When using a Directory, whether it is online, or in the form of a Telephone Directory or Local Business Directory, it is essential to understand the difference between a
Directory and a Referral Service.
A Directory is simply a list of professionals or businesses, and no recommendations or guarantees are made regarding the quality of service you might expect from any of
professionals or businesses listed. The Telephone Yellow Pages is a common and well known example of a Directory. Every business is listed for free, and some businesses pay an advertising fee for a larger listing or display ad. Whether the listing is free or paid, no recommendations are expressed or implied, regarding the quality of services provided.
A Referral Service is a screening service, and a recommendation is being made, with at least some endorsement of the professionals or businesses listed in the service. Usually,
a Referral Service will require a professional or a business to meet some quality criteria before they are accepted into the Referral Service. This might include a specific number of years of experience, passing a
special test or training program not required by everyone in the profession or business,
or an absence of consumer complaints about the professional or business. The National Register of Health Service Providers is a good example, or the various Board Certifications available in Medicine, which all require passing an examination, in addition to basic licensing as a healthcare professional. A Referral Service does not list everyone who requests admission to the service.
The National Directory of Psychologists is a series of directories, not a referral service. We do not verify the license of anyone listed, and we know nothing of their
professional background, other than what they have told us. Therefore, we request that you please use the directories as you would a telephone directory, to locate professionals in your community. Once you locate a
professional, please investigate their background to insure that they are licensed, and that they do not have a history of complaints or disciplinary problems with their professional licensing board.
To assist you in checking the backgound of listed professionals, we have provided contact information for the Psychology licensing board in Washington:
Washington State Examining Board of Psychology
Department of Health
P.O. Box 47869
Olympia, WA 98504-7869