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Areas of psychology

General practising psychologists

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Psychology - Improving Lives

Wherever there are people, psychologists can work with individuals and groups to help improve how people live, relate, create, work, improve, or achieve. 

About 50% of Australia's psychologists are General Practice Psychologists. General Practice Psychologists are psychologists with additional skills, experience and advanced training in other areas in addition to psychology. Many are experts in their fields who can draw on their additional expertise to help solve problems in innovative and tailored ways.

General Practice Psychologists apply their skills and knowledge about psychology and their other experiences across a range of areas including:

  • Mental health and overall wellbeing
  • Design and technology
  • Education and training
  • Business and management
  • Marketing and communication
  • Public policy.

All our psychologists are registered with the Psychology Board of Australia, meeting high standards in initial and continual education, training and professional development. With high ethical and professional standards, psychologists work within their competency areas, contributing their expertise to multi-disciplinary teams, in order to ensure that everyone’s needs are met in the most appropriate ways.

General Practice Psychologists may work either as private practitioners or employees in, for example, health, education, business, communications, public policy, NGOs, legal, social or government. Medicare rebates are available with mental health plan referrals from GPs.

Skills and Competencies

Practical application of psychological theoretical understanding

Grounded in evidence-based and clear theoretical frameworks, General Practice Psychologists can help you understand why you and others think, feel and act in the ways we do. We can explain the circumstances people find themselves in, and work out proven, effective and lasting ways to bring about lasting change - whether that is personal performance, designing better ways for humans to flourish such as getting computers to understand us better, or affecting public policy that better supports and respects all.  

Psychological assessment, evaluation and report writing

General Practice Psychologists are trained and experienced in psychological assessment, evaluation and report writing. For those working in the mental health and education, they are often qualified to diagnose and providing supporting documentation for many mental problems, conditions or illnesses. 

Counselling, treatment and practical strategies 

General Practice Psychologists are trained and experienced in customising techniques, approaches and therapies with demonstrated effectiveness in improving whatever problem is being faced or wanting to be optimised further for their field. General Practice Psychologists, in particular, are often well versed in collaborating in multi-disciplinary teams and knowing who else would be of benefit to refer to or involve further to get the best outcomes for each setting. 

Appreciation and celebration of the diversity of humanity

General Practice Psychologists are trained to appreciate that the backgrounds, identities, life stage and circumstances of individuals can impact how they relate to and experience themselves, others, places, systems, and psychological processes; and include these to enhance life for all. Sometimes the best outcomes come about through psychologists assisting with changes to individuals and the systems and settings they are in.  

Interest groups

The breadth of psychology is reflected in the various interest groups that Australian Psychological Society members are involved with. These 48 interest groups connect members with skills or interest in specific areas of psychology and keep members skills up to date and in turn ensure a rich source of resources and professional development.

APS psychologists Interest Groups include:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and Psychology
  • Child Sexual Abuse Issues and Psychology
  • Diverse Bodies, Genders, and Sexualities
  • Child, Adolescent and Family Psychology
  • Consumer Psychology
  • Family Law and Psychology
  • Positive Psychology
  • Psychologists in Schools
  • Psychology and Ageing
View the complete list of interest groups.
 

Titles of psychologists

The Psychology Board of Australia is responsible for managing nine specific and protected titles of psychologists that involve specific advanced tertiary psychological training. As General Practice Psychologists often have training and experiences in other disciplines, they use titles that are not defined or overseen by the Psychology Board of Australia or the Australian Psychological Society, such as:

  • Child Psychologist
  • Coaching Psychologist
  • Consumer Psychologist
  • Engineering Psychologist
  • Ergonomic Psychologist
  • Industrial Psychologist
  • Media Psychologist
  • Military Psychologist
  • Rehabilitation Psychologist
  • School Psychologist
  • Social Psychologist.

These purely descriptive terms can help you find psychologists with experience and skills in settings specific to your needs. The different Colleges of The Australian Psychological Society represent the interests of the nine protected psychological titles.

Standards

The APS Division of General Psychological Practice actively promotes the highest standards in General Psychological Practice around Australia.