- Both Registered and Clinical Psychologists are University trained to improve psychological well-being and help humans lead happier and healthier emotional lives.
- In Australia, all Psychologists need to be registered with the Australian Board of Psychology.
- A Clinical Psychologist is a Psychologist who has undertaken further two years post-graduate training alongside supervised clinical work experience.
- Medicare Rebates may apply to counselling services provided by a Registered or Clinical Psychologist.
Psychologists have knowledge and training on how to improve negative behaviour patterns, minimise upsetting emotions, and encourage better mental health for individuals and couples.
You can expect a high standard of care and professionalism from both Registered and Clinical Psychologists as both are University qualified and are required to abide by professional codes of conduct and ethics.
Perhaps what matters most in choosing a Psychologist is that they have good practice experience working with the issues that you want help with, that you are able to relate well to them and feel comfortable with them and that you can access them at a time, place and cost that suits you. We can help you find a Psychologist.
What is a Registered Psychologist?
A Registered Psychologist or Psychologist is someone who has met the requirements of the Australian Board of Psychology.
Generally, the Board of Psychology requires a person seeking registration as a Psychologist to have completed four years of University study, usually at Honours level plus 2 years of supervised practice.
Psychologists in Australia are then required to maintain their registration status by maintaining a regular course of professional development and supervision (whereby a qualified senior Psychologist works with the Psychologist to assess, discuss and enhance their clinical work). Working Psychologists are also required to maintain professional indemnity insurance.
The Australian Psychological Society (APS) is the leading professional body for psychologists, providing psychologists with professional advice, opportunities for educational and professional development, and high ethical standards.
What is a Clinical Psychologist?
Some Psychologists go on to further training after their four year degree to completed a Masters (or Doctorate) Degree in Clinical, Psychology. Together with another 1-2 yrs of supervised clinical practice they can then seek registration as a Clinical Psychologist in Australia.
Clinical Psychologist are also able to apply for membership to the APS College of Clinical Psychologists.
Medicare Rebates for Counselling & Psychology Services
Under the Commonwealth Government’s Better Access to Mental Health Care Initiative, clients are entitled to claim rebates for psychology services in certain circumstances.
Generally rebates are available for up to 10 counselling sessions undertaken with a Registered or Clinical Psychologist in a calendar year.
You can read more about medicare rebatable psychologist services here.
Should I see a Registered or Clinical Psychologist
Whichever Psychologist you choose, you should expect the same level of professionalism, care and ethical behaviour. All have to have a supervisor who they talk to about their practice and all undergo ongoing professional development throughout their career.
For example, a Registered Psychologist may have 20 years of professional experience after qualifying and have undertaken hundreds of hours of professional development, but may not have chosen to undertake a further Masters or Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.
Our job is to help you navigate your choices by trying to help you find the right fit. We can do this by addressing a number of important questions:
- What are the issues you’d like help with?
We can try and find someone with lots of experience in this area.
- Where and when are you able to attend appointments?
We can set you up near work or home or online.
- Do you have a preference for a male or female practitioner or do you have a particular approach or style of therapy in mind?
We have practitioners with vastly different personalities and treatment approaches. Some are practical, some are caring and insightful, others are both!
- Is it important to you to claim a rebate through Medicare and do you have a Medicare Mental Health care plan?
If not, you could also choose to see a Registered Counsellor or Social Worker. Many of our non-psychologist practitioners are wonderful clinicians with a depth of experience which uniquely qualifies them to help.