Why am I stressing this that a postgraduate program is essential for a psychologist?
Probably to me, as a psychologist, the motto is "To do no harm"..hence I believe that we should be competent before we even start to treat our clients.
Having accredited courses is one of the ways to justify that competence of the lecturers and the programs to educate future psychologists. To be registered provides that recognition and identity of a "psychologist". And most importantly, the competence of the psychologist.
According to SPS Code of Professional Ethics,Principle 2. Competence
"The maintenance of high standards of professional competence is a responsibility shared by all psychologists, in the interest of the public and of the profession as a whole.
- Psychologists discourage the practice of psychology by unqualified persons and assist the public in identifying psychologists competent to give dependable professional service. When a psychologist or a person identified as a psychologist violates ethical standards, psychologists who know first-hand of such activities attempt to rectify the situation. When such a situation cannot be dealt with informally, it is called to the attention of the appropriate committee on professional ethics, standards, and practices.
- Psychologists recognise the boundaries of their competence and the limitations of their techniques and do not offer services or use techniques that fail to meet professional standards established in particular fields."
According to the APS Code of Ethics (p. 18)
Section "B.1.2. Psychologists only provide psychological services within the boundaries of their professional competence. This includes, but is not restricted to:
(a) working within the limits of their education, training, supervised experience and appropriate professional experience; (b) basing their service on the established knowledge of the discipline and profession of psychology; (c) adhering to the Code and the Guidelines; (d) complying with the law of the jurisdiction in which they provide psychological services; and (e) ensuring that their emotional, mental, and physical state does not impair their ability to provide a competent psychological service."
So you have to be competent as a psychologist, and believe that you are a competent one. So why are there only 183 registered psychologists in Singapore (SRP as checked on 27 July 2011)? Are we only saying there are 183 competent psychologists in Singapore and the rest are incompetent, in terms of "education, training, supervised experience and appropriate professional experience"?
(If you are a psychologist practicing in Singapore, please ask yourself: Why are you not registered? What is stopping you from registering in the SRP? Why do you not to be registered and given that recognition?)
Hope this post provide some light towards the competence of the psychological arena for those budding psychologists.