New Certification Categories

ABE Psychodrama abepsychodrama at
Thu Jan 8 15:37:04 UTC 2015


DearPsychodrama Community Members,

Recentlythere has been a discussion of what happened to the creation of a newcertification category.  This posting isissued to address that issue.

TheAmerican Board of Examiners in Psychodrama, Sociometry and Group Psychotherapyhas spent a great deal of time and energy exploring a new certificationcategory.  Since I have been ExecutiveDirector this new category for certification has been investigated at leastfour times.  The process has usuallybegun with a great deal of passion and enthusiasm for a new category but becamederailed 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 fromwhom?  What, if any, written or on-siteexams are required?  See ProcessQuestions For New Certification Categories at the end of this email.)  Please remember that when the Board was firstcreated seventy-nine people became grandparented as TEPs.  It is not feasible for the Board to create anew category for four or five people.  

In the veryearly days Claire Danielsson requested a community psychodramatist certificationcategory for persons working with the poor, underprivileged and underserved.  Everything was created for this new categorybut it was derailed when Claire announced that community organizers wereunderpaid, 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 werenot willing to have their dues raised to subsidize the communitypsychodramatists.  At that point thecommunity psychodramatist category was tabled.


From1997-1999 the Board explored creating a new category of educator.  Many educators had been trained inpsychodrama, and sociometry by California TEPs under Dr. Andrew Hughey’sleadership at the College of Education at San Jose State University.  The educators in California wanted a Master’sDegree.  Since the Master’s curriculum atSan Jose already included all postgraduate training courses required by theBoard, the issue was tabled and the educators simply decided to becomecertified as practitioners.  Some of themwent on to become TEPs.  

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

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

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



Over thepast year, both during the conversation hours at the ASGPP Conferences and viae-mail communications, the ABE has discussed with members the possibility ofcreating new certification categories. The conversation has focused both on apart-way category en route to the CP and an alternative certification fornon-mental-health practitioners. Despite lively discussion, and many different pointsof view discussed, only about 5% of the membership has weighed in on thistopic. There was no clear consensus even among those participating in thediscussion about what an alternative certification should be or how it would beimplemented. In the meantime, as has happened in the past, there wereindividuals with non-mental health backgrounds (four this year) who took the CPexam in the fall of 2012. The Board has posted a document on our website, underthe heading The CP Application Process tiled, “Non-Mental Health Guidelines”and encourages all to read and review this document. The Board is still exploringoptions 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 notethat any person who writes, either a letter or an email, to the Board willautomatically have their concerns placed on the agenda of the next regularlyscheduled meeting of the Board of Directors. The President will correspond with that person to communicate what, ifany, actions are taken on the concern.


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




(Revised 8/11)

When the Boardbegins the process of contemplating the creation of newcertification categories, the following areas will need to be addressed. 

1. What shall wecall this new certification category?

2. What are thebasic job elements for this certification category?

3. In what fieldsor arenas will this certification category practice?

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

    knowledge of addictions, etc.) will berequired?

5. How will thesecompetencies 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 thesupervision?

6.  Whichcompetencies will be evaluated on a written exam

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

     History,Philosophy, Methodology, Sociometry, Research,

     Ethics, andRelated Fields)?

7. Whichcompetencies will be evaluated in the on-site


8.  How will anew 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 befor the level?

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


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

      certification fee and the annual renewalfee?

12.  What additional ethical and legal obligationswill the Board have

       for this new category ofcertification?  The Board must monitor

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

      may result in a lawsuit filed against theBoard.

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

       new level?





 Dale Richard Buchanan, Ph.D., T.E.P.
Executive Director, American Board of Examiners in Psychodrama,
Sociometry and Group Psychotherapy
abepsychodrama at
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the List mailing list