The Case against the Certification of Sport Psychologists: In Search of the Phantom Expert

in The Sport Psychologist
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The primary purpose of this article is to provide a rationale against the certification of sport psychologists. The paper centers on two main issues. First, certification in sport psychology is overly exclusive and does not recognize the unique contributions that individuals with related skills can offer the profession. Instead, the field should develop a consensus about the competencies of its practitioners, researchers, and educators. Second, professionals in sport psychology must rethink this preoccupation of using the clinical psychology model to gain respect and certification. Unless a person is a registered psychologist, he or she cannot engage in clinical practice with athletes or anyone else. Rather than the preoccupation with clinical practice, the field of sport psychology would better serve the public by continuing to scientifically validate its cognitive and behavioral techniques, recognizing the necessary role of clinical psychologists, and educating the public about the required skills of sport psychologists.

M.H. Anshel is with the Department of Human Movement Science at the University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW, Australia 2500.

The Sport Psychologist
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