What is the difference between a psychologist, psychotherapist, counsellor and psychotherapist.
Training for the different kinds of Therapists
Professional standard maintenance
To maintain registration a psychologist must complete 30 hours of professional development (workshops & seminars) and 10 hours of peer supervision where they discuss clinical cases with other psychologists. They are not required to have any counselling of their own or individual supervision.
Most psychologists will use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) as a basic therapeutic model but many go on to study further models such as Acceptance Commitment Therapy. These models are highly manualised and well researched because they are step by step methods and results are measured in terms of symptom relief.
Fees and Rebates
Medicare rebates are only available for 6-10 sessions a year and the person needs a mental health care plan from a doctor. You get this from your regular GP and will need to book a longer session to discuss the ongoing psychological issues you need the referral for, ultimately this means you need to have a preliminary psychological diagnosis of some form e.g. Depression or Anxiety.
Supervision is the process of a therapist (psychologist, counsellor etc.) discussing client cases with a senior more experienced therapist. Usually therapists take their more difficult or tricky client cases to supervision.
Transference is transfer of feelings (classically of the clients parental figures onto the therapist) and counter-transference, where the therapist can unwittingly get caught in this same phenomena and transfer feelings related to their family members onto the client.
Psychotherapy training is so intensive because the therapist needs to be in a position to manage the inner-most conflicts, emotions and deepest processes of the human psyche. This is not simple work that can be learnt from a training manual or in a weekend workshop. Psychotherapy deals with the deepest folds of the personality and recognises that symptoms in the client's life now can often be tracked back to deep wounds, splits in the personality, or trauma that occurred years ago. By virtue of the depth and scope of work Psychotherapy is traditionally a long term venture.
4 years university & 2 years post-graduate internship or masters degree including practicum (average 160 practical hours) doing some form of psychology work (recently these hours have raised considerably)
$150 - $ 250, average is around $175
Yes, rebate for Registered psychologist $84.80.
Clinical psychologist $125.00
Usually 2- 4 years part time. To join a registration organisation 750 actual client counselling hours need to be completed.
Private institutions (usually regulated). Some diplomas are conferred by universities.
$ 90 - $150 , average $120
No, but some health funds might cover
Training in medical school 6 years. Post graduate (hospital) internship 5 years
University and Institution
Can be up to $300 an hour
Yes, specialist doctor rate varies
- A psychologist may teach you skills and strategies in order to better cope with a problem, a psychotherapist will help you discover what is underneath the problem in the hope of healing or diminishing it and will also help you develop better coping skills to deal with life.
- The psychologist learns a lot of their practical skills from a manual or training program or develops them on the job. A psychotherapist is required to learn through theory but also the experience of doing their own work and observing others engage in therapy.
- There is no requirement for a psychologist to engage in any of their own therapy during or after training, or any personal supervision once they are qualified. Psychologist do, however, have to do 30 hours of supervised practice during the last 2 years of post graduate training and following registration, 10 hours of peer supervision with other psychologists and have to do 20 hours of professional development (workshops, seminars etc.)
- A psychotherapist is required to work on their own issues during training and to attend regular supervision with a senior therapist usually fortnightly once qualified to maintain their credentials.
Clarissa's training meets the practice standards of a psychologist (4 year degree and 2 year practicum) and she has completed over 450 hours in psychotherapy training. Clarissa not only runs couples supervision groups but regularly receives personal supervision and engages in professional development trainings regularly. She is a member of the Australian Psychological Society and The Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Association.
Read more about Gestalt psychotherapy here.