Psychological services at Eltham Psychology Clinic are focussed on assessment of psychological distress, symptoms and treatment.
Assessment is the important first step in obtaining helpful treatment. Psychologists may spend the first one or two sessions in assessing the nature and causes of your difficulties. The reason for this is that psychological symptoms often arise as a result of a mismatch between the skills you have and the skills you need to cope with the events in your life. Not only does the psychologist need to help you learn the best skills for your situation, he or she also needs to understand any experiences that you have had that may interfere with they way in which you can learn to use these skills. This takes time, but without this time, treatment cannot be as useful.
Also, an assessment helps you to understand the basis of your treatment, what the problems are, why they may have arisen and what the plan of treatment is. It is common for treatment to further inform the psychologist about the nature of your problems and, from time to time, an assessment may be revised.
The clinic also provides assessment of learning difficulties and suspected Austism Spectrum Disorder. These assessments are summarised in detailed reports at the end of the assessment.
Our psychologists will select from a range of treatments. The most common are as follows.
The majority of modern psychological treatments encourage people to become more aware of the ideas and thoughts in their minds and recognise the link between inaccurate or unhelpful thinking and psychological and emotional distress. CBT helps people identify the ways that their thoughts promote unecessary distress and then difficulties in finding ways to cope with the problems that led to the distress. This allows for change and the learning of healthier ways of thinking.
Sometimes the problem is not so much the way your are thinking about your problems, but the difficulty you have tolerating emotions. For a number of reasons, people may becomes intolerant of distress and spend so much time trying to get rid of unpleasant emotions that they lose the capacity to manage unpleasant emotions. Mindfulness is a well established evidence based technique for finding greater comfort in your emotional life. Mindfulness is not just a good technique for treatment - it can be learned as part of a healthy life.
In some ways a blend of the above two techniques, ACT aims to help you tolerate unpleasant emotions and maintain a focus on the values that you trust for your life. As you become more able to focus on what you value in life, your capacity to manage disomfort increases, and your well being also increases.
Interpersonal therapy recognises the fundamental role that relationships play in our health. IPT focuses on restoring and maximsing the relationships that underly our mental health.
Psychodynamic psychotherapy focuses on the way influences in our development leave their mark on our skills and self concept. Psychodyamic psychotherapy acts to reshape important learned aspects of our developmental years by filing in gaps in our learning, and building skills we did not get a chance to learn.
We provide thorough assessments of learning difficulties in primary and secondary school students, and in adults. We also provide cognitive assessments for preschool aged children. We also provide assessments for suspected Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Please note. We are not a crisis management service. Your psychologist may give you their mobile number to call if you need to talk to them, but we do not provide crisis management. If you feel that you or someone you care about is in a life threatening emergency you will need to call the Austin Hospital on 1300 859 789.
During treatment, you will often be given homework. The aim of homework varies with your stage of treatment. During assessment, the psychologist may ask you to complete homework in order to understand your symptoms better. During treatment, the psychologist may give you homework in order to help you build reliable skills and insight.
We aim to maximise the usefulness of your treatment. It is important that you develop an understanding of the things you need to do to stay well, and the things you need to do to recognise that you are at risk of becoming ill once more. We will give you a summary of your relapse management plan at the conclusion of your treatment.