A Psychologist is a registered professional that has completed post-graduate study to better understand human behaviour and development, common problems faced by people and how to understand and manage those problems. We work with you to help you bring about the changes in your life that you would like to see. Our approach is warm and caring, supportive and non-judgemental.
How Can A Psychologist Help You?
A Psychologist will work with you on goals that you identify for treatment. After gaining an understanding of what you see as a problem they will usually provide you with some education relevant to that area and discuss treatment options with you. We view this as a collaborative relationship where both Psychologist and client have input into treatment that is being used. We then look at getting ready to try the treatment and checking in to see how it is working.
Psychologists can help clients with a wide range of mental health and life problems including:
- trauma (PTSD)
- ante and post natal
- anxiety or depression
- substance use
- low self-esteem
- life transition (divorce, retirement, becoming parents)
- chronic health conditions
What is the Difference Between a Psychologist and Psychiatrist?
Many people are confused about the difference between a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist. Both professions work in the field of mental health. A Psychiatrist has medical training as well as training in mental health. They can prescribe medication or prescribe medication plus provide counselling around mental health issues. A Psychologist cannot prescribe medication but have undertaken extensive training in mental health assessment and treatment. They have completed a minimum of 4 to 6 years training in Psychology with additional minimum 2 years supervised practice before they are able to register as a Psychologist with Medicare. A Psychologist will work with you on your treatment goals using methods that have been shown to be effective in scientific research.
What Can I Expect in a First Appointment?
An initial appointment is a bit different to other appointments. During this time it is important for the Psychologist to get an understanding of who you are as a person, who the important people in your life are and what areas of your life are not going the way you would like. We may also want to get a bigger picture of your life including family history, relationship history, social history, employment history, medical history so that we don’t miss anything important. Many people who are new to treatment are a bit anxious about what to expect and what they will be asked, however, this usually passes as you get to know your Psychologist. After an initial session, responses vary. Some people are tired after talking about topics that are emotional for them and some are excited that they have taken a step forward in their recovery.
How Do I Know Which Psychologist is Right for Me?
This is a hard question to answer. Psychologists have their own personalities, areas of interest and treatment techniques they might use. It is a good idea to see if you can read a profile about Psychologists and see if they specialise in areas you think are relevant to you. Our Psychologists have profiles that can be found by clicking on the following https://www.capalabanaturalhealth.com.au/about-us/staff-profiles/ Your GP may also have some recommendations for you. Most important though is how you feel in sessions with them. Do you feel like they understand you and are interested in you? Does what they say make sense to you? If you are not getting what you want from treatment, take charge and tell your Psychologist what you would like to focus on and see if they are able to change their approach. If not you may consider seeking treatment from someone else.
Do I Need A Referral?
Most clients come under a Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP) from their GP, but we also see people privately. Your GP may refer you under a Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP) in which case you may be eligible for a medicare rebate. More information about this can be found if you click on the following link: https://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/5DB6692978BC3395CA257BF0001C10D7/$File/factsheetforpatients.pdf
If you are considering getting a MHCP you need to book an appointment with your GP and ask for a longer appointment so a MHCP can be completed. Your GP will decide your eligibility for a MHCP based on your symptoms (some things like couples counselling or learning assessments are not covered by a MHCP). You may be eligible for up to 10 sessions under a MHCP in a calendar year. You may also come privately and it is recommended you contact your private health insurance (if you have it) to check if you are covered for psychological services and how much you are covered for.