WHAT IS A PSYCHOLOGIST?

May 18, 2022

“You have power over your mind, not outside events. Realise this, and you will find strength.”                           – Marcus Aurelius –

We all experience life differently. Like a fingerprint, no two journeys are the same and a psychologist recognises this fact. While the road may seem smooth for some, most experience difficulties and face obstacles that can often lead to feelings of depression and anxiety. These feelings can manifest into toxic thinking and behavioural patterns which can affect all areas of a person’s life such as their social interactions, family dynamics, childhood upbringing and their relationships.

The support and guidance of a psychologist can assist people in balancing life’s complications and the effects they may have on their mental health. Psychologist deal with a broad range of mental health concerns and help people get the most out of their lives by identifying the problem. There are many centres around Melbourne like Laburnum Psychology that have built a strong team of different psychologists, ranging and specialising in their specific field of study. 

What is a psychologist? 

A Psychologist is a person who has studied the complex world of the human mind. They specialise in the identification and treatment of issues relating to the thoughts and behavioural patterns of an individual. A psychologist can help diagnose and provide treatment for several different mental, emotional and behavioural disorders, work on preventative measures and provide realistic solutions. They can teach people positive life skills and give ongoing guidance and support.  

What do Psychologist Treat?

Some of these issues that a psychologist can help with are – 

  • Depression
  • Anxiety 
  • Grief and loss 
  • Trauma
  • Phobias
  • Addiction
  • Relationship difficulties 
  • Stress management
  • Eating disorder
  • Behavioural problems
  • Insomnia and other sleep disorders
  • Social anxiety

Plus many more. A psychologist will develop individual treatment plans and programs tailored to suit each case, factoring in environmental influences, social and family dynamics, childhood experiences, individual thought patterns, processes and behaviours.  

What’s the difference between a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist?

Unlike a psychiatrist who prescribes medicine, a psychologist will assess all areas of a person’s life and determine achievable steps to getting them back on track mentally. They work with a variety of other organisations and have access to programs that help individuals achieve realistic and optimal goals and outcomes. 

A psychologist aims to treat everyone with the highest level of respect, understanding and care whilst still maintaining their dignity and privacy. They have studied the complex workings of human behaviour and the mind, and their work and training programs are recognised and supported by the Psychology Board of Australia. 

Psychiatrists deal with more complex and severe mental health disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and many others by using treatments and techniques that differ from that of a psychologist. 

To see a psychologist is more affordable if not free in some cases, which is why a lot of people seek out the assistance and treatments instead of paying for and seeing a psychiatrist, especially in the long term. 

How can a psychologist help you?

Psychologists provide personalised treatments for individuals and couples, tailoring treatment plans to suit. They can provide you with counselling services, advice and positive steps to leading more stable, happy and mentally healthy lives by addressing all contributing factors. They will investigate your life history including family and relationship influences and assess how these may have affected your current situation, your overall emotions and behaviourisms associated with such.  A psychologist helps you get the most out of your life when it may become too overwhelming or difficult to manage alone.

There are many psychologists in Melbourne that can assist you in recognising destructive patterns and behaviours, using positive mindset reinforcement and healthy coping mechanisms to assist in the short term and long term. Psychologists deliver a high standard of personalised care, reflecting and working with your strengths and abilities, while providing achievable solutions.

How and When Can I Begin to See a Psychologist? 

To see a psychologist you need to talk with your GP about obtaining a referral, or they will draw up a mental health plan where you will receive a certain number of visits per year free of charge or heavily subsidised. Some practises will offer bulk billing under circumstances of hardship and other difficult circumstances. The usual wait time for your first appointment may take a couple of weeks to months, as the demand for psychological help is high in Australia. 

The Bright Side of Seeing a Psychologist

If you need some assistance with balancing your mental health, seek out the professional advice of a licensed psychologist who you feel comfortable with. Human lives have become more difficult as time has gone on, and it’s encouraged so seek out a psychologist when things seem a little hopeless and overwhelming. 

Seeing a psychologist is a positive and proven way of seeking mental health support that you may need throughout your life. Ask your GP for a referral today and take the first steps to regaining happiness.

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