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What is a Psychologist?

  • Psychologists are highly trained professionals that provide specialized psychological services to individuals, groups, and families. A licensed psychologist in New Brunswick typically holds a master’s and/or doctoral degree that involves 6-12 years of university study on how people think, feel, and behave. Psychologists are uniquely trained to use psychological tests for assessment and diagnosis, and use scientific knowledge to help you understand, explain, and change your behavior. A psychologist does not prescribe medications, but may collaborate with other professionals (e.g., family physicians, psychiatrists) when needed to ensure the most effective treatment strategy for you. 


What is the difference between a Psychologist and Psychiatrist? 


  • This is probably the most commonly asked question! Psychologists and psychiatrists often work together, but the major differences are found in the kind of training they receive.

  • Psychiatrists have a degree in medicine, like your family physician, with specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of emotional and behavioural problems. They are able to prescribe medication and their fees are covered by provincial health care (e.g., Medicare). In New Brunswick, Psychiatrists are licences by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of New Brunswick.

  • Psychologists have graduate training in psychology and specialize in assessment, diagnosis and treatment of human emotion, thought and behaviour. Although they may have training in the use of medication, in NB they are not able to prescribe medication.

  • Psychologist’s fees are covered by private payment, extended medical plans, Employee Assistance Plans and through government agencies or other special programs.  In New Brunswick, they are licensed by the College of Psychologist of New Brunswick.


 Why should I choose a Psychologist?


  • When you choose a Psychologist, you can be assured the professional has extensive formal training as well as supervision in their areas of practice.  In addition, a psychologist must adhere to a strict code of ethics and professional standards and is governed and regulated by the College of Psychologists of NB.


How can a Psychologist help me?


  • A psychologist will identify your needs, and work to facilitate change in any area of functioning that you would like to improve. Psychologists work with you to maximize the chances for lasting improvements in targeted areas through the use of well-researched, effective treatment strategies. A Psychologist can also assess and diagnose concerns such as mental illness and learning disabilities, and make recommendations to improve overall quality of life.     


When should I see a Psychologist?


  • Traditionally, it was generally thought that someone had to have a serious mental illness to see a psychologist. While psychologists today still treat mental illness, they also can provide services for other reasons. Anyone can benefit from psychological services that enhance and maintain physical and mental health, and promote an overall healthy quality of life. 


 Do I need a referral from a physician?


  • No, you do not need a referral from a physician. However, some extended health insurance plans do require a physician’s referral. We strongly encourage you to check with  your provider regarding details of your coverage, and whether a physician’s referral is required for reimbursement.


What are a Psychologist's fees?


  • Please refer to our Fees page for additional information.