Counselling Psychologist

Counselling Near Me

Looking for 'counselling near me'?

Firstly, you should understand the difference between a
counsellor and Psychologist.

What is a Counselling Psychologist?

A Counselling Psychologist has advanced training in psychological assessment and therapy. Counselling Psychologists are required to have six years university training, including a postgraduate Masters Degree in psychology, and two years supervised practice following their university training. In summary, Counselling Psychologists have at least eight years of training in psychology. We also recognise the number one predictor of client outcomes is the therapeutic rapport, clear goals and evidence-based therapy.

Is a Counselling Psychologist trained at the same level as a Clinical Psychologist?

YES. Counselling Psychologist have exactly the same level of training. The primary difference is training for Counselling Psychologists includes a greater focus on a range of therapeutic models and interventions. This means Counselling psychologists often use an integrative approach and tailor therapy to individual clients needs. Empirical research supports this as the best approach to achieve optimal outcomes.

What are the competencies of Counselling Psychologists?

Referrers should have a sense of the competency of the health practitioner to whom they are referring patients or clients. 

Counselling psychologists: 

  • Use their knowledge of psychology and therapy to help individuals and groups develop positive strengths and wellbeing, and to assist the resolution of problems and disorders.

  • Research and evaluate processes of growth through psychotherapy and counselling, and

  • Use their psychological knowledge to improve methods for helping people live more fulfilling and productive lives.


Counselling psychologists treat a wide range of psychological problems and mental health disorders. They also work with families, organisations and communities to promote empowerment and harmonious relationships, overcome problems and manage transitions.

Consumers of the services of Counselling Psychologists are persons, groups and organisations, including:

  • Members of the public, families and carers 

  • Community groups 

  • Medical and health practitioners 

  • Health departments, hospitals and community practices 

  • National, state or local government or non-government organisations, and 

  • Welfare agencies, educational institutions, justice services, victims of crime, and community services.

Specific services of Counselling Psychologists include therapy for a wide range of issues and disorders including the provision of psychotherapy for:

  • Anxiety and depression,

  • Trauma and assault,

  • Domestic violence,

  • Grief and loss,

  • Relationship difficulties,

  • Interpersonal conflicts,

  • Mediation,

  • Employee assistance,

  • Career development, and

  • Assessment services.

To assure consumers that a counselling psychologist is capable of providing the services required all endorsed counselling psychologists must be competent in the eight core competence areas of counselling psychology in this document. In addition to the generic competencies demonstrated by all registered psychologists, counselling psychologists must have the following specialist skills and possess the following specialist capabilities:

1. Knowledge of the discipline: 

a. A broad understanding of the role of counselling psychologists in providing psychological services, including assessment, treatment, prevention, research and consultancy services within the community across diverse settings,

b. Knowledge of personality, interpersonal processes, individual differences, gender and identity, emotions and experience, and the cognitions and contexts in which meaning and beliefs arise,

c. Knowledge of theories of mental health and wellbeing,

d. Understanding scientific approaches to studying psychotherapy and counselling, including the role of client and therapist factors, and therapeutic alliance, and specific and non-specific treatment processes, and 

e. Understanding of the theory and application of evidence-based interventions for mental health problems, including psychotherapy, group and family therapy, counselling and behaviour therapy.​


2. Ethical, legal and professional matters: 

a. Understanding of ethical issues in various Counseling Psychology settings and how to appropriately manage them (for example, confidentiality and record keeping, managing professional boundaries), and 

b. Competence in communicating Counselling Psychologists' ethical obligations to others (for example, to families, government departments).

3. Psychological assessment and measurement: 

a. Knowledge of psychological assessment theory and research,

b. Knowledge of the assessment and diagnosis of mental disorders using structured clinical approaches,

c. Competence in applying measures to assess progress with psychological therapies, and 

d. Competence in the use of valid and reliable tests of psychological functioning, including learning, intelligence, cognition, memory and personality.

4. Intervention strategies: 

a. Knowledge of theory and the scientific evidence base for psychotherapy and counselling,

b. Competence in the delivery of evidence-based psychological therapies for mental health disorders and problems,

c. Competence in group, family and community interventions, and 

d. Knowledge of methods for mediation, consulting, supervising, care planning, and designing interventions.


​5. Research and evaluation:

a. Identification of psychological questions that arise from counselling psychology practice and the design of appropriate research strategies, 

b. Communication of research methods and findings to non-psychologists in counselling settings, and 

c. The transformation of research and evaluation findings into policy, applied knowledge, and improved treatments.

