After a mental health professional earns their graduate degree, completes their supervised work hours, passes their EPPP, and finishes any remaining state-specific requirements e.g CPLEE in California, they can work as a licensed psychologist. Once they’ve earned their license to practice, they must maintain certain standards to keep it active, one of which is CE.
CE is an ongoing process of learning. It builds on knowledge obtained during a psychologist’s graduate education and keeps them current on industry-specific information.
Outside of any state-specific content requirements, psychologists can take any type of CE that interests them or is related to their field of expertise. Marriage therapists may want to learn more strategies for dealing with conflict, while neuropsychologists could choose to focus on a cognition-specific course.
While therapists can take any continuing education classes that meet their state’s requirements, most professionals focus on classes in their areas of interest and expertise. A forensic psychologist, for example, might take classes on evaluating competency before trial, while a trauma specialist might take classes discussing the latest research on rape, war, and other trauma-intensive topics.
When a psychologist takes a CE course, it may be through a plethora of educational or psychological organizations. A non-profit group for fostering children may have a CE workshop that covers how to treat these children in a therapy setting, for instance.
Psychology CE courses can take the form of:
- University classes
- Online classes
- Community service
An important note: make sure the CE course you choose is approved by your state’s board. Without their approval, your hours of work may not count toward your total number of CE hours.
Each state has its own requirements for psychology CE — and these vary wildly. For instance, some require psychologists to learn about specific topics during their CE, while others don’t. Some states require 20 hours of CE every year, while others only require 12.
It’s imperative that psychologists understand and meet their state’s CE regulations. Without completing these courses, their license may be suspended or revoked. They may also receive sanctions from their licensing board.