What is a Clinical Psychologist?

Clinical psychologists have specialised training in the assessment and diagnosis of mental health problems and the assessment and treatment of a wide range of psychological problems. They are trained in the delivery of a wide range of psychological therapies and approaches with demonstrated effectiveness in treating mental health difficulties. Clinical psychologists do not prescribe medication. They are specialists in applying psychological theory and scientific research to resolve clinical problems across the lifespan.



Training as a clinical psychologist requires a four year undergraduate degree in the science of psychology followed by four years of postgraduate training, consisting of an accredited two year Masters degree or three year Doctoral degree plus a registrar program of supervised practice to bring the total length of training to eight years. This involves training in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of mental health and psychological problems across the life span and education in the research basis of the profession, along with the undertaking of a significant research project in clinical psychology. Only psychiatrists have a similar level of specialised training in mental health.



Clinical psychologists are involved in the design and implementation of treatment strategies in various settings, such as primary care, psychiatric hospitals, community based mental health services, and private practice. They may also be associated with medical departments and neuropsychological services.



For more information about Clinical Psychologists and the work we do, please visit the Australian Clinical Psychology Association (ACPA) website www.acpa.org.au