We provide a range of services to help people lead happy, fulfilled and successful lives despite the difficulties that they have or are experiencing. Issues or problems that psychologists can help people to address include various types of depression, anxiety (panic attacks, phobias, generalized anxiety, excessive worry) trauma, inability to manage emotions, interpersonal / social difficulties at home, work or play, couple or family distress, procrastination, low self worth, sexual problems, impacts of sexual preference, coping with long term illness, pain management, bullying, substance abuse, criminal behaviour etc. Some issues are serious and prevent a person from functioning day to day or lead to worse problems. Other issues are less serious yet still interfere with a person operating at full capacity to live a satisfying and meaningful life.
Services provided by psychologists include counselling, the use of structured interviews and discussion to explore a person’s difficulties, canvassing options, clarifying values, setting goals, supporting, coaching, providing work to take away to do between counselling sessions, evaluating progress, referral to other services when required.
Psychologists often use psychometric testing and continuous follow up measures to check progress objectively as well as relying on a person’s self report.
Psychologists are not medical doctors and so don’t provide prescriptions for medication. You’ll need to see a GP or psychiatrist for this service.
Assistance to address: Depression, Anxiety Disorders, Trauma, Relationship difficulties, Self esteem and Confidence issues, Life direction, Goal setting for a better future, Substance Abuse, Criminal Conduct.
I also write Allied Health and Forensic and Reports for those clients referred by Doctors, Corrective Services, and Solicitors.
The reasons are as varied as the people. Life‘s events, changes, new people, circumstances, relationship or work changes can trigger feelings of distress, disempowerment or overwhelming emotions. Such problems may be relatively recent or may stem from issues a person has been struggling with for a long time, and the person decides that now is the time to get help. Feeling stuck, drinking too much for too long (using drugs) or sick of being constantly worried, inexplicably sad or angry and knowing from experience they cannot get through on their own may provoke a person to seek out the services of a psychologist / counsellor.
All sorts of people from all walks of life consult psychologists. Some people are very successful in their daily lives, but are concerned about how some of their thoughts, feelings or behaviours continue to plague themselves, impact on others or their life aspirations. Some people are very troubled and struggle to get through each day and cannot imagine leading a satisfying or happy life. Some have come into contact with the law because of their decisions and choices. Some people’s sexuality troubles them.
Individuals, families, couples, children – anyone can consult with a psychologist on matters of concern to them. Children should always be accompanied by a responsible adult, parent or guardian.
A psychologist should display a professional approach where your needs and concerns are top priority. Confidentiality is central to the relationship between a psychologist and client / patient so disclosing your personal information will not occur without your prior consent unless it is a life threatening situation for you or others. Privacy regarding your personal information will be explained in as much detail as you require. There is legislation to protect how information is obtained (you need to know why), how it is stored and for how long, who will have access to it, how it will be used etc. A privacy statement will be provided for you and, in some cases, you may be asked to sign a consent form for information to be disclosed to a third party, eg a referring doctor or other professional.
Most people experience some discomfort or anxiety talking to a someone they don’t know about sensitive personal information so you should expect your psychologist to be understanding and to take a supportive approach to help you feel more relaxed and to assist you to share your concerns. I, like most psychologists, rely on a collaborative approach where you set the pace to explore and address your issues.
Counselling sessions may vary in length depending on your needs and my availability. In the first session, you will be asked to talk about your current circumstances, reasons for seeking counseling, the history of your issue/s and related matters. Sometimes this can take an hour or longer.
How often you come to counseling sessions will depend on you and the outcomes you wish to achieve. Some people come frequently at the start, but as positive changes occur, they come less often until they choose not to come. It can be difficult to say how many sessions a person may need at the first session.
If you have private health insurance you don’t need a referral. Your health fund will have a schedule of how much you can receive in rebates per year. However, for rebates under Medicare you require a referral from a GP referral.
GP referred patients are eligible to claim rebates for counseling from a psychologist for 6 – 10 sessions per year.