What is a Clinical Psychologist
Clinical Psychologists specialise in the assessment, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of a wide range of psychological difficulties such as depression & anxiety, stress as well as more severe mental health concerns. They are trained in the use of structured and specialised therapies which can often be more more effective than general supportive counselling.
When choosing to do therapy with a Clinical Psychologist, you can be assured that you will receive the highest level of psychological treatment and evaluation. To qualify as a Clinical Psychologist you must either have either a Masters or PHD in Clinical Psychology, both of which are highly competitive courses with limited placements, meaning only the best and most suitable applicants are selected. Furthermore, to obtain registration as a Clinical Psychologist you must also complete 2 years on on the job supervision. Because Clinical Psychologists are highly trained, Medicare recognises this and and accordingly provides the largest rebates to Clinical Psychologists.
What is the difference between a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist?
Psychologists and psychiatrists have the same fundamental aim: to alleviate mental distress and restore human health and functioning. Both psychologists and psychiatrists are trained in diagnostic evaluation, and both can conduct psychotherapy. Our understanding is that, generally speaking, the differences between psychologists and psychiatrists are that: Clinical Psychologists generally have more extensive training in administering psychotherapy as a part of the Clinical Masters or PHD program, than psychiatrists do in their tertiary training.
Generally speaking, psychologists provide ongoing weekly psychological treatment, whereas psychiatrists provide assessment/diagnostic services, and prescribe and manage psychiatric medication. Psychiatrists are physicians (medical doctors) whereas psychologists are not. As well as prescribing psychiatric medications, Psychiatrists can conduct physical examinations, order/interpret brain assessments (e.g., EEGs, CAT scans, MRIs), and administer Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), whereas a psychologist cannot do these things.