Individuals who attend therapy at Psi Balance are either referred by their General Practitioner (GP), or attend on a private basis.
Clients may approach their GP for a referral, who will create a mental health care plan. The GP works in collaboration with your psychologist by managing the medical aspects of mental health and reviewing progress. Under current Medicare allowances, clients with a Mental Health Treatment Plan (MHTP) can access 10 sessions with a psychologist in a calendar year (1st January to 31st December). The GP will assess progress after the first six sessions and allow another four sessions if further therapy is required.
For more information on medicare allowances for psychology sessions, click on the link below.
During the first session with a psychologist, you will be invited to discuss your concerns and the problems you are experiencing. Your psychologist will be interested in gathering information about the problem itself, when it started and the degree to which it affects your day-to-day life. The psychologist will have a range of questions and will be happy to answer your questions too. The psychologist will be interested in your goals for therapy. A treatment plan will be discussed usually in the second or third session. The following sessions will focus on implementing the treatment to the satisfaction of the goals.
Psi Psychologists work with children aged six years and over, as well as adolescents. The process of assessment, diagnosis and treatment for young people is similar to that of adults depending on the age of the child, a parent or guardian is usually present for at least one of the first sessions, as well as one session on their own. This is so that the psychologist can gain an understanding of their concerns and take a clinical history from their perspective. Following this, session structure is dependant on the individual child/adolescents needs and can range from individual therapies (e.g. art/play therapy) to combined child/parent sessions for assistance with skills and strategy development.
Your therapist will likely utilise cognitive and behavioural therapy (CBT) principles in your treatment plan. CBT is a widely-used therapy that has a very strong evidence base for a range of disorders across the lifespan. In general terms, CBT looks at patterns of thoughts and behaviours with the aim of improving mood. The basic principle is that how we think and what we do affects how we feel. A typical CBT focus for therapy may involve first identifying unhelpful beliefs or behaviors, then challenging them and re-enforcement of more helpful and adaptive ones.
For more information on CBT, click on the link below.
Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a therapeutic technique that uses eye movements to process painful memories.The aim of EMDR is to reduce the distress associated with painful memories. Therapy with EMDR involves the recreation of eye movements, similar to those during rapid eye-movement (REM) sleep.
Your therapist will ask you to bring to mind an image associated with a traumatic memory, then they will move their finger to and fro across your visual field. This will continue for a short while before your therapist will stop and ask you to comment on your experiences during the set of eye movements. It is likely you will notice some changes in the image you started with, thoughts about it and sensations in your body.
Following several sets of eye movements, the painful memory becomes more neutral and loses its intensity. Generally at the end of EMDR therapy sessions, clients report an improvement in their mood and the removal of unpleasant thoughts, feelings and body sensations when they recall a traumatic event. EMDR also has a cognitive component, so that the beliefs you have about yourself become more adaptive.
The 2012 World Health Organisation Practice guidelines recommend EMDR as a frontline treatment for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, but it has also been successfully used to treat other types of anxiety, depression, stress, phobia, sleep problems, addiction problems, complex grief and pain. A good deal of research has established that EMDR is an effective, reliable and valid treatment.
For more information on EMDR, click on the link below.
For more information on Family Therapy, click on the link below.