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What is an educational psychologist?

educational psychologist hannes wessels centurion

What is an educational psychologist?

An educational psychologist works to optimise human functioning in the areas related to human development and learning. This implies that educational psychologists work with any person if it is connected to their development and learning.

There is a common misconception that educational psychologists only works with children. However, learning and development occur throughout a person’s lifespan. Therefore, an educational psychologist can work with any individual (child and adult) as long as it is a problem, disorder or difficulty related to their learning and development.

The main activities of educational psychologists include:


Educational psychologists can provide interventions to optimise human functioning in relation to their learning and development. Therefore, educational psychologists can provide therapy, group therapy, workshops etc. as intervention strategies in order to advance a person’s functioning connected to their learning and development.


Educational psychologists can assess cognitive, personality, emotional, and neuropsychological functions of people in relation to their learning and development as long as they have been trained to administer the assessments. Therefore, we assess to identify and diagnose psychopathology and barriers to learning and development.

Research and Training:

In order to contribute to the field of educational psychology, an educational psychologist can design, manage, conduct and supervise psychological research related to learning and development.

Policy Development:

Educational psychologists can also provide training advice on the development of policies, based on various aspects of psychological theory, and research. They can also design, manage, and evaluate educationally-based programmes.

Psycho-legal work:

An educational psychologist can also do psycho-legal work to provide an expert opinion or evidence.

To summarise

Educational psychologists work with difficulties related to learning and development. As learning and development is a lifelong occurrence they can work with any individual or group, regardless of age, as long as it is related to learning and development. The services an educational psychologist can provide are:

  • Therapy
  • Assessments
  • Career Counselling
  • Supervision
  • Psycho-legal work
  • Workshops
  • Training

If you feel that you or your child needs the services of an educational psychologist please feel free to contact me. I am an educational psychologist in Centurion, South Africa.

Hannes Wessels
Hannes WesselsEducational Psychologist
Hannes Wessels is an educational psychologist based in Parkhurst and in Centurion. He has a special interest in cognitive behavioural therapy, career counselling and anxiety treatment. The psychological uses and impact of social media on people is also a field that intrigues him greatly. Therefore, he does various workshops related to social media use for parents, schools and health professionals.

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