Frequently asked questions…
What is a psychologist?
Psychologists are trained in the evaluation and treatment of the entire range of mental health conditions. Psychologists generally receive more training and years of supervised practice than other types of therapists, counselors, and mental health providers. Psychologists receive a minimum of five years of post-graduate training that includes diagnosis evaluation, and treatment of mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety and addictions. Psychologists will often gain expertise in treating certain clients or problems, such as providing couple’s therapy or helping people recover from trauma experiences.
Scheduling an appointment with a psychologist allows you to sit down and discus an issue that is bothering you or getting in the way of your happiness. Your psychologist should offer an explanation of what you are dealing with that makes sense to you, and will provide options for treatment that may include brief consultation with a limited number of sessions, or a more extended plan for treating difficult issues.
Either way, you are given knowledge about why these treatment options were offered and what to expect from treatment. Consultation sessions usually occur weekly at first but are sometimes less or more frequent, depending on the nature of the problem. Clients are usually offered skills to help them address difficulties while monitoring progress over the sessions. A review date is set, when progress can be assessed.
What is a psychological evaluation?
Some client request a psychological evaluation, which is a one or two session assessment of what is going on, including a full description and recommendations for what should be done. Cognitive or neuropsychological evaluations help to pinpoint intellectual or cognitive functioning in individuals who are struggling in this area. It helps to have a discussion of what you are wanting and a plan can be made to fit what you are needing. A brief telephone call usually answer s most questions.
Do I need a GP to refer me?
No, you do not need a referral. You can contact us directly and we will discuss your concerns and set up an initial assessment appointment if it appears there is a good fit. Certainly, your GP can and may refer you to us. In that case, you are still free to contact us directly, or your GP may contact us to set up an appointment for you.
Will I need to take psychiatric drugs if I come to see you?
No, many clients are recommended alternatives or other options rather than being prescribed psychiatric medicines. Psychology may offer consultation to build your skills for addressing a particular situation or improving your mood or pain or anxiety symptoms. We offer the options available, including the benefits and potential risks to each.
Our aim is to empower you, the client, with education about what you are experiencing and offer potential solutions that help you achieve your goals. You are free to disagree with our recommendations at any time and we encourage your active participation in the process. We believe that all individuals are their own best experts and that our role is to act as the consultant, providing specialised knowledge and options to you.
We want you to find the best fit for you. We welcome open discussion about what you are wanting and needing throughout the process and we strive to offer the best possible service available for your situation. If we feel there is another provider more qualified in your specific area of need, then we will make referrals accordingly and assist you in the process of finding what you are needing. Our practise is well-recognized and connected within the larger community of service providers, so our consultation can assist with connecting you to the very best available.
Your absolute confidentiality is of the utmost concern to us and we will protect your privacy completely. We do not release your information to anyone unless we have your prior permission. Your information is protected via locked files and are stored with restricted access. There are a few unique circumstances where confidentiality limits apply, such as in the case of abuse to minors or where safety is an immediate issue. If you have any concerns about privacy, we encourage you to discuss these at any time with us as we want your experience to be completely comfortable.
Liaison with Primary Care / General Practitioners / Your doctor
We believe that the best care is integrated care, so we make every effort to work as a team with your GP or other providers. Through consultation, we believe that we can provide you with well- coordinated and informed care that fits for you. We often set up initial consultation and then conduct periodic reviews with your other providers. We often will make recommendations for you to consider to see other practitioners that may help and we will endeavour to maintain good communications with them about your progress and care plan.
Payment of Fees
We require payment at the time of service and can arrange for you to pay either by EFTPOS or cash or check. For the most part, our clients pay for their own services. Some are able to apply for reimbursement of a portion of their fee from their individual insurance carrier. We make certain exceptions for unusual circumstances where a sliding fee scale may apply. Please feel free to discuss your unique situation or ask questions.
We have a 24 hour cancellation policy and we charge the full fee for missed appointments that are not cancelled with at least 24 hour notice. Monday appointments must be cancelled by the same time on the prior Friday, and the same applies for 24 hour (business hours) notice during holidays or holiday periods.