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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a registered psychologist?

A registered psychologist in South Africa is a psychologist registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) as a psychologist in Independent Practice.


All practicing psychologists are required to have completed the HPCSA criteria for their registration category, which includes completion of the relevant master’s degree, passing the ethics board exam of the HPCSA, and then registering and maintaining yearly payment to the Board of Psychology at the HPCSA. You can visit the HPCSA website to search for the practitioner and view their registration status.

In South Africa, there are different categories of registered psychologists, including Educational psychologist, Clinical psychologist, Counselling psychologist, Educational psychologist, Industrial or organisational psychologist, Research psychologist, and Neuropsychologist

Each of the categories has a specific scope of practice related to their specific field. This means that each has a specific focus direction. Visit the HPCSA site to view the various scope of practice, this will also help to clarify the difference between the various registration categories under the umbrella field Psychology.

What is an Educational Psychologist and what do they do?

Educational psychology is a category within professional psychology that focuses on alleviating: emotional, learning, academic, intellectual, behavioural, social and developmental difficulties in children and young people within the systems in which they function including families, schools, peer groups, etc., thereby providing extensive support and psychological services to any role-player which may support clients’ optimal functioning. This may include family-based intervention, teacher support, and learning support. In addition, educational psychologists enhance the vocational development of children and adults. With regard to individual adults, the educational psychologist can provide expert knowledge and skills with regard to learning and developmental difficulties across the lifespan. Furthermore, there is an emphasis to promote the well-being of families, groups, organizations, and communities.


What is the difference between a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist?

Their titles sound familiar and both work within the mental health field, but the focus of their work is different, they have very different educational and training backgrounds, and they play different roles in the treatment of clients but because psychologists and psychiatrists often work together for the well-being of the client, their job descriptions overlap.  The main difference between the two is that Psychiatrists prescribe medication (they have specialised medical training), but Psychologists can't and don't prescribe medication. Psychiatrists diagnose illness, manage treatment and provide a range of therapies for complex and serious mental illness and Psychologists focus on providing psychotherapy (talk therapy) to assist patients.

Is the information discussed in consultation sessions confidential?


Information is only released to third parties at the request of the client, with the client's permission or when this is required by law. The issue of confidentiality is discussed during the first intake session, prior to any personal information being shared with the psychologist. 

Will my medical aid cover the costs of consultations?

Services rendered by Educational Psychologists are covered by most medical aids, but it remains the client's responsibility to check with their medical aids, as not all medical schemes offer the same cover. For more information about the rates attached to the services offered by this particular practice, please contact Donna du Plooy directly (see also the information under the Rates tab on the menu bar). 

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