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The section discusses the following topics :

> What is a Psychologist?

> What do Psychologists do?

> Where do Psychologists work?

> Education and Preparation

> Licensure

> Professional Associations

What is a Psychologist?

A psychologist studies how we think, feel and behave from a scientific viewpoint and applies this knowledge to help people understand, explain and change their behaviour

What do Psychologists do?

Psychologists are involved in research, practice and teaching that encompass a variety of topics regarding how people think, feel and behave. They work with individuals, families, and larger groups. Some topics of focus for research and practice include:

  • Mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, phobias
  • Neurological, genetic, psychological and social determinants of behavior
  • Brain injury and degenerative brain diseases
  • Psychological factors and problems associated with physical conditions, disease and terminal illness
  • Cognitive functions such as learning, memory, problem solving, intellectual ability and performance
  • Developmental and behavioural abilities and problems
  • Stress, anger and other lifestyle management issues
  • The application of psychological factors and issues such as motivation, leadership, productivity, marketing, healthy workplaces and ergonomics to work
  • Marital and family relationships and problems
  • Psychological factors necessary to maintaining wellness and preventing disease

Where do Psychologists work?

Some psychologists work primarily as researchers and faculty at universities and at government and non-government organizations. Others work primarily as practitioners in hospitals, schools, clinics, correctional facilities, employee assistance programs and private offices. Many psychologists are active in both research and practice.

Education and Preparation

It typically takes 4 years to complete an honours bachelor’s degree in psychology, 2 years to complete a master’s degree and another 4 years to complete a doctoral degree. Doctoral degrees in any of the professional areas of psychology have practicum and internship requirements, in addition to coursework and research requirements.


In Canada psychologists are licensed to practice by regulatory bodies in each Canadian jurisdiction. The Ontario regulatory body is the College of Psychologists of Ontario.

The requirements for licensure vary from province to province.

Professional Associations

College of Psychologists of Ontario

Canadian Psychological Association









Inerprofessional Education Initiatives: Working together across disciplines