Certification of Consultants in Sport Psychology: A Rebuttal to Anshel

in The Sport Psychologist
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  • 1 Boston University
  • | 2 U.S. Olympic Training Center
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The purpose of this paper is to respond to the arguments against certification in sport psychology presented by Anshel (1992). Anshel’s central arguments were (a) certification will diminish rather than promote the field of sport psychology, (b) Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology (AAASP) certification favors professionals trained in psychology, and (c) AAASP certification is inappropriately reliant on clinical psychology as a model for the practice of sport psychology. These criticisms of certification are rebutted by clearly defining certification and related terms, professing an adequate scientific knowledge base in sport psychology to support practice, identifying fraudulent practice as unrelated to certification, clarifying procedures used in developing AAASP certification criteria, and presenting evidence that sport psychology professionals trained in the sport sciences are not less favored for AAASP certification and that clinical psychology is not used as the model for practice in sport psychology.

L.D. Zaichkowsky is with the Department of Counseling Psychology at Boston University, 605 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 02215. F.M. Perna is at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, Sport Psychology Department, 1750 East Boulder St., Colorado Springs, CO 80909.

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