Frequently Asked Questions
What is an educational psychologist?
There are various types of psychology categories in South Africa, such as educational, counselling and clinical. It is firstly important to know that all psychologists in South Africa undergo rigorous training in psychotherapy, which means that regardless of registration category, all psychologists are qualified to provide therapy. Psychologists can choose areas of specific interest and undergo more in-depth training to gain experience in certain types of therapy or assessment. For instance, psychologists might want to train further in neuropsychology, trauma work, couples therapy, play therapy, personality disorders, family therapy, psycholegal work, mediation etc, regardless of the category they are registered in. Psychologists are only restricted in how they work (scope of practice) based on their training and experience. A psychologist who offers services for which they have not been adequately trained is seen as practicing outside of their scope of practice.
It is therefore not true that educational psychologists can only do assessments. An educational psychologist is concerned with the learning and development of children and students. Many factors can have an impact on how children or students learn and develop, such as trauma, mood and anxiety disorders, family discord, barriers to learning, difficult relationships etc. These concerns can be addressed through either therapy or assessment.