While anyone can call themselves a 'therapist', a psychologist is a professional trained in the science of how people think, feel, behave and learn. In Australia, psychology is a regulated profession. This means that people who call themselves a psychologist or say they are practising as a psychologist must be registered with the Psychology Board of Australia (PsyBA) and listed with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). Services provided by psychologists are eligible for benefits under Medicare.
Psychologists have clinical skills that allow them to help people deal more effectively with life problems and address mental health issues of varying degrees of severity and are trained and licensed to administer and interpret a number of tests and assessments that can help diagnose a condition more clearly or reveal insights into the way a person thinks, feels and behaves.
Numerous studies have shown that psychological treatments are at least as effective as drugs in treating the most prevalent conditions, such as depression and anxiety, without the side-effects. In most cases they can be more effective and longer-lasting. A combination of counselling and medication can also be highly effective. If a psychologist believes that medication might be helpful, he or she can make a recommendation to your GP, psychiatrist or your child's pediatrician.
Many people have found that talking to a psychologist and learning strategies and practical skills helps free them from anxiety, depression, anger, relationship, family and career problems, addictions or chronic conditions that interfere with their lives, careers or studies.
Helen Werts, the principal psychologist at RMB Psychology is registrered with the Psychology Board of Australia, listed with AHPRA and a member of the Austalian Psychological Society.