What To Expect From Your Initial Appointment
- A comprehensive assessment. This will include current symptoms, social/academic/vocational functioning, mental health history, drug and alcohol use, family history, current living arrangements, physical health, and your reasons for seeking help.
- Your psychologist will help you to arrive at some treatment goals.
- The therapeutic relationship plays a significant role in clinical outcomes, so working with a psychologist with whom you feel a strong alliance is important.
- Your psychologist may ask you to complete tasks in between sessions, such as practising a certain skill or monitoring thoughts/behaviours. Generally, the more you invest in “working” between sessions the more improvements you will see.
- The duration of therapy will depend on your presentation and your treatment goals. You can discuss what to expect with your psychologist in the initial sessions.
- Session length is 50 minutes.
- Weekly appointments are recommended during the early stages of therapy. Once improvements have been observed sessions can be further spaced out.
- Parents bringing children for therapy will be involved in sessions to some extent. The proportion of time parents are present during sessions will depend on the child’s age and presenting problem. The psychologist will use their clinical judgement to arrive at the best treatment approach for the child, and this will inform the level of parental involvement required.
- Often clients expect that therapy will generate positive emotions. While this is always a long-term treatment goal, it may not happen straight away. Therapy may involve remembering unpleasant events and tolerating difficult emotions in order to move towards a more positive and fulfilling future.