Who can refer to a psychologist?

We consider referrals from everyone. This includes individuals, parents, caregivers, schools, support agencies, employers, lawyers, police, medical practitioners, etc.

What does an assessment involve?

Assessment will vary depending on the problem.

Assessments range from being fairly straightforward to being more complicated. A straightforward assessment may only involve one session with the client to determine what they would like to work on and the development of a short report and treatment plan. Whereas a more complicated assessment might involve the reading of historical documents, interviews with parents, school, observation of the child, behaviour recording by parents, psychometric testing, in-depth report and behaviour modification programme.

The assessment will depend on how complex the behaviour or concerns are.  Following the assessment, we will know how to best help you and can provide quotes for treatment and intervention services.

Why is it necessary to collect information on the behaviour before, during and after psychological help?

Prior to the intervention, it is important to have some information about the behaviour. This includes what it looks like, how often it happens, and how long it lasts for. That way, the psychologist has an idea of the underlying function of the behaviour, and what environmental factors may be contributing to the behaviour.

Collecting information during and after psychological help is important to see how effective the intervention has been.

What does therapy involve?

Therapy means one on one sessions with your psychologist where you talk about your thoughts, feelings and behaviours. This may include things that are making you upset, stopping you from being happy, or preventing you from reaching your goals in life.

Your psychologist will give you take-home tasks like reading, diaries and activities to complete after a therapy session. These will help you to learn to use the skills you are taught during the sessions.

What is a psychological intervention?

A psychological intervention is an action that is done to make something change.  This might be therapy sessions and homework assignments as described in the section above.

Another type of psychological intervention is when your psychologist creates a plan that tells you and your key support people things to do that will help to change your behaviour. These are called behaviour modification programmes, behaviour management programmes, behavioural programmes, etc. Our interventions use the empirically derived techniques of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) to change behaviour.

Before your psychologist writes a plan like this, she will talk to you about it, explain why it is necessary and how much it is likely to cost.

What levels of service are offered?

The level of service needed can range from a ‘watching brief’ through to an in-depth assessment and intervention. For example, parents who are worried about their child may ask for occasional psychology sessions for themselves and their child. The parents may need this at times when they are wanting advice in general or at a time of change (e.g., how to chose the best school to meet the needs of their child).

Sometimes an individual or significant other may be simply worried that a seemingly small problem will get bigger. In these cases, a small assessment may be conducted. Then the psychologist will provide a short report or verbal opinion of recommendations of what to do next.

On the other hand, an individual may have a very problematic behaviour. This may require an in-depth assessment to determine the cause. Following this, a psychological intervention will be developed and implemented to reduce the behaviour.