7 Tips for your First Appointment
So, you have booked an appointment with a Psychologist. Perhaps you are feeling relief, perhaps motivated, or perhaps you feel a little apprehensive about what is involved. We know our clients experience a wide mix of feelings, particularly when they may not have seen a psychologist before, and they can be unsure about what to expect.
At Mindworx Psychology you can expect to find comfortable, spacious, bright, modern and friendly consulting rooms. You can expect a warm welcome, and a friendly face in reception, with the latest magazines to browse, and a cafe downstairs if you want to pick up a coffee.
And once you meet our Psychologists… what then? What happens in a Psychology appointment? As therapists, we think the most important thing that can happen in the first session is the opportunity to get to know you, and for you to get comfortable and confident with us.
We know that all Psychologists are different, and that finding the right Psychologist is an important part of therapy in itself. At Mindworx Psychology, the Psychologists on our team are experienced, with families of their own. We’ve lived through our own ups and downs, and between us have a depth of knowledge that we regularly share in client conferences to ensure the best treatment outcomes. A passion for excellence, for treatments that work, and for helping others underpins our work, allowing you to feel confident that you are in the right hands.
Most of all, it’s important to know therapy is a team effort, and not something we will do to you. It’s much more than ‘talking through’ issues. Counselling is a skill that we use, but it’s not what we do. Therapy will typically involve a range of tools and treatments, that we select to target your exact needs. With that in mind, our team of Psychologist have put together some tips for your first appointment.
FIRST APPOINTMENT TIPS
Tip 1. Be prepared. Before you get to the session, know how to describe “what’s wrong,” and find some words to describe your feelings about your problem. One helpful way to prepare is to write down the reasons you’re seeking help. Make a list and then read it out loud. Hearing yourself say it a few times will help you describe things more clearly.
Tip 2. Think about what you want to achieve. The first session is a great opportunity to discuss your goals. Many of our clients feel stuck in the problem and setting goals is important. Take some time to think about what you would like to be able to do. This will help you get the maximum benefit from therapy.
Tip 3. Allow extra time for the first session. A standard Psychology session is around 50 minutes, but at Mindworx Psychology, our first sessions are generally anywhere from 50 to 90 minutes depending on the complexity of the problem. There will be some paperwork and questionnaires to fill out, and we want you to feel relaxed, not rushed. Come a few minutes early, take some time to unwind with us.
Tip 4. Think about childcare. If you are bringing a child with you, do you need some time to speak privately? Is your child able to wait, and is your child comfortable waiting independently in our reception area? When children are involved we often suggest bringing another carer to help, or to book a first ‘parent only’ session to allow you to talk freely about any fears and concerns regarding your child. A parent session is our opportunity to focus on obtaining a full history, gather an understanding of the problem across different environments, and discuss the parent’s goals with regards treatment
Tip 5. Please ask questions, and make notes. The more you understand about different types of therapy, the more comfortable you’ll be. Therapy is confidential, but it’s not mysterious, and we’ll be working together to help you find solutions for your problems.Don’t be afraid to ask questions about therapy, or tell us about things you have tried in the past that haven’t worked. You are the expert on you!
Tip 6. Remember that we are on your team. Even if you can’t find words for what is wrong, and even if you don’t know what’s causing the problem, we will be able to help you. This is our specialist area. Our role encompasses both assessment and treatment, and our team are skilled at both. Following your assessment session we will probably have an idea of how many sessions you will require. Some clients require only a few sessions to feel better or learn strategies and skills to overcome the problems they are seeking help for. Others come for many sessions. There is no right or wrong, only what is most helpful for you.
Tip 7. Bring any paperwork you need or want us to see. Are you planning to claim a Medicare or Private Health Fund rebate? Have you been referred by an insurer? You can read general information on referrals and rebates here. We are happy to receive scanned copies of previous assessments, school reports etc. These can be sent through to our reception team, their contact details are found on your confirmation email.
Questions? Don’t hesitate to call us on 83553634. We look forward to meeting you soon.