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Psychologists and counsellors now need to be licenced

Published:Saturday | April 9, 2016 | 4:00 AM

Jamaica has started the official licensure of psychologists and counsellors. Licensure for all psychologists and counsellors became mandatory on April 1.

The licensure of all practicing psychologists and counsellors has been approved and mandated by the Council of Professions Allied to Medicine (CPAM). This is the body that will adjudicate all matters related to licensure and will also approve and monitor continuing education units. President of the Jamaica Psychological Society (JamPsych) Dr Kai Morgan, who sits on the council, told The Gleaner that persons seeking to be licensed will need to have a master's or doctoral degree in psychology or counselling from an accredited university. They should also have completed 4,000 clinical hours and will need to present an official transcript in order to meet the requirements for licensure.

According to Morgan: "This is the first time in Jamaica that counsellors and psychologists are being officially licensed." She, however, pointed out that a few persons may have held licenses in the United States or other jurisdictions.

Morgan has said that she is not overly concerned about counsellors and psychologists continuing to practice without a license.

"I do believe that most persons will seek to legitimise their practices with this official certification. I am not yet overly concerned about those persons who may choose not to, although I'm sure this may occur," she said.

She further pointed out that CPAM has a tribunal that can convene to hear concerns and issue sanctions against persons found guilty of practicing without a license.

andre.poyser@gleanerjm.com