Master Therapist® Program

The Master Therapist® (American Psychotherapy Association®) credential is the professional designation that demonstrates to one’s colleagues, peers, and clients his or her significant and enduring career contributions to advancing the field and profession of psychotherapy; providing exceptional services to help clients through exemplary performance as a professional therapist; and applying the principles, theories, and concepts of the helping professions to the ongoing pursuit of humanitarian efforts, charitable works, and the betterment of society.

The Master Therapist® designation recognizes those exceptional professionals, such as psychotherapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, social workers, counselors, pastoral counselors, marriage and family therapists, clergy, psychiatric nurses, and other helping professionals who have done the following:

  • Dedicated and committed their lives to helping people
  • Demonstrated a mastery of psychotherapy skills and knowledge
  • Made significant contributions to the advancement of their fields and professions
  • Established careers that have been distinguished by consistent, high quality work and adherence to the highest ethical standards
  • Devoted themselves to humanitarian efforts, charitable works, and actions that have contributed to the betterment of society

Application Process

To apply for the Master Therapist® designation, applicants must hold Diplomate status within the American Psychotherapy Association® and have a minimum of 10 years of experience in the mental health field. In addition, applicants must complete one of the following:

  • Present an approved, 1-hour minimum, workshop at an American Psychotherapy Association National Conference
  • Write an approved continuing education article for the Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association
  • Submit an approved continuing education course to the American Psychotherapy Association®

Guidelines concerning the development of the project must be met, and the board must approve the abstract for the presentation, article, or course. The project must be presented, published, or completed to be counted towards task completion.

Applicants should submit a portfolio of the following documentation:

  • Current Curriculum Vitae
  • Documentation of service to professional associations, including offices held, committees on which you have served, and roles as a keynote speaker, chair, or discussant at professional meetings
  • List of dissertations, theses, books, chapters in books, journal articles, papers published in conference proceedings, case studies, and book reviews
  • Photocopies of degrees, diplomas, certificates, and licenses*
  • Records of community service
  • Awards received from professional associations, institutions of higher learning, community service organizations, etc.
  • Two letters of recommendation from professional colleagues describing your practice, professional activities, and commitment and contributions to the field
  • Case studies that demonstrate the positive impact your work has had on individuals, families, or groups

*Applicants who have obtained their education outside of the United States and its territories must have their highest academic degree(s) validated as equivalent to a Master’s or Doctorate degree conferred by an accredited college or university in the United States.

To learn more about what it takes to become a Master Therapist®, call American Psychotherapy Association® toll free at (800) 205-9165, or send an e-mail inquiry.


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