The idea of pursuing ABPP/ABCN credentials can be intimidating. It involves a lot of work, but it can be done. The first thing you can do is get more information. Each of the following web sites has something to offer:
The American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) is the largest and most-respected accreditation board in the field of applied psychology. It recognizes 15 subspecialties, each of which has its own “member boards” that design and immediately oversee the examination process. The Clinical Neuropsychology subspecialty is represented by the American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology (ABCN, see below). The ABPP web site provides the big picture on what board certification means to the profession and to the public. It also provides the very important initial application.
The American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology (ABCN) is the ABPP member board that oversees the subspecialty examination in Clinical Neuropsychology. The ABCN web site provides an overview of the examination process, answers frequently-asked questions, has basic background information about the board itself, and links you to the application materials at the ABPP site and study materials at the AACN site. ABCN has also put out the ABCN Candidates’ Manual, which describes the ABCN process in detail, and even lets you see the exact forms that are used by evaluators so that you know what they are looking for.
The American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology (AACN) is an independent organization comprised entirely of individuals who have completed the ABPP/ABCN certification process. Among other things, the site provides an excellent study guide that you should read in full. It helps to demystify the process and provides strong guidance on how to succeed. The BRAIN website does not replace the AACN study guide; rather, our site is intended as a supplement.
Beyond the web sites
A few BRAIN folks also published a book devoted to helping you through the whole process: Armstrong, K., Beebe, D.W., Hilsabeck, R., & Kirkwood, M. (2008). A Step-by-Step Guide to ABPP/ABCN Certification in Clinical Neuropsychology: How to Become Board Certified Without Sacrificing Your Sanity. New York: Oxford University Press. In full disclosure, a portion of the sales of that book is provided to its authors and to the AACN.
Consider attending an ABPP preparatory session. These are held at most major neuropsychology conferences, including the annual meetings of the INS, NAN, and AACN. These sessions give an overview of what to expect and tips on how to progress. There are also opportunities to ask questions and, if you are ready, to practice oral examination procedures.
Develop a relationship with a mentor who has completed the ABCN process. If no such individual is locally available or suitable as a mentor, consider working with the AACN mentorship program, which links applicants with willing mentors. The AACN mentorship program is coordinated by Dr. Brandon Baughman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join the BRAIN e-mail listserv. Though not required, listserv membership can be a tremendous resource. In an effort to keep the listserv relevant, helpful, and supportive, we require that new members have a sponsor. Learn more about how to become a listserv member by clicking on the “About BRAIN” tab on the Home page. Even if you are not fully interested or committed to joining BRAIN, we hope that you will be able to use these resources in preparing for ABPP/ABCN board certification.