular psychological specialty.

Benefits of Board Certification
  • Public recognition of an advanced expertise.

  • Increased knowledge through access to ABPP specialty CE credits.

  • Increased practice mobility.

  • Expanded employment opportunities. 

  • Personal rewards from recognition.

  • Interaction with other distinguished psychology specialists.

  • Opportunity for contributions to the profession.

The American Board of Psychoanalysis in Psychology

The American Board of Psychoanalysis in Psychology (ABPsaP) was established in 1983. This achievement was created by the efforts of members of the Division of Psychoanalysis (39). The achievement of formal recognition was a lengthy process which lasted 12 years.  In 1996, the first ABPsaP examination was administered to candidates.

Specialty Definition

Psychoanalysis is a means of understanding human motivation and behavior based upon an understanding of factors outside of a person's awareness. It informs both scholarly study and practice. This deep perspective toward psychological understanding and intervention emphasizes the relationship between analysand and analyst. It necessarily continues over some extended time, in that an understanding of the relationship reflects reinstatement of the life history of the analysand. This reveals the dynamics of the treatment process, leading to reduction of personal distress.

Examination Eligibility

The examination eligibility criteria are presently being revised and will be posted on this site in the near future.

Board Members

Stephen J. Miller, PhD, ABPP 

Thomas W. Ross, EdD, ABPP

G. Michael Kampschaefer, PsyD, ABPP 
Past President

Marilyn S. Jacobs, PhD, ABPP
APA Council of Specialties Representative
Chair, Psychoanalysis Synarchy

Karen J. Maroda, PhD, ABPP
Practice Sample Coordinator

Dolores O. Morris, PhD, ABPP 
Chairperson, National Examinations 
Representative, ABPP Board of Trustees

David L. Downing, PsyD, ABPP

Jon Mills, PhD, PsyD, ABPP
Credentials Review

Gemma Marangoni Ainslie, PhD, ABPP
President, Academy of Psychoanalysis