Education Law

Article 153, Psychology

Effective June 18, 2010

§7600. Introduction. | §7601. Use of title "psychologist". | §7601-a. Definition of the practice of psychology. | §7602. State board for psychology. | §7603. Requirements for a professional license. | §7604. Limited permits. | §7605. Exempt persons. | §7606. Prohibitions.

§7600. Introduction.

This article applies to the profession and practice of psychology and to the use of the title "psychologist". The general provisions for all professions contained in article one hundred thirty of this title apply to this article.


§7601. Use of title "psychologist".

Only a person licensed or otherwise authorized under this article shall be authorized to practice psychology or to use the title "psychologist" or to describe his or her services by use of the words "psychologist", "psychology" or "psychological" in connection with his or her practice.


§7601-a. Definition of the practice of psychology.

  1. The practice of psychology is the observation, description, evaluation, interpretation, and modification of behavior for the purpose of preventing or eliminating symptomatic, maladaptive or undesired behavior; enhancing interpersonal relationships, personal, group or organizational effectiveness and work and/or life adjustment; and improving behavioral health and/or mental health. The practice includes, but is not limited to psychological (including neuropsychological) testing and counseling; psychoanalysis; psychotherapy; the diagnosis and treatment of mental, nervous, emotional, cognitive or behavioral disorders, disabilities, ailments or illnesses, alcoholism, substance abuse, disorders of habit or conduct, the psychological aspects of physical illness, accident, injury or disability, psychological aspects of learning (including learning disorders); and the use of accepted classification systems.

  2. The term "diagnosis and treatment" means the appropriate psychological diagnosis and the ordering or providing of treatment according to need. Treatment includes, but is not limited to counseling, psychotherapy, marital or family therapy, psychoanalysis, and other psychological interventions, including verbal, behavioral, or other appropriate means as defined in regulations promulgated by the commissioner.

§7602. State board for psychology.

A state board for psychology shall be appointed by the board of regents on recommendation of the commissioner for the purpose of assisting the board of regents and the department on matters of professional licensing and professional conduct in accordance with section sixty-five hundred eight of this title. The board shall be composed of not less than eleven psychologists licensed in this state. An executive secretary to the board shall be appointed by the board of regents upon the recommendation of the commissioner and shall be a psychologist, licensed in this state.


§7603. Requirements for a professional license.

To qualify for a license as a psychologist, an applicant shall fulfill the following requirements:

  1. Application: file an application with the department;

  2. Education: have received an education, including a doctoral degree in psychology, granted on the basis of completion of a program of psychology registered with the department or the substantial equivalent thereof, in accordance with the commissioner`s regulations;

  3. Experience: have two years of supervised employment or engagement in appropriate psychology activities satisfactory to the board and in accordance with the commissioner`s regulations. Satisfactory experience obtained in an entity operating pursuant to a waiver issued by the department pursuant to section sixty-five hundred three-a of this title may be accepted by the department, notwithstanding that such experience may have been obtained prior to the effective date of such section sixty-five hundred three-a and/or prior to the entity having obtained a waiver. The department may, for good cause shown, accept satisfactory experience that was obtained in a setting that would have been eligible for a waiver but which has not obtained a waiver with the department or experience that was obtained in good faith by the applicant under the belief that appropriate authorization had been obtained for the experience, provided that such experience meets all other requirements for acceptable experience;

  4. Examination: pass an examination satisfactory to the board and in accordance with the commissioner`s regulations;

  5. Age: be at least twenty-one years of age;

  6. Citizenship: meet no requirement as to United States citizenship;

  7. Character: be of good moral character as determined by the department; and

  8. Fees: pay a fee of one hundred seventy dollars to the department for admission to a department conducted examination and for an initial license, a fee of eighty-five dollars for each reexamination, a fee of one hundred fifteen dollars for an initial license for persons not requiring admission to a department conducted examination, and a fee of one hundred fifty-five dollars for each triennial registration period.

§7604. Limited permits.

  • 1. On recommendation of the board, the department may issue a limited permit to practice as psychologist to an applicant holding a certificate or license to practice psychology issued by another state or country, and whose qualifications have been approved for admission to the examination for a license as psychologist and who has resided in this state for a period of not more than six months prior to the filing of such application. The limited permit shall be valid for a period of not more than twelve months, or until ten days after notification to the applicant of failure of the professional licensing examination or until the results of a licensing examination for which the applicant is eligible are officially released, whichever comes first.

