Psychology in Delaware

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Updated August 18, 2022

Delaware is a great place to practice as a psychologist. Find out what makes it so appealing to therapists and how to become licensed in the state.

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Delaware is a great place to start or continue your career as a psychologist due to its high demand for therapists and laws that allow psychologists to easily establish practices in the state. Its relatively low cost of living is another area of appeal to psychologists coming from more expensive cities, such as nearby Philadelphia, New York, and Washington, D.C.

Psychologist Salaries in Delaware
Job Title Lowest 10% Median Annual Salary Highest 10%
Clinical and counseling psychologists $74,870 $94,570 Data not available
School psychologists $47,270 $73,260 $103,020
Industrial-organizational psychologists Data not available Data not available Data not available
Psychologists, all other Data not available Data not available Data not available

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Online Doctorate Programs in Psychology

Psychologist Licensing in Delaware

To earn a psychologist license in Delaware, you must complete a doctoral degree in psychology, pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP), and complete 1,500 supervised hours during your postdoctoral experience.

Once you meet the requirements, you can apply for licensure using the state board's online system and creating an account through the Division of Professional Regulation.

In addition to completing the application and fee, you must also provide a few supporting documents. The first is a criminal background check, which you must submit to the State Bureau of Identification (SBI) rather than the state board.

You must arrange for an official transcript of your psychology doctoral degree to be sent directly from your university to the board's office. If your degree is not accredited by either the American Psychological Association or the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System, you must complete extra paperwork to ensure the program's curriculum meets the board's standards.

To prove you have at least 1,500 hours of post-doctoral supervised experience, you need to complete a Supervisory Reference Form from each of your supervisors. Compared to nearby states, such as Maryland, which requires 3,000 hours, this threshold is fairly low.

Finally, you also have to provide your passing scores (500 or higher) from taking the EPPP. These must come directly from the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB).

But if you already hold psychology licensure in another state, you're in luck. Delaware offers license reciprocity. This means that psychologists can potentially work in Delaware without going through the standard process of re-applying for licensure.

To qualify, you must be currently licensed in another state and meet at least one (not all) of the following descriptions:

It's also beneficial to know that Delaware is a member of the Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact (PSYPACT) — an agreement that allows psychologists licensed in PSYPACT-member states to work with clients in other member states.

This means if you are licensed in Delaware, you can treat clients in about 28 other states through telehealth. You can also treat clients in person who live in bordering PSYPACT-member states, namely Maryland and Pennsylvania, on a temporary basis.

License Requirements

The fundamental requirements to apply for psychology licensure in Delaware are as follows:

  • A doctoral degree in psychology
  • 1,500 hours of supervised clinical experience
  • Passing score on the EPPP (500 or higher)

Demand for Psychology in Delaware

The percentage of adults in Delaware experiencing mental illness was 21% from 2018-2019, on par with the U.S. average. During that period, 7% of Delaware's population — about 53,000 people — reported having unmet mental health treatment needs in the state.

However, Delaware experiences a more severe therapist shortage than the rest of the country. Only 10% of the need for mental health professionals is met in Delaware compared to the U.S. national average of 28%.

Overdose deaths in the state have also increased significantly in recent years. In 2015, 21 out of 100,000 people died of a drug-related overdose, which increased to 46 out of 100,000 in 2020 — almost 50% higher than the national average. Most of these were opioid-related deaths.

More addiction experts and general psychologists are needed in order to address these issues. Demand for therapy is most highly concentrated in the state's metropolitan areas, including Wilmington, Dover, and Newark. But teletherapy allows mental health professionals to treat clients throughout the state.

Feature Image: Robert Kirk / E+ / Getty Images

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