Psychologists are experts in human behaviour who can help people change the way they think, feel, behave and react. Psychologists study the brain, memory, learning and processes around human development. Psychological treatments can be used to help individuals, families, groups and organisations.

Where do psychologists practise?

Psychologists are employed in a range of professional areas and undertake many types of work. Common settings in which psychologists practice include schools, public and private hospitals, courts, community health services, prisons, businesses, the defence forces and private practice.

When should I see a psychologist?

Many people at some point in their lives will benefit from seeing a psychologist. Psychologists can help people deal with everything from childhood behavioural issues or learning difficulties to trauma and loss. Some common examples include:

  • School students with learning difficulties
  • A young person dealing with sexuality issues
  • Military personnel coping with trauma
  • A new mother not coping
  • Couples and families with relationship challenges
  • Organisational leaders wanting the best out of their staff
  • Individuals struggling with mental illness
  • Courts deciding what’s best for children of separated parents
  • Elite athletes seeking peak performance
  • A young person contemplating suicide
  • People dealing with major health problems
  • Individuals battling addictions
  • Victims of natural disasters
  • Elderly people living with dementia

What services do psychologists provide?

Psychologists draw on an ever-expanding body of scientific knowledge about how we think, act and feel and they apply the information to their areas of expertise. Psychologists provide their expertise by assessing and diagnosing a range of problems, developing strategies and evidence-based treatments, and offering guidance and support.

How are psychologists qualified?

In order to practise, psychologists must meet the following requirements:

  • Complete a recognised qualification with a minimum of six years education, training and supervised experience
  • Register with the Psychology Board of Australia
  • Adhere to the Australian Psychological Society Code of Ethics
  • Complete continuing professional development and meet all requirements of the Psychology Board of Australia.

Some psychologists complete further qualifications and supervision requirements beyond those required for general registration. These psychologists gain practice endorsement in areas including:

  • Clinical neuropsychology
  • Clinical psychology
  • Community psychology
  • Counselling psychology
  • Educational and developmental psychology
  • Forensic psychology
  • Health psychology
  • Organisational psychology
  • Sport and exercise psychology.

Further information

For more detailed information about psychology, please visit – Australian Psychological Society or the Australian Association of Psychologists Inc. You can also find information via the Psychology Board of Australia website.

Find a practitioner

Australian Association of Psychologists Inc has a Find a psychologists service that can be accessed here.

Australian Psychological Society has a Find a psychologists service that can be accessed here.