Other Professional Topics
MARK S. SCHWARTZ
Definitions of the terms "biofeedback" and "applied psychophysiology" affect job titles and descriptions. Some professionals view the term "biofeedback" narrowly as meaning only specific instrumentation-based procedures. Other professionals view it as a shorthand term referring to a wide array of evaluative and therapeutic procedures associated within the broader rubric of "applied psychophysiology"2 (Olson, 1995a; M. S. Schwartz, 1999; Striefel, 1999). Terms such as "augmented proprioception" and "external psychophysiological feedback" are technically more accurate, but are too cumbersome for routine professional use.
This is not the place to engage in professional polemics on this topic. (See N. M. Schwartz & Schwartz, Chapter 3, this volume, for a full discussion of the definitions issue.) See also Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (1999), Volume 24, Number 1, for a broad discussion by M. S. Schwartz et al. of the definition of "applied psychophysiology." However, the term "biofeedback" has taken on much more meaning than the narrow conceptualization. Referring professionals, including physicians, often infer and expect more from the services associated with a broader conceptualization. National certification in biofeedback recognizes biofeedback broadly defined, and the written certification exam covers much more than instrumentation. All of this also has implications for the issue of whether biofeedback is a separate profession, which we discuss at the end of this chapter.
Individuals who are educated within a recognized health care discipline, and are statesanctioned to practice independently, will probably retain their respective licensed titles when providing biofeedback services. Such titles are generally recognized and respected by other professionals, and imply a scope of practice that extends beyond biofeedback. Professionals from traditional health care disciplines not licensed in some or all states for independent prac-