  • 1-a. On the recommendation of the board, the department may issue a limited permit valid for an aggregate of three years to a person who has completed the doctoral dissertation and other doctoral degree requirements and is gaining supervised experience to meet the experience requirements for licensure. This permit may be re-issued for a maximum period of one year for good cause, as determined by the department.

  • 2. Fees. The fee for each limited permit shall be seventy dollars.

§7605. Exempt persons.

Nothing in this article shall be construed to affect or prevent:

  1. *The activities, services, and use of the title of psychologist, or any derivation thereof, on the part of a person in the employ of a federal, state, county or municipal agency, or other political subdivision, or a chartered elementary or secondary school or degree-granting educational institution insofar as such activities and services are a part of the duties of his salaried position; or on the part of a person in the employ as a certified school psychologist on a full-time or part-time salary basis, which may include on an hourly, weekly, or monthly basis, or on a fee for evaluation services basis provided that such person employed as a certified school psychologist is employed by and under the dominion and control of a preschool special education program approved pursuant to paragraph b of subdivision nine or subdivision nine-a of section forty-four hundred ten of this chapter to provide activities, services and to use the title "certified school psychologist", so long as this shall not be construed to permit the use of the title "licensed psychologist", to students enrolled in such approved program or to conduct a multidisciplinary evaluation of a preschool child having or suspected of having a disability; or on the part of a person in the employ as a certified school psychologist on a full-time or part-time salary basis, which may include on an hourly, weekly or monthly basis, or on a fee for evaluation services basis provided that such person employed as a certified school psychologist is employed by and under the dominion and control of an agency approved in accordance with title two-A of article twenty-five of the public health law to deliver early intervention program multidisciplinary evaluations, service coordination services and early intervention program services, where each such preschool special education program or early intervention provider is authorized by paragraph a or b of subdivision six of section sixty-five hundred three of this title, each in the course of their employment. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to authorize a certified school psychologist or group of such school psychologists to engage in independent practice or practice outside of an employment relationship.
    *NB Effective until June 30, 2016.
  1. *The activities, services, and use of the title of psychologist, or any derivation thereof, on the part of a person in the employ of a federal, state, county or municipal agency, or other political subdivision, or a chartered elementary or secondary school or degree-granting educational institution insofar as such activities and services are a part of the duties of his salaried position.
    *NB Effective June 30, 2016

  2. The activities and services required of a student, intern, or resident in psychology, pursuing a course of study leading to a doctoral degree in psychology in an institution approved by the department, provided that such activities and services constitute a part of his supervised course of study in psychology. Such persons shall be designated by title as "psychological intern", "psychological trainee" or other such title which clearly indicates his training status.

  3. The practice, conduct, activities or services by any person licensed or otherwise authorized to practice medicine within the state pursuant to article one hundred thirty-one of this title or by any person registered to perform services as a physician assistant within the state pursuant to article one hundred thirty-one-B of this title.

  4. The practice, conduct, activities, or services by any person licensed or otherwise authorized to practice nursing as a registered professional nurse or nurse practitioner within the state pursuant to article one hundred thirty-nine of this title or by any person licensed or otherwise authorized to practice social work within the state pursuant to article one hundred fifty-four of this title, or by any person licensed or otherwise authorized to practice mental health counseling, marriage and family therapy, creative arts therapy, or psychoanalysis within the state pursuant to article one hundred sixty-three of this title, or any person licensed or otherwise authorized to practice applied behavior analysis within the state pursuant to article one hundred sixty-seven of this title or any individual who is credentialed under any law, including attorneys, rape crisis counselors, certified alcoholism counselors, and certified substance abuse counselors from providing mental health services within their respective established authorities.

  5. The conduct, activities, or services of any member of the clergy or Christian Science practitioner, in the provision of pastoral counseling services within the context of his or her ministerial charge or obligation.

  6. The conduct, activities, or services of individuals, churches, schools, teachers, organizations, or not-for-profit businesses in providing instruction, advice, support, encouragement, or information to individuals, families, and relational groups.

  7. The practice, conduct, activities, or services of an occupational therapist from performing work consistent with article one hundred fifty-six of this title.

  8. The representation as a psychologist and the rendering of services as such in this state for a temporary period of a person who resides outside the state of New York and who engages in practice as a psychologist and conducts the major part of his practice as such outside this state, provided such person has filed with the department evidence that he has been licensed or certified in another state or has been admitted to the examination in this state pursuant to section seventy-six hundred three of this article. Such temporary period shall not exceed ten consecutive business days in any period of ninety consecutive days or in the aggregate exceed more than fifteen business days in any such ninety-day period.

