What is psychology?
Psychologists understand the mind and human behaviour. They use scientific methods to study the factors that influence the way that people think, feel and learn, and evidence-based strategies and interventions to help people overcome challenges and improve their performance.
Many psychologists work directly with those experiencing difficulties, including anxiety, depression and stress. They help people to overcome relationship problems, eating disorders, learning problems, substance abuse, parenting issues, or to manage the effects of a chronic illness.
Common settings in which psychologists work include schools, hospitals, courts, community health services, prisons, the defence forces and private practice. The complex work that psychologists do is always underpinned by research. Many thousands of Australian psychologists work in academic or research settings, adding to this evolving understanding of human behaviour.
Some common reasons people visit a psychologist include Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, bipolar disorder, depression, eating disorders, loss and grief, lifestyle effects on health, preventing suicide and relationship problems, sexual difficulties, personal growth, fears and phobias.
Research shows psychological treatments are effective in managing many common mental health disorders.
All psychologists are legally required to register with the Psychology Board of Australia, in the same way as medical practitioner. To find a psychologist, go to: http://www.psychology.org.au/FindaPsychologist/Default.aspx?ID=1204
Information from the Australian Psychological Society website at: www.psychology.org.au