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FAQ's for Consumers
Frequently Asked Questions for Consumers of Psychological Services
What is a Licensed Psychologist?
Licensed psychologists are mental health professionals licensed by the State of Oregon. Psychologists provide supervision, consultation, evaluation and/or therapy services to individuals, groups, or organizations for the purpose of diagnosing or treating behavioral, emotional or mental disorders.

What Qualifications does a Licensed Psychologist have?
Licensed psychologists have specialized knowledge, education and training in the fields of human behavior, testing and evaluation, and problem solving. Licensed psychologists have completed doctoral level education in psychology. Prior to licensure, they must complete a minimum of two years of work experience under the supervision of a licensed psychologist, pass a national written examination, and pass and pass an exam about Oregon’s laws and rules.

What Qualifications does a Licensed Psychologist Associate have?
Licensed psychologist associates complete a master’s degree in psychology, which includes a one year supervised internship or practicum to gain knowledge and experience. Psychologist Associates must also complete three years of post-master's degree work experience under the supervision of a licensed psychologist, pass a national written examination, and pass an exam about Oregon’s laws and rules..
What is a Psychologist Resident?
Psychologist residents are temporarily authorized by the Board to perform psychological services in the State of Oregon under the supervision of a licensed psychologist. Psychologist residents have completed their doctoral degree in psychology and are working to complete the post-doctoral supervised work experience required to become a licensed psychologist.

What is the Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners?
The Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners was established by the Legislature to “protect and benefit the public and promote quality within the profession of psychology.” The Board’s nine volunteer members are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Oregon State Senate. The Board establishes licensing qualifications, provides information to consumers, and responds to complaints regarding the practice of psychology.

How can the Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners help protect me?
The Board assures that licensed psychologists and psychologist associates meet the education and experience requirements for initial licensure. License applicants are screened for criminal history to determine if they are fit to practice. The Board also requires licensees to complete a least 50 hours of continuing education every two years. The Board investigates complaints made by members of the public regarding possible unethical or unprofessional conduct by licensed psychologists and licensed psychologist associates.

How do I Check a Psychologist’s Qualifications?
Anyone can use the Board's website to search for a licensed psychologist or psychologist associate by last name, city or license number. Licensee background information, including ethical violations, is available to the public. You may also call the Board's office at (503) 378-4154.

What are my Rights as a Client?
You have the right to professional and ethical treatment regardless of your age, sex, race, color, national origin or disability. You have the right to a clear description of services, fees and how you will be billed. Client records and communications are confidential and may not be released without your consent, except in a few situations.

Do I Have a Complaint?
You may call the Board's office and speak to our investigator or file a written complaint if you have concerns about whether your treatment (or any client’s treatment) was unprofessional or unethical. Examples include:
  • Mistreatment: verbally, financially, sexually or any other way
  • Misleading information about the provision of services or billing
  • Treating clients while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Releasing information without written consent
  • Inability to practice safely and competently for any reason
  • Practicing without a license or a licensing exemption

How do I File a Complaint?
Complete the forms found at
http://www.oregon.gov/obpe/Pages/investigation.aspx, and submit them to the Board’s office. More information about the process and  filing a complaint is available on this web site.

What Happens after I File a Complaint?
The Board’s investigator opens a complaint file. The Investigator may interview the person who filed the complaint and/or others with knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the complaint. Once the investigator gathers the necessary information, the Board reviews all the evidence and votes to dismiss the complaint or take disciplinary action if the investigation shows that the psychologist or psychologist associate has violated laws, rules or ethical standards. A licensed psychologist or psychologist associate may face discipline, including:
  • Public reprimand;
  • Additional coursework or continuing education;
  • Probation of license; restricted practice;
  • Suspension or revocation of the license;
  • A civil penalty of up to $5,000, or in some circumstances up to $10,000.
A person who engages in practice of psychology or represents him or herself to be a psychologist without a license may face a civil penalty of up to $10,000 and/or injunction proceedings in circuit court.

If there is not enough evidence of a violation, the Board may dismiss the complaint. In every case, the Board will inform the person who filed the complaint of the Board’s final decision.