What to Expect

What to expect at your first visit

Coming to a psychologist for the first time is a big thing for most people so having a little information of what to expect can make the experience easier.

Firstly, we take pride in providing a relaxed and homely environment to help make the journey a little easier. And when you arrive, you will come to our wait room and be asked to complete some initial paperwork either by your treating psychologist or one of our Receptionists.

Arrive Early

It is good to arrive about 15 minutes early for your first appointment so you have plenty of time to find a park and to complete this paperwork. Please note whilst our reception is usually manned by one of our Interns, they also help with a variety of other projects. If you have any concerns and reception is unattended please call our backup reception team on 02 6684 4748.

We have coffee, spring water, tea and a range of herbal teas available while you are waiting and a range of wellbeing magazines and also toys and books for children.

Confidentiality

When it is time for your appointment, your psychologist will come and meet you in the wait room and walk you to the room for your consultation. All our rooms are professional and soundproofed and all psychologists are required to follow a strict code of ethics which includes keeping your confidential information exactly that – confidential. Please visit our webpage on confidentiality should you want further details.

In your first session with your psychologist they will help guide you through obtaining information about your background and the reason for your seeking therapy. This process is very different for each person and each psychologist will have their own preferred way of helping you work through the initial session. In preparing for your first session it can be helpful to think about what your goals for therapy are as well as the reasons that brought you therapy to help you explain this.

For clients with high anxiety

For clients who feel very anxious either about coming or about talking about particular events, it is important to note that you don’t have to discuss everything in the first session. Therapy is a process and it requires that you feel safe and trust your therapist. Take your time and let your therapist know if you feel uncomfortable discussing anything.

What is covered in my first session

In your first session, you and your psychologist can plan the frequency of your visits and start a treatment plan to help you work towards agreed goals together. Therapy is a team approach between you and your psychologist. Psychologists use a range of therapy tools and techniques which will be explained to you. Experienced psychologists have many tools available in their toolkits hence can help tailor therapy to suit you. Homework is a typical part of therapy as working on your goals in between sessions helps speed up your progress towards obtaining goals. For some clients, this might involve reading relevant books, for others it might be scheduling in self-care activities; it looks very different for different clients and takes your needs into account.

When therapy works well, your therapist is similar to a guide helping you understand the terrain you are navigating – they can’t take the journey for you but can help you find the right path and help you choose good paths to take and walk part of the journey with you.