The candidate will be able to demonstrate competency in the following Foundational and Functional Competency areas as defined below:
Assessment: A successful Candidate conducts assessments that can range from the administration and interpretation of standardized tests to behavioral observations and clinical interviews. Assessment cases may come from any developmental level across the lifespan. In some forms of professional practice, assessment and intervention are integral parts of the same process. Examiners explore the Candidate’s level of sophistication in discussing choice of assessment methods or approaches to address diagnostic issues and/or case formulation consistent with whatever theoretical foundation and evidence base is proposed as guiding
assessment work. A successful Candidate will demonstrate the ability to conduct a comprehensive biopsychosocial evaluation appropriate for the patient’s health, illness, and injury and/or disability, and through this process the successful Candidate:
• Assesses and integrates biological, emotional, cognitive, and social/environmental factors.
• Selects, administers and integrates evidence-based biopsychosocial measures appropriate for assessing risk factors and/or presenting problems across healthcare settings.
• Obtains and integrates collateral sources of information, such as from significant others, other medical and allied health providers, and electronic health records.
• Integrates medical assessment results (e.g. labs, imaging), treatment strategies (e.g. medications, surgeries, procedures) and their biopsychosocial impact into evaluations.
• Communicates key assessment results and recommendations to patients and referring medical and/or allied health providers.
• Appropriately uses assessment and evaluation data to inform conceptualization, diagnosis and recommendations.
Intervention: A successful Candidate performs interventions that may take the form of any modality of psychotherapy, health and behavior intervention or environmental modification. Intervention cases may come from any developmental level across the lifespan. In some forms of professional practice, assessment and intervention are integral parts of the same process. Examiners explore the Candidate’s level of sophistication in discussing choice of therapeutic or environmental interventions to address therapeutic or systemic/organizational issues consistent with whatever theoretical foundation and evidence base is proposed as guiding intervention work. A successful Candidate will demonstrate the ability to implement appropriate evidence-based biopsychosocial interventions to treat or prevent health and behavioral health-related issues, and through this process the successful Candidate:
• Selects and implements prevention and intervention efforts informed by the current
• Considers appropriate use of new and emerging health technologies in the development
and implementation of prevention and intervention efforts.
• Develops the treatment plan in collaboration with the patient.
• Selects, administers, and/or integrates appropriate physical and psychological
assessments for the purpose of monitoring treatment progress.
• Collaborates with interprofessional healthcare team to ensure appropriate treatment
goals, methods, and outcomes.
Consultation: A successful Candidate demonstrates the ability to serve as a consultant and communicate and apply his/her knowledge in consultation to others such as other people who provide psychological services, healthcare professionals from other disciplines, social service agencies, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, industry, legal systems, public policy makers, and individuals in other institutions and settings. Clinical health psychologists, additionally, serve as consultants regarding clinical research. A successful Candidate will demonstrate the ability to interact and collaborate with professionals from other disciplines in the healthcare setting, and therefore:
• Displays understanding of role and expectations of a clinical health psychologist providing consultation within the context of intradisciplinary and interprofessional healthcare settings.
• Ensures a shared understanding of the purpose of the consultation and roles of involved parties (i.e. agencies, healthcare providers, patients).
• Applies existing health-related theory and research to conceptualize consultation questions, and selects and implements methods appropriate to the context and consultation question(s).
• Translates and communicates accurate conclusions and recommendations in the healthcare setting.
Management/Administration: This competency domain will be addressed for those Candidates who submit practice samples that demonstrate the design and implementation of Clinical Health Psychology programs within larger systems or communities. A successful Candidate demonstrates the ability to effectively carry out administrative activities and to meet the requirement for documenting program effectiveness. A successful Candidate will demonstrate the ability to use appropriate methods to develop, implement, or enhance a Clinical Health Psychology practice, educational program, and/or program of research, and through this process:
• Provides a rationale for the program (e.g. needs assessment) and conducts program outcome evaluation for considering all relevant stakeholders.
• Develops and implements written policies and procedures related to a Clinical Health Psychology practice, educational program, and/or program of research.
• Demonstrates leadership within an interprofessional team or organization in the healthcare setting.
• Demonstrates knowledge of the mission and organizational structure, relevant historical factors, and position of Clinical Health Psychology in healthcare organization and system.
Research and/or Evaluation: (This competency domain will only be addressed for those candidates who engage in research in health psychology).
• Conducts scholarly research using appropriate research design, measures, data analysis, and interpretation of the results.
• Applies scientific methods best suited to the diverse research questions and levels of analysis to examine psychosocial and biological processes as they relate to health promotion, illness prevention, or disease progression or maintenances.
Supervision: (This competency domain will only be addressed for those candidates who engage in supervision of clinical health psychology activities).
• Articulates supervision models and practices that take into account the level of professional development of the supervisee
• Applies knowledge of supervision models and practices in supervision of clinical health psychology activities for psychologists, psychology trainees and health providers for other health professions.
• Demonstrates an understanding of the ethical, legal, and contextual issues of the supervisor role
Teaching: (This competency domain will only be addressed for those candidates who regularly engage in teaching in the area of clinical health psychology, e.g. graduate courses or seminars, teaching other health professionals, undergraduate courses.)
• Integrates the most current research and literature specific to the subject matter and method of instruction
• Evaluates their teaching effectiveness and modifies material and strategy-based feedback.
• Demonstrates knowledge of diverse learning strategies and how to accommodate individual differences.
Advocacy: (This competency domain will only be addressed for those candidates who routinely engage in clinical health psychology related systematic advocacy activities designed to impact policy, law, and/or public reform).
