Frequently Asked Questions
There are no set ‘rules’ for how often you would see your psychologist. The number and frequency of visits to your psychologist will depend on your circumstances.
Some issues may only require 2 or 3 sessions – for example, you may have a particular issue that you want help in resolving and find that you only need one or two sessions to come to a resolution.
At Baypsych our aim is to equip you with the knowledge and skills required to understand and manage your issues independently without the need for long term intervention. How long this takes depends on the issues you are bringing to treatment, and what benefit you feel you are gaining from the sessions.
Typically most clients attend weekly or fortnightly for the first few sessions. This enables you and your psychologist to get an understanding of your situation and implement some strategies for you to work on. As you make progress, sessions will often reduce to monthly intervals for a period of time, and then intermittent follow up sessions (if required) as you feel you need them. Once you have an understanding of your presenting problem, and have developed skills and strategies, you will know how often you would like to attend.
Sometimes clients find that they get ongoing benefits from the sessions, and they might attend for a longer period. It is not uncommon for clients to find they want to come to treatment for extended periods of time, finding support and containment in their treatment sessions. Generally speaking, people continue to attend treatment whilst they feel they are gaining benefit from it. There is no minimum or maximum number of sessions required, and you are free to book from session to session
In the first session, your psychologist will undertake a thorough assessment of your situation. You will be asked about past experiences and treatment to better understand the nature of the difficulties for which treatment is being sought. You will be given an opportunity to tell your psychologist anything you think is relevant to your issue.
In the first session we will explain the basis of psychological therapy and how it works, and discuss what you can expect from therapy. We will also give you an idea of how long we think you will need to see us for treatment – the number of sessions varies with the type of difficulties being treated. You will also be given plenty of opportunity to ask questions, and clarify any concerns you may have about attending treatment.
By the end of the first or second session we will have developed a treatment plan with you that will include your treatment goals, and how we will monitor your treatment progress.
In subsequent sessions we will review what has happened since your last session. We will go over the aims of each session, we will monitor and inform you of how we think you are progressing, and we will spend time revising and/or building on the skills and strategies we are working on with you.
Between sessions, regardless of the issue you are working on, expect homework! Working on tasks in between sessions is a fundamental aspect of our approaches. It helps to bring the work you do in sessions into your day to day life, as well as consolidate the knowledge and skills you are going to develop around your issue, and ultimately, the more you work on in between sessions, the quicker progress will be.
Psychologists have an excellent understanding of human behaviour. They have studied the brain, memory, learning, human development and the processes determining how people think, feel, behave and react. Psychologists apply their expertise using reliable and scientifically supported methods. Psychological therapies are widely used to treat individuals and families and can also be applied to groups and organisations. Psychologists assist people with everyday problems such as stress and relationship difficulties, and some specialise in treating people with a mental illness. They help people to develop the skills needed to function better and to prevent ongoing problems.
Psychology is the scientific study of people’s behaviour and their mental processes. This involves both overt behaviour (the things you actually do) and covert behaviour (the things you think and feel). Psychologists aim to help people develop better skills to cope with and overcome difficulties that they are experiencing in their life. They can also help people to further develop their potential in areas such as careers and relationships.
You do not need a referral to make an appointment at Baypsych. You have the option of receiving psychological treatment as a private client. Alternatively you can be referred by a General Practitioner in which case you will be entitled to Medicare rebates for your treatment.
If you would like to get a referral so you can claim Medicare rebates for your treatment, make an appointment with your GP to discuss the issues or problem you have been dealing with and let them know you would like to see a psychologist for help with your situation.
Your GP will make an assessment of your situation and will then raise a Mental Health Care Plan. Bring a copy of your referral letter and/or mental health care plan with you to your first appointment so you can receive the rebate after your first session. Please note that you can choose the psychologist that you want to treat you, and it is acceptable to advise your GP if you have a preferred Psychologist to provide your treatment.
If you are experiencing financial hardship and have a health care card, your GP may, at his or her discretion refer you to a psychologist under the ATAPs program, which will not incur a fee for you.
At Baypsych we also see DVA clients, WorkCover clients, and many clients that are referred by a variety of agencies and organisations.
The information discussed in your treatment sessions is entirely confidential and will not be released to anyone except with your express permission.
The only time a psychologist may release information to authorities is if they feel your life or someone else’s life is in immediate danger, if they are mandated to report the abuse of a child under 16yrs, or the records fall under legal subpoena from a court of law. At Baypsych we appreciate that you put a lot of trust in our psychologists in disclosing at times sensitive and personal information, which is why we will treat this information with utmost confidence and respect.
Everyday, people of all ages, backgrounds and cultures seek counselling for many different reasons. Psychological counselling may be useful if you:
- Often feel sad of depressed
- Often feel stressed or anxious
- Lack self-confidence or assertiveness
- Feel suicidal or have thoughts of harming yourself
- Are finding it difficult to make a decision
- Would like to improve your relationship with your partner
- Are struggling to balance work and family commitments
- Are worried about the health or well-being of someone close to you
- Feel as though you are not coping with life in general
Or if you are not really sure how you feel, and would like to understand your feelings more, you may want to complete our free assessment on our home page and we can arrange a free, 15 minute, no obligation meeting with one of our Baypsych psychologists who will discuss the outcome of this assessment with you and discuss a way forward.
While therapy can be beneficial to people with serious mental health concerns, the majority of people who see a psychologist are people finding it difficult to cope with everyday concerns such as changes in their relationships or circumstances. If you are getting psychological treatment, it just means that you are getting professional advice and assistance with managing a problem or situation that you are finding difficult to resolve yourself. Psychological treatment provides you with independent, objective advice and assistance from a person who is trained to understand your situation and help you develop skills and strategies to overcome the problem you are dealing with.
Psychology is aimed at helping to develop skills to overcome life’s difficulties and create a more positive outlook.
Positive psychology is an extension of this – focusing not only on clinical disorders, but also finding out what makes us healthy and fulfilled. Positive psychology provides a scientific framework for the study of human potential and happiness.