Clinical Psychology in New Zealand
New Zealand needs Clinical Psychologists to help in the treatment of a diverse range of problems including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, forensics, neuropsych testing/assessments and in other areas. In New Zealand these services are often provided through Community Mental Health (CMH) centres which are part of our localised District Health Boards (DHB) that are funded by our Ministry of Health. We also need Clinical Psychologists who have a background in corrections.
Most Clinical Psychologists work eight hours a day with some being rostered for on-call emergency support. A typical Clinical Psychologist working for a CMH will see five to six clients per day with the remainder of the day being spent writing assessments and reports. New Zealand operates a no-fault public liability system which requires practitioners to document cases as a significant part of their work process. The mental health system also requires all Clinical Psychologists to review their cases with a Senior Supervising Psychologist on a weekly basis.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is the primary mode of treatment. However, other therapies may be employed on a case by case basis. Teams typically include a Professional Advisor, Unit Manager, access to a Consulting Psychiatrist, Counsellors, administrative as well as other support staff and 24/7 phone support for clients. Some teams also have a Service Improvement Manager.
New Zealand is a small, accessible country which means that some practitioners may be required to travel to satellite CMH's to see clients. Often the travel is done on the same day but occasionally practitioners are asked to stay the night.
New Zealand offers the opportunity to work with clients from a wide range of age groups and from a diverse background of ethnic cultures including Maori (our indigenous people), Pacific Islanders and immigrants from Asia and further abroad.
To gain registration you will need a Doctorate or Masters level degree in Clinical Psychology or Psychology, at least 1500 hours of supervised practice in a Board approved practicum or internship, a current practicing license, definitive evidence of advanced training in Clinical Psychology, police clearance and other requirements. Registration in New Zealand is for life, but you must have an Annual Practicing Certificate (APC) in order to work as a Clinical Psychologist. Typically, the registration process takes 60-90 days.