Psychologists work with individuals to try to understand the role of the mind in individual and group behaviour. The titles ‘practitioner psychologist’ and ‘registered psychologist’ are protected by law, and only those who are fully qualified and registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) may use them. Other protected titles are clinical psychologist, counselling psychologist, educational psychologist, forensic psychologist, health psychologist, occupational psychologist, and sport and exercise psychologist. Anyone using one of those titles must therefore be registered with the HCPC.
Unlike a psychiatrist, a psychologist is not medically qualified, although many have undertaken advanced studies and hold doctorates in psychology and related subjects.
There are many reasons why one would consider meeting with a psychologist. Whether you’re experiencing grief from the death of a loved one, overwhelmed with stress and anxiety, depressed, suffering from phobias, having relationship problems or issues with family, addicted or tied to unhealthy habits, or concerned about mental health conditions like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Any of these issues, no matter how minor or major, may warrant a consultation with a psychologist. You do not have to go through your GP to a psychologist. A good place to start is to research psychologists local to you and take things from there.