Careers in psychology
We employ over 100 clinical psychologists and clinical neuropsychologists (as well as a small number of forensic psychologists) to deliver a broad and integrated range of mental health services to young people, adults and aged persons with a serious mental illness.
What we do
Psychologists are employed across a range of programs. While some are employed in psychology-specific roles, others work within multidisciplinary teams as key clinicians, utilising their skills as clinical psychologists to inform and provide a broad range of psycho-social interventions.
The roles of clinical psychologists and clinical neuropsychologists are varied. The specialty psychology tasks can be grouped into direct clinical work, consultation, research and evaluation, and specialist interest groups and portfolios.
Our psychologists have opportunities to use and develop their discipline-specific knowledge and provide evidence-based cognitive behavioural therapies (such as ACT, CBT, DBT, SFT, and others) in individual and group formats to aid consumers’ recovery. Psychologists also have a role in providing psychological assessments and offering diagnostic opinions in their specific area of practice.
Direct Clinical Work
Clinical psychologists aim to improve consumer outcomes through the provision of psychological services within a case management practice or via specific direct referrals. Most clinical psychologists develop expertise in specific areas or practice in sub-specialties. These include:
- Psychological assessment, diagnosis and treatment planning
- Evidence-based therapy, including cognitive-behaviour therapies, motivational interviewing, relapse prevention, and approaches aimed at reduction of positive symptoms, adaptation to disability and improvement of psychosocial functioning
- Family work (family psycho-education, problem solving, therapy to reduce trauma experienced by carers and clients and to reduce relapse rates)
Clinical psychologists provide specific interventions in the areas of:
- Anxiety (OCD, GAD, PTSD, Panic)
- Mood disorders (depression, bipolar affective disorder)
- Eating disorders
- Personality disorders (to reduce the incidence of self harm, use of medical and hospital services and to improve adaptive functioning)
- Positive and negative symptoms of psychosis
- Sleep disorders
- Behaviour management, such as analysis and modification of disordered behaviour patterns
- Development of social, vocational and daily living skills via either formal or informal programs based on learning theory
- Group work (such as ACT for Psychosis, ACT for Personality Disorders, anxiety management, social phobia, reducing functional impairment)
Clinical neuropsychologists work with consumers to provide assessment, rehabilitation or education and counselling. They also work within a team to assist in the ongoing management and treatment of people who suffer from known brain dysfunction including mental illness, with the aim of improving overall functioning and quality of life.
Clinical neuropsychologists provide specific interventions including:
- Cognitive screening, such as to rule out a delirium or organic (physical brain) aetiologies
- Neuropsychological assessment of intellectual functioning (IQ), memory, language, visuo-spatial skills and executive function
- Differential diagnosis of various neuropsychiatric and dementing syndromes
- Personality profiling
- Learning difficulties assessment, vocational guidance and counselling
- Delineation of psychological/neuropsychological sequelae of organic deficits
- Assistance with differential diagnosis of functional deficits due either to mental illness, medication, substance abuse or head injury
- Assistance with strategies for cognitive or psychosocial rehabilitation
- Psycho education regarding the effects of mental illness on neural function and behaviour
- Behavioural support and intervention
- Group work (provision of support groups for people with cognitive changes)
In addition to direct provision of service, clinical psychologists and clinical neuropsychologists work within programs to enhance awareness of psychological approaches to the treatment of mental illness, and to promote and support the use of psychological and neuropsychological interventions. This occurs through input to multidisciplinary team meetings and the provision of advice and supervision for other health care professionals on psychological aspects of care and neuropsychology issues.
Research and evaluation
Clinical psychology and clinical neuropsychology training is grounded in the scientist practitioner model, and both have specific training in evaluation and research methodology. Many clinical psychologists and clinical neuropsychologists have roles within their organisations that effectively make use of this skill base. A strong link with LaTrobe University including the joint appointment of an Academic Advisor supports psychology research across our service.
Supervision & Continued Professional Development
All clinical psychologists and neuropsychologists receive regular supervision by a suitably trained senior psychologist in order to ensure their competent and effective clinical practice as well as their continued professional development (including the registrar program for clinical endorsement).
There are multiple opportunities to access high quality clinical training including a psychology-specific Entry Level Program for staff in their first years of practice, regular local staff training, the programs of the Mental Health Training and Development Unit as well as several external training partner institutes.
Portfolios and interest groups
All clinical psychologists are invited to participate in activities to promote psychology and assist to provide high standards of psychological services. Staff often hold portfolios in teams that reflect their interests and skills as a clinical psychologist, such as evaluation portfolios.
All psychologists employed with us must be registered with the Psychology Board of Australia via the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency (AHPRA), or provisionally registered and enrolled in a registrar program.
We offer a registrar program for psychologists who are working towards their endorsement to practice as a clinical psychologist or clinical neuropsychologist.
Interstate and overseas applicants
Interstate and overseas-trained psychologists are welcome to apply for available roles at NWMH. Psychologists from overseas will need to have their qualifications assessed by the Australian Psychological Society (APS) for migration purposes and / or the Psychology Board of Australia for registration purposes to determine equivalency with Australian qualifications. In addition, overseas applicants should consider whether they need to take an English language test and if they need to have a certificate of registration status supplied by their overseas licensing board (if they have been registered in another county). On some occasions, we will consider overseas applicants for a transitional program.
Find out current vacancies on the Royal Melbourne Hospital's online recruitment system.