Mental Health
Jul 16, 2024

Provisional Psychologist FAQ’s

As a Provisional Psychologist, I'm often asked what that title means and how this differs from other types of psychologists. I understand that the distinction between Psychologists and Provisional Psychologists can be confusing. In this blog, I aim to answer some common questions I get asked about being a Provisional Psychologist, to help answer any questions that you may have.  

What is a Provisional Psychologist?

Psychologists typically study a minimum of 4 to 5 years of psychology before becoming provisionally registered with AHPRA. During this supervised practice period, provisionally registered psychologists (also know as ‘interns’) are overseen by a fully registered psychologist. The registration being ‘provisional’ means that the psychologist will continually report to and be mentored by a psychologist with even more hands-on experience. This process and mentorship adheres to the strict regulations set in place by AHPRA regarding the application of knowledge, method, principles, techniques and ethical standards. Once they complete 6 years of combined study/supervision, the provisionally registered psychologist can then become a fully registered psychologist.  

What is the difference between a Psychologist and a Provisional Psychologist?

All of the provisionally registered psychologists at Drop of Life are fully qualified, skilled and knowledgeable in all aspects of the services they provide. Their being under supervision means that they are able to discuss their assessments, discussion and therapy implementation with a supervisor who is an even more experienced peer in the field of psychology. A psychologist with clinical or general registration is someone who has completed all their relevant training to be considered a psychologist.  

Do I need a referral to see a Provisional Psychologist?

Provisional psychologists are not are eligible to provide Medicate rebates under the Australian Government's Better Access Scheme. However, we recommend that for best practice, all patients still speak to their GP and obtain a referral to see a provisional psychologist. Our provisional psychologist’s all comply with the required reporting guidelines under Medicare and provide updates to GP’s or referrers regarding client progress. Our provisional psychologists are also able to provide services to client referred through the GCPHN Psychological Serivces Program, Work Cover QLD and some EAP or NDIS schemes.  

What is the payment process for Provisional Psychologists?

A flat fee is charged for sessions with our provisional psychologists (unless they hold a GCPHN, EAP or Work Cover QLD or are an NDIS client). This fee is based on the average out of pocket expense it costs patients to see a psychologist with general registration.  

Why should I see a Provisional Psychologist?

When it comes to the care of yours or your child’s mental health, we understand you want the best possible treatment. Drop of Life is dedicated to providing the best care for better health and well-being in a safe, warm and supportive environment for all of our clients. As will all psychologists, provisional psychologists abide by the APS Code of Ethics and only provide psychological services within the boundaries of their professional competence. This means they work within the limits of their education, training, supervised experience and appropriate professional experience. Through regular supervision and training, provisional psychologists gain the skills to work with presentations referred to them. As with all psychologists, when the presentation of the client is out of the scope of their experience, referrals to other inhouse psychologists or external services are provided.

I hope this answers some questions that you may have about what a Provisional Psychologist is. If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact us on 55 207 705.  

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