A Psychologist is a professional trained in the science of how people think, feel, behave, and learn. In Australia, psychology is a regulated profession which means people who call themselves a psychologist must be registered with the Psychology Board of Australia (PsyBA) and listed with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).
Registered psychologists are required to have a minimum of six years of university training and supervised experience, and to engage in ongoing education to keep their skills and knowledge up to date. They must also adhere to certain strict standards to keep their registration, and must provide professional services according to a strict code of ethics, written by the Australian Psychology Society (APS).
The work psychologists do is incredibly varied. Broadly speaking, psychologists provide assessment and therapy to clients, help facilitate organisational or social change, conduct psychological research, or administer psychological tests to individuals or groups.
Psychological Assessment and Therapy
A large number of psychologists fulfil some type of a therapeutic role, assessing their client’s concerns and life circumstances, offering support, advice, and treatment to address these issues. For example, psychologists may:
- Work directly with people to help them recover from depression, anxiety, trauma, or other mental health issues
- Evaluate the needs of older adults with declining memory, and offer advice to families and carers on how to adjust the living environment to aid independence and safety
- Work with children, parents, and teachers to address learning or behaviour problems
Psychologists often undertake psychological testing of individuals, groups, or organisations that can provide valuable information about their perceptions, thoughts and feelings, or their cognitive functioning such as memory and learning. Psychologists often assess children with special learning needs, people with brain injuries, or older adults experiencing problems with declining memory so that they, and others around them, better understand their needs.
Psychology.org.au. 2021. What is a psychologist? | APS. [online] Available at: https://psychology.org.au/for-the-public/about-psychology/what-is-a-psychologist