CRS Intro

The American Psychotherapy Association Cordially Invites you to Become a Certified Relationship Specialist, CRSSM.
Because Your Success Grants the Success of Relationships.

The Certified Relationship Specialist, CRSSM Designation
Psychotherapy professionals of all types constantly deal with relationships, whether those relationships are with their patients (regardless of their presenting problem), their peers, the public or their own families and friends. Additionally, recent data suggest that relationship issues are the most frequent presenting problem encountered in therapy. Due to stressful, high-paced lifestyles as well as normal life issues, there are countless men and women across the nation who are in great need of qualified professionals to help them solve a wide range of relationship problems. This makes relationship therapy a thriving and flourishing field of psychotherapy, offering rich and highly rewarding career opportunities to the dedicated professional.

If your career involves working with relationships, the Certified Relationship Specialist, CRSSM certification will prove to your clients, peers and the public that you have the skills, knowledge, experience, dedication and expertise needed to help clients deal with all types of relationship problems. During these turbulent and trying economic times, it is vital for psychotherapy professionals to establish that they are dedicated to excellence and the highest standards of professionalism. The prestigious CRS designation will demonstrate that you are equipped and devoted to helping your patients overcome their relationship problems.

Who will benefit from the CRS designation?
A professional who has obtained a minimum of a master’s degree and five years of professional experience in any discipline involving relationship issues is a candidate who will benefit from the distinctive CRS certification. This includes psychotherapists, psychiatrists, psychologists, physicians, marriage and family therapists, clergy men and women, mediators, law enforcement professionals and any other professional whose career would benefit from gaining recognition for being a Certified Relationship Specialist.

How will the CRS designation benefit my career?
Relationship therapy requires a stringent level of dedication to continuing education, knowledge of up-to-date techniques, extensive training, solid experience and an ongoing drive to build greater skills and expertise. Obtaining the CRS designation will establish that you are a dedicated professional with the specialized training and expertise required to help patients solve a myriad of relationship problems. It will set you apart from your peers in the exciting and rapidly growing field of relationship therapy.

Requirements to Obtain the CRS Designation
The distinct CRS designation will be granted to relationship professionals who meet the stringent criteria established by the APA. These criteria are based on the candidate’s education, training, years of experience treating patients with relationship issues, specialized knowledge, skills and other professional accomplishments. Applicants must also be members in the American Psychotherapy Association, If you are not already a member, simply complete section A of the enclosed application to apply.

The CRS designation will be granted based on a point system designed to verify to your clients, patients and peers in the psychotherapy community that you have the experience, training and knowledge necessary to be an exemplary relationship specialist. The professional criteria required to earn the CRS designation are specific and compliant with those established for other psychotherapy specialties. Therefore, most professional psychotherapists already possess the necessary components of this distinct area of expertise.

Benefits of Membership in the American Psychotherapy Association
In addition to the benefits offered by the CRS designation, as an APA member you will enjoy:

  • a subscription to Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association, a full-color peer-reviewed journals offering continuing education articles and regular columns on a variety of topics.
  • the unique National Locator Service, an online database that directs potential clients to you and connects you with colleagues nationwide.
  • outstanding conferences with prominent speakers, including William Glasser, M.D., Bill O'Hanlon, M.S., Albert Ellis, Ph.D., Ernest Rossi, Ph.D., Stephen Lankton, M.S.W., , and others.

Want to learn more about becoming a Certified Relationship Specialist?
To learn more about what it takes to become a Certified Relationship Specialist, call APA toll free at (800) 205-9165, or send an e-mail to APA at


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