What Usually Happens When You See a Psychologist?
Psychologists are considered experts in human behavior. They use scientific methods to study the factors that influence the way that people think, feel and learn, and evidence-based strategies and interventions to help people to overcome challenges and improve their performance.
Most people that consult the psychologists listed on this website do so because they are experiencing a difficulty or concern that is impacting their mental health and wellbeing. Some people seek assistance to prevent or limit the impact of a difficult experience on their mental health, or to seek improvement in their performance. Parents and children typically attend because there are concerns about the child’s behavior, development, or feelings.
The first appointment will therefore generally begin with a discussion about what has been happening recently in your life, your current circumstances and what has brought you to seek out a consultation with a psychologist. The reasons for your referral are usually clarified in the first appointment along with your goals. Initial consultations concerning children’s difficulties commence with a meeting with the child and his or her parents. Discussions with children of course involve different language, and might also involve drawings or a game. Parental involvement is essential in assessment or counselling with children.
You or your child might be asked questions that relate to your present and past experiences so that a better understanding can be gained about what has brought you to where you are now. It can be useful for your psychologist to know if there has been any particular treatment, support or approach that you have already tried, and what, if anything has been helpful to you in the past. It can also be useful to your psychologist to know if there is anything that you have found to be unhelpful.
The second appointment would usually involve clarifying the finer details of the problems or concerns and setting goals you wish to achieve. Questionnaires and checklists are sometimes used to help gain a clear picture of any symptoms you are experiencing. A treatment or service plan might be developed that includes a description of the main concerns, your goals and an estimate of how long the process might take.. Counselling or psychotherapy is a collaborative treatment based on the relationship between an individual and a psychologist. Grounded in talking and reflection, it provides a supportive environment that allows you to talk openly with someone who is objective, neutral and nonjudgmental
The psychologists listed on this website are all trained in a number of psychological therapies and approaches to a wide range of psychological concerns. Jamie, Kate and Anthony are all familiar with the evidence and literature concerning psychological treatments and approaches that have been found to be helpful for other people with similar concerns. You can expect your psychologist to discuss with you any recommendations he or she has, weigh up with you any .potential risks and benefits, and provide information about other options or alternatives.
You can expect any ongoing therapy or counselling to be a collaborative process, which means that you and your psychologist will be working jointly toward an agreed goal, and you both will likely have ideas about what may be helpful to you as a unique individual in your circumstances. Since children typically learn from doing and playing, therapy with kids will often involve games, drawings or written tasks. Work with parents or other family members may be recommended or necessary, since they have such an important helpful role in children's lives.
Whether it is for children, adolescents or adults, therapy is often an attempt to learn new information or insights about ourselves and the world we live in, as well as more effective strategies and ways of engaging in our lives.