A number of different things including assessing and treating mental health issues through psychological interventions that very often include counselling. Some Psychologists work purely in research and don’t provide counselling for example, while others may work in settings such as hospitals, schools, community health contexts, corporate environments, or private practice. The work that Psychologists do in helping people lead happier and more meaningful and productive lives – is always underpinned by psychological research.
All Psychologists have to complete a minimum of 6 years successful training before they are able to gain registration with the Psychology Board of Australia (PBA). They are then able to legally call themselves Psychologists and work under strict guidelines and ethics. Psychologists are also very unique in that they receive advanced training in the design, administration and interpretation of psychometric instruments (i.e. psychological tests that people fill out to assist the Psychologist better understand how they can help the client) – and are the only registered profession that can legally administer and interpret specific psychometric instruments (i.e. certain IQ tests etc.). A psychiatrist is a medical doctor with additional specialist training in mental health assessment and treatment and can prescribe medication. Often psychiatrists and psychologists work side by side when treating a person who may be suffering from a mental health problem – utilising one another’s unique skill sets to provide a comprehensive assessment and treatment approach.
Psychological therapy involves working with a trained mental health professional, often a psychologist, to better understand and address psychological problems. Problems are of course relative and it’s always important that you feel respected by your therapist. This means that the type of therapy the psychologist uses should fit with your goals for counselling. There are a lots of different types of therapy out there – and we practice with evidence-based counselling practices (meaning research has informed us that this type of intervention works). We also make sure that you’re comfortable and the therapy used is culturally appropriate. Psychological therapy should be a collaborative approach between you and the psychologist. It can often be challenging work that can produce insightful and rewarding outcomes.
As Psychologists – we work with evidence based or best practice psychological interventions that are client centred and culturally appropriate in nature. Some of the models that we base our psychological interventions on include: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Mindfulness based Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Narrative Therapy, and Positive Psychology practices and principals.
Basically this model of assessment and intervention views a family system as an emotional unit. The interactions and behaviours of family members are therefore seen to be of great influence on an individual family members mental health. We enjoy the often challenging work that families bring to us – and understand all too well the ups and downs of being part of a family!
No you don’t. You can refer yourself at any point in time for psychology and counselling services. We pride ourselves on working from not only a treatment but also an early intervention framework, and many clients who do not necessarily have a mental health diagnosis seek assistance from our Psychologists for numerous life issues including: relationship difficulties, family issues, workplace problems, work life balance difficulties, professional career planning etc. However if you have been referred by a medical doctor (GP/Paediatrician/Psychiatrist) because you are experiencing mental health difficulties – you may be eligible for a substantial Medicare rebate for up to 10 counselling sessions per year. In addition, many private health insurance companies offer considerable rebates on counselling services provided by a Psychologist.