What is a Psychologist?
A psychologist is an allied health professional who has undertaken a minimum of 6 years of combined university study and applied workplace supervision.
Psychologists work in a range of settings including schools, medical centres, hospitals, organisations and businesses, prisons, community centres and government agencies and apply their knowledge of how people behave, think and learn. They can assist people with a variety of issues including (but not limited to):
To use the title psychologists in Australia you must hold registration with the Psychology Board of Australia (PsyBA). The highest, legal, specialist title for a psychologist is full registration with the PsyBA. All registered psychologists can diagnose, assess and treat clients, irrespective of endorsement.
Registration allows psychologists to work in any area of psychology that is within their scope of practice and to use the title 'psychologist'. All psychologists registered with the PsyBA must meet a minimum standard of education and training (six years) and have been assessed as a suitable person to hold registration in the profession.
All psychologists complete a six-year sequence of education and training. All psychologists must complete a four-year APAC-accredited sequence in psychology. To become fully registered and be able to use the title 'psychologist' they must complete one of the following programs:
In order to be registered all psychologists must demonstrate the following competencies:
All registered psychologists can assess, diagnose and treat clients within the limits of their competence. Once registration has been completed, psychologists may lean towards an area of interest that will drive their continuing professional development and define the scope of their practice. No psychologist will be able to practice in every area of psychology, although some may have multiple areas of interest or expertise.
Examples of areas of interest include:
It is important to find a psychologist who you like and feel a connection with. Research shows that the therapist-client relationship is the most important factor in helping you get better.
If you are ready to start therapy, please use our Find a Psychologist search tool.
If you need counselling now, please contact one of the following services:
Lifeline – call 13 11 14
For support and advice in a personal crisis, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Lifeline also has online chat available from 8pm -midnight seven days a week.
Suicide Call Back Service – call 1300 659 467
For free telephone counselling, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Kids Helpline – call 1800 55 1800
Kids Helpline is a free, private and confidential 24/7 phone and online counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25.