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MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT OUR PSYCHOLOGY SERVICES


Here are the answers to our most commonly asked questions about our psychological services, medications, framework and confidentiality. If you have more questions, you are most welcome to contact us.
 

INFORMATION ABOUT WORKING WITH OUR PSYCHOLOGIST

Why should I choose Bloomfield Psychology?
Our psychologist, Marie Bloomfield, is highly qualified, very experienced and uniquely trained in cognitive behaviour therapy, mindfulness and self-compassionate approaches to help you resolve your challenges.  Bloomfield psychology is committed to providing effective, compassionate and affordable counselling psychological services. Our office in the Gold Coast is private and relaxed, facing onto a garden, with plenty of light and sunshine.

Marie Bloomfield will treat you with respect and care, she will listen and seek to understand your perspective and find strategies that works best for you, taking into account your needs and situation.
She will aim to make you feel at ease, comfortable and safe so you can talk about what is really concerning you.  During the session you are in charge of your treatment and the content of the session will be guided mostly by you.  Our psychologist has years of training and experience to assist you and she will share her knowledge and expertise as best as she can in a way that resonates with you. We will respect your view and will let you steer the session in a way that is most beneficial for you, so you can meet your goals.

What should I expect from my first session?
Our psychologist will attend to you a safe, relaxed and confidential manner.  The procedure for a first appointment varies depending on your situation. Here is an overview of what you can expect when you see our psychologist Marie Bloomfield.

At the beginning of your first session, you will briefly go through some important paperwork. This will include completing a short form with basic personal information and a consent form that cover issues such as confidentiality, fees and other important information about the sessions. If you have been referred by a GP or psychiatrist, we will discuss the details of your Mental Health Treatment Plan at this point.

Following this, our psychologist will ask you about your specific concerns and how you wish to be helped. During the session, you choose what you want to share.  You will be treated with the utmost respect and be heard in an accepting and non-judgmental way.

During the session, you are invited to share your views, expectations and goals.  Our psychologist will listen and aim to understand you. She will ask also about your current situation and relevant histories such as family issues as well as social relationships, work history and any past counselling/therapy that you may have done. Based on this information she will explore with you what might be triggering and maintaining your difficulties as well as suggesting strategies and tools that can assist you. Over time our psychologist will develop a collaborative and flexible plan for future sessions. She may also suggest some approach or strategies to use at home or work to practise between the sessions. She may give you some appropriate handouts or recommend some books for you to read to deepen the impact of the therapy. She may encourage you at the end of the session to write notes on what you would like to remember that was helpful for you.

How many sessions do I need to attend?
The number of sessions attended will vary from one person to the next.  There are many factors affecting the number of sessions needed, such as the complexity of the situation that you find yourself in, as well as your expectations and goals.

The duration of each session is around 55 minutes and clients attend, on average, between 4 to 10 sessions.  Simple issues may take less time, more complex issues will necessarily require more time. The number of sessions that you attend is up to you. There is no fixed contract.

There are some people who just wish to attend for only one session to discuss a specific challenge, to explore perspectives and possible resolved, using the psychologist as a sounding board to air their views and concerns. Most clients wish to see a psychologist to develop coping strategies to deal with a specific challenge or to reduce stress, anxiety, depression or ease difficult relationships.  For most of our clients, the number of sessions varies between 4-10 over a 12 month period.  As you make progress the frequency of the session will decrease.  You may find that you achieve much improvement within the first few sessions. Many clients feel empowered following their sessions.

How regularly do I need to attend?
The frequency of your appointments will be determined by the intensity of your symptoms, the recommendations from your GP or Health Care Provider, your support network, your availability and so on.  Usually, clients initially attend one session once a week or a fortnight and then as they make progress once a month. You can attend on a more or less frequent basis depending on your individual needs.

Most commonly our psychologist sees people once a fortnight, which enables time to practice new skills in their everyday life and then eventually once a month in order to consolidate the progress made.

 

MEDICATION

Can I still take my medication?
There are many ways to treat mental health successfully. Medication can be helpful and sometimes necessary to provide symptoms relief especially in times of crisis. However, medication does not address the underlying causes. Current evidence suggests that a combination of both prescription medication and psychotherapy can produces beneficial results, for the individuals who are already using psychotropic medication.  

If you have already been prescribed some medication by your doctor, we recommend that you continue your medical treatment. Indeed, many people find that medication is helpful. The session with our psychologist will support you and most likely increase the effectiveness of your medical treatment.

In any case, we will leave the management of your medication to your doctor. The decision to continue with your medical treatment will be determined by your doctor.  We will support whatever medical treatment you are receiving. We will focus on providing you with the appropriate psychological treatment to assist you in your situation.  

We are happy to work with you, whether you are taking medications or not.  We believe in the effectiveness of our psychological treatment in the long term over medication. The research has shown that psyhological therapy is effective and produced tangible long term health improvements.

