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WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU SEE A PSYCHOLOGIST

For a lot of people, seeking help from a psychologist for the first time can be an anxiety-provoking experience. It really does take a lot of courage to come and open up to a total stranger about things which you may never have spoken about before or about which you may feel ashamed or guilty (usually unjustifiably so).

We aim to make it as helpful an experience as possible. The most important thing is to feel comfortable with your therapist - we spend time in early sessions trying to make you feel safe and hopefully developing a mutually respectful and trusting relationship. Don't worry if you don't feel that way immediately - your relationship with your therapist is just like any other interpersonal relationship, sometimes we have to work at it and sometimes, but fairly rarely, it doesn't work out.

There are no white coats, inkblot tests or uncomfortable leather couches - none of us have a beard (yet) and we like to look at you when we talk with you. You are the boss and above all you are the expert on you - your therapist is there to help you develop and discover that expertise to find solutions and often acceptance of yourself and the world you live in.

Therapy is not always a pleasant experience - sometimes talking about old and painful experiences feels like you are reliving that pain all over again, but this is all part of the healing process. A lot of people work very hard to avoid thinking and talking about their emotional pain so discussing it in the context of therapy can be difficult which is why feeling safe and contained is so important.

How we work with you and your problems depends on you the individual and on the nature of the issues you bring to therapy. In this practice we utilise a wide range of differing therapeutic approaches based on your needs and, in some cases, what might have been helpful in the past if you have had previous experience with therapy. In the same way, how long the therapy might last also depends on the nature of your issues - some problems might be resolved in 2 or 3 sessions but anywhere between 6 and 12 sessions are more common with some issues, such as childhood trauma or severe depression, requiring long-term treatment.

Depending on what your presenting issues are, we might use:

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy
  • Exposure therapy
  • Hypnosis
  • Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing
  • Schema-focused therapy
  • Relationship counselling
  • Trauma Incident Reduction therapy
  • Family-focused interventions
  • Interpersonal therapy
If you have been referred for assessment for any reason such as fitness for duty or if you are seeking compensation, you will be asked to complete some paper and pencil tests as well as being asked a number of questions about your presenting problems and your history. Sometimes, this can feel a bit intrusive and uncomfortable but again we need to find out as much as we can to help you.

We work closely with your referring doctor if that is the case and even if you have not been referred by a doctor, we might still seek your permission to contact your doctor if we have concerns and if it is in your best interests. Sometimes we might suggest that you also seek treatment from a psychiatrist - a medical specialist in area of psychiatric illnesses.

Like every other professional, we need to know if what we are doing is not helpful for you just as we also like to hear what is working! Remember, your session with your therapist is your time.










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