A psychologist is someone with expertise in all aspects of psychological functioning such as human mind and behaviour.
Who is a psychologist?
A psychologist assesses, investigates and treats people who have problems with psychological wellbeing.
Some psychologists are more specialised and have additional training in certain areas, such as:
- clinical psychology
- clinical neuropsychology
- community psychology
- counseling psychology
- educational and developmental psychology
- forensic psychology
- organisational psychology
- health psychology
- sports psychology.
What can a psychologist help with?
We all experience some ups and downs, sometimes feeling low and other times being happy. If you have ongoing distress and your ability to function is affected, you may benefit from professional support. Talk to your GP or doctor to find out whether you need to see a psychologist.
A psychologist can help you understand the importance of mental wellbeing and how to function more effectively in life. They can help you to:
- deal with stress
- deal with depression
- improve sleep
- improve relationships
- improve work performance.
A psychologist treats people by providing psychological therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), mindfulness, interpersonal therapy and family therapy. Read more about different types of psychological therapies.
Psychological therapies have been proven to be beneficial for some mental health conditions. These include:
- eating disorders
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- obsessive-compulsive disorder
- personality disorders.
What is the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist?
There are 3 main differences between a psychiatrist and a psychologist:
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Psychotherapists and counsellors also offer psychological therapies such as CBT, interpersonal therapy, family therapy, psychotherapy or talking therapy.
Where does a psychologist work?
A psychologist can work in many different places, depending on the specialisation. These include:
- health centres
- community and sports organisations
- non-governmental organisations
- police and defence services
- research institutes
- private clinics.
Talk to your GP or doctor about getting a referral to a psychologist. Or you can pay for a private service. Find a private psychologist here.
What training does a psychologist have?
A psychologist has to do at least 5 years of training and be registered with the New Zealand Psychologists Board to work in New Zealand. Find out about different training options to become a psychologist on the Careers NZ website.