What is a Psychologist?
Psychologists complete rigorous training to become a registered and licensed health practitioner and registration is with the National registration authority (AHPRA). Psychologists are licensed to practice in all states and territories in Australia.
Psychologists complete a similar level of study as other professions such as a lawyer or a doctor. Psychologists need to complete a 3 year degree, usually in psychological or behavioural science. The initial 3 year degree provides training in advanced statistics and the science of human behaviour. After achieving high marks in this undergraduate degree, psychologist’s complete a 4th honours year. This 4th year can be the final year of a Bach of Psychology or a postgraduate honours after completing an undergraduate bachelor degree.
Once passing the 4th year of full-time study, psychologists are eligible to enter an internship or masters/doctoral program at the university as a registrar. Entering the final two years is not guaranteed and only a very small number of 4 year training psychologists will find an internship or masters program. In order to find an internship or masters position applicants will typically be experienced practitioners and recognised for advanced research skills in Psychology.
Psychologists much complete a minimum of 2 years in the final stage before gaining full registration. In total, psychologists complete a minimum of 6 year in full-time study or in an internship to gain registration. The final two years usually involve closely supervised practice of counselling, mental health assessment, organisational consultancy, research and teaching roles. Supervision is completed by a senior psychologist who has completed years of additional training and practice. Psychology supervisors have been practising for more than 3 years and complete additional accredited training in supervision of psychologists.
Psychologists typically complete over 150 hours of face to face individual supervision with a senior accredited supervisor and will submitted a thesis or research project before applying for full registration. The internship or postgraduate training typically takes more than 2 years and many psychologists will enrolled for 2-5 years beyond the first 4 years of study.
Most psychologists have completed extra training in addition to the initial 6 years. Extra training can include completing a PhD, additional masters or graduate diplomas or a clinical doctorate. A PhD involves the highest level of study in research in a specialised field. A PhD in Psychology involves the use of advanced statistics/mathematics and investigation of human behaviour. Clinical Doctorates in Psychology involve more clinical training and a moderate sized thesis. Here are just some of the different fields that psychologists can focus on:
- Acquired Brain Injury
- Birth Trauma
- Family Therapy
- Fertility Counselling
- GLBT Counsellling
- Grief and Loss Counselling
- Men’s Health Counselling
- Multilingual Counselling
- Seniors Counselling
- Separation and Divorce
- Sex Therapy
- Workplace Counselling
Most psychologists listed will have been studying or working in the industry for over a decade before entering private practice. This provides psychologists with extensive study and training before providing counselling to the community. The level of study is similar to a GP or a lawyer, which means that you can be assured that a registered psychologist is well trained and experienced before entering private practice. In addition to the 6-10 years of full-time study, psychologists complete additional workshop training in Australia or overseas, as some specialist qualifications are only available overseas.
Psychologists complete 30 hours of professional supervision to maintain their registration per year, and this involves 10 hours of face to face individual supervision with another more experienced psychologist. While this process sounds nearly impossible, finding a Brisbane Psychologist is very simple. Our website provides information on Brisbane Psychologists and what they do best!