Frequently Asked QuestionsQuestions about Therapy at BayWellbeing
I’ve never seen a therapist or psychologist before – what do I need to know?
Many of our clients tell us that just picking up the phone is a major decision! You may feel a bit nervous about counselling, but we are fully committed to making your experience as easy and stress-free as possible. When you call BayWellbeing, you’ll speak with a member of our dedicated intake team. Your intake consultant will spend some time with you to:
- Discuss your counselling needs
- Answer any questions you may have
- Schedule an appointment with a counsellor or psychologist who is experienced working with the issues you’re seeking support for at a time convenient to you
What happens in the first session?
You will be welcomed to the practice and will be asked to complete some paperwork including a form with personal details and a brief questionnaire on how you’ve been feeling lately (called a K10+ or DASS21). Your therapist will then take you into the consulting room and allow you a moment to settle in.
We always aim to start right on time out of respect for your time, the therapist’s time and the next person. Sessions run for 50 minutes so that there is time at the end for the therapist to take important and legally required notes as well as be prepared for upcoming sessions. If you have booked a couple or family session you may have been allocated an 80 minute timeslot, the receptionist or intake officer would have clarified this with you on booking, however if you are unsure, feel free to ask. Child abilities assessment sessions are usually also pre-booked for a longer time.
Your therapist will ask you what issues have brought you into therapy. They will allow time to develop a thorough understanding of those concerns, and will then explore relevant background history, for example, information about your family, social relationships, work history and any past counselling that you have done. Based on this information they will begin to help you to understand more about what might be triggering and maintaining your current issues. If time allows we will also work with you to develop a collaborative and flexible plan for future therapy sessions, although this sometimes happens in the follow up session.
Is everything I tell the therapist confidential?
Information disclosed in your sessions is confidential with three exceptions below:
- If you are at risk of harm to yourself or someone else
- If we learn about harm to a child or an older person.
- The third exception is in relation to court orders.
If any of these situations become relevant your therapist will discuss with you what needs to happen.
Do you do one-off assessments or court reports?
We provide child abilities assessments as a one-off assessment and report (with feedback session). Apart from this we do not see clients solely for the purposes of assessment and we also do not do court reports.
General questions about Psychology
What is Psychology ?
Psychology involves understanding the mind, specifically through the study and evaluation of emotions, thoughts, feelings, and resulting behaviors. Psychologists observe, assess, and experiment developing opinion as to what beliefs might be influencing an individual’s behaviour.
What is a Psychologist?
In Australia, Psychologists have a minimum of four years university training (Bachelor’s Degree) and two years supervised experience. To practice in Australia and use the title psychologist they must be registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulatory Agency.
Psychologists are concerned with the different aspects of behaviour and mental processes and provide assessment, treatment, counselling and psychotherapy as well as teaching skills to improve emotional and mental health.
What is the difference between a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist?
Psychologists have a minimum four year university degree and training in various settings such as hospital, drug and alcohol clinics, community health settings, schools or private counselling organisations among many others. They primarily treat clients using counselling, talk therapy and teaching skills for managing emotional difficulties. Psychologists do not have the right to prescribe medications in Australia.
Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialise in the area of mental illness. They assess, diagnose and treat mental disorders which tend to be on the more severe end of the scale such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and severe chronic depression and post-traumatic stress disorder among many other conditions. They have the right to prescribe medications and this often forms the primary method of treatment. They may also be trained in and utilise psychotherapy.
Psychologists and Psychiatrists may collaborate, with the psychiatrist providing the medication and medical intervention and the psychologist assisting with skills and support.