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Certification in Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy (SIP)

Requirements for Certification in ACPE SIP :

  • Licensed mental health professional (see Note below);
  • Member of ACPE;
  • Completion of the 30-hour SIP curriculum;
  • 20 hours of consultation with a SIP Trainer (up to 12 hours of consultation can be in group format, no larger than 6 participants per group);
  • A Peer Review wherein the applicant demonstrates engagement of the core SIP Competencies.

Note: Participants may begin the SIP Training and complete all other requirements while licensed at the associate level or while in graduate school. Completion of the certification process requires full licensure.

a crowd of ACPE members at the annual conference

Consultation Process

The consultation process helps therapists integrate the knowledge, skills, and ways of being taught in the curriculum. ACPE requires 20 hours of consultation as a requirement for certification. 12 of these can be group consultation hours. One of the goals of the consultation process is to strengthen connection with colleagues engaged in the work of spiritually integrated psychotherapy, and ACPE encourages use of the group consultation process.

 In each consultation hour, therapists will use the spiritually integrated case conceptualization template (taught in Course 9) to present their work with a client. They will engage in conversation about their work with the consultant and (in group consultation) with colleagues. Therapists and their consultant will keep a record of hours completed and competencies addressed in each consultation hour.

ACPE recommends (but does not require) working with two different consultants during the consultation process. One of these should be the SIP Trainer that led the curriculum portion of the therapist’s training.

Each SIP Trainer determines the fee they charge for an hour of consultation, within a range approved by ACPE. See the list of SIP Trainers who are currently available to provide consultation.

ACPE Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy (SIP) Consultation FAQ’s 

What is the purpose of SIP Consultation?

There are three primary purposes of SIP consultation. (1) The most important purpose is to help therapists integrate the knowledge, skills, and ways of being taught in the 30-hour SIP curriculum. In each consultation hour, therapists will use the spiritually integrated case consultation template (taught in Course 9) to present their work with a client. They will engage in conversation about their work with the consultant and (in group consultation) with colleagues. (2) Another purpose is to strengthen connection with colleagues, and the group consultation format helps this happen. (3) Last but not least, consultation fulfills one of the requirements for ACPE Certification in Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy.

How many hours of consultation are required for certification?

ACPE requires 20 hours of consultation for certification. 12 of these can be group consultation hours. At least 8 must be one-on-one

If I do the consultation, do I have to complete the certification process?

No. ACPE encourages use of the consultation process to support your learning and your work with clients, whether or not you ever pursue certification.

What counts as a consultation hour?

You get an hour of consultation credit for each hour you spend in individual or group consultation. In individual consultation, you will bring a case write-up each time, using the ACPE SIP Case Conceptualization format. In group consultation, you or some member of your group will do the same. In group consultation, you get credit for each hour you are present, whether or not you present a case. Your consultation leader will help your group create a schedule so that members of your group take turns preparing and presenting a written case.  

Can group consultation be for more than one hour at a time?

Yes. You, your consultation group, and your consultant will decide when you meet and for how long. Some groups meet an hour at a time, while others schedule two- or three-hour meetings. At one-hour meetings, one person presents a case, but all persons present receive an hour of consultation credit. At two-hour meetings, two persons present a case, but all persons present receive two hours of consultation credit. Etc.

Who keeps track of my consultation hours?  

You and your consultants. Your consultant will keep track of your hours on an Excel spreadsheet and send you a copy after each consultation. This spreadsheet records your hours of individual and group consultation, when you presented, when you supplied peer support, and your progress in the SIP ten areas of competencies. At the end of your consultation process, your consultant will provide this record to ACPE.

Can I get continuing education credit for consultation?  

No. ACPE does not offer continuing education contact hours for the consultation process. That said, some state licenses do allow you to count a certain number of consultation hours for continuing education credit. Your consultant is happy to provide you documentation upon request.

How long can I take to accumulate the 20 consultation hours?  

The simple answer is: as long as you want. If you do an hour of consultation weekly, you could complete the process in as few as five months. But we recommend taking your time. The intent of the consultation process is to help you integrate the knowledge, skills, and ways of being of spiritually integrated psychotherapy, so that this work becomes second nature to you. To that end, it is usually best to allow a few weeks between consultation hours, so that you have time to absorb and apply what you’re experiencing and learning.  

What if one or two members of my group need to meet a deadline and I can take my time?  

The purpose of this consultation is to serve you.  If you need more time to complete your hours, for whatever reason, than some others in your group, you may enter a different group.  Our experience thus far, both in the SIP training itself and the case conceptualization process, is that participants completing the 30-hour SIP curriculum are open and welcoming of other members of our community of practice.  

Can consultation hours count as supervision toward state licensure?

It depends, and that decision is made by you and your consultant in compliance with the requirements of your state licensing board. If you are doing state-licensing-board supervision with an ACPE SIP Trainer, you may count those supervision hours as consultation hours, provided you use the ACPE SIP Case Conceptualization form and your supervision hour includes attention to one or more of the ACPE SIP competencies.

Who do I pay for consultation? And how much does it cost?   

