Therapy can be a great way to improve your mental health and quality of life. But for some people it can feel quite daunting to commence a process of treatment. Depictions of therapy in tv and movies are often quite misleading, even intimidating.
Whilst each individual will have their own motivations, needs and goals for psychological treatment, creating transparency around the common steps in therapy can help you feel more comfortable.
It can take courage to see a psychologist or other mental health professional. Seeking help for your mental health is a significant step towards change. Whilst experiencing a range of thoughts, feelings and behaviours is part of being human, there can be times where certain patterns of psychological functioning might be interfering with your life. These signs include (but are not limited to):
· Finding it hard to stop a behaviour that may be limiting or harming you
You can visit the ‘about us’ page to read about the types of difficulties our clinicians treat.
No two clinicians are the same. Before considering a clinician, consider their training, background and experience. Would you benefit from seeing a clinician with a particular specialisation? Read about Inner North’s clinicians here. All clinicians at Inner North are highly trained and experienced in the area in which they practice. You can learn about the types of conditions clinicians work with, approaches they take in therapy and their professional backgrounds.
The relationship you develop with your clinician is important to the success of your therapy. You may not find the right “fit” initially. You or your clinician may feel that you are not well matched, and this difficult to understand until you have spent time together.Your clinician will keep this in mind as you work towards your goals, and you are encouraged to reflect on this and changing clinicians can sometimes be beneficial.
If you would like to see a clinician at Inner North, simply complete the referral form or phone 1300 987 177.
You will then be contacted by a member of our referral team to gather some personal information, such as your full name, contact details, date of birth. You will be asked some basic questions about the reason you are seeking help, whether you have a referral from a GP or other professional (this is not required) and if you have a preference for a particular clinician in our team. Currently, demand for psychological treatment is high and specific clinicians may not always be available. However, the information shared in this initial intake conversation will be used to help you get connected with the right clinician. We will refer you to other agencies if we are unable to help. In the case where a suitable clinician is identified, we will help you get in contact with them for a brief conversation on the phone and discuss next steps including your first appointment time.
Your first session it typically longer to enable you and your clinician to get to know each other. Your clinician will use this time to gather information about you and your background. You will be asked reasons relating to why you are seeking therapy and you may set goals together with your therapist. This initial session allows your clinician to make an assessment and begin to develop a treatment plan for you. In this first session, your clinician will explain what your course of therapy is likely to look like and explain matters like confidentiality. This session should give you a sense of whether you feel comfortable with your clinician.
A session with a mental health professional is typically 50 minutes in length. Your clinician may schedule a longer session for the initial consultation (e.g. 90 minutes) or where more than one person is present (e.g. parent sessions, family therapy).
The length of time you spend in therapy is highly dependent on your goals and the challenges you are working through with your clinician. For some people, this may be 6-10 weeks with reviews throughout. For others, their goals for therapy may involve the exploration of issues that take longer; months or sometimes years. This is a good conversation to have with your clinician at your first appointment as you set goals together.
If you’re like many couples, you probably feel a bit nervous considering therapy. This is natural and it’s our job to help you feel safe and comfortable to share. With the support of your therapist, you will identify the strengths and main stressors in your relationship, define goals and work together to identify the best path forward for you both. Sometimes this involves learning more about each other’s thoughts and feelings, helping change behaviours to enrich your relationship, and/or working on specific issues that are causing ongoing stress (e.g. parenting, emotional intimacy, physical intimacy).
Yes. Having differences of opinions can be healthy and enriching in any relationship. Relationships can become stronger if partners are able to talk about tensions. Conflict can often be resolved and serious matters dealt with through respectful communication and a bit of give and take. However, frequent unresolved conflict and anger may be a sign that your relationship requires some attention.
Noticing early warning signs of relationship stress can help you resolve conflicts more easily. Early warning signs may include:
Couples therapy can be highly effective when both you and your partner are ready to tackle often painful emotions and difficult conversations. There are times, however, when seeking additional support beforehand might be necessary before commencing therapy together. Such situations include:
If any of these situations describes your situation it may be helpful to seek individual treatment and support for this prior to committing to relationship therapy. This will ensure you get the most out of the time, energy and money invested in couples therapy.
If you are in immediate danger, contact 000. If you are experiencing physical, sexual, emotional, financial, or other abuse in your relationship and you would like some support, please refer to the below resources.
For women's crisis support, contact Safe Steps on 1800 015 188, 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732, or the Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria. For women's recovery support, contact Relationships Australia. For men's behaviour change programs, contact Relationships Australia or Men's Referral Service . For specialized relationship therapy for couples experiencing abuse, contact Relationships Australia