Oasis Africa Institute of Leadership and Professional Psychology 

Registered by the Ministry of Education Reg. No. MST/INS/14/27/0/33

CURRENT HEAD OFFICE FOR KENYA PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION (KPsyA), THE GOVERNING BODY FOR PSYCHOLOGISTS IN KENYA






The AGM for the Kenya Psychological Association, (KPsyA), has been postponed and rescheduled to be held on 9th June 2012. The venue, agenda and other details shall be communicated to the registered members.

The APA (American Psychological Association) is going to hold its International Psychologists Convention in August 2012. All members of KPsyA interested to attend kindly contact Ms. Joyce at Oasis Africa for travel arrangements and details.
Meanwhile, visit our offices at Oasis Africa, Ngong Road, Opposite Mimosa Court, at the Nazarene Complex, between Nairobi Baptist and Coptic Hospital for further details.
To: All current and Prospective members of KPsyA
From: KPsyA Chairperson.

Receive greetings from the Chairman and Executive Committee.

Introduction

You are receiving this letter because:
  • You are already a member of KPsyA or
  • You are a prospective member who fits the Association’s membership requirements as follows:
  1. You hold a Doctoral degree in a specialized field in Psychology from an accredited academic institution.
  2. You hold a Masters degree in a specialized field in Psychology from an accredited academic institution
  3. You are from another country and hold a Doctoral or Masters degree in a specialized field of Psychology and are licensed, chartered or registered/ entitled to practice as a professional psychologist in your own country of origin.
  4. You hold a BA degree in Psychology from an accredited academic institution.
  5. You are a student currently pursuing Psychology at PhD, MA or BA level in an accredited academic institution.
If you have already paid up for your membership, please, make a point of picking up your certificate
from the KPsyA office at Oasis Africa. We are at Nazarene Complex, Ngong Road, Opp Mimosa Court and between Coptic Hospital and Nairobi Baptist Church as the landmarks.

What are the Benefits of joining KPsyA?

Since the current Executive Committee was voted in, we have been busy laying the foundation of the Association. In a few weeks, we will call you for a Special General meeting, and you will need to be a full member to attend and participate.

What does membership to KPsyA entail?

We hope that very soon, a bill regulating your work will be passed and a Board set up for the same. The role of KPsyA will be to license all psychology practitioners in Kenya as well as accredit institutions teaching psychology.

Why licensure and accreditation?

Know Your Profession: In the medical profession, there are many branches: clinical officers, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, and medical doctors. Then among medical doctors, there are specializations: general practitioners, family medicine doctors, pediatricians, gynecologists, neurosurgeons, psychiatrists, and so on. Nurses are governed by the Nurses Act, Dentists by the Dental Board, Doctors by the Medical Board, and so on.

Similarly in Psychology, who are we? Are we counselors or are we psychologists? No one can be both, just like you cannot be a nurse and a doctor at the same time.

For those who know themselves to be psychologists, many nations use this tern only for holders of doctorates in psychology. When KPsyA, started, it was agreed that since the profession was very young in Kenya, we use the term to include MA graduates of psychology. This is the only level of qualification that can practice the profession and open clinics. Other levels can only work within organizations under the supervision of a MA or doctoral level psychologist. This is the practice elsewhere.

There are many branches of psychology and counseling is one of them. Each is named after the training and functions of that particular branch. For example, below are some branches of psychology that are here in Kenya or will be here soon:
  • Educational Psychology which is also referred to as school psychology. It comes in handy in colleges as well. It basically concentrates on student life.
  • Community Psychology which helps a community to understand empowerment, social justice, citizen participation, etc. It is also referred to as critical psychology.
  • Clinical Psychology which emphasizes clinical assessment, psychotherapy, consultation withpsychiatrists, program development and treatment outcomes as means of client care.
  • Counseling Psychology which works with people experiencing less severe symptoms and often takes a more general approach that encompasses a range of psychotherapeutic techniques.
  • Forensic or Legal Psychology which assists in the process of crime investigation and is integrated into the world of law and task force order.
  • Social Psychology which deals with group behavior, social perception, conformity, aggression, and prejudice. Social psychology studies the impact of social influences on human behavior.
  • Health Psychology observes how behavior, biology and social context influence illness and health. Health psychologists generally work alongside other medical professionals in clinical settings.
  • Industrial or Organizational Psychology studies the behavior of employees in a work setting so as to improve job satisfaction as well as company productivity.
Maintaining Professional Standards
The professional functions of these branches are guided and monitored by Psychological Associations in various nations. For example, the American Psychological Association is the standard setting and accreditation body for psychological practitioners and training institutions. Through local associations, people also become members of global bodies.

Specific disciplines of psychology train people in that discipline: educational psychologists train
educational psychology students, while clinicians train clinicians. In the medical field, you cannot find dentists training neurosurgeons, or gynecologists training neurosurgeons because training goes beyond imparting academic knowledge to supervision and modeling of practice in the specific field.

When it comes to practice, educational psychologists work in education not in clinics because their
training specialized them for education settings – schools, colleges, and universities. Such specialization is what mandates that all professional practice begins after MA level of training and above. In other countries, patients sue professional for malpractice, and anyone treating people without the basic training is liable for lawsuits in these locations.

KPsyA Licensing for Practitioners


Through KPsyA, one of our major roles is licensing psychologists to practice at their level and within
their field of training. The level of acknowledgement in Kenya should be the level they can be
acknowledged in other countries. Therefore, although KPsyA opens up its membership all the way to BA psychology holders, only those with MA or above in the relevant field of psychology can be licensed to practice within their discipline and in locations for which they are trained.

To this end, KPsyA encourages all practitioners to frame their Practice Certificates as soon as they
receive them and place them where clients can clearly see them. Group practice certificates will also be given for clinics whose professional team fits these licensing requirements. Similarly, individuals employed to practice psychology in various institutions should also use the same
certificates to indicate professional ability. KPsyA is working hard to make sure that our membership is prepared as Kenyans become more and more aware of their rights to authentic professional care.

In other countries, practitioners are easily sued for malpractice and Kenyans will not be exempt. It
follows that, before long, just like in the medical practice, psychological practitioners may be required to purchase practice insurance to cover such incidences.

Accreditation of Teaching Institutions and Psychology Practicum Sites

Institutions teaching psychology and their psychology curricula as well as Practicum/Internship and
Continuing Education sites for Clinical and Counseling Psychologists will also need Accreditation by the Kenya Psychological Association. This will ensure training and practice content, quality, and professional discipline.

KPsyA stands for quality and accountability in the practice of Psychology in Kenya. Just like medical practice will not sanction someone to do a six-month course in medicine and then open a surgery, so KPsyA lays the same expectations as the rest of the world in the practice of serving the Kenyan population in the area of psychological mental health.

People will give your profession the value that you yourself give it. Similarly, your professional
association validates you and your profession.

Please,
  • Feel free to pass on this letter to any MA or PhD/PsyD Psychologist you know who is working within Kenya or may be interested to practice or teach here, as well as to Professors and students of Psychology in our institutions of higher learning.
  • Feel free to call or email us for any clarification. You can use Oasis Africa telephone lines. The Executive Committee has requested us at Oasis Africa, where the KPsyA office is situated, to deal with questions and clarifications.
Once again, please, renew memberships, register anew, and pick up membership certificates. Practice certificates will be issued by application for those who need them and at a fee to be communicated.

Yours Sincerely,
Gladys K. Mwiti, PhD
Consulting Clinical Psychologist
Chairperson KPsyA

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