Clinical psychology and psychotherapy both focus on improving patients’ mental well-being and are both disciplines of psychology, which can make it difficult to understand how they differ, and which is best for you.

While clinical psychologists can support people using talking therapy like psychotherapists do, the former mostly specialise in diagnosing and treating acute mental illnesses such as gambling addiction, depression, drug addiction, eating disorders, bipolar disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, schizophrenia, paranoia, and a wide range of other issues. Unlike psychiatrists, they are not allowed to write prescriptions, and if they feel that a patient would benefit from medication, they have to liaise with a psychiatrist.

Psychologists can treat individuals as well as families or be involved with communities’ agencies, visiting schools when children and teenagers are referred for assessment for example, as well as consult in hospitals, assist the police, testify in Courts, etc… However, many psychologists work in private practice in a counselling capacity, like at the Robert Street Clinic.

How Do Psychologists Work?

A psychologist will usually meet with a client for several sessions in order to assess their issues before recommending a course of treatment, which will vary depending on the problem, the specialism of the practitioner and the context of the treatment. It may involve Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or other behavioural therapies, or just talking. Like with any ‘talk’ therapy, the psychologist will discuss with their clients the impact of their early relationship on their perception of the world and others, and will help them develop a greater understanding of themselves, and how to better manage their emotions.

They will also assist patients in implementing their newly acquired skills and generally improve their quality of life.

In New Zealand, psychologists are required to take into account the person’s, whanau’s, or family’s cultural identity, beliefs and social networks so as to be able to develop a treatment which will not only resolve their issues best, but will do so with respect for their ethnic background.

Are You Looking for a Psychologist in Auckland?

Psychology is a regulated profession which guarantees the quality of the clinicians.

Counselling psychologists must have at least a Master’s Degree in Psychology and a Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling from accredited educational organisations as well as a Psychologists Board approved practicum or internship of 1,500 hours of supervised practice, which is usually included in the Postgraduate Diploma.

By law, psychologists also need to register with the New Zealand Psychologists Board to be allowed to practice and they should have a current Practising Certificate.

The Robert Street Clinic is a private cooperative of highly qualified and experienced mental health professionals, including psychologists. With psychiatrists under the same roof, we can also arrange prescriptions if your condition requires it, without the need for you to wait for a referral or to have to go somewhere else.

If you are looking for experts in counselling or clinical psychology in Auckland, please email us or call us on 09 973 5950 to discuss whether this would be a suitable treatment for you.