What is a Clinical Psychologist?

A clinical psychologist is a health care professional who is an expert in mental health. They have gone through extensive specialised training. This included the assessment, diagnosis, formulation, and psychological treatments for mental health. Whether this relates to short or long term behavioural, or emotional disorders. They are the only certified psychologists that have gone through this level of training for mental health. The studies to become a clinical psychologist lasts eight years in Australia.

What does clinical psychology involve?

Clinical psychology is a science-based method. It integrates theory and clinical practise to help understand and treat psychological problems. It focuses on identifying, preventing and relieving the symptoms of psychological disorders. Clinical psychologists aid patients with mild, moderate, severe, chronic, or complex problems.

What is the difference between other psychologists?
There are many different types of psychologists. Non-clinical psychologists may have advanced training in alternative areas. These can include clinical neuropsychology, forensic psychology, health psychology, health psychology, forensic psychology, organisational psychology, educational and developmental psychology. Alternatively, they may be familiar with sport and exercise psychology, community psychology, or counselling psychology.
Each area of specialisation is recognised by an endorsement from the Psychology Board of Australia.
What do clinical psychologists do?
A clinical psychologist will take their new patient through a psychological assessment. This helps develop a clinical formulation, diagnosis and appropriate psychotherapy treatments. A clinical psychologist can identify psychological distress of an individual. It considers the context of family history, genetic predisposition, and environmental factors. Clinical psychologists consider personal-psychological coping styles when developing a treatment plan. They will use the gathered knowledge to develop a management and treatment plan. Whether the goal be stabilisation or recovery. Clinical psychologists do not prescribe medication but instead focus on psychological therapies.
Many clinical psychologists work in the public mental health sector and research institutions. Their knowledge and skills about mental health makes them valuable.
How can a clinical psychologist help you?
If you are suffering from psychological distress, then you should consider making an appointment. They can help with any of the following situations or conditions.
  • Anxiety, worry and fear
  • Depressed or extended negative mood
  • Suicidal thinking
  • Harmful thoughts towards yourself or others
  • Problems with alcohol or drug abuse
  • Addictions to gambling or gaming
  • Concerns with body image and eating habits
  • Poor concentration
  • Insomnia and other sleep issues
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Learning difficulties
  • Behavioural problems in children and adolescence
  • Dealing with grief and loss
  • Obsessive thinking
  • Hyperactivity and struggle to focus
If you are suffering from any of the above and it is causing you difficulties in living your daily life, consider contacting your local counselling office to set up an appointment.