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Forum Q&A: What is the process to becoming a certified PBSP therapist?

  • 25 Jan 2019 1:15 AM
    Message # 7128436

    Newsletter:  January 2019

    Reader question:

    What is the process to becoming a certified PBSP therapist?

    Answer from Jim Amundsen:

    Within the PBSP community world-wide, the status of being “Certified” as a PBSP psychotherapist has referred to someone who has submitted a video of themselves leading a client in a structure.  There is then a committee of three people who review the video and evaluate it using a list of crucial points (click here for the points used to evaluate).  The candidate needs to also submit a written self-evaluation of his or her video.  A perfect structure is not a requirement.  What the evaluating committee will be looking for is the candidate’s capacity to evaluate his or her own work.  For example, someone might say, “I can see at this point in the video I missed a voice.”

    Currently, we have retained the requirement that was in place while Al and Diane Boyden Pesso were alive, that candidates must first complete 27 days of training with a certified PBSP Trainer before they can apply to present a video.  Experience has shown that frequently people don’t feel ready to submit a video even after 27 days of training (I myself had completed more like 40 days of training before I submitted a video for certification).

    In recognition of the fact that there may be people who are interested in PBSP but who are not interested in the degree of commitment involved in becoming a certified PBSP psychotherapist, the Board of the USPBSPA decided to create a Practitioner level of recognition which would require 15 days of training with a Certified PBSP Trainer.  Our experience (those of us who are Trainers and Supervisors) is that with 15 days training people can get a fairly complete understanding of theories of PBSP along with a general understanding of the techniques, perhaps being able to incorporate some of the methods into their practices but we wouldn’t expect them to able to lead structures.  I know people who aren’t psychotherapists, teachers for example, who wanted to learn enough about the principles of the theories and methods of PBSP to incorporate them into their teaching.  Or, there may be psychotherapists who have already trained extensively in other forms of psychotherapy who are interested in incorporating elements of PBSP into their practices but who aren’t interested in leading structure groups.

    Please refer to our Membership tab for details on the various levels of membership available within the USPBSPA.


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