"The first step to receiving an answer, is being brave enough to ask a question" - Kaitlyn Bouchillon

Frequently Asked Questions

What will happen during my assessment appointment and how do I prepare?

What will happen?

During an assessment appointment your psychologist will discuss the purpose of the assessment, what will happen and explain the limits to confidentiality, ensuring that you are fully informed of the purpose and process. Please ensure that all your questions are answered to your satisfaction by your psychologist before signing the consent form.

Once you have provided your consent to continue, you will be asked a range of questions, designed to understand you and your life and the specific circumstances related to the purpose of the assessment. Depending on the specific requirements of your assessment, you may also be required to complete some questionnaires or complete some activities. Allow yourself up to 3 hours for an assessment appointment, however some assessments may take longer and this will be discussed with you when making your appointment.

At the end of the appointment, your psychologist will briefly summarise the information gathered and may be able to provide you with some indication of recommendations that may be made in your report, if appropriate. You will also be provided with a time-frame for the completion of your report. You are welcome to contact your psychologist if you need to discuss any aspect of your report.

What to bring and how to prepare?

During an assessment appointment, you are advised to bring along any relevant medical, psychological/psychiatric or school reports, other related paperwork such as your referral (if not already sent to PsychOrium) and/or court related documentation to your appointment for your psychologist to view. You will also be required to bring along any hearing devices and/or visual aids and a list of your current medications. Try to ensure adequate sleep and rest the night before your assessment, and allow yourself ample time to arrive at the office. Please avoid alcohol and/or drug use and excessive caffeine before your assessment appointment as this can impact on your assessment and may result in the assessment needing to be rescheduled.

I'm pretty nervous as I've never seen a psychologist before; what should I expect in my first session?

It is perfectly normal to feel anxious and nervous about seeing a psychologist for the first time!

During your first appointment you will be required to fill out a form with some basic details, in the waiting room before seeing your psychologist. Your psychologist will then tell you a little bit about themselves and their experience and qualifications before discussing the consent form with you, which will include a discussion about confidentiality, what brings you to therapy as well as what to expect from therapy. Once all your questions have been answered and you have signed the consent form, your psychologist will discuss your needs and goals with you and will start the privileged process of getting to know you.

No two therapeutic processes are the same as each one is unique to the client and psychologist. The therapy process and relationship should be a collaborative one and at all times you should be able to express what you feel you need and provide your psychologist with feedback. Here at PsychOrium, we are strongly driven by client feedback and continually use this to improve our service.

Is what I say to a psychologist confidential?

For the most part, what you say to your psychologist is confidential, although there are some exceptions to this including; if your notes are subpoenaed by the Court; if you are going to harm yourself or another person; and if you are aware of a child who is at risk of harm. If your psychologist is required to breach confidentiality for any of the aforementioned reasons, they will aim to discuss this with you beforehand where possible. During your first appointment, your psychologist will discuss confidentiality with you and answer any questions you may have.

What type of therapy do you offer?

One size does not fit all, especially for therapy! We understand this and use a range of modalities which will be discussed with you and adapted as needed. Our psychologists use a range of modalities including; Schema Therapy; Cognitive Behavioural Therapy; Narrative Therapy; Analytical Therapy; Dialectal Behavioural Therapy amongst other modalities.

Here at PsychOrium we have a primary focus on ensuring that you have a strong therapeutic relationship with your psychologist, as research finds that this is one of the primary factors that leads to therapeutic change, even more so than the modality used. We aim to strengthen our therapeutic relationship with our clients by taking a respectful, collaborative, empathic and compassionate approach, whilst continually asking for feedback to improve our service.

I've had a bad experience in therapy before. What should I look for in a psychologist?

Unfortunately, not everyone has had a positive experience in therapy. There can be a range of reasons why your experience was not pleasant and this can range from not feeling heard or not 'clicking' with your therapist to not feeling that you were working towards your goals. It is important for you to consider the reasons that therapy was not helpful in the past so that this can be discussed with your next psychologist. Being able to identify the factors that contributed to a less than positive experience previously, will allow for you and your psychologist to consider what may work for you in the future. Remember that just because therapy was not helpful for you previously, it does not mean that it will not be helpful for you with another therapist and another approach.

Some things that you may want to consider when deciding whether a psychologist may be right for you include:

  • How they relate to and engage with you

  • How comfortable, accepted and emotionally safe you feel

  • How well informed you feel about the therapeutic process and any limitations (e.g. confidentiality)

  • How receptive they are to your feedback

  • How transparent they are in acknowledging their limitations and areas outside of their competency

  • Do they have the necessary experience or expertise in a specific area you need (e.g. trauma, children, anger)

How long does a session last and how many sessions will I need?

Typically, a therapy session is 50-60 minutes in duration. How many sessions you will need is unique to you, your needs, progress and circumstances and is something you would discuss with your psychologist. Therapy can range from a few sessions over a few months, to several years.