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What sorts of issues can I get therapy for? 

People seek therapy for all sorts of reasons. These can include the following:

  • Stressful life situations such as a relationship break up or work stress

  • Times in life when they are stuck or can’t move forward through an issue

  • Family stress or change such as becoming a parent

  • Worry or low mood that is not getting better

  • Panic attacks

  • Excessive anxiety that might be impacting on sleep or other parts of life

  • When people are struggling to make changes in their lives

The Anxiety and OCD Clinic can provide therapy for all these situations

People can also seek therapy for specific mental health conditions. They Anxiety and OCD Clinic specialises in providing  

therapy for the following conditions:

  • Generalised Anxiety Disorder

  • Social Phobia

  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

  • Panic Disorder

  • Specific Phobias such as needles, blood/injection/injury

  • Depression (which often happens alongside anxiety)

What is a psychological assessment? 

A psychological assessment occurs when before therapy, your psychologist will ask you a lot of questions, about what is going on for you at the moment but also how things have been for you in the past. They will likely ask about your upbringing, your childhood, how school was for you, what you did when you left school. Your psychologist will be interested in your relationships in life with friends and partners and also your goals and wishes for the future, as well as wanting to know a lot about the details of why you’ve come to therapy now. It might sound like a lot, this assessment can either be a longer session or broken up over two hour-long sessions. While it can be difficult to answer questions sometimes, it is really important for your psychologist to start to understand your difficulties, your strengths and your goals, in order to provide the best treatment plan for you.

What is a psychological therapy?

Psychological therapy is usually provided after a psychological assessment, when you and your psychologist will have identified treatment goals and areas to target. Therapy can be about learning skills to manage different situations or emotional states but can also be about identifying patterns in your life that are not helpful. Some of the work might be done between sessions and some work will be done within the sessions. Therapy can be a lot of talking but it can also be learning and practicing different skills with your psychologist.

What can I expect from my first appointment? 

Your first appointment will usually be part of your psychological assessment. Your psychologist might give you some paperwork to fill out before the session. Generally, the session will start by you explaining what has bought you to see a psychologist, what difficulties or problems you are experiencing now. You then might start to talk about how these difficulties or problems have been in the past and what you are wanting to get from your future.

Can I bring someone with me? 

Absolutely! You can bring a support person to some or all of your appointments if you need. There might be times later on in therapy when you come by yourself, but we are absolutely open to involving support people and/or whānau with your consent.

How do I choose the right psychologist? 

It can be difficult to find the right psychologist and it’s important you feel there is a good “fit” in order to work successfully together. It can take more than one appointment to figure out if your psychologist is the right “fit” but if, after 2-3 appointments, you are not feeling it is right, then it is a good idea to talk to your psychologist about that (if you can!). Psychologists can often adjust their styles to suit their clients if necessary. If it is not the right “fit” for you, your existing psychologist can help refer you to someone who might suit you better.

How often should I come to therapy?

Most people come to therapy either fortnightly or weekly, particularly when they are starting therapy. You and your psychologist can talk about frequency after your assessment. As people get more confident with therapy and perhaps start progressing, they may move to less frequent appointments. Some people also have “booster” or check-in sessions once every two or three months if they are making excellent progress.

When will I start to feel better? 

Most people would like to feel better right away in therapy! Often people report feeling better or a sense of relief once they’ve booked their first appointment. However, once you start doing therapy, we sometimes see a “honeymoon” period for the first few sessions, where you start feeling better. This doesn’t always last and sometimes, things can get more difficult again for a time, especially if you’re starting to change your behaviour and confront things that are distressing or anxiety-provoking. This is absolutely normal and does not mean you won’t eventually feel better. Psychologists at The Anxiety and OCD Clinic use feedback-informed treatment, so they will be regularly reviewing your progress with you. We would hope to see improvements within 3-6 months but there are times when improvement can take longer. Please talk to your psychologist if you are not happy with your progress, it’s a really useful conversation to have.  

How will I know when I've had enough treatment? 

Psychologists generally like to do themselves out of a job as quickly as possible! However, they can also be aware of issues that might be problematic for you in the future if they are not addressed now. Generally, you’ll know you have had enough treatment if you have noticed a significant reduction in your distress, you are completing most life tasks and activities with ease and you are feeling positive about the future. If you’ve maintained this feeling for 2-4 months, it might be time to talk to your psychologist about reducing your session frequency (if they haven’t already bought this up!) or moving to a “booster therapy model” (2-3 sessions as needed to review treatment skills).

Is my information confidential? 

For the most part, yes. Psychology clinics and services are mandated by law to adhere to strict confidentiality practices. All electronic and written material is kept secure and your psychologist is usually the only person who has access to this material. There are some exceptions- if the clinic has an administration team, these people will have access to some of your data. If your psychologist thinks that you or someone else in your life is significantly at risk of harm, then they may need to speak to other people. Psychologists can also be subpoenaed by the court, in which case they are required to give over any information requested. There can be other exceptions to confidentiality and your psychologist will talk to you about these in depth at the start of your first appointment, so that you are clear about your privacy and your rights before any information is shared. 

What to do if I'm unhappy with the services that have been provided to me? 

If you are unhappy about the services you've received, please speak to your therapist. Therapists really want to know how you feel about how they provide treatment and therapy, so that they can improve their service and also, your outcomes. However, if you cannot speak to your therapist or you feel that the issue remains unresolved, please follow this link to raise any concerts you might have. 

Does your clinic offer mental health emergency or crisis care? 

The Anxiety and OCD Clinic does not offer emergency or crisis care. If you are worried about your safety or the safety of someone that you love, please go straight to your local hospital emergency department. In Ōtautahi/Canterbury, you can also ring the Crisis Resolution Services for help on 0800 920 092.

Other community services in Aotearoa that can provide support are:

Lifeline (Available 24/7) 0800 543 354

Depression Helpline (Available 24/7) 0800 111 757 0800 543 354

Healthline (Available 24/7) 0800 611 116

Samaritans (Available 24/7) 0800 726 666

Suicide Crisis Helpline (Available 24/7) 0800 543 354 (0508 TAUTOKO)

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