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Do I have to have a referral?
No, you don't need a referral to see a psychologist, however, in order
to be assessed for eligibility for a rebate through Medicare you need
visit your Doctor. If eligible, you will need a referral and a current
Mental Health Care Plan from your Doctor in order to claim.
Can a psychologist prescribe medication?
No, a psychologist is not able to prescribe medication. Your psychologist can work in collaboration with your GP, Psychiatrist and/or other health professional to ensure you are getting the right support.
I've never been to a psychologist before, what can I expect?
When you first arrive you will be asked to complete some standard paperwork (personal
details form, informed consent form, etc). You will then have the opportunity to
discuss with the Psychologist any questions you may have about the paperwork and
about your visit to ensure you have a clear understanding. The first session also
usually involves you having the time to talk about why you're there as well as giving
some background information. Additional sessions generally focus on what you want
to achieve and how you might be able to reach your goals. Some people need a structured
approach and will focus more on strategies to deal with and understand their symptoms,
others need time to talk in a non-
I really want to talk with someone but I don't know where to start?
This is a common feeling people have when they first arrive and is perfectly normal. Most people have more than one concern and are generally overwhelmed by the time they finally get to see someone. The Psychologist will help you work out where to start and guide you through your concerns. Just remember that this doesn't have to happen all in the one session, so you can take your time.
I don't want my family or friends to know I'm seeing a psychologist!
Do you have to tell them?
A Psychologist is bound by a Code of Ethics that helps to protect your privacy. It is your right to choose not to tell family and friends about your contact with a Psychologist. However, a Psychologist is also bound by a Duty of Care; this means that they are required to ensure your safety and the safety of others. In practical terms, it means that in extreme circumstances (e.g., current suicidal or homicidal intent) a Psychologist will need to contact key people. In most cases this will be your Doctor, the local hospital or Ambulance Service, or even Police. You should always be informed if this is going to happen and why it is necessary.
I've been to psychologist before but it didn't help. How do I know that you can help me this time?
The short answer is, you don't. However, we can help by reviewing what happened previously, "why didn't it help last time?". Some people find that the timing for their journey to recovery influences what they get from the sessions; others find that the intervention style of the therapist or even the personality style doesn't fit with them. It's important to find the right person for you. If you've tried before and haven't had a good experience it takes a lot of courage to try again but persistence is the key. Once you find the right therapist it can make a big difference to your experience and to your recovery.
How long will it take before I feel better?
Change is a very individual process and so many factors can influence recovery. It will depend on what symptoms you are experiencing, how long you have had those symptoms, what support you have, what goals you are expecting to achieve, where you're at in terms of motivation to change, and what skills you already have, etc. It's normal for people to experience fluctuations in their recovery before they see an overall improvement. For some the transition can happen quickly for others it's a longer journey.
Aren't Psychologists for 'crazy' people?
People go to see psychologists for all sorts of reasons. More commonly people attend seeking assistance with stress, anxiety, low mood, and other unpleasant symptoms produced from stressors of daily life. Psychologists often help everyday people deal with difficult times, whether from an individual event (e.g., Accident, death of a loved one, job loss, robbery, relationship breakdown) or from a series of life events resulting in feeling overwhelmed. You don't need to have a clinical diagnosis to benefit from a visit with a psychologist.
How long are the sessions and are after-
Sessions are generally 50 -