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Career

Psychologist

Psychologists study human behaviour and use research findings to remedy psychological and behavioural problems in order to reduce distress and promote mental well-being in both individuals and groups. Psychologists complete a wide variety of tasks, some of which may include:

  • Conducting therapeutic interviews with clients and providing counselling.
  • Administering psychological tests and analysing the results in order to identify problems and produce reports detailing solutions.
  • Conduct frequent research on a wide range of applied psychological topics such as stress, motivation and organisational behaviour.
  • Provide follow-up support services for individuals and groups.
  • Conduct academic research.

Psychologists can specialise in a wide range of areas, including:

  • Clinical Psychologists are trained in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of psychological problems and work in a wide range of organisations such as hospitals, universities, health centres and private practice.
  • Clinical Neuropsychologists specialise in the assessment and diagnosis of brain impairment and how it affects cognition, emotion and behaviour. They also assist in the rehabilitation and management of brain damage patients.
  • Educational and Development Psychologists offer intervention and counselling services to clients with developmental and educational issues such as problems with learning and adjusting at school, career planning, early intervention, and disability.
  • Forensic Psychologists apply their psychological knowledge and skills to the justice and criminal system, most commonly providing expert opinion in the courts regarding issues such as criminal behaviour, child abuse and family court cases.
  • Health Psychologists work towards illness prevention and health promotion by determining the biological, social and psychological factors that determine health and illness. They aim to promote positive change and well-being.
  • Organisational Psychologists use their psychological knowledge of human behaviour in order to improve organisational effectiveness and individual employee wellbeing. They apply psychological principles and methods in order to understand and improve employee behaviour, attitudes and morale, and organisational structure and systems.
  • Sport Psychologists apply psychological knowledge to aid individuals involved with sport and exercise at all levels in order to increase their achievement, enjoyment and social interaction.

Psychologists must be interested in humans and behaviour, have excellent oral and written communication skills along with an inquisitive mind and patience. They must be able to use given information in order to solve problems often within a specified time period.

Pathways to becoming a registered psychologist in Australia are the completion of an accredited four year undergraduate psychology program or accredited psychology major sequence with honours. A further two years of approved training is required for full registration. The Australian Psychology Accreditation Council is responsible for developing the standards and overseeing the registration process for practicing psychologists and sets out the general registration standard www.apac.psychology.org.au/Content.aspx?ID=1083.