You might have been referred to a Psychologist or maybe considering seeing one on your own steam. Whatever the reason, it is helpful to know a little about how Psychologists work. Many people can feel nervous about seeing a Psychologist, especially talking to them about personal things which they may not have spoken about before. On the other hand, many of our clients tell us that its easier than they expected because they don’t know us, because we are independent and we don’t judge. We don’t use couches and we almost never “Shrink” anyone.
Your first appointment with a Psychologist will take between 1-2 hours depending on the type of assessment. During this time your Psychologist will talk to you about confidentiality, the keeping of records and the writing of any letters or reports that may be required. The Psychologist may ask you to complete pen and paper questionnaires which helps us understand how you have been feeling over recent weeks or months. The results will be carefully explained to you. You will be invited to talk about any difficulties you have been experiencing and what you would like assistance with. The Psychologist is going to ask questions to help them understand why you are having difficulties. The more information you can provide and the more honest you are in your answers the more likely the outcome is going to be better.
The Psychologist will attempt to put your problems into a formulation that captures what factors are working together to cause your difficulties. By doing this it then allows for a plan to be developed with you to make changes that will lead to a better outcome. At Talkingpoint we attempt to avoid “Diagnosis” as this is often unhelpful and we see little point in labelling people.
When you and the Psychologist have a good understanding of what is causing the difficulties and how you are going to work on them, the Psychologist will talk to you about ways of monitoring the therapy to ensure that things are helping. We work hard to ensure that clients get what they are seeking as soon as possible.
You are welcome to bring a friend or relative along to the assessment. Please also bring a list of any medications or relevant documents which would be helpful.
If you decide to see the Psychologist again, sessions usually last about 50 minutes.