cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Re: SLOW-MO GR: Building Rapport with Professionals, 12th-18th August

Hi everyone, I've been loving reading all the posts and hearing about people's different experiences with mental health workers...decided to jump on this moving train!

 

Do you know the difference between all the health professionals you can see for support (e.g., psychologist, counsellor, psychiatrist, social worker, occupational therapist, etc.)? Why is it important that we should know the difference between these health professionals?

 

I think that navigating and coordinating all the mental health support services out there can be really tricky. In my experience, a counsellor can be useful if, for example, you are going through a bit of a tough time at school or need some grief support, and with a little help you can be back on your feet again. A psychologist is useful in helping you with more long-term, distressing, mental health issues. If you're feeling like 'talk' therapy isn't working and you that may benefit from medication, you can coordinate your psychologist with your GP or see a psychiatrist. 

This is just my understanding, but yes the whole system is very confusing! 

I think the first point of call is always to start with your GP - they know you better as a patient and can also give you a mental health care plan so that you can access medicare rebated sessions.

 

Re: SLOW-MO GR: Building Rapport with Professionals, 12th-18th August

I have been so impressed by this discussion, everyone has been so brave sharing their experiences, you are all so empathetic and knowledgeable!!!! I have really gained so much from all of your insights!!! Hearing stories and suggestions, the word cloud and the amazing questions that have been asked has been so incredible!!!! HeartHeartHeart

 

Re: SLOW-MO GR: Building Rapport with Professionals, 12th-18th August

Do you know the difference between all the health professionals you can see for support (e.g., psychologist, counsellor, psychiatrist, social worker, occupational therapist, etc.)? Why is it important that we should know the difference between these health professionals?

In my experience, counselling and social work tends to be more suited to people when there is a short-term issue or there needs to be case management. A psychologist usually has more experience and training in the diagnosis and treatment of long-term mental health and cognitive issues. Unlike all the others, psychiatrists can suggest and prescribe medication and might have a deeper understanding of the relation between physical and mental health and contributing biological factors.
Here is a helpful article explaining the differences between counsellors, psychiatrists and psycholo...
Occupational therapists can be helpful if there are issues in functioning at work, home or school and you need some aids or supports to improve your functioning.

I think it is helpful to know the difference between these professionals because some might be more suited to particular issues than others. You might also be in a situation where you need multiple perspectives and types of expertise.

Re: SLOW-MO GR: Building Rapport with Professionals, 12th-18th August

Some really great responses so far!! I think another addition on knowing about different mental health professionals is firstly it can help you financially- seeing a specific kind of professional is often what is covered compared to another.

 

I also think it can be helpful in knowing what to expect, what your rights are and who to turn to if something is wrong. Certain titles often mean a certain level of required training/education and often change what code of ethics a profesional must follow.

 

Hopefully you won't need to use that information but sometimes it can help if you are questioning advice or your level of care to know what the professionals own guide lines expect.

Re: SLOW-MO GR: Building Rapport with Professionals, 12th-18th August

I'm late to the party as usual, but no too late this time, yay!! Smiley Very Happy

What qualities do you think a psychologist should have?

I think there are some qualities that ought to be present across all psychologists, such as warmth, genuineness and empathy, but there are other qualities that might fit with certain people better than others. e.g. sense of humour varies among people, and some sense of humour resonates more with different people. I think age and gender can sometimes be qualities that impact the therapeutic relationship. For instance, I'm female and find that I click more and feel more comfortable with female psychologists.

 

 Have you seen a psychologist before? If so, do you have any advice to those who are seeing a psychologist for the first time?

Yes, I've seen several, and I'm very lucky that I've had positive experiences the whole way through. The biggest piece of advice I would give is that if you feel you don't click with a certain psych, you don't have to go back. It can be difficult to assert that sometimes, but if they're not the right psych for you, then you won't be getting the most out of your sessions.

It's also important to be as honest as you can, because the psych can only help you if they have accurate information about what's going on for you.

Finally, good luck and remember that no matter what - you are worthy of help and you're doing a brave thing by seeking it! Smiley Happy   

// Spiral outward, keep going. //

Re: SLOW-MO GR: Building Rapport with Professionals, 12th-18th August

Oh @Tiny_leaf I'm so sorry to hear that you've had such negative experiences with psychologists. And that negative experiences seem to be quite common on this thread Smiley Sad

Sending you all lots of love! <3

 

3. Do you have any advice on how to communicate with your psychologist/get your point across?

This is something that I still find tricky, especially if I'm really distressed about something - my ability to articulate properly what's going on/how I'm feeling completely disappears. However, if I can, I try to find analogies/metaphors that fit how I'm feeling, or examples in TV shows/books, so that I can talk about then rather than specifically having to explain what's going on in my head. I hope that makes sense.

