A petition from the Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine for sleep psychology to be recognized as a specialty was approved recently by the American Psychological Association. The recognition remains valid until 2020, when the APA will conduct a review for renewal of recognition.
The APA defines a specialty as “a defined area of professional psychology practice characterized by a distinctive configuration of competent services for specified problems and populations.” According to the SBSM, the development and submission of a petition to the APA’s Commission for the Recognition of Specialties and Proficiencies in Professional Psychology was a two-year process coordinated by a presidential task force.
The petition demonstrated that sleep psychology is grounded in a unique and substantially advanced scientific and theoretical body of knowledge. It also showed that the field has a critical mass of highly skilled clinical providers, a national network of training opportunities that provide an organized sequence of education, and multiple high quality mechanisms to disseminate scientific knowledge.
The SBSM is hopeful that the recognition of sleep psychology will lay the groundwork for the similar recognition of behavioral sleep medicine in other health professions.
Learn more on the SBSM website about the recognition of sleep psychology as a specialty. View a complete list of APA recognized specialties and proficiencies in professional psychology on the APA website.