Visiting a Psychologist FAQs
What should I expect from my first visit?
At the beginning of the session your psychologist will briefly run through important paperwork with you. This will include a brief information form for you to complete, a consent form (covering issues such as confidentiality and fees), and other important information about sessions. If you have been referred by a third party or have a medical referral this will be discussed.
The remainder of the session will be talking about why you have come to therapy, your concerns, personal circumstances, challenges and what you would like to get from therapy. Sometimes people are worried about what to say but rest assured your psychologist will know what questions to ask to get the relevant information to help you.
There is no “typical” therapy session as there are different methods of treatment for different problems.
How long is an appointment?
Appointment times can vary but usually a session will last 50-60mins.
What qualifications will my psychologist have?
All our psychologists have tertiary qualifications in psychology and hold registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency and Psychology Board of Australia. In order to maintain registration, we continue to undertake professional development, ensuring we are able to provide you with the best and latest treatment approaches. All our psychologists hold membership with the Australian Psychological Society or Australian Association of Psychologists inc.
How long will I need to see a psychologist for?
The number of sessions you have with your psychologist will vary for each individual. Some issues may only require brief interventions while others may be more complex and require more time. As you work with your psychologist over the first three to four sessions you will develop a plan with them to give you a better idea of what to expect.
Is my appointment confidential?
We understand confidentiality and privacy can be a concern. Any information disclosed to us is treated confidentially (including case notes, records, and psychological test results) and stored accordingly. No information will be disclosed without the client’s consent. If there is a need to disclose information (i.e. to a doctor, solicitor or third party) the client will be consulted and a release of information will need to be signed by the client. There are some legal limitations to confidentiality which will be explained to clients in the first session.
What types of therapy do you offer?
Our team of psychologists are highly qualified, uniquely trained, and very experienced. Depending on your needs and preferences we integrate a variety of evidence-based approaches to help you improve your mental health and wellbeing. Below are some of the therapeutic approaches we use:
- Cognitive behavioural therapy
- Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy
- Solution-focused therapy
- Dialectical behaviour therapy
- Client-centred therapy
- Acceptance and commitment therapy
- Motivational interviewing
- Positive psychology
- Narrative therapy
- Psychodynamic approaches
- Play therapy for children with trauma
What if my child is nervous about seeing a psychologist?
It is normal for kids to be nervous about coming to see a psychologist because they don’t know what to expect and may worry they are ‘bad’ or there is something ‘wrong’ with them. It may be helpful to explain that coming to see a psychologist is like seeing a doctor for your physical health; a psychologist can help with our thoughts, feelings and behaviours. We see lots of children for all sorts of reasons.
Usually after the first visit, children will look forward to sessions and understand that they are in a safe place where they can enjoy being themselves, and talk about things they may find difficult
Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer affecting Australian males and is estimated to be the second most common cancer in Australia in 2020. So many of you reading this may know someone who has had prostate cancer
There are times when I say to a client “…look how far you’ve come. Remember when we first met…?” Just this sentence can be a topic of discussion. It is such a privilege seeing a person (or a couple) reflect on their own growth
At Shoalhaven Psychology Services we conduct a range of assessments that assist in providing you with diagnosis, recommendations and information about a number of issues such as Specific Learning Disorders, Intellectual Disability, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorder. We can also assess for Giftedness in school-aged children.