What is a Psychologist?

By Reception on September 18, 2017 in Practice News / Pure Empowerment, Mental Health Treatment

There has always been – and probably will always continue to be – confusion surrounding what a psychologist does, and what a psychiatrist does. While the names sound similar, there are important differences in their job roles and responsibilities.

“Psychologists are university-educated experts in human behaviour, emotions and mental processes. They work with people across the lifespan to help individuals to improve their lives.  Psychologists work in a vast range of settings including hospitals, community settings, private practice, correctional facilities, schools, the defence forces, research centres, government departments and organisations.

Psychologists have a minimum of 6 years of education and training and must be registered with the Psychology Board of Australia in order to use the title ‘psychologist’. All Psychologists are required to adhere to their Code of Ethics and undertake ongoing professional development on an annual basis.” Reference – Psycholopaedia https://psychlopaedia.org/jargon-busters/psychologists/

eExpert in human behaviour’

What conditions can a Psychologist assist with?

A psychologist is said to be an ‘expert in human behaviour’. As such, they assist people to overcome difficulties experienced in life, such as:

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • other mental health disorders
  • problems one might experience with relationships, parenting, substance abuse
  • chronic illness.

Best described, they help everyday people cope with what can be everyday problems that have become too big to handle alone.


A psychologist will employ a range of techniques to help someone develop the tools to overcome these problems


A psychologist will employ a range of techniques to help someone develop the tools to overcome these problems. These techniques are a range of therapies, and they can be employed in many fields (hospitals, schools, defence forces/law enforcement and community health). At your initial assessment your psychologist will take a detailed history, and will most likely take notes. They will ask questions about your personal and employment backgrounds, what brought you to see them today (if you know what it was) and what you hope to get out of therapy. They will listen, write, and ask questions at pertinent points in your talks. They could use questionnaires and/or other tools during your sessions (some may be to establish a baseline, others will give them important information about the type of personality you have and how you will best benefit from different therapeutic styles). They may give you ‘homework’, which is crucial if your sessions are to be of benefit. And they will check at each session to see how your progress is travelling. (Reference Whitecoat.com.au)

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