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. | Note: Sunset provision for individuals employed by certain programs.

§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, 2020.
  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, 2020

  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 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.  
    1. A person without a license from: performing assessments including but not limited to 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; advising individuals regarding the appropriateness of benefits they are eligible for; providing general advice and guidance and assisting individuals or groups with difficult day to day problems such as finding employment, locating sources of assistance, and organizing community groups to work on a specific problem; providing peer services; selecting for suitability and providing substance abuse treatment services or group re-entry services to incarcerated individuals in state correctional facilities; or providing substance abuse treatment services or re-entry services to incarcerated individuals in local correctional facilities.
    2. A person without a license from creating, developing or implementing a service plan or recovery plan that is not a behavioral health diagnosis or treatment plan. Such service or recovery plans shall include, but are not limited to, coordinating, evaluating or determining the need for, or the provision of the following services: job training and employability; housing; homeless services and shelters for homeless individuals and families; refugee services; residential, day or community habilitation services; general public assistance; in home services and supports or home-delivered meals; recovery supports; adult or child protective services including investigations; detention as defined in section five hundred two of the executive law; prevention and residential services for victims of domestic violence; services for runaway and homeless youth; foster care, adoption, preventive services or services in accordance with an approved plan pursuant to section four hundred four of the social services law, including, adoption and foster home studies and assessments, family service plans, transition plans, permanency planning activities, and case planning or case management as such terms are defined in the regulations of the office of children and family services; residential rehabilitation; home and community based services; and de-escalation techniques, peer services or skill development.
    3.  
      1. A person without a license from participating as a member of a multi-disciplinary team to assist in the development of or implementation of a behavioral health services or treatment plan; provided that such team shall include one or more professionals licensed under this article or articles one hundred thirty-one, one hundred thirty-nine, 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; or independently developing and implementing assessment-based treatment plans as defined in section seventy-seven hundred one of this title.
      2. For the purposes of this paragraph, "assist" shall include, but not be limited to, the provision or performance of the following tasks, services, or functions by an individual who has obtained the training and experience required by the applicable state oversight agency to perform such task, service or function in facilities or programs operating pursuant to article nineteen-G of the executive law; articles seven, sixteen, thirty-one or thirty-two of the mental hygiene law; or title three of article seven of the social services law:
        1. helping an individual with the completion of forms or questionnaires;
        2. reviewing existing case records and collecting background information about an individual which may be used by the licensed professional or multi-disciplinary team;
        3. gathering and reporting information about previous behavioral health interventions, hospitalizations, documented diagnosis, or prior treatment for review by the licensed professional and multi-disciplinary team;
        4. discussing with the individual his or her situation, needs, concerns, and thoughts in order to help identify services that support the individual's goals, independence, and quality of life;
        5. providing advice, information, and assistance to individuals and family members to identify needs and available resources in the community to help meet the needs of the individual or family member;
        6. engaging in immediate and long-term problem solving, engaging in the development of social skills, or providing general help in areas including, but not limited to, housing, employment, child care, parenting, community based services, and finances;
        7. distributing paper copies of self-administered tests for the individual to complete when such tests do not require the observation and judgment of a licensed professional;
        8. monitoring treatment by the collection of written and/or observational data in accordance with the treatment plan and providing verbal or written reports to the multi-disciplinary team;
        9. identifying gaps in services and coordinating access to or arranging services for individuals such as home care, community based services, housing, employment, transportation, child care, vocational training, or health care;
        10. offering education programs that provide information about disease identification and recommended treatments that may be provided, and how to access such treatment;
        11. reporting on behavior, actions, and responses to treatment by collecting written and/or observational data as part of a multi-disciplinary team;
        12. using de-escalation techniques consistent with appropriate training;
        13. performing assessments using standardized, structured interview tools or instruments;
        14. directly delivering services outlined in the service plan that are not clinical in nature but have been tailored to an individual based on any diagnoses such individual may have received from a licensed professional; and
        15. advocating with educational, judicial or other systems to protect an individual's rights and access to appropriate services.
    4. 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.

  12. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, nothing in this article shall be construed to prohibit or limit the activities or services provided under this article by any person who is employed or who commences employment in a program or service operated, regulated, funded, or approved by the department of mental hygiene, the office of children and family services, or a local governmental unit as that term is defined in section 41.03 of the mental hygiene law or a social services district as defined in section sixty-one of the social services law on or before one year from the date that the regulations issued in accordance with section six of the chapter of the laws of two thousand eighteen which added this subdivision appear in the state register or are adopted, whichever is later. Such prohibitions or limitations shall not apply to such employees for as long as they remain employed by such programs or services and whether they remain employed by the same or other employers providing such programs or services. Provided, however, that any person who commences employment in such program or service after such date and performs services that are restricted under this article shall be appropriately licensed or authorized under this article. Each state oversight agency shall create and maintain a process to verify employment history of individuals exempt under this subdivision.

  13. The activities or services provided by a person with a master's level degree in psychology or its equivalent, working under the supervision of a licensed psychologist in a program or service operated, regulated, funded, or approved by the department of mental hygiene, the office of children and family services, or a local government unit as that term is defined in section 41.03 of the mental hygiene law or a social services district as defined in section sixty-one of the social services law.

§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.

Note: Sunset provision for individuals employed by certain programs

Subdivision b of section 17-a of chapter 676 of the laws of 2002 amending the education law relating to defining the practice of psychology, as amended by chapter 419 of the laws of 2003, as amended by chapters 130 and 132 of the laws of 2010, as amended by chapter 57 of the laws of 2013 provides:

  • *§17-a.

    1. In relation to activities and services provided under article 153 of the education law, nothing in this act shall prohibit or limit the activities or services on the part of any person in the employ of a program or service operated, regulated, funded, or approved by the department of mental hygiene or the office of children and family services, or a local governmental unit as that term is defined in article 41 of the mental hygiene law or a social services district as defined in section 61 of the social services law. ... This section shall not authorize the use of any title authorized pursuant to article 153 or 163 of the education law by any such employed person, except as otherwise provided by such articles respectively. This section shall be deemed repealed July 1, 2018.
    2. ...
    3. ...

    *Only the statutory provision that relates to the exemption from the Psychology Practice Act has been included here.
Last Updated: June 21, 2018