What do they do?
Psychologists are trained in a wide variety of psychological theories that relate to understanding, managing and changing the behaviour of individuals and groups. This training also involves administering and interpreting psychological tests, and doing research. Clinical psychologists have undertaken additional studies and specialise in assessing, diagnosing and treating psychological problems and mental illness. Psychologists use a variety of talking therapies as treatment, but do not prescribe medication.
How can they help?
Psychologists are experts in human behaviour and use evidence-based strategies and interventions to help people change their behaviour, improve their mental health or functioning, and overcome obstacles or challenges. Some common techniques psychologists use include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Interpersonal Psychotherapy and Behaviour Therapy. Many psychologists work directly with those experiencing difficulties such as mental health disorders, including anxiety and depression.
How do I find one?
Talk to your GP and ask for a referral. Your GP can create a Mental Health Treatment Plan for you which will provide access to a Psychologist with a Medicare rebate through either the Better Access or Access to Allied Psychological Service (ATAPS) schemes. If you have private health cover you may also be eligible to claim a rebate.
The Australian Psychological Society has an online search directory, please click here.