“Thinking Space | Clinical Psychology”
Lisa Benjamin

Why should I see a clinical psychologist?

Clinical psychology is one of nine specialised areas within psychology. Clinical psychology is an internationally recognised specialty of psychology in its body of knowledge and practice. In 1965 Western Australia recognised clinical psychologists and clinical neuropsychologists as specialists, and this state's model formed the basis for the 2010 National Registration and Accreditation Scheme. Whilst psychiatrists are trained to dispense medication for mood disorders, clinical psychologists are considered the "therapeutic experts" of mental health. Clinical psychologists are trained over 6 to 10 years and have extensive experience in the specialist areas of diagnosis, treatment and prevention of a wide range of personal and family issues. This expertise is applied using well researched methods. Along with psychiatry, clinical psychology is the only specialist training in which the entire post-graduate program is in the area of mental health. The clinical psychologist's comprehensive training ensures the highest levels of expertise and competence both in theory and best practice. Entry into the training requires a high level Honours degree. Clinical psychologists' are required to remain up to date via an ongoing and rigorous continuing professional development process which supports knowledge and specialist competence.

What is psychology?

Psychology is defined as the "scientific study of mind and behaviour". Psychologists study the way people feel, think, act and interact.

What is a psychiatrist?

Medically trained practitioners who tend to focus on a biomedical approach to psychological problems and to dispense medication in treatment.

What is counselling?

Counselling involves talking with a person to explore his or her thoughts, feelings or behaviour toward a clearer self-understanding and managing life more effectively.

What is psychotherapy?

A general term referring to the therapeutic interactions contracted between a trained professional and client, which are non-physical, such as talking about a problem and modifying behaviour.

What is cognitive therapy?

The therapist focus is to help the patient become aware of negative and distorted thinking and to show how to apply more constructive thoughts and behaviour.

What is psychoanalytic psychotherapy?

Aims to understand and tackle problems by increasing awareness of the way in which our 'inner world' influences behaviour. A process which facilitates a patient to bring problems repressed during early development into consciousness where they can be addressed and dealt with. It draws on the theories and practices of psychoanalysis and analytical psychology.