Phase 1:  Pipeline to Practice Sample Submission/Revision Phase

The first and most important step in the process of pursuing specialty board certification in Rehabilitation Psychology is submitting paperwork and credentials review to ABPP for admission to candidacy.  Once an individual has been successfully admitted to candidacy, they are considered to be entered into the ABRP "Pipeline."  It is at this point that they become eligible to join the Rehab Riff Raff.

After joining, during this phase hour-long teleconference calls are facilitated by current Rehab Riff Raff leadership on a once-a-month basis.  Topics covered during these calls include:

  • Selecting an ABRP mentor and how to utilize their expertise effectively
  • Tips for selecting cases to write about in your Practice Sample
  • Progress updates each call to encourage all Riff Raff to continue making progress towards their goals based on their individualized timetables for completion
  • Assigning "Accountability Partners" for additional contact, encouragement, and peer feedback between calls
  • Recommended Readings
  •  Tips for Practice Sample writing and how this differs from other types of professional writing
  • Utilizing mentor practice sample edits during early drafts of your sample prior to board submission
  • Practice sample revisions, if required (note:  They usually are.  Don't take this personally.  Just like the "Revise and Resubmit" phase of publishing a journal article, practice sample revisions provide you with an opportunity to make your practice sample even stronger, thereby demonstrating further competencies and as a result making the Oral Exam Phase easier).

Phase 2:  Oral Exam Preparation Phase

Upon acceptance of the Practice Sample by the ABRP board, members move on to Phase 2.  During this phase, hour-long teleconference calls are facilitated by current Rehab Riff Raff leaders on a once-weekly basis.  Topics covered during these calls include:

  • Discussing which diagnostic categories (e.g., traumatic brain injury, stroke, spinal cord injury) members are most likely to choose during the clinical vignettes phase of the ABRP Oral Exam
  • Modeling of Mock Clinical Vignette Examinations by current Rehab Riff Raff leaders, showing what it is like to be on the ABRP "Hot Seat"
  • Mock Clinical Vignette exercises- Each Riff Raff member is provided with one (or more depending on time) mock clinical vignette based on a diagnostic category they identify as most likely to choose on the actual exam.  They are then provided with this vignette 30 minutes prior to call to simulate the actual amount of time they would have to read and take notes on the vignette during the actual ABRP Oral Exam.  The member will then be given an opportunity to discuss their conceptualization and approach to the case on the call with one of the current Riff Raff leaders serving as a mock examiner.  Upon completion of questioning performance feedback is provided.  All of this is done in a positive and respectful manner in order to alleviate anxiety, build confidence, and demystify the ABRP process.
  • Discussion of Ethics Vignettes and how to approach these on the Oral Exam, including how the process differs from one's approach to Clinical Vignettes
  • Mock Ethics Vignette exercises- Each Riff Raff member is provided with one or more mock ethical vignettes on call to provide them with an opportunity to identify relevant ethical principles or standards relevant to the case and how one might apply an ethical decision-making model to the dilemma involved.
  • Practice Sample Defense preparation- Due to limited time on calls and the complexity and length of individual ABRP Practice Samples, these are less of a focus on Riff Raff calls as compared to the Clinical Vignette and Ethics Vignette phases of the ABRP Oral Exam.  Riff Raff members are encouraged to discuss these and prepare for this phase with their assigned ABRP mentors.  This does not mean, however, that this phase of the exam is completely ignored on calls, and current Rehab Riff Raff leaders will discuss at length how to use ABRP board feedback (provided in the notification letter once an individual has their Practice Sample accepted by the board and is permitted to move on to the Oral Exam phase, including identified strengths and weaknesses of the Practice Sample) to prepare for the Practice Sample Defense
  • Peer support, respect, and encouragement!
  • Also, did we mention that upon completing the oral exam you get a free Rehab Riff Raff t-shirt?
  • And lastly, did we mention that all of this (joining, participating, swanky t-shirt) is completely free?  Because it is. :)