Obtaining Psychological Practice for your 4+2 or 5+2 internship

Psychological Practice

Finding Psychological Practice is the key piece of the application process that will allow you to apply to the Psychology Board of Australia for Provisional Registration.

So where do I find Psychological practice? What should I be looking for?

Psychological practise settings may include the following:

  • clinical, counselling
  • organisations,
  • neuropsychological,
  • health,
  • education and developmental,
  • community,
  • sport and exercise
  • forensic

Workplaces where psychological practice is conducted includes:

  • corporations
  • educational settings
  • government departments
  • health, welfare and community agencies,
  • group private practices
  • non-profit organisations

There are lots of different types of psychological practice and lots of different types of workplace settings. The key here is that there are lots of different ways and places to find psychological practice so broaden your search.

Psychological practice involves direct client contact and client-related activities of a psychological nature, including:

  • individual client interventions — assessment, counselling, diagnosis, intervention, case consultation, case conferences, report writing and case notes, evaluation, and modification of interventions
  • group interventions — training and development, group counselling, organisational development and change, consultancy, resource development, and program evaluation, and
  • individual or group interventions — rehabilitation, career development, outplacement counselling, employee assistance programs, report writing, consultation, and liaison

It’s important to step back from these terms and think about what they actually mean as a job advertisement may not actually use these terms to describe the activities performed within the role.

Psychological practice involves the application of specific skills such as:

  • establishing professional relationships and maintaining professional behaviour
  • applying evidence-based theory
  • evaluating the efficacy of psychological treatments or programs and referring the client to another health practitioner if necessary
  • communicating with the client about treatment or other interventions
  • making referrals
  • self-reflective practise, and
  • understanding personal and professional limitations

so you want to ensure that you will be able to practise these skills within your work role so that you can be deemed competent across AHPRA’s 8 core competencies for general registration.

A position description will allow you to determine if the role compasses these tasks.

Common titles or searches to look for:

  • provisional psychologist
  • rehabilitation consultant
  • rehabilitation counsellor
  • vocational counsellor
  • school counsellor
  • crisis counsellor
  • counsellor
  • intake and assessment worker
  • mental health worker
  • clinician
  • support worker
  • behaviour support practitioner/clinician
  • mental health clinician
  • clinical caseworker
  • therapist

There is so much more available then simply “provisional psychologist” roles.  Potential employers may be more interested in your undergraduate degree than your pending provisional registration. A word of warning - you cannot commence a position titled “Provisional Psychologist” without having your provisional registration approved.

You may also need to have multiple work roles in order to fulfil your 8 Core competencies so you may need to consider part-time roles as well as full-time roles.

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Having trouble securing a work role?

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"Finding Psychological Practice as a Provisional Psychologist" e-Seminar