Psychotherapy is a general term referring to therapeutic interaction or treatment contracted between a trained professional and a client, patient, family, couple, or group. The problems addressed are psychological in nature and can vary in terms of their causes, influences, triggers, and potential resolutions. Accurate assessment of these and other variables depends on the practitioner's capability and can change or evolve as the practitioner acquires experience, knowledge, and insight.
What is a Psychological Assessment?
Like a medical examination in which a physician evaluates a patient’s physical well-being by speaking with the patient and/or administering formal tests, a psychological assessment is a process through which a psychology professional evaluates a client’s psychological, emotional, and behavioral well-being through open dialogue and formal testing. The assessment process may involve one or both of the following:
1. A series of face-to-face interviews during which the psychology professional meets with the client (and sometimes his/her family members) to gain a rich understanding of the client’s emotions, behaviors, thoughts, coping strategies for dealing with life’s challenges, and personal strengths.
2. One or more standardized tests (both verbal and written) that the psychology professionals can use to gain more objective and data-driven insights regarding a client’s overall well-being.
With this information, the psychology professional can provide an appropriate diagnosis (if one is warranted) and work with the client and his/her family to set goals and develop an appropriate plan for positive change.
How do I get started?
If a doctor, educator, or other professional has recommended that you have a psychological assessment (sometimes referred to as “psychological testing”), your first step is to call us to arrange a initial consultation. You will meet with one of our clinical staff to discuss your background and the reasons you are seeking an assessment. At the end of the session, the clinician will provide a recommendation regarding next steps, and discuss payment options should you wish to proceed.
Individual therapy (sometimes called “psychotherapy” or “counseling”) is a process through which clients work one-on-one with a trained therapist—in a safe, caring, and confidential environment-to explore their feelings, beliefs, or behaviors, work through challenging or influential memories, identify aspects of their lives that they would like to change, better understand themselves and others, set personal goals, and work toward desired change.
People seek therapy for a wide variety of reasons, from coping with major life challenges or childhood trauma, to dealing with depression or anxiety, to simply desiring personal growth and greater self-knowledge. A client and therapist may work together for as few as five or six sessions or as long as several years, depending on the client’s unique needs and personal goals for therapy.
Couples counseling is a process through which a couple (who may be engaged, dating, married, partnered—or sometimes even parent and child or other pairings) works with a trained therapist to identify specific areas of conflict and/or aspects of their relationship they would like to change, and then develops a plan of action to improve each individual’s satisfaction and contentment.
Working with a therapist in a safe and confidential setting, couples are able to explore how their individual backgrounds, beliefs, thoughts, and behaviors may be impacting their relationship in both positive and negative ways. The therapist may assist the couple with addressing any immediate and pressing problems, as well as developing strategies for protecting and enhancing the long-term health and happiness of their relationship.
How do I get started?
Your first step is to call us to schedule your initial appointment. You will be asked to provide some initial information over the telephone to help us evaluate if our clinic is your best treatment option. You may then be scheduled for an initial two-hour evaluation session which provides an opportunity for you to build rapport with the therapist and provide him/her with some background about yourself and the reasons you are seeking counseling. In addition, the intake therapist will be able to answer your questions regarding services, fees, confidentiality and what to expect in therapy.
We are interested in developing a collaborative relationship with you in which we try to decide together what kind of treatment would be best for you. However, not everyone will be referred for continuing therapy at the clinic. We make decisions on what we believe will be best for the client.
At the end of that first session, if we decide that it is in your best interest to move forward working with the assigned therapist, you will decide on a mutually-agreeable time slot for your therapy sessions (typically, the client and therapist will meet once a week, and each session will last approximately one hour). At your second appointment, you will begin working with your therapist to set goals for your therapy experience and then begin working together toward achieving them.
Psychotherapy refers to a variety of techniques and methods used to help children and adolescents who are experiencing difficulties with their emotions or behavior. Although there are different types of psychotherapy, each relies on communications as the basic tool for bringing about change in a person's feelings and behaviors. Psychotherapy may involve an individual child, a group of children, a family, or multiple families. In children and adolescents, playing, drawing, building, and pretending, as well as talking, are important ways of sharing feelings and resolving problems.
As part of the initial assessment, a qualified mental health professional or child and adolescent psychiatrist will determine the need for psychotherapy. This decision will be based on such things as the child's current problems, history, level of development, ability to cooperate with treatment, and what interventions are most likely to help with the presenting concerns. Psychotherapy is often used in combination with other treatments (medication, behavior management, or work with the school). The relationship that develops between the therapist and the patient is very important. The child or adolescent must feel comfortable, safe and understood. This type of trusting environment makes it much easier for the child to express his/her thoughts and feelings and to use the therapy in a helpful way.
