What is a Clinical Psychologist?


A Clinical Psychologist is a professional who has completed eight years of training in the area of Psychology. This training consists of the completion of a four-year undergraduate degree in Psychology, followed by an additional fours years of specialised training at postgraduate level. Postgraduate training includes the completion of a Masters or Doctoral Degree as well as the completion of a registrar program of supervised practice. These qualifications allow them to be endorsed to practice in the area of Clinical Psychology by the Psychology Board of Australia.

In addition to the generic competencies demonstrated by all registered psychologists, Clinical Psychologists have the following specialised skills and possess the following specialised capabilities.

Psychological assessment and diagnosis

Clinical Psychologists have specialised training in the assessment and diagnosis of major mental illnesses and a broad range of psychological problems. Through their training, Clinical Psychologists are qualified to provide expert opinion in clinical and compensation areas.


Clinical Psychologists are trained in the delivery of a range of techniques and therapies with demonstrated effectiveness in treating mental health disorders. They hold particular skills in applying psychological theory and scientific research to solve complex clinical psychology problems requiring individually tailored interventions.

Research, teaching and evaluation

Research, teaching and evaluation are all integral to the role of clinical psychologists. Research is often conducted on prevention, diagnosis, assessment and treatment. Clinical Psychologists are involved in the design and implementation of treatment strategies in various settings (such as, psychiatric, private practice, community mental health and rehabilitation) and in the subsequent evaluation of treatment outcomes.

Specific services offered by Clinical Psychologists include the assessment and treatment of a range of mental health problems, such as anxiety, panic, depression, substance dependence, pain and somatic symptoms, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, bulimia, anorexia, binge eating, conduct disorder, separation anxiety, attention deficit
and hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorders, borderline, antisocial and other personality disorders.

Clinical Psychologists treat children, adolescents, adults and older adults, although they may choose to focus on one or more client groups. They commonly offer consultation services to members of the public, families, community groups, state and federal government organisations, tribunals, medical and other health professionals and specialists, as well as welfare, education and justice organisations.

Under the current guidelines of the Psychology Board of Australia only individuals with the relevant specialised training are entitled to refer to themselves as “Clinical Psychologists”, all other Psychologists must refer to themselves as “Generalist” Psychologists.

Currently all of the Psychologists at BlueSky Psychology have completed a University Masters Program in Clinical Psychology. The only difference between our Generalist and Clinical Psychologists is that the latter have completed additional supervision to be ‘endorsed’ by the Psychology Board of Australia as “Clinical Psychologists”.

Be reassured, at BlueSky Psychology, despite the titles, all of our Psychologists have received specialised training in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of mental illness.