The Society of Addiction Psychology (SOAP) serves as the primary leadership body within the American Psychological Association (APA) for reviewing and defining what it means for a doctoral level state licensed psychologist to be proficient in the treatment of addiction. Every seven years, SOAP convenes to update the definition and literature related to the proficiency for addiction psychology through a formal review process with Commission for the Recognition of Specialties and Proficiencies in Professional Psychology (CRSPPP). CRSPPP is an formal body within APA to manage this process for all specialties and proficiencies for psychologists. In fact, there are many areas where proficiencies and specialties are defined (see http://www.apa.org/ed/graduate/specialize/recognized.aspx). The proficiency pertaining to the treatment as pertaining to addiction psychology as defined now (see http://www.apa.org/ed/graduate/specialize/alcohol.aspx) is approved through 2024, following a long history of recognition through several cycles of review since it was first recognized in 2001.
On May 6, 2020, the American Board of Professional Psychology’s (ABPP) Board of Trustees (BOT) gave provisional approval to Addiction Psychology as a specialty board. Now licensed psychologists specializing in addictions can apply for Board Certification in Addiction Psychology. Before any licensed psychologist can apply for board certification in Addiction Psychology all relevant manuals, requirements, and forms need to be developed. Stay tuned, as we will send out listserv announcements when candidates can apply to become board certified in Addiction Psychology. We also hope that in a few months we will have a presence on the ABPP webpage for the American Board of Addiction Psychology (ABAP).
Individual doctoral level licensed psychologists who need or are otherwise looking to have a credential speaking to their proficiency in the area of addictions treatment may secure the Master Addiction Counselor (MAC) from the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals). Previous holders of the certificate from COPP were able to transfer their credential to obtain a MAC. Going forward, SOAP will be working with NAADAC, CRSPPP, and others in the practice leadership bodies at APA to work together to maintain a way for psychologists to demonstrate this proficiency.