Colorado Prescribing Psychology (RxP)

Prescriptive authority is granted for licensed psychologists with advanced training in clinical psychopharmacology, and five states have passed legislation allowing for this expansion in psychology practice. Many other states are in the process of pursuing prescriptive authority legislation.

As of 3/3/2023, Colorado became the sixth state to grant specially trained psychologists to prescribe psychotropic medications. 

Are you interested in becoming a prescribing psychologist? 
Please contact RxP Chair, Brian Seavey, PsyD, MSCP, ABPP at [email protected]


Join the RxP Division
Post a message to the RxP Division Listserv

(CPA membership Required!)


See FAQ's

Why consider becoming an RxP?

Colorado is in a serious mental health crisis, with a high prevalence of mental health issues in Coloradans and a significant shortage of mental health professionals statewide. For example, nationally, Colorado ranks third for lowest access to mental health services, has the second highest percentage of adults with substance use disorder, and has the third-highest percentage of adults contemplating suicide. 1 Since the COVID-19 pandemic, rates of mental health issues in Coloradans have increased, with nearly 50% of Coloradans experiencing symptoms of anxiety and depression, and a more than a 50% increase in Coloradans calling or texting a crisis hotline. (1)

MSCP Training Programs:

  • Once trained/licensed, can prescribing psychologists prescribe scheduled medications like stimulants (since these are the bulk of what are used for ADHD)? - YES. The only thing we are prohibited to prescribe/administer is narcotics (opioids) according to the statute.
  • Where can I find programs and training (I understand there is the coursework, exam, and then clinical requirements and supervised training)? - There are 5 APA designated MSCP programs in the country, and the most programs are largely, if not entirely online.

The APA designated MSCP (all online):

Non-APA designated MSCP:


Contact information for University of Colorado Denver MSCP: Coming Fall 2024

Dr. Amy Wachholtz - [email protected]

The board exam (Psychopharmacology Examination for Psychologists - PEP):

The process:

  1. Completion of a MSCP degree
  2. Pass the PEP
  3. Complete a minimum of 750 hours of supervised practicum. Eighty of these hours will come from your MSCP practicum and must be dedicated to physical exams and lab reviews.  If you intend to specialize in pediatrics, adolescents, or geriatric patients, then at least 250 hours of your practicum hours should involve working with people under 18 or over 65 years of age.
  4. Obtain/maintain liability insurance.
  5. Register with DEA

Upon receipt of a prescribing certificate 40 hours of continuing education in psychopharmacology. Some options to obtain these CEs include:

Additional psychopharmacology resources can be found at

Link to HB 23-1071

2023a_1071_signed.pdf (


  2. Here are the rules that were adopted on 10/6/23 (the final rules) by the board of psychology:

Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA)


RxP FAQ's 

1. What is a Prescribing Psychologist (RxP)?

  • A licensed psychologist who has received advanced training and has a licensure to prescribe psychotropic medication. This licensed psychologist is able to operate independently (does not require supervision to practice)
Fun Fact: APA has recognized RxP as a Specialty, and the APA DIvision 55 Society of Prescribing Psychology is in the process of pursuing a board certification status through the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP).

2. What is this advanced training?

  • 2-year Postdoctoral Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychopharmacology (MSCP) AND
  • Pass a National board exam – Psychopharmacology Exam for Psychologists (PEP) AND
  • 6 months - 3 years of physician supervised Practicum depending on the state
E.g., in New Mexico, psychologists will see at least 100 diverse patients and spend a minimum of 400-hour related to prescribing psychotropic medications.

3. Do any states currently allow RxP?

As of 2020, five states passed the RxP legislation:

  • i. New Mexico (2002)
  • ii. Louisiana (2004)
  • iii. Illinois (2014)
  • iv. Iowa (2016)
  • v. Idaho (2017)
Fun Fact: the following federal agencies permit prescribing psychologists:
  • vi. Department of Defense (Army, Navy, Air Force)
  • vii. US Public Health Service Corps
  • viii. Indian Health Services

4. Is this safe?

  • YES! Psychologists have been prescribing safely for nearly 30 years.
  • Department of Defense began RxP in 1991, and there have been no reported instances of inappropriate or harmful prescribing by RxPs. 

5. Do I have to prescribe psychotropic medication if RxP is passed in Colorado?

  • No! Prescribing psychology is one of many subspecialties within psychology, such as neuropsychology, forensic psychology, child psychology, health psychology AND you cannot become a RxP without additional training (as noted above)

6. Would my liability insurance go up with RxP addition?

  • No! RxPs would have their own liability insurance bracket, and this would NOT impact psychologists who don’t prescribe medications.

7. How would RxP in Colorado really improve access?

  • Colorado is ranked 48 out of 50 for adults with unmet mental health needs and ranked 42 for adolescents (The State of Mental Health in America)
  • Nearly all counties in Colorado have a significant shortage of mental health professionals (Rural Health Information Hub)
  • Colorado has fewer available psychiatry service per capita.The national average of available psychiatry service is 8.9 psychiatrists per 100,000 people. (Insight Regroup)
  • Because of the significant shortage of prescribers, the primary care physicians in Colorado are the largest group of health care professionals who prescribe psychotropic medications.
  • Each year, about 9,000 individuals go to University of Colorado ER for mental health crisis. (The Denver Post)