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.
Traditionally clinical psychology has been about alleviating emotional distress and learning to cope with clinical disorders, for example depression, anxiety, trauma, substance abuse etc. In the last few years, there has been an acknowledgement by psychologists and others that happiness is not just the absence of disorder, it is about finding out about what makes us healthy, fulfilled and focussed on well-being. Positive psychology provides a scientific framework for the study of human potential and happiness.
Most of us do not think that we have to experience a heart attack before we can see a doctor; it is OK to go if we merely have a sprained ankle. The same applies to therapy – you don’t have to have the emotional equivalent of a heart attack to see a psychologist. By working with a psychologist you can often get back on track much faster and save yourself a lot of unnecessary distress.
Although therapy can be beneficial for people who do have serious emotional problems, it is also helpful for people with everyday concerns such as adjustment or phase of life issues. Moving on from therapy, ongoing skill development and self actualizing, ie being the best you can be, involves a graduation into life coaching.
Many patients notice a decrease in their symptoms within three to four weeks of therapy if they have been diligently attending sessions and applying the treatment techniques discussed in therapy between sessions on a daily basis. We will do our best to assist patients on the road to recovery.
Once we agree on a therapy management plan, its also important that patients continue to prepare for subsequent sessions by evaluating and applying techniques learnt along the way to everyday life. This will be very helpful and can yield lasting results.
Yes. We have psychologists who specialise in working with children, adolescents and families.
The process of talking aloud, answering questions, exploring issues, describing experience and clarifying thoughts with a trained professional helps to clarify one’s thinking and feelings and increase one’s self-awareness. Your treating psychologist can help provide a different perspective, increase awareness of the sometimes unhelpful thinking and behavioural patterns that cause ‘being stuck’. When we hear ourselves say what we want aloud itcan also help motivate us to act.Psychologists are trained to ask the right questions that enable you to find the right answers.
Psychological therapy is a two way process which centres on moving towards specific goals. The first session is about understanding your current difficulties and agreeing on therapy goals with your therapist. It can be helpful to think about your expectations from therapy and raise any concerns that you have with your treating professional.
Research shows that therapy works best when you attend regularly and give some thought to what you want to discuss during each session. The type of therapy offered by Alegna Solutions asks you to practice skills and strategies between sessions. People who do this generally get the most out of therapy.
CBT is changing the way you feel by changing the way you think. It is a type of therapy that was pioneered by Aaron T. Beck and has been shown to be a very effective treatment for many types of problems. For more see www.beckinstitute.org.
There is a lot of research published about the effectiveness of CBT for many psychological issues, in particular depression and anxiety.
Before your therapy session begins, we may ask for you to fill out certain forms to assess your personal situation. We endeavour to firstly understand your personal circumstances, difficulties and challenges prior to working out a therapy treatment plan.
The treating psychologist will do their best to cultivate a safe, relaxed and confidential environment when working with you. We advocate evidence based principles within our consultations and like to treat all clients with compassion and respect in order to yield effective and positive change.
There is really no “typical” therapy session as there are different methods of treatment for different problems. The links below to the APS website will give you an idea of what may be involved in the therapy based on the problem being treated.
• ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) in children
• Bipolar Disorder (formerly manic depression)
• Eating disorders
• Lifestyle effects on health
• Preventing suicide
• Relationship problems
• Traumatic events
Psychologists are bound by the Psychologists Code of Ethics. This can be found here www.aps.org.au. With regard to confidentiality at Alegna Solutions, discussions are confidential with the important exception that if you are at risk of harm from yourself or to someone else we may need to break confidentiality. The third limitation on confidentiality is in relation to court orders. Should any of these situations be relevant to you, your psychologist will discuss them with you.
A variety of psychological reports can be provided by your treating psychologist. ‘As’ and‘When’ required an Alegna Solutions psychologist can write a psychological report according to your particular needs and situation. They may be needed in a range of situations such as the workplaces,government departments, career assessment any legal actionincluding Work Cover.
Psychological reports are charged additionally to psychological consultations. The costs involved are discussed with you before the report is written and they require full payment prior to release.
Yes. Alegna Solutions operates extended working hours– Our opening hours are Monday and Friday from 7am to 9pm. We are closed 1.00 – 2.00pm every day for lunch.
Once you have increased your knowledge about the issues and problems relevant to you, and increased your skill base you can use these tools for the rest of your life.
Psychological tools are versatile and can be used forever, in many life situations.For example your new skills may include improved ability with emotional regulation, communication, decision making and problem solving. There are many uses for your newly learned skills in all settings such as in your social, occupational and personal life.
We offer very reasonable rates for all our counseling, coaching, group and workshops. Concessions apply for health care card holders, students and pensioners. For further details on pricing, please see our schedule of fees.
From November 2006 the Australian Federal Government made provision for every Australian citizen to access rebates for private psychological consultations.
In order to use the Medicare rebate system you need to be referred by a GP, your medical doctor. This is essential as the GP (not the psychologist) has the responsibility for linking you up with the Medicare system. Your GP will complete a Mental Health Care Plan allowing this to happen. They will either send this completed Mental Health Care Plan to the identified psychologist or you will be given the plan to bring with you on your first initial consultation.
Per calendar year, an individual is allowed maximum of 10 individual psychological consultations. There is also provision for a maximum of 10 group psychological consultations within one calendar year. This is in addition to the individual sessions.
This rebate system also applies to other health care items under Medicare so if you have received a rebate for any other allied health care issue it is important to check with Medicare to see what your eligibility for rebates is at any point in time.
For further information you can visit the Medicare website: www.medicareaustralia.gov.au.
Yes. Many private health insurers allow for some refund for psychology services; however no two are the same. We advise you to check with your specific provider to see what your policy allows.
Please note that you cannot use your private health insurance in conjunction with claiming a Medicare rebate. However you may use your ten (10) allocated Medicare rebates firstly and then access your private health insurance. Australian Government regulations do not allow the use of both programs at the same time.
This is different for everyone. It is very difficult to prescribe the exact number of sessions that someone may require when they need to see a psychologist.
The psychologists at Alegna Solutions are committed to providing the type of intervention which best suits the needs of the individual. Some people come for one session to talk through something on their mind, while others continue to see a psychologist for a number of years. And of course most people fit somewhere in between.
For the most common problems (i.e. depression and anxiety) it is usual for most people to attend anywherebetween 6 and 20 sessions.
In addition to providing services in the English language, our principal psychologist can speak Italian fluently and has extensive experience working with individuals from different cultures, thus she is available to provide counseling services in Italian. You can access this service by telephone, Skype on attendance at our practice. Alegna Solutions psychologists are all available to provide services using interpreters for any individual’s experiences difficulties with language including non-English speaking persons to the individuals with hearing impairments.
From time to time Alegna Solutions runs group sessions to help individuals in different and diverse settings.
More importantly, Alegna Solutions runs get-away workshops and seminars which are an amazing group experience.
Check out our website and Facebook page upon a regular basis to keep up to date with opportunities for you to attend your own amazing group experience.
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