Entering the Field
and Assuring Competence
MARK S. SCHWARTZ
DOIL D. MONTGOMERY
Biofeedback and applied psychophysiology constitute a multidisciplinary and heterogeneous field of many professional disciplines and types of applications. Educational and training opportunities in the field range from courses at universities and individual workshops to comprehensive biofeedback training programs. The Biofeedback Certification Institute of America (BCIA) provides accreditation for the biofeedback programs that are independent of universities. For many, the sources of education are the annual meetings and workshops of the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB) and the Society for Neuronal Regulation; workshops sponsored by state and regional societies; and private training programs that offer multiday programs.
The development and maintenance of clinical competence require active participation in a variety of educational and training experiences. Responsible professionals seek continuing education and training. Supervisors and others involved with the education and training of professionals in their setting have the responsibility to support attendance at educational and training programs. Professionals providing clinical services also have a responsibility to request time and financial support to attend these programs. The following general suggestions are made, without any order or preference, as ways to obtain and maintain competence. We urge you, our readers, to consider them seriously and to try as many as are feasible.
1. Enroll in carefully selected workshops, private programs, and academic courses. Ask sponsors and presenters for the names of those who have attended in the past, and talk to them.
2. Read recommended books, journal articles, manuals, AAPB publications, and patient education booklets. Consider the BCIA references as a resource. Furthermore, listen to audiotapes, such as those from national meetings.