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  • Writer's pictureLaura Humphreys

7 great reasons to see a provisional psychologist at YCP

Updated: Apr 25, 2022

I’m really excited to be bringing on a team of provisional psychologists at YCP. We’ve carefully selected a group of clinicians who are compassionate, warm, passionate about providing skillful therapy, and excited to be helping meet the demand for psychological services! I’ve just spent two full days with these lovely souls and am really pleased to be introducing them to our clients and referrers. There’s lots of reasons I think seeing a provisional psychologist is a great option, but here’s my top 7.

Our Provisional Psychologists have completed at least 5 years of training

All of our provisional psychologists have already completed at least 5 years of training; some have done five years of university training and some have done 4 years of university training plus a year of practice as a provisional psychologist. They are in the final stages of their training before becoming generally registered psychologists; this is the time when there are fine-tuning the implementation of their knowledge, with the guidance of senior psychologists.

Current knowledge

Provisional psychologists have completed their university training recently, so they tend to be up-to-date with the latest research and treatment approaches. This is great for our senior psychologists too as we hear about the fabulous resources and research that our provisional psychologist have recently found.

Passionate about therapy

Provisional psychologists are actively engaged in learning about the most up-to-date theories, techniques, and approaches – it’s literally their job right now! They are doing this every single week during their internship. Our YCP provisional psychologist team are all passionate about learning how to utilise evidence-based psychological approaches in an individualised way that meets the needs of the clients they work with.

YCP provides lots of supervision

Our interns will all receive frequent supervision from me (initially, at least an hour a day) with further support from some of the other YCP psychologists. Additionally, they each have an external supervisor they meet with every one to two weeks. This means that they are able to draw on support from a team of clinicians with broad ranges of expertise. Because provisional psychologists consult with a supervisor about each of their clients, you get the benefit of both the enthusiasm and current knowledge of the provisional psychologist and the experience of the supervisor.

Clinician experience isn’t a great indicator of client outcomes

We often assume that psychologists with more experience will achieve better outcomes for their clients, but the research doesn’t actually back that up. In fact, although some therapists improve over time, some show little improvement in performance over 10 years and some actually decline! You can read Scott Miller’s blog about this here. The research on the development of expertise has lots of complications, but one thing that stands out to me is that years of experience doesn't predict whether we’ll be effective psychologists. And this makes some sense, for instance, there is a lot of data to indicate that one of the best predicators of good outcomes in therapy is the relationship between the psychologist and the client (if you’re interested, you can read a meta-analysis about this here), we call this the ‘therapeutic alliance’. This means that it is really important that you are comfortable with your therapist, that you agree on the goals of your work together and that you are able to provide them feedback and have discussions about whether your work together is helping you. These relationship factors, seem more important than the years of experience of the therapist.

They spend more time on each client

Our provisional psychologists won’t be seeing as many clients each day as our senior clinicians do. This means that they have more time to plan sessions, to reflect on your work together, to chat to supervisors, and to research new ideas.

Shorter wait times

At this stage, our provisional psychologists have short wait times. This means that you will often be able to get an appointment within a few weeks, which is becoming increasingly difficult to find in Melbourne!


Do I need a Mental Health Treatment Plan (MHTP) or a GP referral?

No you don’t. Because provisional psychologist aren’t able to offer Medicare rebates you do not need a referral from your GP or Psychiatrist. However, we do value working with the other members of your treatment team (if you agree to that), so if your doctor wants to send through a referral to help us understand what you are seeking help with, we’ll be very happy to receive that!

Can I use my NDIS funding?

Yes! If you have funding for therapeutic supports under ‘Improved Daily Living’, our provisional psychologists will be able to bill under item 15_043_0128_1_3 Counselling, currently $156.16. Once your therapist is fully registered, they will bill under item 15_054_0128_1_3 Assessment Recommendation Therapy and/or Training (Incl. AT) –Psychology, currently $214.41.

What are the fees if I’m paying privately?

Since sessions with a provisional psychologist are not eligible for Medicare or private health insurance rebates, we offer them at a substantially reduced fee of $130 per 50minute session. Once your provisional psychologist is generally registered and your sessions are eligible for rebates, their fee will increase to our standard fee (currently between $220 and $270/session).

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