You may refer your patient to a number of different mental health providers for provision of treatment.
Your patient’s psychologist is required to send a written report to you at the end of every course of treatment, or as clinically necessary, outlining: assessments carried out; treatments provided; progress made; and any recommendations for the management of your patient’s symptoms.
If your patient does not complete the course of treatment, be it because they have learnt the skills they need or they are not attending therapy, their psychologist will provide the report some time after the date of the last service. In the case of the latter, this may be a few months after their last appointment as they may have made and cancelled several appointments and we endeavour to contact them several times via phone, text or email before we make the decision to stop their treatment.
what is the difference between a psychologist, a clinical psychologist and a clinician?
There is a lot of misinformation and misunderstandings leading to confusion about the differences between these terms. This can often lead to uncertainty when you are trying to find a psychologist for your patient.
All psychologists are registered as psychologists by the Psychology Board of Australia.
Psychologists working in clinical settings, like Bridge Street Psychology, undertaking clinical work, are often called clinicians. This may be why many GPs believe they need to send their patients to a clinical psychologist.
Since 2010 all registered psychologists have completed at least a 3-year degree and an honours year and either: 2 years of training; or 1 year of further study and 1 year of training; or 2 years of further study. In order to gain endorsement in their area of further study, there must be an additional 2 years of supervised practice in relevant populations.
Prior to 2010, psychologists were required to have completed a 3-year degree. Psychologists holding an area of endorsement prior to 2013 were not required to have further study but were required to show competence in that area to the various relevant colleges of the APS.
Following registration some psychologists have focused on treating specific symptoms (like trauma), age groups (like young children) or circumstances (like military personnel) and they can be very experienced in those areas. Some psychologists have completed further study and supervision and gained endorsement in specific areas: clinical neuropsychology; clinical; community; counselling; educational and developmental; forensic; health; and sports, performance and exercise. A Clinical Psychologist is the term given to a psychologist who has completed further study via a clinical masters and gained endorsement via supervision of their practice.
If your patient’s psychologist believes their symptoms and situation will be better treated by another psychologist with more experience and/or training, they will refer them to a psychologist for that specific issue. In fact, practicing within our competencies is a requirement of our registration. This referral may be either to a registered psychologist with experience treating symptoms such as theirs or an endorsed psychologist with experience and/or training in their symptoms.
Under the Better Access to Mental Health initiative, clients of psychologists with general registration receive a rebate of $84.80 for each treatment session, whilst clients of Clinical Psychologists receive a rebate of $124.50 for each treatment session. However, the out of pocket expenses tend to be the same regardless of whether they have seen a psychologist with general registration or clinical endorsement.
However, the most important aspect of treatment is that your patient feels comfortable and connected with their psychologist.