What Is A Clinical Psychologist?

Clinical Psychologist vs Registered Psychologist

Our Services / Clinical Psychologist

What is a Clinical Psychologist?

Let’s be real, choosing the right therapist can seem like a pretty daunting task, and it all starts with understanding the type of therapist you want to see. Seeing terms like “Clinical Psychologist”, “Registered Psychologist” and “Counsellor” may seem like a bit of mumbo jumbo if you’re new to the world of mental health (but to be honest, even some of the seasoned pro’s get a little confused).

Here we’ll focus on Clinical Psychologists so you can understand exactly what a Clin Psych does and whether they’re right for you.

Just like a Registered Psychologist, Clinical Psychologists use their skills to help people with mental and emotional difficulties, and get them feeling like themselves again. They often work with folks dealing with depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD and eating disorders – but their specialties are broad and varied.

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A girl sits on a bench on laptop and headphones having a telehealth appointment with a Clinical Psychologist

How Does a Clinical Psychologist Help People?

A Clinical Psychologist provides mental health treatment to anyone who needs it. They use a variety of evidence-based therapeutic approaches to help clients improve their mental well-being, manage symptoms, and achieve their goals. Some of the most common treatment approaches they use include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), psychodynamic therapy, and humanistic therapy. With a great understanding of mental health and a desire to help, whatever you may be struggling with, these superstars are here for you.

Clinical Psychs often work with people who are struggling with relationship issues, family problems, work-related stress, and addiction. They use a range of therapies such as talk therapy, psychotherapy, and behavioural therapy.

In addition to providing direct therapy to their clients, Clinical Psychologists may also work with families, schools, and other organisations to promote mental health and well-being. They may also conduct research and contribute to the development of new and innovative treatments for mental health disorders. Whether working with individuals or larger groups, Clinical Psychologists play a critical role in promoting mental health and helping people live happier, healthier lives!

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Clinical Psychologists & Medication

It’s important to understand that while they may be able to offer a diagnosis, Clinical Psychologists in Australia do not prescribe medications, nor do Registered Psychologists. Psychiatrists and doctors are tasked with issuing medications.

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What’s The Difference Between A Clinical Psychologist and a Registered Psychologist?

First up, psychologists in Australia are registered with the Australian Board of Psychology. Studies involve a four year undergraduate bachelor degree at University, as well as two years of work in a clinic. Where Clinical Psychologists differ is that they require an additional two years of postgraduate education, and additional supervision in the therapy room – so you could consider this advanced training.

Clinical Psychologists undergo extensive training to diagnose and treat a broad spectrum of mental health issues and mental health illnesses, but specifically those that are severe.

When it comes to Medicare – the good news for you, the client, is that you receive a larger rebate back from Medicare when seeing a Clin Psych, than a Registered Psych, if you attend sessions through your Mental Health Care Plan.

A girl sees a Clinical Psychologist remotely on her laptop and takes notes in a journal, while sitting on a couch

The Benefits of Seeing a Clinical Psychologist

Seeing a Clinical Psychologist can provide a range of benefits for anyone who is experiencing mental and emotional issues:

● Improved mental health: Seeing a clinical psychologist can help you diagnose and treat various mental health conditions, leading to an overall improvement in well-being.

● Personal growth: Therapy sessions can provide you with a safe space to work through personal challenges, leading to growth and self-awareness.

● Better relationships: By working through past traumas and communication issues, you can expect to improve your relationships with family and friends.

● Increased resilience: Clinical psychologists can teach individuals coping skills and stress management techniques, increasing your resilience to life’s challenges.

● Reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety: Through therapy, you can learn to manage symptoms of depression and anxiety, leading to a reduction in the severity of these conditions.

● Improved self-esteem: Therapy can help you understand and challenge negative thought patterns, leading to an increase in self-esteem.

● Enhanced quality of life: By addressing and resolving mental health issues, you can improve your overall quality of life and find greater happiness and fulfilment.

