Psychologists are health care professionals that assess, treat and prevent behavioural and mental conditions. Specifically, they work to fix neuropsychological, neurotic and personality disorders while helping maintain and optimize social, emotional and intellectual function. 

As experts in human emotion, behaviour and development, psychologists use clinical interviewing techniques, behavioural observations, and psychometric tests to help patients identify and fix problems. Some of these disorders and conditions treated by psychologists and include: 

  • Mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder
  • Anxiety disorders such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Obsessive-compulsive disorder,
  • Addiction
  • Eating disorders
  • Personality disorders such as schizoid disorder, narcissism and paranoia
  • Psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia

Psychologists provide health care services in various settings, including private practice, schools, hospitals and social service, rehabilitation and correctional centers. 

Some of these psychologist services include:

  • Intellectual, behavioural, emotional and neuropsychological assessment and diagnosis,
  • Administering psychological tests. 
  • Treating mental disorders and conditions using a variety of strategies such as counselling, psychotherapy and group therapy.
  • Identifying emotions, attitudes or beliefs that cause problems and design solutions.
  • Helping manage stresses and conflicts such as relationship problems, recovering from sexual abuse, coming to terms with serious health problems and dealing with grief or stress.
  • Assessing patients’ social and personal risk.
  • Promoting public mental health through government policy and educational programs.
  • Developing and implementing treatment plans.

Applying for a certificate as a Psychologist requires a Doctoral Degree in Psychology. Doctoral Psychologists have practical training as part of their doctoral studies and they are then required to complete one year of on the job training after they finish their degree.

Psychologists who have a PhD are one of only five health care professionals legally allowed to use the title of “Doctor”.

In Ontario, “Psychologist” is a regulated profession subject to the Standards, Ethics and Practice Advisories defined by The College of Psychologists of Ontario. For more information on regulatory colleges, view our What is a Regulatory College? Page.