You pay your consultant directly, at whatever schedule you and they determine. Different consultants charge different fees for individual and group consultation, within a range determined by ACPE. That range is:

  • For individual consultation: $60-150 per hour
  • For group consultation: $30-80 per hour (per participant, maximum of 6 participants)

How do I find a consultant?

See the ACPE website (www.acpe.edu) for a list of SIP Trainers who are currently available to provide consultation.

What are the full requirements for ACPE Certification in Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy?

  • Licensed mental health professional (see Note below)
  • Member of ACPE
  • Completion of the 30-hour SIP curriculum
  • 20 hours of consultation with a SIP Trainer (up to 12 hours of consultation can be in group format, no larger than 6 participants per group)
  • A Peer Review wherein the applicant demonstrates engagement of the core SIP Competencies

Note: Participants may begin the SIP Training and complete all other requirements while licensed at the associate level or while in graduate school. Completion of the certification process requires full licensure.

Certification Process

Upon completion of the 30-hour SIP curriculum and 20 hours of SIP consultation, state-licensed therapists are eligible for ACPE Certification in Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy.

Applicants for certification will be asked to provide the following:

  • ACPE Membership number
  • SIP Community of Practice with which they will affiliate
  • Copy of state licensure
  • 600-word-maximum statement, addressing:
    • The context in which they practice
    • Their most important learnings in the curriculum and consultation process
    • An assessment of their strengths, growing edges, and challenges in the practice of spiritually integrated psychotherapy
  • Case presentation (four pages maximum) using the ACPE SIP Case Conceptualization Template

Note: ACPE maintains a secure data base which keeps record of persons who have completed the 30-hour SIP curriculum and where SIP Trainers record each hour of consultation. Thus, applicants do no need to provide this information when they apply for certification.

After submission of these materials, the applicant completes the certification process by meeting with a Peer Review committee.

Peer Review

Completion of ACPE Certification in Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy happens in a Peer Review meeting. The Peer Review is consultative rather than evaluative. There is no pass/fail. It provides opportunity for therapists to discuss their work with a specific client and review their overall development in the work of spiritually integrated psychotherapy with a group of peers.

The Peer Review team is comprised of three to six other persons:

  • at least one of the SIP Trainers with whom the therapist worked in consultation
  • at least one SIP Trainer with whom the therapist did not work in consultation
  • at least one other colleague from the therapist’s consultation group

The therapist may request which of her/his SIP Trainers and members of her/his consultation group will be on the Peer Review team. ACPE will assign the additional SIP Trainer.

The Peer Review meets face-to-face or by video-conference. The Peer Review lasts 90 minutes and includes:

  • discussion of the therapist’s case material
  • discussion of the therapist’s 600-word statement
  • discussion of the therapist’s engagement of the core SIP competencies
  • affirmation of the therapist’s strengths
  • discussion of therapist’s plans for continued learning and growth

Each Peer Review team will assign one member of the team to take notes. These will be typed and shared with the therapist within a week of the Peer Review.

ACPE Membership

One of the requirements for certification is ACPE membership at the Psychotherapist level. The Psychotherapist membership category is for persons

  • who are fully licensed by their state to practice as a mental health professional, or 
  • who were previously certified as a Diplomate or Fellow in AAPC. 

Psychotherapist applicants are required to return a completed Accountability for Ethical Conduct Policy Report form (included with the application) and supporting documentation (a copy of their state license or their Fellow/Diplomate certificate). 

Requirements to Maintain Certification in SIP

ACPE Certification in Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy is renewable every three years.

One of the values of the SIP Program is that therapists learn and grow in the practice of spiritually integrated psychotherapy through relationship with colleagues and mentors over an extended period of time. Therapists who earn ACPE Certification in Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy have committed themselves to ongoing learning and professional formation, and ACPE has developed SIP Communities of Practice as homes where that connection, learning, and professional formation can continue.

Maintaining certification requires documentation of the following:

  • Maintaining state license;
  • Maintaining ACPE membership;
  • Earning 18 ACPE-sponsored or ACPE-approved SIP CE hours every three years, of which:
    • 9 hours are from ACPE-sponsored or ACPE-approved SIP workshops
    • 9 hours of case consultation with SIP Community of Practice
  • Completing a Peer Review. The Peer Review for maintaining certification is similar to the initial Peer Review. The therapist meets with three to six colleagues with whom s/he discusses her/his work with a client, what s/he has learned during the past three years, how s/he has changed during the past three years, and her/his plans for learning and growth over the next three years. 

SIP Competencies

Psychotherapists who earn ACPE Certification in Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy will demonstrate the following competencies:

  1. Appreciation for spiritual and religious diversity and ability to work across spiritual and religious difference.
  2. Ability to work with clients holistically from a bio-psycho-social-spiritual perspective.
  3. Ability to integrate spirituality into psychotherapy in ethically appropriate manner.    
  4. Ability to conduct spiritual assessment.
  5. Ability to help clients leverage healthy spiritual resources.
  6. Ability to use a variety of spiritual interventions.
  7. Ability to help clients engage spiritual struggles.
  8. Ability to address harmful spirituality and religion in the context of psychotherapy.
  9. Ability to articulate how their personal spirituality is a resource in understanding clients, themselves, and therapeutic process.
  10. Ability to be aware of and make therapeutic use of spiritual countertransference.