Psychology is the scientific study of behaviour. This involves both overt behaviour (the things you actually do) and covert behaviour (the things you think and feel). Psychologists generally employ a model which tries to take into account and understand all aspects of a person’s life (i.e. the biological, social, contextual and psychological aspects) in order to help them achieve desired change. Psychological therapies are used widely in many different types of settings. Psychologists are trained to work with people individually, in couples, in group settings, with children and families and with organisations. Psychologists cannot prescribe medication. Their treatments are based on changing behaviour without medication. Your treating psychologist at Alegna Solutions will assist youdevelop the skills to cope better and overcome difficulties you are experiencing in your life. They can also assist developing your potential further in other areas of life, such as career and relationships.
The Australian Psychological Society (APS) is the largest professional association for psychologists in Australia. The APS is committed to advancing psychology as a discipline and profession. It spreads the message that psychologists make a difference to people’s lives, through improving scientific knowledge and community wellbeing. It also provides resources, support, training and information to member psychologists.
Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialise in the treatment of mental illnesses, particularly those such as Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder. Psychiatrists usually prescribe medication such as anti-depressants or anti-psychotics as part of their treatment. Psychologists are not medical doctors and cannot prescribe medication. Psychologists have usually trained for 6-8 years and can have a masters or doctorate in psychology with an arts or science background. They have special training in conducting assessments using psychometric instruments, and in providing treatments. Psychological treatment typically involves ‘talking therapies’ designed to help people with emotional and behavioural difficulties, stress and work-related problems, life transitions and also people who have a been diagnosed with a mental illness. Depending upon what the issue is, some people will see both a psychologist and psychiatrist at the same time.
Psychologists have completed extensive formal training (6-8 years) in psychology and have been trained to use scientific measures in their work. This means that they are often focussed on outcomes and using the most effective techniques for change available. Psychotherapists and counsellors have generally trained from 1-3 years and have a variety of backgrounds.
Consultations with an individual psychologist usually last for 50 (fifty) minutes. Work with a psychologist usually involves a period of assessment followed by a period of treatment. The length of time taken to complete the ‘therapy process’ is different depending upon the type of problem. This will be discussed with you, generally in the first session. In the initial assessment phase your treating psychologist searchesto gain a thorough understanding of the problem from your point of view. This may involve filling out questionnaires or monitoring forms. The treatment phase involves helping you to do things differently in order to help you feel better. All aspects of the process are collaborative, meaning that you participate and make active decisions about what goals you would like to achieve how you would like to participate.