You Are Licensed! Now… How Do You Keep It?

You have worked so hard to make sure you can obtain all the hours you need and pass all the exams required. You have studied countless hours. You can basically even recite the ethics code from memory. You have finally earned that licensed. But, you are not out of the woods yet. You now have to maintain that license. We wanted to give you an idea of what you will need to do to ensure that you keep that license.

After you have received your license, you will then be required to renew that license ever so often. This timeframe varies state to state. For example, Alabama requires that psychologists renew their license every year from the date that they first licensed, Washington D.C. requires that psychologists renew their license on every odd numbered year (e.g. 2021, 2023), and Kentucky requires renewal every three years. Although each state board gets to choose their own renewal timeframe, all states stay between one and three years. Much like the unique timeframes, each state also has their own unique requirements for license renewal. Most states require some sort of fee for renewal. For example, Montana charges $600 for their renewal fee while Iowa only charges $170. Most states will also require you to complete Continuing Education credits (CEs), although these will also vary by state. To ensure that you are completing the necessary CEs, make sure to refer to your state’s Board of Psychology.

So those are all the things that you need to do to keep your license. But, you should also be vigilant for ways that you might lose your newly-minted license. First of all, be sure that you are entirely familiar with the ethical guidelines in your area. Many states and regions vary slightly in their ethical standards. Therefore, it is vitally important that you ensure that you have accurate information for your area. Generally speaking, however, there are several situations that will always bring your license under review. These situations include malpractice or not properly carrying out your ethical duties. This, of course, includes conflicts of interest, dual relationships, and sexual relationships with a patient. Additionally, putting forth misleading claims will also bring your license under review. This can come in the form of misrepresenting yourself or putting forth misleading or false data in an academic presentation or paper. These situations seem so far away and impossible to befall you. Just bear in mind, they have happened to other equally qualified and educated clinicians before! Be sure you are protecting that license for which you worked so hard!

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