● Confidential and non-judgmental environment: Clinical psychologists provide a confidential and non-judgmental environment where you can feel comfortable discussing sensitive issues.

● Evidence-based treatment: Clinical psychologists use evidence-based treatments, making sure that you receive effective and proven methods of care.

Overall, seeing a Clinical Psychologist can be a valuable investment in your mental health and well-being. Whether seeking support for a specific mental health issue or seeking to improve your quality of life more generally, Clinical Psychologists can bring a lot to the table in terms of perspective, assistance and problem solving.

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Clinical Psychologist: A boy with a bun and headphones on has a telehealth psychology session on his phone outside

Should You See A Clinical Psychologist?

If you happen to be experiencing severe mood disorders, personality disorders or complex mental health issues, a Clinical Psychologist may be right for you – but certainly don’t let it prevent or stop you from seeing a mental health therapist you feel you gel with.

Our advice is this – If you find a therapist that resonates with you – go for it. Don’t get hung up on the terminology. We know finding the right therapists can feel like dating which is why we created the Perfect Match Promise; if you don’t gel with your therapist after the first or second session, we’ll match you to another therapist and cover the cost of the session. So you can book with peace of mind.

Finding the Right Clinical Psychologist in Australia

You’re in luck, we’ve done the hard work for you! Here at The Indigo Project we search high and low for the Clinical Psychologists that bring the Indigo magic. We’ve spent over 10 years helping people and we’ve learnt a thing or two along the way about the tools, approaches and strategies that work best.

We’ve curated an expert team of Clinical Psychologists to help you, wherever you are on your life journey.

Have a question? Give our matchmakers a call (02) 9212 5469 or email us at [email protected] and we’ll help you find a psychologist or counsellor. Monday to Friday 8:30AM-6:30PM | Saturday 9AM-4:30PM AEDT.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who is The Indigo Project?

We are a progressive online counselling practice, providing telehealth services in Australia. Our passionate and experienced local team includes psychologists, psychotherapists & counsellors, coaches and therapists that are trained to deliver online therapy to you in a safe and convenient way.

Whether you are looking for short or long term support through a challenging time, or looking to discover your potential, we want you to feel comfortable on every step of the journey.

Read more about Our Story 

Telehealth: About Therapy and Online Counselling

What can I expect from therapy? What is therapy like?

Every therapist is different and their therapeutic style and personalities are all unique. However, all of our Indigo practitioners will hold a compassionate and non-judgmental space for you, where you are free to be who you are. Your therapist is there to listen to you, guide you, and help you overcome life’s challenges.

Generally, you’ll spend the first session getting to know each other, talking about your history and what it is you’d like to work through. From your second session onwards, you’ll get to go deeper, peeling back the layers and all the while learning practical strategies to help you transform and grow.

At Indigo we encourage our clients to have at least 10-20 sessions, because we believe that therapy is a long-term journey of commitment, growth and investment in yourself. After seeing your therapist for a while, you may continue to book occasional check-in sessions as you feel more confident doing life with the knowledge and tools you have gained.

Who is online therapy for?

Everyone is welcome to attend online counselling or therapy with one of our practitioners at The Indigo Project.

Online counselling or therapy via Zoom is an accessible, safe and convenient option for those who are unable to attend face-to-face appointments, or simply prefer to meet online. Whether it be a busy schedule due to work and family, health-related reasons or distance, online counselling can help you.

What issues are suited for online therapy?

Our team of trained clinical psychologists, psychologists, psychotherapists and counsellors attend to a range of common mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, grief and loss, life transitions, relationship issues and more.

A number of practitioners also specialise in areas such as sexuality, gender and identity, addiction, sports and performance, personality disorders and therapy for children and adolescents.

Several therapists also provide services in marriage counselling and couples therapy.

Finding the best psychologist or counsellor for me - where do I start?

We highly encourage you to view our practitioners and use the filtering options to find a psychologist or counsellor who can help you with the issues you are seeking help for.

Meet our therapists and what they can help you with here.

