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  • Writer's pictureNichole Sullivan

Provisional Psychologist..What does that mean?


In Australia, a provisional psychologist and a psychologist are two different levels of registration with the Psychology Board of Australia.


A provisional psychologist is someone who has completed an Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) accredited four-year undergraduate psychology degree, as well as a two-year master's degree or two-year supervised work experience program in psychology. They are then registered with the Psychology Board of Australia as a provisional psychologist. Provisional psychologists are required to work under supervision and can only provide psychological services in specific areas of practice, such as assessment or therapy, depending on the level of supervision they are under.


A psychologist, on the other hand, is someone who has completed an APAC-accredited four-year undergraduate psychology degree, followed by a two-year master's degree or two-year supervised work experience program in psychology, and then completed an additional two years of supervised practice as a provisional psychologist. They are then eligible to apply for full registration with the Psychology Board of Australia as a psychologist. Psychologists are able to work independently, without supervision, and can provide a wide range of psychological services, including assessment, diagnosis, and therapy.


In summary, a provisional psychologist has completed the academic and practical requirements to be registered with the Psychology Board of Australia, and requires supervision to practice in specific areas. A psychologist has completed all the required academic and practical training, as well as the necessary supervised practice, and is able to practice independently. In reality even the most experienced psychologists seek supervision from time to time to continually develop and refine their skills.


In our clinic we have psychology students, psychologists, provisional psychologists, counsellors, and therapists. What the evidence tells us, is that it is not the years experience of the therapist that makes the most difference to client outcomes in therapy, rather the connection built between the two people in the room.

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