Embarking on the journey to become a licensed psychologist is a remarkable accomplishment, marking the end of an extensive educational expedition. However, the transition from student to licensed professional is not without its intricacies. In this exploration, we delve into the multifaceted challenges faced by provisional psychologists, including not only financial burdens but also the vulnerability associated with the necessity to pay for supervision until completing the EPPP exam—a measure that may not fully capture a therapist’s skills and abilities.

Supervision Costs: Beyond Finances

While financial considerations are undoubtedly a part of the provisional psychologist’s journey, the challenges extend beyond monetary aspects. Supervision, a critical component of the licensure process, carries a weight that goes beyond its financial implications. The vulnerability lies in the need to seek supervision until the completion of the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). This extended period of mentorship may present challenges, not just in terms of costs but also in the dynamics of professional growth.

The EPPP Exam: A Limited Measure

The EPPP exam is a standard requirement for psychologists seeking licensure, aiming to evaluate their knowledge and competence. However, the vulnerability arises from the realization that a standardized exam, while valuable, may not comprehensively measure the nuanced skills and qualities that make a great therapist. The provisional psychologist is left navigating a system that relies on a single examination as a measure of readiness for independent practice.

The Financial Landscape: Balancing Act

Acknowledging the financial challenges is essential, as provisional psychologists often find themselves managing student loan debt while contending with the costs of supervision and registration. However, the emphasis shifts to the broader picture of finding a balance between fiscal responsibility and the pursuit of professional growth. The vulnerability is not just in financial constraints but in the delicate dance of meeting obligations while focusing on the development of meaningful therapeutic skills.

Navigating the Practicum Maze

Acquiring practicum placements poses a unique challenge, not only for provisional psychologists. The vulnerability lies in limitations for practicum opportunities, as well as the extended periods of uncertainty and unemployment as psychologists await practicum opportunities and then carry out their placement of typically two semesters without compensation. Weather they obtain their degree is dependant on supervisors and systemic situations that may not always be in their best interest.

The Non-Solicitation and Non-Compete Conundrum

Legal constraints, such as non-solicitation and non-compete clauses, add an additional layer of complexity. While designed to protect business interests, these clauses can inadvertently disrupt the continuity of care for clients. The provisional psychologist is caught between the desire for career mobility and the potential impact on those they serve—a vulnerable position shaped by legal considerations.

Crafting Solutions for a Holistic Approach:

  1. Mentorship Programs: Establishing mentorship programs that extend beyond supervision requirements can provide ongoing support and guidance for provisional psychologists.
  2. Comprehensive Evaluation Measures: Advocating for evaluation methods that go beyond standardized exams to assess the holistic skills and qualities of a therapist.
  3. Financial Support Initiatives: Promoting financial support initiatives, such as scholarships and grants, to ease the financial burden associated with supervision and registration costs.
  4. Collaboration for Seamless Transitions: Encouraging collaboration among educational institutions, regulatory bodies, and employers to streamline the transition from education to practice, minimizing disruptions in care for clients.

The journey to becoming a licensed psychologist is a nuanced exploration marked by various challenges. While financial considerations are an integral part, the vulnerability extends beyond dollars and cents. Provisional psychologists navigate a landscape where the measure of their readiness is encapsulated in a single exam, and the path to licensure involves a delicate balance between professional growth and financial responsibility. As we address these challenges, it is crucial to foster a system that prioritizes comprehensive evaluations, seamless transitions, and ongoing mentorship to ensure that the journey to becoming a psychologist is not just a test of financial mettle but a holistic evolution of therapeutic skills and abilities.


  1. American Psychological Association. (n.d.). Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/ed/graduate/eppp
  2. Canadian Psychological Association. (n.d.). Practicum Resources. Retrieved from https://cpa.ca/students/resources/practicumresources/