A psychologist can provide effective treatments for a range of problems, issues and difficulties. These include depression, anxiety, panic, stress, grief and loss, sleep, relationship problems, behavioural issues with children and adolescents, parenting and much more. Seeing a psychologist means you are eligible for the Medicare rebate, when you have a referral and Mental Health Care Plan from you GP.
All psychologists need to be registered with the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency and the Psychology Board of Australia. This means that they have strict ethical and legal guidelines and their conduct and performance is regulated.
Caroline has been trained in and uses Cognitive Behavioural Therapy as her main therapeutic approach but also incorporates other therapies such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Psychodynamic approaches, Narrative Therapy and Solution Focused Therapy. Evidence-based practice is a central issue in the delivery of health care and psychologists need to utilise best practice interventions to maximise the chance of benefit and minimise the risk of harm.
Cognitive behaviour therapy works looks at how our cognitions (thoughts) influence feelings and behaviours and it helps individuals identify unhelpful thoughts, emotions and behaviours. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy proposes that behaviour is learned and can therefore be unlearned and uses strategies to change behaviours such as exposure, activity scheduling, relaxation, and behaviour modification. Furthermore, when we experience distressing emotions and maladaptive behaviours we can be trained to reduce and replace such dysfunctional thoughts with more helpful cognitions. Skills training (e.g., stress management, social skills training, and anger management),is another important component of CBT.
ACT is also an evidence based treatment which helps individuals increase their acceptance of the full range of our experiences, including distressing thoughts, beliefs, sensations, and feelings, in an effort to promote desired behaviour change that will lead to improved quality of life. It is a mindfulness – based behavioural therapy that utilizes a mix of metaphor, paradox and mindfulness skills, along with a wide range of experiential exercises and values-guided behavioural interventions. ACT has proven effective with a diverse range of clinical conditions.
In conducting an assessment, Caroline talks to her clients about their presenting issues, what they would like assistance with, diagnostic issues, medication advice and treatment planning in their work together. However, she always feels the most important aspect of sessions psychologist regardless of their therapeutic orientation is the connection and how supported you feel as the client. Caroline often sees clients who have seen other therapists in the past, but didn’t feel a ‘connection’. There is nothing wrong with this and it’s not necessarily anyone’s fault. That’s why Caroline is so passionate about making sure clients find someone they feel supported by, listened to on a deep level, comfortable with, accepted by, and an authentic human connection.
If you would like to know more about the difference between a psychologist, psychiatrist, counsellor…ect click here Australian Psychological Society : FAQs