A psychologist is a health profession that is trained to understand and help change human behaviour, thoughts and emotions. They can help individuals, couples, families children and adults, from all walks of life, to heal and recover from trauma, loss, adjustment, emotional distress and everyday concerns that occur in ones life.
In Australia, a psychologist must have at least six years of formal training and education before they can register as, and be called, a psychologist. They are required to abide by strict ethical guidelines and are governed by the Australian Heath Practitioners' Regulatory Association (AHPRA).
By choosing a registered psychologist, you are assured that your therapist is competent to provide a high standard of evidence-based therapy. Every psychologist must participate in regular supervision and training to keep their registration which means they are equipped, and held accountable, to provide effective psychological therapy. Professional Development Standards are high and must be maintained to continue practicing as a psychologist. Clients are therefore protected consumers and can be confident that their therapy is being conducted by a PROFESSIONAL with very high levels of skill and training.
What Does a Psychologist Do?
A psychologist can help someone to change whatever is underlying their area of concern. This can mean helping to change thoughts and beliefs, understand patterns in thinking & behaviour, examine relationships and interpersonal trends, explore the development of the issue and how it is maintained in their current lives. Therapy goals are usually established (i.e. wanting to reduce anger, manage grief, improve public speaking, feel more confident or motivated, develop good parenting strategies), a treatment plan formulated and then an appropriate therapy, or a combination of therapies, is then suggested for the client.
What can I expect in a first session?
You can expect a warm welcome at our clinic for sure. You will be offered a tea or water, a comfortable seat and a friendly psychologist. During your first session your psychologist will begin to gather information regarding your health, lifestyle, living arrangements, employment, relationships, when the issue began, childhood, family of origin, personality, beliefs, coping strategies, thoughts, feelings, environment and functioning. The psychologist will gently guide the conversation in an appropriate direction so they can develop the treatment plan and establish your goals.
Each session is 50 minutes long. Most individuals will require at least six psychology sessions to really understand themselves, develop strategies to change and to have a good understanding of what they are working on. Further treatment can cover relapse prevention and move a person from managing the issue to really THRIVING in their life. In our experience, clients often form a life-long attachment to their psychology clinic. They may come in for different treatment episodes at different times in their lives. People can often resolve current issues, be absolutely fine for a long period of time and then something happens in their life that requires a psychological "readjustment" or "fine-tune". This is completely normal and, just like having any other health professional, you can return if you have a "flare up" or life get a tough.
Rebecca Pearce has been a registered psychologist since 2003. In this time she has worked in community health, government agencies and private practice helping people recover from addictions, eating disorders, unwanted habits, relationships, anxiety, depression and trauma. Rebecca is now the founder, director and principal psychologist at Berwick Psychology & Hypnosis and leads a thriving team of allied health professionals. The clinic aims to deliver excellent clinical outcomes to clients wanting to improve their mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health. Rebecca is passionate about holistic health, wellbeing and helping others create their ideal life.