Often I'll also text my psych before our scheduled appointment to let them know that I have something specific in mind to talk about, with some brief background info about it, so that I can minimise the amount of explaining I have to do during the session.

I haven't actually ever tried writing my feelings/experiences down and bringing it to them in session, but it's something I've considered, and other people might find it helpful Smiley Happy

// Spiral outward, keep going. //

Re: SLOW-MO GR: Building Rapport with Professionals, 12th-18th August

Have you ever switched psychologists? How did the process go for you?

 

Yes, I have, several times. The first was because the counsellor I was seeing at school actually got a job somewhere else. And then I'm currently seeing a new psych because the one I'd been seeing for nearly 10 years (wow, I just realised how long it's been!) has gone on maternity leave.  

Each time it was a bit of a scary process, because the idea of opening up to someone new is daunting, to say the least.

Some things that helped were remembering that I've done this before - talked to someone, specifically talked to someone that I hadn't met before, about how I'm feeling, and knowing that it went okay.

- reminding myself that I'm doing this for me, so that even though it is scary, ultimately the fear is worth it because I deserve to improve and get better, and this is part of what's going to allow me to do that.

- journalling before and after seeing the new psych, so that I can process how it went/what I liked or didn't like about it.

// Spiral outward, keep going. //

Re: SLOW-MO GR: Building Rapport with Professionals, 12th-18th August

 Have you seen a psychologist before? If so, do you have any advice to those who are seeing a psychologist for the first time?

 

I have seen multiple psychologists on multiple occasions, and my biggest piece of advice would be to be totally honest. A psychologist is an objective third party, so they don't (or shouldn't have) judgments on you and the people in your life. It's not like talking to a parent or friend, where you having to worry about how they will react to what you say or the things you're thinking (particularly if it is quite distressing). I find that my best psychology sessions are the ones where I say the things that I am thinking and wouldn't say to anyone else, because this gives my psychologist a deeper understanding of what is going on in my mind. Your psychologist is only as good as the information you give them. My grandmother always says that they are psychologists, not psychics, so they can't read your mind. If there is something bothering you, telling them straight up is often the key to feeling better, because they can't give you coping strategies for problems they can't see or don't know about.

 

With that being said, I completely understand that it is hard to be honest with a complete stranger, and that trust is an essential part of honesty. Seeing a new psychologist for the first time can be really daunting! But, every time I've gone into a new practitioner and spilled my guts, I've felt so much better because their response is never shock and horror - it is most often empathetic and solutions-focused, which is the whole purpose of psychological treatment. Be brave and lean into the discomfort - if you're comfortable, you're not growing. 

Highlighted

Re: SLOW-MO GR: Building Rapport with Professionals, 12th-18th August

Alas, here is our final question for this week's slow-mo GR:

What research should you do before finding which psychologist (or any support service in general) is right for you?

 

Can't wait to hear all your answers @queenP @ecla34 @letitgo @Tasi @WheresMySquishy @Claire-RO @recharging_introvert @MisoBear @Hozzles @jesseka_grace @Tiny_leaf @hellofriend @scared01! (By the way, I'm amazed at how many users participated in our discussion this week!)

 

giphy

_________________________________________________________
Hope is just around the corner; you think it's not there when you first look straight ahead, but it actually is when you turn around

Re: SLOW-MO GR: Building Rapport with Professionals, 12th-18th August

What research should you do before finding which psychologist (or any support service in general) is right for you?
I usually look up the service/psychologist to see if there are any reviews or complaints. I also look them up to see if the treatment they use is evidence-based and what they have experience in treating. If a practice has a lot of psychologists, it is usually possible to ask over the phone for a recommendation for a particular psychologist based on the issues that you want to address. Many psychologists also let you speak to them over the phone to get a sense of who they are and what they can help with. It's important to also find out about their prices (psychologists can vary widely in their prices) and policies. Sometimes, it can help to talk to other people, such as friends, to find out their experiences of a particular professional or service. I have also asked my GP a few times whether their patients have had good or bad experiences with a particular service before.

This is a helpful tool to find psychologists who claim to treat particular issues in your local area.
This article has a lot of good tips about finding the right psychologist.