Why Use An
ICP Member?

All ICP Members have a minimum of eight years of training, including four years of advanced and dedicated post graduate training in mental health.

Most of our full members are senior clinicians who are highly regarded and recognised in their fields of practice.

All of our members are committed to ongoing professional development and training.

Our Full ICP Members give you access to the highest Medicare rebates, saving you money and ensuring you get the best possible care.

Our network of professionals are able to draw on each other’s experience and expertise, ensuring that you are in good hands, no matter which ICP Member you choose.

All ICP Members are endorsed by the Psychology Board of Australia to practice as Clinical Psychologists.

The Psychology Board of Australia regulates all psychologists within the country, and is supported by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), who regulate Australia’s health practitioners. Our members practice in accordance with the Code of Ethics prescribed by AHPRA.

 

Consultant Clinical Psychologist

ICP has developed a new initiative to recognise excellence, advanced training and expertise amongst its already highly qualified members.

To this end, the executive of ICP is rolling out awards of Consultant Clinical Psychologist on a merit basis. This award comes with its own logo which is protected under copyright.

Choosing a Therapist

When looking for a practitioner for yourself, a loved one, or your situation, it's a great idea to research and ask questions. The following suggestions may be helpful in your search.

First become aware of the differences between different types of mental health practitioners.

Clinical psychologists have a minimum of 8 years training: a 4 year undergraduate psychology program at university, followed by at least 2 years of postgraduate university training that is focused on the diagnosis, assessment and treatment of mental health. Postgraduate clinical psychology trainees complete intensive supervised internships in hospitals, mental health clinics, and child development centres. Following this, clinical psychologist trainees must complete a further period of intensive supervision with an experienced Clinical Psychologist before they qualify. Two years of supervised practice is required for graduates who have completed a Masters Degree, while one year of supervised practice is required for those who graduate with a Doctorate. This means, all Clinical Psychologists have a minimum of 8 years of training, with 4 years dedicated to postgraduate/ higher level intensive training in mental health.

Registered psychologists complete a four-year undergraduate degree followed by two years of supervision with another (Registered) psychologist. Their undergraduate degree provides only an introduction to mental health. They are not required to complete any postgraduate intensive training. They are not required to receive any training or supervision in hospital or mental health clinics.

Psychiatrists have completed a medical degree and further training and study related to the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. Psychiatrists specialise in the medical treatment of mental illness and can prescribe medication. Some psychiatrists combine medication with psychotherapy. Some work closely with clinical psychologists in treating the same person or group.

In Australia the term "counsellor" is not protected, so anyone with any background, can call themselves a counsellor. A "counsellor" may have no formal training at all. Some, but not all, have completed training in an educational setting and some have completed supervised practice though the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) which is attempting to establish standards and ethical training of counsellors.

The area of "coaching" is similar to "counsellors". Life coaches may come from all walks of life, with "life experience" the guiding medium. Some may come from the field of psychology. It is important to check credentials since there is no formal health training required to become a life coach outside of a short period of supervision by another life coach.

When choosing a therapist, be aware that there is a lot of variety amongst Clinical Psychologists
...they will use different approaches to therapy and have varying interpersonal styles. Some see only adults, some see only children, and some see families- some will provide services to all three. The different types of approach to therapy will include work with groups, or with an individual or couple. There are also a variety of approaches a Clinical Psychologist might take to therapy such as mindfulness, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Person Centred therapy- to name just a few. The list is very long, and many experienced Clinical Psychologists are adept at a variety of different therapeutic approaches. It is important that the therapist you choose has expertise in the issues/s you wish to bring for therapy.
Do you have a gender and/or age preference?
Some people don't care if their therapist is male or female, old or young, but for some people this choice is important. Make the choice that makes the most sense to you. The same goes for considerations like cultural backgrounds. Sometimes it helps to find a Clinical Psychologist with a similar background to your own, or one who understands your cultural background.
Some other questions you might wish to ask
Does the therapist have postgraduate training in mental health? Do they have expertise and experience with the issue/s you wish to work on? What are their fees? Are their fees rebatable through Medicare or your private health fund? Can you access rebates with that practitioner? Can you access Medicare rebates with that practitioner? Can you access the higher or lower Medicare rebate? Please note that Clinical Psychologists attract a higher rebate than Registered or General Psychologists. How long have they been in practice? Do they specialize in particular approaches?
Friends and family can be a useful and helpful source of recommendations
...as they might have experience with someone who helped them or know someone who has been helped. It's worth asking. Or, your General Practitioner might help to guide you in this choice.
Other factors for you to consider when making a choice includes things as such as location, hours they work and their availability

...(i.e. how long until you can have your first session and subsequent follow-up sessions after that).

These and other considerations important to you will help you select a good fit.

When thinking about your choice, it's helpful to be aware that change is what you are usually wanting when you go to therapy. And, change often feels uncomfortable. Changing attitudes, behaviours, or thought processes (whatever is keeping you stuck or distressing to you) can produce distress or anxiety because old ways often feel comfortable. A Clinical Psychologist will raise issues that might feel uncomfortable. This is a sign that the therapy is working. It is at these times that it's important to understand that your Clinical Psychologist has your best interests in mind. So, when choosing a Clinical Psychologist, it is not necessarily the one who is nice, or feels the most comfortable, but the one who is willing to confront issues and support you through any distress you may feel as you develop new ways of coping, thinking and behaving.