Appointments and Sessions
Seeing a psychologist for the first time can be a very daunting process. For most people the thought of discussing your difficulties and inner thoughts with someone you don’t know often brings up a degree of nervousness and fear. Whether it is you or your child seeing a Psychologist, these feelings are perfectly natural. Be reassured that during your subsequent sessions these feelings will dissipate and you will feel more comfortable as you and/or your child progress through sessions.
Preparing for your initial appointment
So, you have taken the first step in seeking treatment for your difficulties and have made an appointment to see me. Fantastic! Let’s prepare you for your first appointment. I find it is often helpful prior to the initial appointment for you to write a few notes about your current difficulties as it easy to get confused or forget important information when seeing a psychologist for the first time. Your notes may include:
- How have I been feeling lately?
- When did my difficulties start?
- Am I experiencing nervousness, depression or other emotions that are troubling?
- Can I name what I am feeling?
- What have I done to try to feel better?
- What has made you feel better in the past?
- What difficulties has my child been experiencing?
- Where is my child developmentally?
In order to gather a good understanding of your difficulties, it is advised to bring copies of any documents you think might be helpful. These may include previous psychological testing, summary reports, referral letter, hospital discharge summaries, or recent laboratory results. If you are bringing your child in for therapy, please bring copies of recent school progress reports and psychological testing results.
What you can expect in the initial appointment?
The initial appointment usually comprises of three stages. In the first stage of your appointment, I discuss my ethical obligations as a Psychologist providing services to you. These include; informed consent, confidentiality and circumstances where confidentiality may be broken, my duty of care, and my policies about attendance and cancellation.
In the second stage, I will ask you to share with me what it is that has bought you to see me today. Although at first you may feel like apprehensive about discussing your inner thoughts and feelings, as our rapport establishes you will be amazed at how easily you can do this.
In the third stage, I will discuss a plan for treatment with you that will outline the amount of sessions required, homework tasks and both our obligations during counselling or therapy. Lastly, if you feel that I am the right therapist for you or your child we will make another appointment.
What is appointment availability and how many will I need?
Nurturing Minds and Minds offers appointments from Monday to Saturday from 9 – 6pm. Session duration are 50 minutes and depending on your presenting difficulties the number of appointments needed varies. For some people three to six appointments is enough for them to gain understanding of their problems, but for others with more complex difficulties more may be required.