Refer to a Psychologist

 Download a copy of the COVID-19 Psychology referral options here.

What is the difference between a clinical and a registered psychologist?

Did you know that all registered psychologists are highly trained to assess, diagnose and treat clients? While there has been recent discussion about the differences between clinical and registered psychologists, there is no evidence that psychologists with clinical endorsement produce better treatment outcomes or provide more effective services than other psychologists.

A notable research project commissioned by the Australian Government (Pirkis et al, 2011) clearly demonstrated that psychologists treating mental illness across both tiers of Medicare Better Access produced equivalently strong treatment outcomes (as measured by the K-10 and DASS pre-post treatment) for mild, moderate and severe cases of mental illness. This research demonstrates clearly that there is no significant difference in treatment outcomes when comparing clinical psychologists treating under tier one of Medicare Better Access with the treatment outcomes of all other registered psychologists treating under tier two of Medicare Better Access (Pirkis et al, 2011).

Under the Medicare Better Access program, sessions with psychologists holding a clinical endorsement are rebated $129.55 per 50-minute session compared to all other psychologists whose sessions attract approximately 40% less rebate at $88.25. The AAPi is working hard to address this inequity that devalues registered psychologists and has created significant reputation and financial inequality within the psychology profession.

Please support your local psychologist when making referrals to ensure services remain accessible now and into the future.

Pirkis, Ftanou, Williamson, Machlin, Spittal & Bassilios (2011). Australia's Better Access initiative: An evaluation. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 45(9), 726-739.