What is a Clinical Psychologist
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 of their extensive training, Medicare recognises this and accordingly provides the largest rebates to Clinical Psychologists.
Although significant amount university training and a minimum of 2 year clinical practice is required for the Clinical title, it is important to note that Clinical Psychologists are not necessarily always “the best” psychologists. At the end of the day, the therapist’s ongoing pursuit of knowledge and training, years of experience and ability to build trust and connection with the client is generally what makes a good therapist.
At Mindview, we have developed a specific set of criteria for hiring our Psychologists. We require that all our Psychologists, Clinical or otherwise, have a minimum of 5 years previous experience treating clients, but the reality is that most of our psychologists have well in excess of this. We mostly prefer to hire Clinical Psychologists, but we do not discriminate if we come across a ‘Non-Clinical’ Psychologist who has a significant amount of experience and ability.
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.