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Areas of psychology

Clinical psychology

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Experts in Mental Health

Clinical psychologists are experts in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of psychological problems and mental illness. They are also involved in designing and implementing mental health programs.

Clinical psychologists work in private practice, hospitals, universities, general medical practices, community health and mental health services.


Consultation with a clinical psychologist involves:

  • Discussing the issues of concern for the client.
  • Assessing the client’s emotional, cognitive and behavioural functioning.
  • Exploring the thoughts, feelings and behaviour of the client and tracing their origins.
  • Helping the client to develop effective ways of controlling and coping with these difficulties.
  • Helping the client to implement changes that enhance wellbeing and awareness, and alleviate the presenting problems.

Sessions are usually one hour in length but assessment sessions may be longer. The number of sessions vary and are usually negotiated between the clinical psychologist and the client.

Areas of expertise

Most clinical psychologists develop expertise in specific areas of clinical psychology. However as a group, clinical psychologists provide a range of psychological services to individuals across the lifespan and for mental health conditions that range from mild to severe and complex.

In addition to professional practice, clinical psychologists may be involved in research, teaching and supervision, program development and evaluation, public policy and other activities that promote psychological health.

Skills and competencies of clinical psychologists

Clinical psychologists are skilled in the following areas:

Psychological assessment and diagnosis

Clinical psychologists are trained in the assessment and diagnosis of major mental illnesses and psychological problems. Through their training, clinical psychologists are qualified to provide expert opinion in clinical areas and compensation assessments.


Clinical psychologists are trained in the delivery of a range of techniques and therapies with demonstrated effectiveness in treating mental health disorders. They hold particular skills for applying psychological theory and scientific research to solve complex clinical psychology problems requiring individually tailored interventions.

Research, teaching and evaluation

Research, teaching and evaluation are all integral to the role of clinical psychologists. Clinical psychologists are involved in the design and implementation of treatment strategies in various settings (such as primary care, psychiatric and rehabilitation) and in the subsequent evaluation of treatment outcomes.


The APS College of Clinical Psychologists promotes the highest standards for clinical practice in Australia. These standards are also consistent with international standards for clinical psychology practice.

Members of the College of Clinical Psychology will also have the following post nominal after their name:

  • MCCLP (Member of the College of Clinical Psychologists)