These are some of the questions that people often ask before making an appointment. If you have any questions that aren’t covered here feel free to contact me by phone or email.

WHAT IS A COUNSELLING PSYCHOLOGIST?

Counselling psychologists are specialists in the provision of counselling and psychotherapy. Click here for more detail.

WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A COUNSELLING PSYCHOLOGIST & A CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST?

These two fields of psychological speciality are in many ways similar - and there is a good deal of overlap between them. The University of Queensland, School of Psychology provides a good explanation as follows:

"Counselling Psychologists

  • Specialise in the provision of psychological therapy.
  • Provide psychological assessment and psychotherapy for individuals, couples, families and groups.
  • Use a variety of evidence-based therapeutic strategies and have particular expertise in tailoring these to meet the specific and varying needs of clients.
  • Pay particular attention to the meanings, beliefs, contexts and processes that affect psychological health, allowing them to create collaborative, therapist-client relationships where the focus is on building psychological strengths and wellbeing as well as resolution of difficulties and disorders.
  • Teach clients to think in new ways, manage difficult emotional experiences more effectively, and practise different ways of behaving.
  • Work in private practice, government and non-government organisations, hospitals and educational institutions.

Clinical Psychologists

  • Specialise in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of psychological problems and mental illness.
  • Are located in private practice, hospitals, universities, general medical practices, community health centres and mental health services.
  • Work with infants, children, adolescents, adults and older adults
  • Are involved in designing and implementing a wide range of prevention and mental health promotion programs."

For a more detailed article on counselling psychology and clinical psychology see this excellent article by psychologist, Ben Mullings

WHY DO PEOPLE GO TO A PSYCHOLOGIST?

People seek counsellng for many different reasons. Therapy provides a confidential, non-judgemental place in which they can safely explore their concerns.

The list below indicates some of the concerns that bring people to counselling:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Panic attacks
  • Sleep difficulties 
  • Alcohol and other substance misuse
  • Abuse, past or current
  • Family and relationships
  • Loss, bereavement and grief
  • Fears, phobias and obsessions
  • Self esteem
  • Assertiveness
  • Suicidal feelings
  • Sexual problems
  • Stress and/or work-related difficulties
  • Post-traumatic stress 
  • Eating/weight problems
  • Addictions, including internet porn addiction

CAN I COME TO COUNSELLING IF I DON'T HAVE AN IDENTIFIED PROBLEM?

Many people feel confused about why and what they are feeling.  Simply being listened to, putting things into words or letting off steam in a safe, impartial environment is often very helpful.  

AM I NORMAL TO WANT COUNSELLING?

Yes. Normal people come to and benefit from counselling. For some its just to find a neutral, supportive space to voice what they’re experiencing, for others its to work through significant concerns they’ve been struggling with for a long time.

WHAT ABOUT CONFIDENTIALITY?

All personal information gathered during the counselling will remain confidential and secure except when:

  1. It is subpoenaed by a court, or
  2. Failure to disclose the information would place you or another person at risk of harm; or
  3. Your prior written approval has been obtained to provide a written report to another professional or agency. eg. a GP or a lawyer; or discuss the material with another person. eg. a parent or employer.

I WORK FULL-TIME. WHEN CAN I SEE YOU?

I am available for some after-hours appointments and some Saturday morning appointments by negotiation.

HOW LONG DOES EACH COUNSELLING SESSION LAST?

Sessions last approximately 50 minutes although the first one usually goes a bit longer.

HOW LONG DOES THE COUNSELLING GO ON FOR & HOW OFTEN WOULD I ATTEND?

That depends on your needs and circumstances. Some people come for only one or two counselling sessions while others come for months or even years.  The average is about 6 – 10 sessions.  Some people come weekly and others fortnightly or monthly. In addition, its not unusual for people to return to counselling after a long break when some consolidation of the work may be helpful, or where compounding factors have arisen which would benefit from attention.