Psychologists help you to deal with life changes like loss and grief, transitional life stages (e.g. marriage, parenting, retirement, separation, etc.), loss of function (e.g. physical injury, or ageing), important decision making or other areas of lifestyle functioning such as sleep problems, sexual dysfunction, low self esteem, anger problems and relationship difficulties.
Psychology therapy allows you to consult with someone who has specialist knowledge and training in the area you may be struggling and needing assistance. Generally, it is a very helpful process to get things ‘off your chest’ with someone who will not judge and who may be able to offer some useful insights.
You may require therapy for various psychological disorders including Depression, Anxiety, Addiction, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, Psychotic illness, and Personality disorder. These disorders, as well as a raft of others, are diagnosable based on a cluster of symptoms that have a degree of impact on functioning and are generally experienced as a single episode or a more chronic health issue.
Our Psychologist is currently on maternity leave. We wish Natasha all the best for this exciting season ahead.
To answer more of your questions about psychology visit FAQ here
Frequently Asked Questions
How long will it take?
Please arrive 15 minutes early to fill in some paperwork and allow up to one hour for your initial visit.
What will happen during the first visit?
The initial session is typically an intake assessment and an opportunity to get to know each other. The clinician briefly explains their experience and professional limitations around confidentiality, it is then an opportunity to build a clear picture of your needs and presenting issue by reviewing relevant historical information and current symptoms and treatments. Some relevant questionnaires may need to be completed about your symptoms and function, once scored, feedback can be shared with you. The clinician will briefly describe a treatment plan and an agreement will be reached about goals.
What is a Psychologist?
A Psychologist is a tertiary educated mental health practitioner.
The fields of Psychological application and expertise are diverse; however clinical therapy is the most widely recognised and accessed. Psychological interventions vary depending on the needs of a client, and also vary depending on the theoretical orientation/treatment preferences of the clinician. It is important when commencing therapy that you are able to have your questions answered about the evidence-based practices of your Psychologist.
What training do Pyschologists do?
Psychologists have undertaken six years of training in order to be registered with AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency).
Are Psychologists required to do ongoing training?
In order to maintain registration, Psychologists are required to undertake continuous professional development every year. This enhances their understanding of current treatment techniques and theories about the mind, behaviour, neuroscience, relationships, etc., which ultimately improves the quality of service provided to you.
What is the difference between Psychologists and Psychiatrists?
People often get Psychologists and Psychiatrists confused; the major difference is that Psychologists have not completed a degree in Medicine and are unable to prescribe medication. Most treatments provided by Psychologists are verbal and focused on building skills to cope and to better understand symptomatology, behaviours, thoughts and emotions. While Psychologists cannot prescribe medication, in many cases their treatments have been shown to be as good as or better than drugs in treating anxiety and depression. Psychological treatment is also valuable alongside medication.
Do you work with other health practitioners?
There are limits to the resources that a Psychologist can offer in a private practice setting. If the degree of ill health is unsafe to the point of risking the client’s safety, their integrity or anyone else’s safety, then the client may be referred on to a Psychiatrist or Psychiatric facility (either public or private depending on the level of acuity).
What if my Psychologist is not available between sessions?
If your health deteriorates between sessions and your treating Psychologist is not able to be contacted or as a family/friend member you are concerned, then Lifeline is a useful service to assist in the here-and-now 131 114, otherwise, in an emergency call 000.
What type of therapies do you use?
Your psychologist will draw upon various evidence-based therapeutic modalities and approaches to tailor treatment plans to individual needs. These therapies include:
• Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
• Dialectical Behaviour Therapy
• Acceptance & Commitment Therapy
• Motivational Interviewing
• Psychodynamic Therapy
• Schema Therapy
• Narrative Therapy
• Psychodrama & Art
Do I need a referral?
Anyone can see a Psychologist, it is not necessary to have a referral to consult with a Psychologist, however, Medicare offers rebates for psychological services with a GP Better Access Mental Health Treatment Plan. You will be required to book a double session with your GP who will assess the need for psychological services and complete the paperwork for a Mental Health Treatment Plan. You will be given a referral for psychological services which does not need to have a specific Psychologist’s name on it. Once the GP session has been billed to Medicare the plan is active. You can then book an initial appointment with the Psychologist.
What happens during a session?
Therapy sessions tend to be targeted conversations around the area of need, some education and skill development, reflections on homework tasks between sessions as necessary and processing of emotions/memories where relevant. Sometimes the aim of therapy is to build your capacity to see how and why you are functioning in a certain way which may be impeding your degree of satisfaction in yourself, relationships and life goals.
Why do I need to find a Psychologist that is a good ‘fit’ for me?
In therapy it is important that you feel safe and that there is a shared understanding of the issue/goal of treatment. A positive therapeutic alliance and trust are necessary in order for effective therapy to occur; without these, therapy is unlikely to promote the insight or change needed to progress towards your goal or improved wellbeing. It is vital to find a Psychologist that ‘fits’, as not every therapist is suited to every client. A Psychologist is in a privileged position to assist you in your most vulnerable state; so you must always be respected for your effort to seek help and to be open with a Psychologist.
How does payment work if I have been referred by my GP?
At the psychology appointment the Medicare card will be swiped along with a payment of the gap. The Mental Health Treatment Plan entitles a client to an initial 6 sessions with partial Medicare subsidy, with a further 4 sessions if approved by the GP on review. Once you have utilised all 10 Medicare rebated sessions in a calendar year, a client may be eligible for private health rebates depending on the fund and level of cover.
Will I find the sessions confronting?
While for the most part the process of therapy is interesting and relieving, it can be challenging.
Therapy can be confronting for some and perhaps seem tangential to the client’s perceived goal for treatment; however this may be the necessary work to ultimately reach your objective. You may at times feel challenged or misunderstood and as a result feel like disconnecting to therapy, but this may be the very moment just before insights are made and gains are experienced. Hang in there.
What if I feel uncomfortable?
It is always important to feel that you can talk about how you are experiencing therapy because it has to feel productive. The therapeutic relationship is also a valuable breeding ground for change in how a client relates to others or their own emotions. Ultimately, therapy is not a passive process; the more you put in to the therapy process, the more you will get out of it, so I would encourage clients to be willing and open.