What is a Counselling Psychologist?

On Monday this week I did a live-stream on FaceBook. In this video, I have outlined a little of my history and how I came to psychology and in particular to Counselling Psychology. I explained some of what sets Counselling Psychologists apart from other psychologists.

Psychologist Training

We, psychologists, are required to engage in a significant amount of training to become qualified and then obtain registration. The training pathways have changed about 4-5 years ago when the registration body became nationally administered and the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency was born. The title of ‘Psychologist’ is protected and only those who are registered as such are allowed to use the title.

It takes about 6 years of education and training to become eligible to be registered as a psychologist. This can be 3 years of undergraduate university, a post-graduate year plus 2 years of intense supervised training as a Provisional Psychologist. Or it might be 3 years of undergraduate university, a post-graduate year and then a Masters or a Doctorate in Psychology which both include supervised practice as a Provisional Psychologist. Masters and Doctorate degrees include a research thesis.

Specific Areas of Psychology

There are a number of different streams, or types of psychologists in Australia. We do not call ourselves specialists, but we do have a different emphasis in the interest area in which we practise or in the approach from which we might practice. The Australian Psychological Society has 9 Colleges representing these different approaches, interest areas or population groups:

  • College of Counselling Psychologists
  • College of Health Psychologists
  • College of Sport and Exercise Psychologists
  • College of Clinical Neuropsychologists
  • College of Educational and Developmental Psychologists
  • College of Organisational Psychologists
  • College of Health Psychologists
  • College of Clinical Psychologists

It’s important to note that ALL Psychologists must meet the same level of competency in understanding, diagnosing & treating a variety of mental health concerns. We must all understand and abide by our Code of Ethics. However, we have different areas of interest and therefore we might be more experienced in specific areas and with specific sets of issues or population groups; for example some might be more experienced working within a medical environment such as a hospital, others might be more experienced working with  children or with those with disabilities.

My interest areas:

As I note in the video, I have extensive experience working within a secondary school setting as well as working with adults in private practice. I’m not sure that ‘enjoy’ is the correct word to use… but I enjoy working with people who experience anxiety. My impression, together with feedback that some clients have given me at the end of treatment, is that it is common for my clients to learn strategies that they find helpful for the management of their anxiety.  I am aware that everyone is different and therefore, I approach each person that walks into my office as an individual and I look to learn as much as I can about you and we then work together to discover which strategies might be helpful for you. Of course, I do work with a number of other issues and these are listed here and here.

If you would like to make an appointment to come and see me please do so here or you can go directly to the ‘book an appointment‘ link in the top right corner of this website.

In 2018, I am planning to post regularly on my FaceBook page so please head over there to keep up-to-date with me. You will be able to find my profile page from there as well and you’re welcome to follow me there too.

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