  9. The provision of psychotherapy as defined in subdivision two of section eighty-four hundred one of this title to the extent permissible within the scope of practice of psychology, by any not-for-profit corporation or education corporation providing services within the state of New York and operating under a waiver pursuant to section sixty-five hundred three-a of this title, provided that such entities offering psychology services shall only provide such services through an individual appropriately licensed or otherwise authorized to provide such services or a professional entity authorized by law to provide such services.

  10. A person without a license from performing assessments such as basic information collection, gathering of demographic data, and informal observations, screening and referral used for general eligibility for a program or service and determining the functional status of an individual for the purpose of determining need for services unrelated to a behavioral health diagnosis or treatment plan. Such licensure shall not be required to create, develop or implement a service plan unrelated to a behavioral health diagnosis or treatment plan. Such service plans shall include, but are not limited to, job training and employability, housing, general public assistance, in home services and supports or home-delivered meals, investigations conducted or assessments made by adult or child protective services, adoption home studies and assessments, family service plans, transition plans and permanency planning activities, de-escalation techniques, peer services or skill development. A license under this article shall not be required for persons to participate as a member of a multi-disciplinary team to implement a behavioral health services or treatment plan; provided however, that such team shall include one or more professionals licensed under this article or articles one hundred thirty-one, one hundred fifty-four or one hundred sixty-three of this chapter; and provided, further, that the activities performed by members of the team shall be consistent with the scope of practice for each team member licensed or authorized under title VIII of this chapter, and those who are not so authorized may not engage in the following restricted practices: the diagnosis of mental, emotional, behavioral, addictive and developmental disorders and disabilities; patient assessment and evaluating; the provision of psychotherapeutic treatment; the provision of treatment other than psychotherapeutic treatment; and/or the development and implementation of assessment-based treatment plans as defined in section seventy-seven hundred one of this chapter. Provided, further, that nothing in this subdivision shall be construed as requiring a license for any particular activity or function based solely on the fact that the activity or function is not listed in this subdivision.

  11. The conduct, activities or services of a technician to administer and score standardized objective (non-projective) psychological or neuropsychological tests which have specific predetermined and manualized administrative procedures which entail observing and describing test behavior and test responses, and which do not require evaluation, interpretation or other judgments; provided, however, that such technician shall: (i) hold no less than a Bachelor's degree in psychology or a related field; (ii) undergo a process of regular training by a licensed psychologist, which shall include, but not be limited to a minimum of eighty total hours of (a) professional ethics, (b) studying and mastering information from test manuals, and (c) direct observation of a licensed psychologist or trained technician administering and scoring tests, in addition to a minimum of forty total hours of administering and scoring tests in the presence of a licensed psychologist or trained technician, provided such interaction with the licensed psychologist equals or exceeds fifty percent of the total training time; (iii) be under the direct and ongoing supervision of a licensed psychologist in no greater than a 3:1 ratio or the part time equivalent thereto; (iv) not be employed within a school setting and (v) not select tests, analyze patient data or communicate results to patients. The supervising licensed psychologist must submit, pursuant to a form to be prescribed and developed within ninety days of the effective date of this subdivision by the department, a sworn statement detailing compliance with the above requirements. The licensed psychologist's use of such individual pursuant to the terms of this subdivision shall be undertaken only with special care and professional judgment in order to ensure the safety and well-being of the patient considering the severity of the symptoms, the age of the patient and the length of the examination process, and shall include appropriate ongoing contact with the licensed psychologist at appropriate intervals. Such use shall be subject to the full disciplinary and regulatory authority of the board of regents and the department pursuant to this title. The licensed psychologist must notify the patient or designated health care surrogate that the licensed psychologist may utilize the services of a technician to administer certain exams, and must provide the patient or designated health care surrogate the opportunity to object to the licensed psychologist's plan to utilize a technician.
    *NB Effective October 26, 2015.

§7606. Prohibitions.

Any individual whose license or authority to practice derives from the provisions of this article shall be prohibited from:

  1. prescribing or administering drugs as defined in this chapter as a treatment, therapy, or professional service in the practice of his or her profession; or

  2. using invasive procedures as a treatment, therapy, or professional service in the practice of his or her profession. For purposes of this subdivision, "invasive procedure" means any procedure in which human tissue is cut, altered, or otherwise infiltrated by mechanical or other means. Invasive procedure includes surgery, lasers, ionizing radiation, therapeutic ultrasound, or electroconvulsive therapy.
Last Updated: November 3, 2015