What is a Psychologist?

Psychologists study the way people feel, think, act and interact. Through a range of strategies and therapies they aim to reduce distress and to enhance and promote emotional well-being.


Psychologists are experts in human behaviour, and have studied the brain, memory, learning and human development. Psychologists can assist people who are having difficulty appropriately managing their emotions, thinking and behaviour, including those with mental health concerns such as anxiety and depression, serious and enduring mental illness, addictive behaviours and childhood behavioural disorders.


Psychologists specialise in providing therapies for mental health problems. These therapies are effective at treating common mental health conditions including anxiety and depression and most childhood problems. Not all counsellors or therapists are registered psychologists. Seeing someone who is registered ensures you receive high quality ethical treatment.

Better Access to Mental Health Care – A Medicare Initiative

The Better Access to Psychiatrists, Psychologists and General Practitioners through the Medicare Benefits Schedule (Better Access) initiative aims to improve outcomes for people with a clinically-diagnosed mental disorder through evidence-based treatment. Under this initiative, Medicare rebates are available to patients for selected mental health services provided by general practitioners (GPs), psychiatrists, psychologists (clinical and registered) and eligible social workers and occupational therapists. Erin Poulton is a Registered Medicare Provider (Medicare provider number 4024392K).


PDF version: Better access to mental health care: fact sheet for patients - PDF 130 KB


Delivery of approved Focused Psychological Strategies (FPS) has been specified as:

1. Psycho-education
2. Motivational interviewing
3. Cognitive behaviour therapy, including:
Behavioural interventions - behaviour modification (especially for children, including behavioural analysis and contingency management), exposure technique, activity scheduling.
Cognitive interventions - Cognitive analysis, challenging and restructuring, self-instructional training, attention regulation, relaxation strategies (guided imagery, deep muscle and isometric relaxation, controlled breathing)
Skills training
Problem-solving skills training - anger management, stress management, communication training, social skills training, parent management training
4. Interpersonal therapy (especially for depression)

There is flexibility to include narrative therapy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

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