Psychotherapy helps children and adolescents in a variety of ways. They receive emotional support, resolve conflicts with people, understand feelings and problems, and try out new solutions to old problems. Goals for therapy may be specific (change in behavior, improved relations with friends or family), or more general (less anxiety, better self-esteem). The length of psychotherapy depends on the complexity and severity of problems.
Parents should ask the following questions about psychotherapy:
Why is psychotherapy being recommended?
What results can I expect?
How long will my child be involved in therapy?
How frequently will the doctor see my child?
Will the doctor be meeting with just my child or with the entire family?
How much do psychotherapy sessions cost?
How will we (the parents) be informed about our child's progress and how can we help?
How soon can we expect to see some changes?
A child and adolescent psychiatrist will be able to provide you with answers to your questions and concerns. Child and adolescent psychiatrists and other child mental health professionals are specifically trained and skilled to provide psychotherapy to children and adolescents.
Family Therapy focuses on helping the family function in more positive and constructive ways by exploring patterns of communication and providing support and education. Family therapy sessions can include the child or adolescent along with parents, siblings, and grandparents. Couples therapy is a specific type of family therapy that focuses on a couple's communication and interactions (e.g. parents having marital problems).
Family Therapy – or to give it its full title, Family and Systemic Psychotherapy – helps people in a close relationship help each other. It enables family members, couples and others who care about each other to express and explore difficult thoughts and emotions safely, to understand each other’s experiences and views, appreciate each other’s needs, build on strengths and make useful changes in their relationships and their lives. Individuals can find Family Therapy helpful, as an opportunity to reflect on important relationships and find ways forward.
Research shows Family Therapy is useful for children, young people and adults experiencing a very wide range of difficulties and experiences.
The earliest approaches to psychotherapy in the 20th Century focused on individual therapy, and the patient-therapist relationship as the best way to treat psychological problems. Patients were segregated from their families for therapy and treatment focused on their individual symptomatic behaviours.
The advent of family therapy ushered in a whole new way of understanding and explaining human behaviour. Family therapists shifted the focus of treatment in a way that allowed for social context, communication and relationship to have primary importance in therapy.
This way of working involves engaging with the whole family system as a functioning unit. While the individuals in the family are as important in family therapy as in individual therapy, family therapists also deal with the personal relations and interactions of the family members, both inside the family and in the therapeutic system which comprises the family, the therapist or therapists, and their broader community.
Family Therapy aims to be:
- Inclusive and considerate of the needs of each member of the family and/or other key relationships (systems) in people’s lives
- Recognise and build on peoples’ strengths and relational resources
- Work in partnership ‘with’ families and others, not ‘on’ them
- Sensitive to diverse family forms and relationships, beliefs and cultures
- Enable people to talk, together or individually, often about difficult or distressing issues, in ways that respect their experiences, invite engagement and support recovery.
Sourced from: Association for Family Therapy & Systemic Practice UK
Group therapy is a process through which a small group of people (generally six to ten) meet face-to-face with a trained group therapist to talk about a particular issue with which all of them is struggling—such as grief/bereavement, anger management, eating disorders, living with chronic depression or anxiety, recovering from childhood sexual abuse, etc.
Under the direction of the group therapist, members share and explore their feelings and behaviors, hear different points of view and coping strategies, and receive encouragement from others facing similar issues. Group therapy provides participants a powerful opportunity to share and learn from others in a safe and supportive environment while working toward healing and change.
Workplace and Corporate Psychology
We work with adults who are experiencing workplace difficulties, in addition to providing coaching services for professionals and executives who feel like they have reached an impasse and are unaware how to take that next step in their careers.
Our collaborative approach enables us to work with employees, the employer and when appropriate the Human Resource Department to plan for a sustainable increase in workplace and corporate mental health whilst aiming to improve both personal and workplace productivity.
We also provide experienced and discrete Mediation, Individual and Group Coaching as well as a number of other organisational and corporate services available on request.
- Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) counselling
- Work place counselling services
- How to manage difficult colleagues or superiors
- Executive & Life coaching
- Juggling a career, relationship, family and health
- Maintaining good mental health in a stressful job or workplace
- Human Resource consultation
Workplace & Corporate, CONFIDENTIAL & PROFESSIONAL SERVICES:
- Tailored services to suit your company’s needs
- After hours and weekend appointments & consultations available
- Telephone and online consultancy services available
- WorkCover accredited counsellors & psychologists
- We can travel to you
Community Speakers Bureau
Elite Psychology Services frequently hosts free lectures (open to the public) on psychological topics that are relevant to the community. In addition, our clinical staff is available to speak at outside organizations on topics that are of particular interest to those groups. Some of the topics on which we have spoken in the past include:
- Bereavement / Grief
- Conflict Resolution
- Coping With Stress
- Test or Performance Anxiety
- Eating Disorders
- Mindfulness & Meditation
- Child & Adolescent Issues
- Caring for Aging Parents
- Substance Abuse