Frequently Asked Questions
What can I expect from my first session with a psychologist?
You’ll probably have a lot of questions, and this session is for us to be able to meet, get to know each other a little, and find out more about why you have come. Depending on your requirements this assessment might lead to a diagnosis, treatment plan, and some tasks to do before the next session. We’ll agree on some goals together, and put together a plan of how often you’ll attend therapy to reach these goals.
How long is treatment going to take?
It depends on your goals, how fast you’d like to work, what the issues are, and how often you’d like to attend. In the first session we discuss all this, and future sessions might be scheduled weekly, or fortnightly. We work together on this, you’re an active collaborator in your treatment, and this is the case right from the beginning.
How much will it cost?
Have a look at the fees page to find out more about my rates, and also some information on what financial assistance might be available to you.
Are you held to any legal
As a Registered Psychologist with the New Zealand Psychologists Board and member of the NZ Psychological Society I am bound by their Code of Ethics for my practice. My practice also falls under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act (HPCAA). This means that I practice within the principles of ‘Best Practice’ and of my professional training, by consulting literature, keeping up to date with new research findings, continually furthering my professional development, and seeking supervision.
Will anyone find out what I talked to you about?
Once we've entered a therapeutic relationship, I'm bound to strict confidentiality. This means that anything you tell me stays between us, and your notes and personal details are securely stored. Sometimes it's helpful to involve other people in your life, but I'll always discuss that with you and obtain consent if you're happy to go ahead. There is an exception to the principle of confidentiality: if there is risk of harm. I will always talk to you about this first.
What is psychology, and how can therapy help me?
Psychology is the study of humans, their brains and behaviour. Talking therapies like counselling and individual psychological therapy can take many forms depending on your purpose for seeking help. You will have a chance to talk about what has been bothering you, and you may get a diagnosis if you would like one - this will be discussed with you first. You will probably get exercises to practice between sessions - these might focus on changing your thinking or behaviour in some way, practicing ways to recover from emotional upsets, getting to know yourself better, or perhaps thinking over a particular concept. While we don't know everything about the human brain yet, there are some pretty amazing evidence-based therapies that work for more common issues that people face.
Where are you located?
I'm based in West Auckland, on the Te Atatu Peninsula. That's a 15 minute drive from the CBD when there's no traffic - a little more at peak time! My clinic is within the Peninsula Medical Centre building. So when you come to see me, you'll let the receptionist know your name, and I'll collect you from the waiting area. Your confidentiality will be well preserved as it wouldn't be clear to anyone whether you're seeing a doctor, nurse, dentist, physio, or any of the other services in the building. There's lots of parking right outside and the Peninsula Medical Centre is easy to find - off Te Atatu Road just off the Western motorway.
Do you work anywhere else?
Yes, as many psychologists do, I work in a few different places through the week! I'm an anxiety specialist at the Anxiety New Zealand Trust, I occasionally see overseas clients via Skype for The Expat Counsellors, and I'm a long time volunteer youth counsellor at Youthline. Sometimes I help design online training programmes with psychological components too - currently for an organisation called Fleetcoach Limited.