Clinical psychologist

What they do

Clinical psychologists are specialists in the assessment, treatment and diagnosis of psychological and mental health problems. They study human behaviour and how individuals and community groups think, feel and act. They use this knowledge to design and apply a wide range of mental health prevention and promotion programs.

They may help individuals to function better in relationships, the workplace, and in the community, or work with communities affected by cyclones or drought. They often work with general medical practitioners, psychiatrists and other health professionals to provide holistic treatment.

Working conditions

Clinical psychologists may work for hospitals, in private practices, general medical practices, correctional facilities, community health clinics, and the Defence Forces.

Depending on the organisation they work for, a clinical psychologist may work business hours, or they may be required to do shift work, including weekends and public holidays, and their working times may be irregular. They may also be required to travel to visit clients.

Tools and technologies

Clinical psychologists usually use office equipment to conduct and compile research, and update and record their interactions with clients. They also use a variety of psychological and psychometric testing to evaluate clients and assess their treatment progress. Clinical psychologists must maintain current knowledge of new theories and research, and will often subscribe to journals relevant to their specialisation in clinical psychology. 

How do I become one?

Education and training

To become a clinical psychologist, you usually need to study a degree in psychology followed by postgraduate study in clinical psychology.

Most universities in Western Australia offer relevant undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.

Required registration and licensing

To work as a clinical psychologist in Western Australia, you will need to obtain registration from the Psychology Board of Australia.