Why do children need School Psychologists?

We tend to think of childhood as a carefree time, however the truth is that all children and youth can face problems from time to time with no shield against the emotional hurts and traumas many children may face. Young people may face problems related to learning, social relationships, bullying, family abuse, managing emotions such as feeling depressed, anxious, worried, or isolated and many more.

School psychologists are uniquely qualified and able to apply expertise in mental health, learning, and behavior so as to help children and youth build resilience and succeed academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally despite the challenges they may face.

Their role is to help students, families, educators, and members of the community understand and resolve both long-term, chronic problems and short-term issues that children and young people may face.

What do School Psychologists do?

School Psychologists work systematically and partner with families, teachers, school administrators, and other professionals to create safe, healthy, and supportive environments that strengthen connections between home, school, and the community.

Their roles are multifaceted. Apart from the traditional role of a school psychologist regarding assessment and testing they are also specialized in offering consultation and therapeutic support both at an individual and a group basis (prevention and intervention). In all cases assessment, intervention and consultation are combined at some extent.

School Psychologists Services:

  • Checklist for potential learning and behavioral difficulties
  • Screening test: (IQ test Assessment, Academic Screening for Learning Difficulties, Psychometric Essay + Debriefing)

Treatment Plan:

  • Consultation student/teacher/caregiver:
    • After the initial screening, the School Psychologists evaluate any learning or emotional problems that might exist and help families and school staff develop strategies and interventions to help children and youth become more resilient by adapting the academic, social and emotional family and school climate to their specific individual
    • Support and guidelines to SEN teachers for differentiated teaching based on every student’s individual needs
  • Individual Psychotherapy
  • Prevention and interventions programs (peer mediation, conflict resolution and social skills to adolescents and young adults to encourage alternative behaviors)

What Training Do School Psychologists Receive?

School psychology training requires a Bachelor Degree in Psychology and either a 3-year full time Postgraduate program or a doctoral degree in School Psychology both of which include a 1500-hour supervised clinical training. All school psychologists receive specialised advance graduate preparation based on the current professional demands and trends in both psychology and education. Their training emphasizes the development of professional skills for the practice of psychology while offering a wider theoretical and research background to the graduate trainees.

According to the Cyprus Law, school psychologists must fulfil both academic and clinical qualifications in order to be included in the official registry of the Cyprus Professional Psychologists. School Psychologists can also be accredited by the International School Psychology Association (ISPA).

What Training Do School Psychologists Receive?

School Psychologists continue to study and learn about new advances in their field and other related fields by reading scientific literature and attending conferences. New knowledge is then applied to diagnostic, therapeutic and consultative work.