 

PSYCHOLOGICAL FRAMEWORK

What type of frameworks or evidence-based approach do you use?
Our psychologist uses a range of different models to support you. We use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and newer types of CBT approaches such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Compassion-Focused Therapy(CFT) and Mindfulness-based Therapies(MBT). These models of therapy are acknowledged by the Australian Psychological Society (APS) as being evidence-based psychological interventions to assist individuals in dealing with everyday life challenges as well as mental health issues.

Are you open to using spiritual or transpersonal psychology?
We mostly use mainstream western and eastern psychology that is cultivating self-awareness and mindfulness practices in our everyday life to overcome challenges. But we will support a client who is willing to open to their own inner spiritual wisdom to integrate it with their psychological treatment. During the sessions, if you are that way inclined, you are most welcome to talk about your spiritual perspective. Our psychologist will aim to combine your spiritual outlook be it Christian, Buddhist, Hinduist and others, with your psychological treatment.
We hold the view that we are more than mind and body but are also composed of intangible, or transcendent, factors that make up the whole person.  A holistic approach can unite all of what we are at a mental and spiritual level.  We can draw from a variety of different religions and spiritual practices for tools and methods that can help you to use your spirituality to guide you through difficult times.
Meditation, guided visualisation, dreamwork, and mindfulness practices can be very beneficial in the treatment of stress, anxiety, depression and other issues you may have. Foremost, we wish to use an approach that will resonate with you, tailor-made for your specific needs in order to expand your inner strengths to create a more balanced life and a positive state of mind.

Who may benefit from your psychological counselling?
People from diverse backgrounds seek counselling for many reasons. There are many valid reasons to see a psychologist. Psychological counselling may be useful if you:
•    Have a persistent feelings of anxiety, anger, shame, sadness, depression
•    Often feel worried and preoccupied
•    Lack of self-confidence or assertiveness
•    Have unresolved childhood issues
•    Feel suicidal or have thoughts of harming yourself
•    Are struggling to balance work and family commitments
•    Are having trouble in making an important decision
•    Are worried about the health or well-being of someone close to you
•    Have experienced the loss of a loved one and find it difficult to function
•    Are going through a major life change,
•    Have difficulties in relationships at home or at work,
•    Going through a separation or divorce
•    Difficulties handling a stressful situation

Often people seek to see a psychologist when they are willing to make positive changes,  to improve their life. Our psychologist will encourage and support you with skills to overcome this difficult period.

How can your psychologist help me?
We all experience challenging situations in life, and we all manage as best as we can. But it can be very helpful to seek extra support to help you along the way before the situation escalate. Often seeking therapy indicate some self-awareness for a need for change, for improvements. What you will learn in our session will be long-lasting and will be skills that you can also teach your children to gain more resilience and better relationships. Everyone will benefit.
Our psychologist can help you to gain a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point the way to a solution. Here is a list of benefits that our clients have reported:
•    Attaining a better understanding of themselves, their goals and values
•    Developing skills to regulate their emotions and promote wellbeing
•    Learning new ways to cope with stress, anxiety and depression
•    Managing skilfully anger, grief, depression, and other difficult emotions
•    Improving communications, listening skills to gain better relationships
•    Being more accepting and understanding of oneself, developing self-compassion
•    Feeling more confident and performing better in their work situation

 

CONFIDENTIALITY AND PRIVACY


How confidential are the sessions with a psychologist?
Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly confidential matter that is usually not discussed anywhere else but in the privacy of the psychologist’s office. We understand that confidentiality is important for you. We have the utmost respect for your privacy and are ethically obliged to provide confidential services.  Any information disclosed to us (including case notes, records, and psychological test results) is confidential and cannot be disclosed without your consent.  If there is any need to disclose information from files with another professional (for example a medical doctor, lawyer, or third party billing source), you will be consulted first and asked to sign a release of information document.  

All the information that you will disclose in your sessions with our psychologist is confidential. By law,  your psychologist cannot release the information gathered during the session without obtaining your written permission. Professional ethics require a psychologist to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
•    psychologist believe that you are at risk of harm to yourself or someone else
•    if there is a court order to subpoena your files.

In addition, if you come with a referral from your GP or another doctor, with a Mental Health Care Plan and you wish to claim the rebate from Medicare, the psychologist will be required to send a short progress report to your referring GP after the fifth session.

Our psychologist can explain this further at the beginning of your first session, and she will answer any additional queries you have about confidentiality.


WHO DO I CONTACT IN AN EMERGENCY?


In an emergency, please contact 000.

You can also call or present at your nearest hospital (Gold Cost Hospital) 1300 744 284 and ask to speak with the Mental Health Intake and Assessment Team.


Lifeline is also available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 13 11 14.

 

 

Burleigh Waters, Qld 4220