“Can you read my mind?”

That is often the first thing people ask when Michele Blick says she is an educational psychologist. As part of the New Zealand Psychological Society’s Psychology Week, 13-19 November, Tearaway talked to Ms. Blick to find out what educational psychologists do.

Educational psychologists work with families, teachers and other agencies to support children and teenagers learning.  There are many reasons why a student may meet with an educational psychologist. It may be to help work out if a student needs extra assistance when being assessed for NCEA (National Certificate Educational Achievement). Or maybe a student has had a difficult time and their behaviour has been an issue, so they need support to keep attending school.

Educational psychologists use assessment, interviews and observations to help them in their work.

Most educational psychologists work at the Ministry of Education. Some work for themselves in private practice.

Educational psychologists working at the Ministry of Education will often meet students, their whanau, and teachers at their school. Blick says she enjoys the variety in her work, and “working with young people keeps me on my toes.”

The theme of Psychology Week this year is Living Life Well; Blick likes being able to help young people live well and reach their full potential.

Psychology Week aims to increase awareness of how psychology can help people, whanau and communities find ways to increase their wellbeing. For school leavers, Psychology Week provides a chance to explore the wide variety of roles pscyhologists can have.

Psychology Week will feature free events across the country. Check this out to find events happening near you.

And no. Psychologists cannot read your mind.

Kate Garland is a student representative on the Institute of Educational and Developmental Psychology Committee .