6. Communication and interpersonal relationships:

a. Provision of expert oral and written reports to various stakeholders, including clients, families and carers, health and medical practitioners, and for medico-legal purposes,

b. Provision of consultancy advice and psycho-education about mental health problems and issues,

c. Communicating the obligations of a counselling psychologist in various roles and settings (for example, to schools, medical practitioners), 

d. Awareness of personal factors as they influence communications between individuals and groups, and

e. The ability to reflect upon interpersonal processes through supervision and peer consultation.

7. Working with people from diverse groups:

a. The ability to apply knowledge and understanding of how the practice of counselling psychology is influenced by social, historical, professional and cultural contexts,

b. This includes demonstrating the ability to competently and ethically practice with people who differ from the psychologist in ways including, but not limited to: differences in age, race, colour, culture, gender, geography, language, sexual orientation, educational attainment, and socio-economic status and religious-spiritual orientation. This includes sensitivity and knowledge of working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

8. Practice across the lifespan: Competence with clients in childhood, adolescence, adulthood and late adulthood. 

Psychologist Registration

All Counselling Psychologists must be registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) to use the term ‘Counselling Psychologist’ to practice.

Using a registered health practitioner helps ensure they have been appropriately trained and supervised to meet professional standards and maintain their health, integrity, training and registration standards.

Why refer to a Counselling Psychologist?

When referring a patient/client for counselling, it is important to understand the difference between a counsellor and Counselling Psychologist.


Anyone can refer to themselves as a counsellor, as use of the term is not regulated. This means that there is no minimum training requirement for counsellors, no registration, and no independent body monitoring their practice and well-being or conducting integrity checks. The risks of referring to generic counsellors might be significant. Referrers have a duty of care to their patients, who might be at a particularly vulnerable time of their life, and should refer to a registered health professional, where professional standards have been met and must be maintained. All psychologists are required to abide by a strict code of ethical conduct.

Why refer to a Counselling Psychologists?

Many referrers will be able to identify people presenting with major common mental health problems, provide some appropriate psychoeducation and at times prescribe medication. Medication for many clients, however, should often only be prescribed after a client has had the opportunity to address their issues through non-pharmaceutical means. Often psychological therapy is at least as effective as medication and can have greater benefits to the client over time. In some cases, where a client’s condition is severe or not responsive to psychological therapy, medication can be a useful adjunct to therapy. 


Counselling Psychologists are trained in a range of therapeutic techniques and tailor therapy to the individual based on the situation, cultural background and worldview.


Research has demonstrated that therapeutic rapport is the best predictor of client engagement and therapeutic outcomes. The therapeutic rapport allows clients to engage in a professional relationship to provide safety and containment as they address potentially sensitive and difficult personal issues. Using a formal model of therapeutic intervention is also an important predictor.

Counselling Psychologists Medicare Rebate

Medicare funding has resulted in access to counselling psychologists being more affordable for clients. If a client is referred by their treating doctor to a counselling psychologist their session fees are partially rebated for up to ten to twenty sessions per calendar year.

What conditions do we treat?

Counselling Psychologists work with people from across the lifespan.


Interventions by Counselling Psychologists can be as effective, and sometimes more effective, than pharmacotherapy, although combined treatment may be the best option for some patients.


Counselling psychologists deal with a wide range of problems including relationship problems (family and marital), sexual dysfunction, life stress and dealing with acute and chronic life crises. Issues of losses and grief are also handled by Counselling Psychologists. Our services provide counselling psychology interventions for people with anxiety disorders or other mood disorders. Referral to a Counselling Psychologist should be considered when the degree or duration of such problems goes beyond what the GP can offer by way of support and/or counselling.​

Counselling Psychologists can also provide therapy for behaviour and lifestyle issues related to ‘physical health’. Most of the major diseases causing morbidity and mortality are related to behaviour and lifestyle. Counselling Psychologists have skills that can contribute to the management of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular, disease, cancer, asthma and diabetes. They also have expertise in dealing with common problems such as pain, headaches and nausea.

At iflow psychology, we also have experience in illness and injury assessment, treatment and rehabilitation. This includes management and the treatment of cognitive, emotional and behavioural problems related to brain dysfunction. We have experience in rehabilitation, education and psychological therapy to address changes in thinking and behaviour arising from a head injury, epilepsy, neurological disease and stroke. We also work with drugs and alcohol and dementia.​


Psychosocial interventions are also available to assist the management of other mental health disorders including, for example, bipolar disorder and personality disorders. Patients with developmental and learning disorders and problems related to intellectual disability are also appropriate for referral, as are people with substance abuse disorders.


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02 6061 1144

48 Norton Street

Leichhardt NSW 2040



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