Psychologists Board > For The Public > About Psychologists

About Psychologists

What psychologists do

Psychologists have expertise in all aspects of psychological functioning, including cognitive, emotional, behavioural, spiritual, and intellectual dimensions. Psychologists assess, advise, and assist people to improve their life adjustment and functioning.

Psychologists apply their expertise to a broad range of issues and clients. Their clients include individuals, families, organisations, and communities.

The settings in which psychologists offer their services are diverse, including schools, health centres and hospitals, community and sports organisations, the workplace, police and defence forces, research institutes, and private clinics.

Scopes of Practice and Specialisations in Psychology

The Board has defined the following scopes of practice for psychologists in New Zealand:

  • Psychologist
  • Intern Psychologist
  • Trainee Psychologist
  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Counselling Psychologist
  • Educational Psychologist
  • Neuropsychologist

You can view more information about each of the psychology scopes of practice here.

Within their scope of practice a psychologist may also specialise. See the New Zealand Psychological Society’s website for descriptions of these specialisations.

How psychologists can help

 People consult psychologists for many reasons, including, but not limited to:

  • Addictions
  • Anxiety, fears, phobias, and panic attacks
  • Becoming more confident as parents or teachers
  • Career planning, training, and staff development
  • Children’s learning, behaviour, and management problems
  • Community development
  • Depression
  • Grief and loss
  • Eating and weight control problems
  • Health issues such as migraines and chronic pain
  • Improving sports performance
  • Marital, family, and relationship problems
  • Personal growth
  • Sexual difficulties
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Improving workplaces and employment selection
  • Reviewing organisational structures and practices
  • Improving industrial relations and occupational health and safety
  • Studying consumer needs
  • Personal growth
  • Organisational development
  • Stress and coping skills
If you are consulting a psychologist

Check the Register of Psychologists to ensure that the practitioner is registered with the Board. NOTE: It is illegal for any person to use the title ‘Psychologist’ if they are not registered with the Board as a Psychologist. [Refer section 7 of the HPCA Act 2003.]

The psychologist must also hold a current Practising Certificate and have specialist expertise which matches with your needs.

You may also wish to review our Consulting a Psychologist information sheet.

This information sheet is also available in: