What is a Psychologist?
Psychologists study the way people think, act and interact. Through a range of strategies and therapies they aim to reduce distress and to promote emotional wellbeing. Psychologists are experts in human behaviour, and have studied the brain, memory, learning and human development. Psychologists can assist people who are having difficulty controlling their emotions, thinking and behaviour, including those with mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, serious and enduring mental illness, addictive behaviour and childhood behaviour disorders.
All psychologists are legally required to be registered with the national registration board, the Psychology Board of Australia, in the same way medical practitioners must be registered. This means that they must be competent and follow a strict Code of Conduct.
Not all counsellors or therapists are registered psychologists. Seeing someone who is registered ensures you receive high quality ethical treatment.
(taken from the Australian Psychology Society website www.psychology.org.au)
What is psychoanalytic therapy?
Psychoanalytic therapy is a form of psychotherapy that seeks to help people by helping them to understand themselves and their experiences. It is based on the notion that, as well as our conscious ideas and feelings, we are motivated by ideas and feelings of which we are not consciously aware. The client and therapist investigate whether these ideas and feelings may be contributing to the client’s problems. These problems might be physical symptoms, difficulties in work or intimate relationships, or simply problems with how we feel about the world and ourselves.
To understand these unconscious factors, the client and therapist explore the client’s present life experiences, as well as early childhood experiences, where present-day difficulties may have their origins. Together, the client and therapist seek to understand the ways in which the past may be repeating itself in present-day experiences and relationships. Psychoanalytic therapy seeks to provide a deeper, emotional understanding of the client’s current problems, not simply an intellectual one.
(taken from Psychoanalytically-oriented Psychologists Interest Group information on www.psychology.org.au)
What is Self Psychology?
Psychoanalytic Self Psychology was born out of classical analysis and was developed during the 1970’s by Heinz Kohut. As with other derivations of classical psychoanalysis, psychoanalytic self psychology aims to help people through understanding their experience of themselves, their relationships with others and their relationship with the world.
The approach focuses on understanding and connecting with the “self” and exploring the way in which past and present relationships and experiences have sustained and strengthened the individual’s potential, vigour and vitality or failed to do this.
Symptoms are often alleviated as, through the psychotherapeutic process, individuals gain a deeper emotional understanding of, and connection to, their selves.
How long will therapy take?
The length of therapy varies dependant on a number of factors including; the nature of the concerns, how long these have been impacting on your life and the type of therapy with which you are engaging. Generally, psychodynamically-informed psychotherapy takes longer than other forms of therapy (e.g. Cognitive behaviour Therapy) as the aim is to affect change at a deep and structural level, not simply to alleviate immediate symptomatic concerns. For this reason, therapy is often relative to the depth of the issue that is resulting in the present concern.
Therapy should always be entered into with mutual agreement between the therapist and client. Reviewing the progress of therapy and the goals of therapy is an important part of the process and is the right of the client to address should he/she have concerns.
How much will I get back from Medicare Australia?
If you have been assessed as eligible under the Better Access to Mental Health care Initiative, your GP or specialist will have written you a Mental Health Care Plan. This allows you access to up to six psychology sessions (with a further possible four sessions after a medical review).
The rebate you are entitled to through this scheme is dependant on the length of the session.
Please follow the link on this website for more information.