In South Africa, educational psychologists are trained in assessment, diagnosis, psychotherapy, counselling, and facilitating support and interventions. These interventions pertain to the emotional, social, developmental, behavioural, learning and academic functioning of children, adolescents and individuals across the life span. Furthermore, Educational psychologists are trained to work with individuals and all role-players within any learning environment, in context, holistically and systemically, to optimise individual, group and systemic functioning. Educational psychologists also enhance the vocational development of children, young people and adults across the life span. They promote the mental health and general wellbeing of individuals, groups, families, communities and organisations.
A strong core training in assessment and diagnosis, counselling, psychotherapy and community initiatives gives all psychologists common ground from which to offer mental health interventions. More specialised areas such as play therapy, psycho-educational and career counselling and parent or family interventions may be developed by some branches of psychology and/or by individual psychologists, whereas others will develop expertise in areas such as neurological assessment or the assessment and treatment of psychopathology.
Educational psychologists, as mental health professionals, aim to value and support the work done by our colleagues in other categories as well as to advocate and promote the work done within the category of educational psychology. Different educational psychologists will have developed different areas of interest in their practices.