What does a Psychologist do?
What to expect from your treatment with a Psychologist.
Can a Psychologist really help?
1 in 4 Australians will experience problematic anxiety.
1 is 6 of us will have an episode of depression in our lives.
Many of us will suffer in silence and alone, numb with alcohol or take it out on those around us.
Many of us will only seek help when things have come to a crisis.
What good will talking about it do?
Therapy involves talking but mainly it is
learning new skills
to address problems,
to begin living differently with these new tools, and
while you learn these new skills.
Dr. Clive Williams Psychology
PH: 0434 271 499
Office opens: 9.00am
Tuesday - Thursday - 10am - 7:00pm
How does a Psychologist work?
Despite our best intentions, some of us may engage in coping strategies that make our problems worse. The way to resolving these requires learning - being taught - new ways of coping; understanding what causes and exacerbates our concerns and how to address them differently. A psychologist is a professional, a specialist in mental health skills, and is best placed to help you learn these new coping strategies.
Example 1 - Beth
Beth is a well-organised and nurturing teacher, wife, and mother. Her day is busy from start to finish. She has lived her life like this for many years, but lately has found herself highly anxious in a variety of social settings. At a school fete recently, where she worked on one of the stalls, Beth become so anxious that she told the other parents she was taking a break, and went to her car and cried. Beth is reluctant to tell her partner Jim about her anxiety, as he's under redundancy pressures at work at the moment, and is working double-time to keep things afloat. Beth is experiencing shortness of breath, trouble sleeping and eating, and has little idea what on earth is happening to her, and why 'now'.
Example 2 - Graham
Recently, Graham has been having trouble getting out of bed. He feels anything but rested when he wakes up, and his appetite has almost completely disappeared. His wife tells him he's drinking too much at night, but alcohol seems to be the only thing to ease his weariness after returning home from work. Graham's brother died from a heart attack early last year, and his elderly father passed away in December. Despite his best efforts, Graham appears to have lost complete interest in his life. Even a visit from his baby grandson offers little in the way of interest or enjoyment. Earlier this year, his wife retired, leaving Graham the sole breadwinner. In two more years, he can also retire, but Graham wonders if he can hold on that long.
The Psychologist's Solution
Hi, Dr. Clive Williams here. I thought I'd speak to you personally about how I'd help both Beth and Graham above; give you a first-hand sense of what services and counselling psychologists like myself offer.
While both the examples given above are fictional, their issues reflect the common experience of many of my patients. When working with someone like Beth, I would ask questions about the pace of her life, her downtime (if she has any), and how she would rate her 'happiness' with all that running around, (and how she finds time in that to be 'happy'.)
In cases like Beth's, it is often apparent that someone like her finds it difficult to say 'no' to any request, even when exhausted. This is a very common trait of people with a high propensity for anxiety. Several sessions with a psychologist could assist Beth in realising that her reluctance to say 'no' is actually taking a very clear toll on her, and her capacity to enjoy her life.
Similarly, Graham's day is a long list of commitments, but unlike Beth, Graham can barely find the energy to stand up.
In working with someone like Graham, I would seek to identify when the issues causing his current mental health state had become problematic. Such sessions would help Graham identify life events that may have had a greater impact than he imagined. For example, sessions with Graham could help him to see that his lack of energy had really kicked in following the funeral of his brother. It might have been Graham's role to organise the funeral, the wake, the eulogy, assist his brother's wife with the financial arrangements, as well as keep an eye on his own family, and of course, his job.
Time with a psychologist can also help Graham to realise the impact of his father's death on him; an unexpected death, it turns out, in what he thought was a routine operation. In working with someone like Graham, the process of grieving would be discussed at length, helping him to see and understand the effects of unresolved grief on his life and work, and then we would work together to encourage Graham to make room for uncomfortable, but essentially health and necessary feelings of sorrow and loss.