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General Laws

Section 118. As used in sections one hundred and eighteen to one hundred and twenty-nine A, inclusive, the following words, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, shall have the following meanings:

“Board”, the board of registration of psychologists.

“Doctoral degree in psychology”, a doctoral degree from a recognized educational institution from a program in psychology as defined by the rules and regulations of the board.

“Health service”, the delivery of direct, preventive, assessment and therapeutic intervention services to individuals whose growth, adjustment, or functioning is actually impaired or may be at risk of impairment.

“Health service training program”, supervised experience at a site where health services in psychology are normally provided which is part of an organized integrated training program as defined by the rules and regulations of the board.

“Psychologist”, an individual who by training and experience meets the requirements for licensing by the board and is duly licensed to practice psychology in the commonwealth.

“Recognized educational institution”, a degree-granting college or university which is accredited by a Regional Board or Association of Institutions of higher education approved by the Council on Post Secondary Education of the United States Department of Education, or which is chartered to grant doctoral degrees by the commonwealth. Such institutional accreditation shall exist at the time that the doctoral degree is granted or within two years thereafter.

“Supervised health service experience”, training at a site where health services in psychology are normally provided, with which the applicant has a formal relationship, and where the applicant is supervised at least one hour for every sixteen hours of training, at least half of which is provided by a psychologist licensed by the board who is a member of the staff of the training site. At least twenty-five per cent of the applicant’s time shall be in direct client contact.

“The practice of psychology”, rendering or offering to render professional service for any fee, monetary or otherwise, to individuals, groups of individuals, organizations or members of the public which includes the observation, description, evaluation, interpretation, and modification of human behavior, by the application of psychological principles, methods and procedures, for the purpose of assessing or effecting changes in symptomatic, maladaptive or undesired behavior and issues pertaining to interpersonal relationships, work and life adjustment, personal effectiveness and mental health. The practice of psychology includes, but is not limited to, psychological testing, assessment and evaluation of intelligence, personality, abilities, attitudes, motivation, interests and aptitudes; counseling, psychotherapy, hypnosis, biofeedback training and behavior therapy; diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional disorder or disability, alcoholism and substance abuse, and the psychological aspects of physical illness or disability; psychoeducational evaluation, therapy, remediation and consultation. Psychological services may be rendered to individuals, families, groups, and the public. For purposes of this definition, the practice of psychology does not include the teaching of psychology, the conduct of psychological research, or the provision of psychological consultation to organizations, unless such teaching research or consultation involves the delivery or supervision of the types of direct services described above, to individuals or groups of individuals.

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