The first appointment is an initial assessment. It is an opportunity for us to begin to put together a picture of how things are for you, why and what you would like to be different.
We will ask you questions about when the problem started, how it fluctuates, things you may have tried before to deal with it, the effect it has on your life and work, and what thoughts and feelings you have about it.
We will discuss our understanding of your problem and aim to give you our recommendations on treatment options at the end of the appointment. We may give you some problem specific questionnaires to complete for the next appointment.
If we agree that therapy would be helpful, then we will arrange further dates and times for you to attend a number of appointments. We offer flexible times and modes of treatment sessions but typically we meet weekly or fortnightly.
Formulation is a core skill that distinguishes psychologists from other health professionals and is absolutely essential when deciding what treatment is going to be most effective for an individual. In short, it is an explanation about how a person's problem has developed and is maintained.
Formulations identify the cycles that maintain the symptoms people experience and each cycle will help you identify where change is possible. Your formulation should be about making sense of the information we have gathered in the assessment. It draws out an individualised understanding of someone's difficulties and therefore creates a personalised treatment plan which may draw on many psychological models.
Our formulations are shared with the individuals we treat to help them see their difficulties in a different way and understand the treatment plan; they are often a helpful intervention in their own right.
Psychological treatments help you to understand why you feel, think and act in ways which might be unhelpful to you and work towards changing these.
There are many types of psychological treatment which are proven to be effective. Depending on the nature of the problem, these may be provided individually, as a couple, as part of a group, or as a whole family. Some common psychological treatment approaches are:
It is sometimes most effective to combine psychological intervention with medication. We work closely with our psychiatric colleagues and so when needed are able to personally recommend psychiatrists with whom we have an established professional relationship with.
Psychological treatments vary in the length of time they take to be effective and the benefits of psychological treatments tend to happen at a different rate for different individuals. Sessions typically last 50 minutes and we regularly review your progress to make sure the treatment is the right one for you.