If you need help, our Therapy Matchmakers team will be able to match you with a practitioner. Give us a call on (02) 9212 5469 or email us at [email protected] so we can support you on your journey.

What if I can’t see the therapist I had in mind?

Our therapists typically have capacity to see several new clients each month. However these openings can get filled up fast from those who have been on a waitlist. If there is someone that you particularly want to see but is currently unavailable, we can place you on a waitlist until there is an opening.

If you prefer to attend an online counselling session sooner, our Therapy Matchmakers can help you find an alternative practitioner based on your needs and what you are looking to achieve in therapy.

Meeting a therapist for the first time can feel like a first date. If you don’t connect with your therapist on your first or second session, we’ll pair you with a new practitioner and your next session will be on the house* as part of our Perfect Match Promise.

*Terms and conditions apply.

Can I make an appointment for my child or dependent?

If you are the parent or legal guardian of a minor, you will need to make an appointment online or via the phone.

We have many psychologists, psychotherapists & counsellors who have experience dealing with children and adolescents in therapy. See who can help here.

Someone I know needs counselling. Can I book an appointment for them?

Those who require online counselling or therapy will have to make an appointment directly with The Indigo Project via our online booking form or on the phone. We do not accept bookings on behalf of an individual or couple from a third party unless as part of an insurance plan, support scheme or similar arrangement.

We want marriage or couples counselling. Can we see a couples counsellor together?

Couples are welcome to attend online therapy sessions together with one of our couples therapists.

Do I need to do anything before my first session?

We recommend setting up for your online therapy session 5-10 minutes before it commences. Make sure your computer or phone microphone and video is working, and that you are comfortable and ready to sit through your session uninterrupted.

There’s zero pressure to prepare anything for your first session but if you find it helpful, you can jot down some points about specific things you’d like to work on or discuss with your therapist.

Are my therapy sessions confidential?

Everything you discuss with your therapist here at Indigo is absolutely confidential, and will not be shared unless you or someone else is at risk of serious harm.

How do I pay for my online therapy session?

For first time clients, payment is made via debit or credit card at the time of booking. For returning clients, there are a number of payment methods available such as authorised direct debit or online via the payments link on your invoice.

Who to contact if you are in crisis

The Indigo Project is not a crisis service.

  • If you are in a crisis, if you are experiencing suicidal or homicidal thoughts, or somebody else is in danger, DO NOT use this service.
  • Call 000 or use these contacts for immediate crisis support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week:

Lifeline 13 11 14 - A crisis support and suicide prevention service for all Australians.

Mental Health Line 1800 011 511 - The Mental Health Line offers professional help and advice for everyone. Operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636 - Beyond Blue provide support to address issues related to depression, suicide, anxiety disorders and other related mental illnesses.

Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467 - A free service for people who are suicidal, caring for someone who is suicidal, bereaved by suicide or are health professionals supporting people affected by suicide.

Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 - A counselling service specifically for young people aged between 5 and 25.

Parentline 1300 1300 52 - Parent Line is a free telephone counselling and support service for parents and carers with children aged 0 to 18 who live in NSW.

What else does The Indigo Project do?

Our courses, workshops and events are designed to transform the way you think, feel and live.

Not ready to commit to therapy? Indigo founder Mary Hoang has created Get Your Sh*t Together, a self-directed digital course for those who want to develop greater self-awareness, tackle stress and anxiety, and learn practical skills to help heal, grow and thrive in life.

Mary has also written a book Darkness is Golden: A Guide to Personal Transformation and Dealing with Life's Messiness that combines her experience in the therapy room with unique audio experiences framed by her research in music psychology.

Available for free download are a number of toolkits to help you combat your depression, deal with your anxiety or transform your relationships.

Although an online counselling practice, The Indigo Project believes in the power of community, and we often host events throughout the year. Keep an eye out for events such as Listen Up, a contemporary digital sound bath some describe as a “soundtracked therapy session”.

We are also available for corporate events, workshops and related projects. Please contact us at [email protected] if you’d like to know more.

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