What is the difference between a Psychologist vs Clinical Psychologist?

With all the jargon and medical lingo thrown around to describe various professionals in the industry, it can become quite confusing. Today, we are going to have a look at the key differences between psychologist sand clinical psychologist.
In Australia, all psychologists hold general registration with the psychology board of Australia. This has ensured they meet high standards in education, training, supervised practise, ethical and professional standards, and ongoing professional development. See more information at the Australian Psychological Society.
What psychologist do you need?
When you are looking for help from a psychologist, it is possible that you will see someone who has this general registration or someone with a more specific focus. These others may have a specific ‘area of practice endorsement’ including clinical psychology, health psychology, or sport psychology’. This practise endorsement typically will mean that the psychologist has additional university qualification and training this field.
What remains unchanged between various psychologists, is the quality of care, ethical behaviour, and standards of practise.
Here are just some of the different psychology fields Australian psychologists may fall under.
  • Clinical neuropsychologist
    • Clinical neuropsychologists assess and treat people suffering from various brain disorders. These include memory, learning, attention, language, reading, problem solving, and decision making.
  • Clinical psychologists
    • Clinical psychologists provide a wide range of services to individuals requiring assistance with mental health conditions. These can range from mild, severe, to complex. Clinical psychologists may also be involved in research, teaching, program development, public policy, and various other activities to promote psychological health.
  • Community psychologists
    • Community psychologists focus on looking at communities at risk including immigrant, rural, and remote communities. They undertake community asset mapping of social capital and helping create problem solving for social justice.
  • Counselling psychologists
    • Counselling psychologists focus on providing a variety of therapeutic techniques and approaches to help individuals suffering from difficulties associated with specific needs and circumstances. This can include grief and loss, developmental issues, relationship difficulties, domestic violence, trauma, and career development.
  • Educational and developmental psychologists
    • These psychologists focus on concerns surrounding a child’s development and parent and child relationship issues. They may need to tackle everything from difficult child temperament, children with disabilities, sibling rivalry and eventually the struggles associated with adolescence.
  • Forensic psychologists
    • Forensic psychologists are scientists practitioners that apply their knowledge, theory and skills to understand the criminal justice system and work together with litigants, perpetrators, and victims.
  • Health psychologists
    • Health psychologists focus on promoting positive health behaviours and reduce practises such as poor dietary habits, alcohol and drug abuse, smoking, and physical inactivity.
  • Organisational psychologists
    • Organisational psychologists focus on the development of selection criteria for jobs and assessing the knowledge skills and abilities for individuals to fit a certain position.
  • Sports and exercise psychologists
    • Sports and exercise psychologists hold expertise in helping athletes manage stress and anxiety, mental preparation for competition, weight management, injury rehabilitation, and career transitioning.