• Develops and organizes strategic alliances (including institutions and agencies) for the purpose of effecting systemic change at level of institutions, communities, and/or society.
• Develops and implements action plans for targeted change or progress toward a social, political, economic or cultural goal.
• Describes differences between the role of practitioner and role of advocate.
Eight foundational competency areas are interwoven throughout all domains of professional activity in Clinical Health Psychology and must be demonstrated by all Candidates. Each of these eight competency areas is described below:
Professionalism: A successful Candidate will conduct oneself in a manner consistent with the
values and integrity of Clinical Health Psychology, and therefore:
• Maintains identification as a clinical health psychologist who values involvement in professional organizations to enhance professional development and knowledge of issues integral to Clinical Health Psychology.
• Establishes and differentiates the unique contributions of a clinical health psychologist from other members of the health team.
• Demonstrates awareness of current issues facing the Clinical Health Psychology profession.
• Addresses the unique issues, needs, and challenges of working in various healthcare environments.
• Conducts oneself in a professional manner across settings and situations, including monitoring and resolving situations that challenge professional values and integrity.
Reflective Practice, Self-Assessment, and Self-Care: A successful Candidate will engage in ongoing
self-reflection, routinely assess Clinical Health Psychology competencies, and demonstrate appropriate self-care, and thereby:
• Demonstrates evidence of continued development based on self-reflection and self-assessment.
• Demonstrates awareness of limits of competence and operates within those limits in particular populations or settings.
• Seeks supervision and consultation when needed.
• Reads relevant literature and regularly engages in continuing education activities to maintain competencies in Clinical Health Psychology.
• Engages in and values self-care.
Scientific Knowledge & Methods: A successful Candidate will demonstrate knowledge of relevant scientific literatures as they bear on health, behavioral health, and healthcare, and therefore:
• Demonstrates knowledge of pathophysiology of disease and biomedical treatments specific to medical specialty or environment in which services are provided.
• Demonstrates knowledge of the pathways and reciprocal interactions among biological, behavioral, cognitive, emotional, and social/environmental phenomena as they relate to health promotion, health behaviors, illness prevention, and disease progression across the lifespan.
• Demonstrates knowledge of scientific foundations and research methods of other relevant health disciplines.
Relationships: A successful Candidate will demonstrate the ability to establish and maintain working alliances and effective communication with individuals, groups, and communities in ways that enhance the effectiveness of services provided. The successful Candidate therefore:
• Demonstrates sensitivity to the welfare, rights, and dignity of others.
• Develops and sustains collaborative relationships with individuals such as patients, families, caregivers, colleagues, trainees/students, and communities across interprofessional settings.
• Maintains appropriate professional and personal boundaries with others.
• Addresses and resolves interpersonal conflicts in a proactive manner.
• Integrates and explains Clinical Health Psychology concepts and interpretations in a manner best suited to a particular audience.
Individual and Cultural Diversity: A successful Candidate will demonstrate knowledge of diversity factors in all Clinical Health Psychology services across settings, and as such:
• Conveys an awareness of one’s own diversity variables and how these influence the people with whom, and contexts within which, one functions as a clinical health psychologist.
• Appreciates the individual and cultural diversity of beliefs and attitudes toward health and wellness held by patients and healthcare providers.
• Demonstrates knowledge of diversity factors that influence healthcare and access to healthcare.
• Uses culturally inclusive measures and procedures when conducting Clinical Health Psychology services.
• Ensures appropriate accommodations to enable effective delivery of Clinical Health Psychology services.
• Pursues professional development opportunities related to individual and cultural diversity.
Ethical Legal Standards and Policy: The successful Candidate will demonstrate awareness and
application of ethical and legal principles and standards as applied to Clinical Health Psychology, and thereby:
• Demonstrates knowledge and application of ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct.
• Recognizes potential or actual unethical situations and has awareness of appropriate actions to take.
• Demonstrates and applies knowledge of ethical and legal ramifications of Clinical Health Psychology services related to health and behavioral health conditions.
• Identifies and addresses the distinctive ethical issues encountered in clinical health practice, particularly if these are in conflict with the ethical code of other members of the healthcare team.
• Demonstrates familiarity with healthcare setting bylaws, credentialing, privileges, and staffing responsibilities.
Interdisciplinary Systems: The successful Candidate will demonstrate the ability to interact with fellow healthcare professionals in ways that facilitate improved services based on the unique contributions that Clinical Health Psychology can make, and therefore:
• Demonstrates knowledge, appreciation and support of the roles, responsibilities, and resources of other healthcare professionals in providing services both in general and specialty medical settings.
• Understands and functions within formal and informal organizational structures relevant to his/her professional activities.
• Accesses, evaluates, and uses information from other healthcare providers, including use of methods that involve new and emerging health technologies.
• Possesses knowledge of strengths and potential challenges associated with interdisciplinary collaborative activities (e.g., research, education, clinical care, administration).
Evidence-Based Practice: The successful Candidate will demonstrate knowledge of evidence-based practice (i.e. empirical bases of Clinical Health Psychology services in conjunction with clinical expertise and patient characteristics and preferences) to health, behavioral health, and healthcare, and as such:
• Applies knowledge of scientific methodologies to examine psychosocial and biological processes as they relate to health promotion, health behaviors, illness prevention and disease progression.
• Conceptualizes presenting problems and questions based on current scientific evidence.
• Engages in evidence-based practice when conducting assessment, intervention, consultation, and other health-related activities, integrating individual and contextual factors.