The APA is the main accrediting body for U.S. clinical and counseling psychology doctoral training programs and internship sites. APA-accredited Clinical Psychology PhD and PsyD programs typically require students to complete a one-year clinical internship in order to graduate (or a two-year part-time internship). However, there is currently an "internship crisis" as defined by the American Psychological Association, in that approximately 25% of clinical psychology doctoral students do not match for internship each year. This crisis has led many students (approximately 1,000 each year) to re-apply for internship, thus delaying graduation, or to complete an unaccredited internship, and often has many emotional and financial consequences. Students who do not complete an APA accredited internships in the U.S. are barred from certain employment settings, including VA Hospitals, the military, and cannot get licensed in some states, such as Utah and Mississippi. Additionally, some post-doctoral fellowships and other employment settings require or prefer an APA Accredited internship. The APA has been criticized for not addressing this crisis adequately and many psychologists and graduate students have petitioned for the APA to take action by regulating graduate training programs. Many graduate students attend APA accredited programs, yet are unable to secure APA accredited internships possibly leading to financial and employment hardships.
Due to the dominance of in APA, several research-focused groups have broken away from the organization. These include the in 1959 (with a primarily cognitive orientation), and the (which changed its name from the in early 2006) in 1988 (with a broad focus on the science and research of psychology). was the first clinician in independent practice to be elected president of the American Psychological Association in 1977.
Denmark, F., Russo, N. F., Frieze, I. H. & Sechzer, J. A. (1988). Guidelines for avoiding sexism in research: A report of the Ad Hoc Committee on Nonsexist Research. American Psychologist, 43 582-585.