New Certification Categories

Rebecca Walters hvpi at
Thu Jan 8 14:57:26 UTC 2015

Thank you for sharing the history of this and what might be needed to proceed.


Rebecca Walters

Hudson Valley Psychodrama Institute

156 Bellevue Road

Highland, NY 12528 


Please note new email address: hvpi at

Visit our website at:   <>  



From: List [mailto:list-bounces at] On Behalf Of ABE Psychodrama
Sent: Wednesday, January 07, 2015 7:25 PM
To: GroupTalk
Subject: New Certification Categories




Dear Psychodrama Community Members,


Recently there has been a discussion of what happened to the creation of a new certification category.  This posting is issued to address that issue.


The American Board of Examiners in Psychodrama, Sociometry and Group Psychotherapy has spent a great deal of time and energy exploring a new certification category.  Since I have been Executive Director this new category for certification has been investigated at least four times.  The process has usually begun with a great deal of passion and enthusiasm for a new category but became derailed when the time came to create detailed information about the category (e.g., What educational degree is required?  How many hours of training and from whom?  How many hours of supervision and from whom?  What, if any, written or on-site exams are required?  See Process Questions For New Certification Categories at the end of this email.)  Please remember that when the Board was first created seventy-nine people became grandparented as TEPs.  It is not feasible for the Board to create a new category for four or five people.  


In the very early days Claire Danielsson requested a community psychodramatist certification category for persons working with the poor, underprivileged and underserved.  Everything was created for this new category but it was derailed when Claire announced that community organizers were underpaid, and they could not afford, at that time, a $50.00 annual renewal fee (that was the current dues for CP’s) and other certified psychodramatists were not willing to have their dues raised to subsidize the community psychodramatists.  At that point the community psychodramatist category was tabled.



>From 1997-1999 the Board explored creating a new category of educator.  Many educators had been trained in psychodrama, and sociometry by California TEPs under Dr. Andrew Hughey’s leadership at the College of Education at San Jose State University.  The educators in California wanted a Master’s Degree.  Since the Master’s curriculum at San Jose already included all postgraduate training courses required by the Board, the issue was tabled and the educators simply decided to become certified as practitioners.  Some of them went on to become TEPs.  


>From 2011 to 201 the issue was raised again.  Mario Cossa, M.A., R.D.T./M.T, C.A.W.T., T.E.P., was an elected Board Director, served as Chairperson for this project.  This time there were several different proposals for a new category: sociometrist, sociodramatist, addictions specialist, and lawyers.  Mario engaged in numerous verbal and email conversations with some of the membership about this issue.


This issue was a topic of discussion at four Board of Director’s Meetings, and two ABE conversation hours (2011 & 2012) at the annual meeting of the ASGPP.  A special notice and call for proposals was placed in the meeting packet of each participant at the April 2012 ASGPP annual meeting.  A notice and call for proposals was also placed in the May 2012 issue of Board News.  


After much discussion and deliberation this issue was tabled at the January 2013.   The following report was written and published in the May 2013 issue of Board News (available on our website).



MARIO COSSA, M.A., R.D.T./M.T., C.A.W.T., T.E.P.


Over the past year, both during the conversation hours at the ASGPP Conferences and via e-mail communications, the ABE has discussed with members the possibility of creating new certification categories. The conversation has focused both on a part-way category en route to the CP and an alternative certification for non-mental-health practitioners. Despite lively discussion, and many different points of view discussed, only about 5% of the membership has weighed in on this topic. There was no clear consensus even among those participating in the discussion about what an alternative certification should be or how it would be implemented. In the meantime, as has happened in the past, there were individuals with non-mental health backgrounds (four this year) who took the CP exam in the fall of 2012. The Board has posted a document on our website, under the heading The CP Application Process tiled, “Non-Mental Health Guidelines” and encourages all to read and review this document. The Board is still exploring options for a new, part-way certification category.  [Since only one person responded in writing, either by letter or email, to the Board this category was also tabled.]


Please note that any person who writes, either a letter or an email, to the Board will automatically have their concerns placed on the agenda of the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Directors.  The President will correspond with that person to communicate what, if any, actions are taken on the concern.


Simply stating that a new category would be nice is not sufficient information for the Board to create a new certification category.  There must be a enough people (five or less is not enough) who support this idea (all new certification categories must be placed on the annual ballot and a majority of persons voting must approve the change).   More importantly there must be sufficient information on a “new” category to create a new category.  Listed below are the questions that must be answered prior to the Board of Directors creating a new certification category.





(Revised 8/11)


When the Board begins the process of contemplating the creation of new certification categories, the following areas will need to be addressed. 


1. What shall we call this new certification category?


2. What are the basic job elements for this certification category?


3. In what fields or arenas will this certification category practice?


4. Which basic competencies (e.g., ability to direct a sociodrama,

    knowledge of addictions, etc.) will be required?


5. How will these competencies be obtained? 

    A. What, if any, formal educational degree?

    B. How many hours of training? Who can provide the


    C. What kinds and how many hours of practical


    D. How many hours of supervision for this practical 

        experience? Who can provide the supervision?


6.  Which competencies will be evaluated on a written exam

     (e.g., For both CP and TEP, the Board has seven:

     History, Philosophy, Methodology, Sociometry, Research,

     Ethics, and Related Fields)?


7. Which competencies will be evaluated in the on-site



8.  How will a new level of certification impact the current levels of


    A.  Will a new category have access to either of the two current

         levels (CP or TEP)?

    B.  How will those already certified as either a CP or TEP obtain the

         new category of certification?  



9.  How many potential applicants will there be for the level?


10. How much will it cost the Board to certify each individual for this 



11. What will the Board be able to charge for both the initial

      certification fee and the annual renewal fee?


12.  What additional ethical and legal obligations will the Board have

       for this new category of certification?  The Board must monitor

       the “ethical conduct” of all certified individuals, failure to do so

      may result in a lawsuit filed against the Board.


13.  Given all the above, is it practicable and feasible to create this 

       new level?




Respectfully submitted,





Dale Richard Buchanan, Ph.D., T.E.P.
Executive Director, American Board of Examiners in Psychodrama,
Sociometry and Group Psychotherapy
abepsychodrama at

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