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What Is Your job Title?

Registered Doctoral Psychologist

What Does a Psychologist Do?

  • Psychologists play a primary role in research and providing education to residents of Saskatchewan about the psychological factors necessary to maintain wellness and prevent disease, and to address mental health and emotional factors involved in high-needs clients in the community (e.g., children involved in foster care system, adolescents in custody, adult clients with chronic mental health needs associated with poverty, homelessness, addictions, etc.).
  • Psychologists provide training and supervision opportunities to new Psychologists in clinics and hospitals.
  • Psychologists work with other health care professionals to assess, diagnose, and treat patients suffering from psychological problems, brains injuries, pain management issues, mental illness, life crises (e.g. divorce, abuse) and issues relating to risk to the public (e.g. violence).
  • Psychologists provide consultation and education to multiple agencies (e.g., social services, schools, corrections) in order to support and assist the treatment of high needs clients.
  • Psychologists are specialized health care professionals who provide standardized testing (e.g., for intellectual or personality functioning) that assists psychologists to make crucial assessment, diagnosis and treatment decisions regarding patients.

What Training Is Necessary to Do Your Work?

Typically, Psychologists require doctoral level training (PhD) in psychology. Psychologists in Saskatchewan can also be registered at the Master’s level.

Where Do You Work?

I work both in the community and in custody facilities that house Young Offenders (i.e. corrections). Psychologists employed in our health care system work with clients in hospitals, schools, custody facilities, clinics and communities across Saskatchewan.

Who Needs Your Services and Why?

Clients, families, custody facility workers and management, the courts (we do court ordered assessments regarding risk and psychological issues that influence re-offending), and the public in general (we work on risk reduction for young offenders that potentially reduced risk to the public) all benefit from psychological services provided in my area. Psychologists in other areas would work with clients, their families, other agencies and disciplines in assessing/treating pain management, emotional/psychological distress or intellectual/developmental disabilities across the life span. Schools, social services and other community agencies and families all benefit from psychological services in these areas.

What Is Your Favourite Part of Your Job?

The favourite part of my job is empowering people/clients to take control of their life and make major changes for the better regarding psychological, emotional, physical or social functioning. This may involve a diversity of areas, from dealing with past abuse/trauma experiences to more effectively managing stress and physical pain, for a few examples.

What Challenges Do You Have in Your Job?

Major challenges of the job include working with various systems (hospitals, social services, the justice system, schools, corrections) that may have different focus/agendas and acceptance of the benefits of psychological treatment. Management support is crucial to valuing and promoting psychological work, particularly with complex, high-needs clients (e.g., poverty, trauma, addictions, lack of social support, multi-psychological and addictions disorders, may be involved in criminal justice system). This support includes continuing professional education and policies that promote clinician self-care in order to meet best practices.

What Are the Consequences When There Are Not Enough People with Your Training to Provide Service?

Wait lists, clients receiving inadequate or reduced assessment and treatment services, reduced ability to train and supervise new psychologists, staff frustration (including leaving the health region for other agencies, provinces or private practise) are all consequences of having inadequate numbers of people with training in psychology.