What to Expect in a First Appointment with a Psychologist

Sometimes in life, children, adolescents and families may get overwhelmed – there might be difficulties with family relationships, difficulties at school or changes within the family environment. At these times, it can be helpful to have some extra help and support both for individual members of the family or the family as a whole. A psychologist is someone who can provide that additional guidance, support and help to children, adolescents and families going through a difficult period. If you have never met with a psychologist before, it’s important to know what to expect at your first appointment.

blog-1After you have rung to make an appointment….
Generally we will call you to remind you about your appointment and check to see if you have any questions or concerns prior to your first appointment. Depending on the nature of the referral we make ask that you as the parent/guardian attend the first appointment without your child/adolescent so that all information can be discussed without concerns. Don’t worry though, it will be very clear about who should attend the first appointment at the time this is scheduled. If you have any concerns or questions regarding your first appointment, please don’t hesitate to ask one of our friendly psychologists.

blog-2When you walk in the front door….
When you arrive for the appointment, we will provide you with a client information form, and ask you to carefully read and sign a consent form. This form explains confidentiality, session length, fees and our cancellation policy. As registered psychologists, we are bound by a Code of Ethics that requires you to be informed about, and understand what will happen in child or adolescent’s treatment with us. This also reassures you that therapy occurs in a confidential, respectful and mindful manner.

If you have been referred by your GP or another doctor, or a third party such as a Government agency or school we will also discuss with you our communications process with them.

When you enter the Clinic room….
Your psychologist will come to the reception area to greet you and will show you to one of our clinic rooms. Your psychologist will be interested to know what brings you and your child/adolescent in to see us, so they will probably start the session by asking you about your concerns, and will try to gain an understanding of the difficulties your child/adolescent is experiencing and how we might be able to help yourself, your child, adolescent or family.

The first session often looks quite different to subsequent sessions, with your psychologist often asking lots of questions about what brought you here, what has been happening and what you would like out of seeing a psychologist. A psychologist will be asking you questions to help them better understand what is troubling you, your child/adolescent and your family as a whole. Questions will be about your history, family functioning, and particular aspects of the difficulties you’re experiencing, known stressors and also how you and your child/adolescent have coped with difficulties in the past. The psychologist might want to speak to you and your child/adolescent together or separately based on the nature of the issues you are seeking help for. We may also ask you and your child/adolescent to complete some brief forms to provide us with some further information.

blog-3It is also important to us that we know what your goals are and how you might know when you have achieved your goals.

We may offer you some ideas and suggestions on how things might be able to be different, and offer some guidance on change. We may even give you some tasks to try before you return.

When you leave…
By the time the first session is up you and your psychologist should have a clearer understanding of what’s worrying you and your child/adolescent, what you want out of seeing a psychologist and how we can work together to achieve your goals. You will have an understanding on whether it is a good ‘match’ between yourself and the psychologist and you feel comfortable in continuing treatment with that particular psychologist.

blog-4When we walk back to the waiting room, you will be invited to make another appointment and will provide payment for your appointment.

Our clinic address is: Shop 5, 2770 Logan Road, Underwood, 4119.

Our clinic is located in Underwood Village, on the corner of Logan Road & Underwood Road.

There is free parking and close public transport to ensure easy access by our clients.

Our clinic provides a child and adolescent friendly environment that supports differing modalities of intervention. The clinic provides for wheelchair access.