About CPA

The Colorado Psychological Association (CPA) advances the profession of psychology through advocacy and education for the promotion of psychological health and well-being.

Founded on October 23, 1946, CPA aims to represent all sectors and specialty areas within the field of psychology. Membership and participation in CPA is one way Colorado psychologists demonstrate their commitment to psychology as a vital profession of the highest standards. 

CPA has hundred of active members throughout Colorado. Thanks to the diversity of our members, CPA is able to respond to the mental health needs of Colorado's citizens. When you join CPA, you become a part of statewide and national efforts to increase public knowledge of the unique qualifications and expertise of psychologists, and to advocate for psychology and mental health.

Many people need the support of a psychologist at some point in their life. Psychologists help individuals, couples, families, and organizations confront a variety of problems such as stress, chronic illnesses, trauma, learning diffIculties, child and elder abuse, brain injuries, mental illness, unhealthy workplaces, family discord and divorce, and forensic evaluations.

The Colorado Psychological Association verifies our member's credentials and good standing with the Colorado Department of Regulatory Affairs. CPA members are trained in treating a variety of different populations.

Background on Colorado Mental Health Professions

Psychotherapy can be a helpful tool for many people.  Yet, making the decision to engage in psychotherapy can be complicated for a number of reasons.  CPA would like to help to make the process a little easier for those wondering about the different qualifications of professionals offering psychotherapy.

As a psychotherapy client, you have a right to be informed of the qualifications and credentials of the therapists with whom you work.  This includes where the therapist studied, any degrees they earned and whether any supervised clinical training was completed. You also are entitled to know what license or registration the therapist has, and the qualifications that were required in order to obtain that license or registration.

In Colorado, the following list outlines the regulatory requirements applicable to mental health professionals:

  • A Licensed Psychologist (PsyD or PhD) must hold a doctorate degree in psychology (typically 4 or more years of study) and have at least one year of post-doctoral supervision (oversight by a licensing board-approved professional). 
  •  A Licensed Psychiatrist (MD) must hold a medical doctorate degree (typically 4 years of study) and complete 4 years of supervised postgraduate education (often referred to as a residency). Psychiatrists may prescribe medications.
  • A Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), and a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) must hold a masters degree in their profession (typically 2 years of study) and have two years of post-masters supervision.
  • A Licensed Social Worker (LSW) must hold a masters degree in social work.
  • A Psychologist Candidate, a Marriage and Family Therapist Candidate, and a Licensed Professional Counselor Candidate must hold the necessary licensing degree and be in the process of completing the required supervision for licensure.
  • A Certified Addiction Counselor I (CAC I) must be a high school graduate, and  complete required training hours and 1000 hours of supervised experience. A CAC II must complete additional required training hours and 2,000 hours of supervised experience. A CAC III must have a bachelors degree in behavioral health, and complete additional required training hours and 2,000 hours of supervised experience.
  • A Licensed Addiction Counselor must have a clinical masters degree and meet the CAC III requirements.
  • A Registered Psychotherapist is registered with the State Board of Registered Psychotherapists, is not licensed or certified, and no degree, training or experience is required.

Additionally, you are entitled to receive information from your therapist about the methods of therapy, the techniques used, the expected duration of therapy, and the fee structure.  You may stop your involvement in therapy at any time.  You can seek a second opinion from another therapist at any time at your own expense.

It is also important to know that in a professional relationship (like a psychotherapy relationship), sexual intimacy is never appropriate and should be reported to the board that licenses, registers, or certifies the licensee, registrant or certificate holder. 

In Colorado, the practice of psychotherapy is regulated by the CO State Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA).   Any questions, concerns or complaints may be directed to the Mental Health Licensing Section of the Division of Registrations 303-894-7800.

Please feel free to talk with your psychotherapist at any time should you have any questions about any of the information outlined above. For more licensure information click here