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Going to a therapist can be a valuable, growing and stabilising experience. You don’t need to have a “major” problem to go to a therapist. Just feeling unhappy or feeling unable to deal with your problem makes you a good therapy candidate.
Therapy is useful for when you have specific problems, interpersonal problems, or generally feeling down. You can attend therapy a couple of times, for a few months or embark on long-term therapy; each depends on different expectations and goals.
Most people tend to go to a therapist during a particularly difficult time in their lives or in a crisis. This could be an immediate threat to one’s life, where one feels in danger, suicidal, or inability to live life in a productive way. These difficult times can occur after love ones have died, breaking up in relationships, times of depression or if you have been harmed in some way. Another time that is common for people to seek therapy is for specific non-crisis problems, such as insomnia, procrastination, low grades, or even feeling depressed.
One thing to keep in mind is that your problem might be like a symptom. An example of this is a person who comes into to a therapist’s office because they are having trouble at work or university. This might be the result of many factors, such as interpersonal problems, anxiety, an addiction or an eating disorder, etc.
Sometimes people go into psychotherapy in order to work on problems which seem less specific. Often people go in for growing, rather than stabilising. An example of this is where someone feels that something is missing in their lives or that they do not find their friendships or relationships as fulfilling.
Another type of reason people go into psychotherapy is so to work through difficult experiences in the past and/or present. This can range from having experienced abuse, having intimacy problems to having a difficult family dynamics which have led you to overeat.
Sessions are normally for 50 minutes, or some other duration as agreed upon between yourself and therapist. Session will usually be on a weekly basis. You can expect to have your sessions conducted without outside interruption and you have the right to have someone with you to give you support in most circumstances, although often it is more useful to conduct the session with yourself and the therapist.
Confidentiality is a vital part of effective therapy. No information whatsoever is released to any source, without your knowledge, and if necessary written consent, unless there is a clear and serious danger of harm to yourself, others or to the public at large. If two parties have been involved in therapy, confidential information cannot subsequently be released without the consent of both parties. Your therapist will explain in more detail and discuss any other limitations to confidentiality.
You can expect that there will be no discrimination on the basis of your ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, social class, age, religion or political beliefs.
The fee per session varies from therapist to therapist but is often around $90-$120. In some circumstances this can be negotiated and additional funding may be available. For clients using the disability allowance the fee per session is sometimes negotiable. Payments can usually be made using online banking or cash. Fees may change but this will be discussed first.
We receive approved professional clinical supervision. During this supervision we discuss our sessions. Supervision ensures accountability and that you receive the best possible care. All information is kept confidential. You may be asked to have our counselling sessions audio recorded for supervisory purposes. Signed consent is required before this can take place.
Missed or cancelled appointments: Usually if you are unable to attend a session for any reason 3-7 days notice is required, where possible, otherwise the session fee may be charged. Clients paying through the disability allowance will usually still be charged a fee for all missed appointments.
“I can only find myself in and between me and my fellows in human conversation” (Hobson, 1985).