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