psychologist frequently asked questions Canberra psychology. Depression, Anxiety, Stress Therapy.

Frequently Asked Questions

I've heard of people ending up seeing 'shrinks' for years; is that true?

We've certainly seen some of our clients 'on and off' for more than a year, but the average number of sessions concentrating on a particular problem is around six, dependent upon the complexity of the issue/s, how long you've been burdened by them. Whilst we encourage clients to 'book ahead' to ensure that you don't end up with massive gaps between sessions, you are never under any obligation to continue with counselling (even previously booked sessions) at any time.

Will I have to talk about my childhood or blame my mother for my problems?

No, there are no 'hard and fast' rules that we follow at JMA Psychology Canberra, except that the client comes first, and that we follow where our clients lead. Sometimes that means that we are led into the past, including into the distant past, and sometimes our clients need to talk about experiences in childhood in order to move on, but you will never be forced to do anything or go anywhere where you do not want to go. Blame and judgment are unhelpful pastimes anyway, so we don't practice them or support them.

What are your qualifications?

Jacqui graduated with an Honours degree in Science (Psychology) from the University of Queensland in 1987, and has been continuously registered as a psychologist since that time. She is also a Member of the Australian Psychological Society.

Guy also graduated with an Honours degree in Science (Psychology) from the University of Warwick, and a Masters degree (with Distinction) in Science focusing on the psychology of sport and exercise from the Loughborough University, both in the UK.  Since coming to Australia he has gained his PhD from Victoria University having won an international Postgraduate Research Scholarship.

Laura also graduated with an Honours degree in Psychology from the University of Adelaide in 1974, adding a Masters in Steiner Education from UNE in 1998.

I live over the border in NSW - is that a problem?

No, it doesn't matter where you live, you can visit us at our practice in Fyshwick, or we can visit you at home in certain circumstances.

Can I just try you out once, to see if we click?

Yes, of course. The therapeutic relationship is very important and if you do not feel comfortable with a particular therapist, you should try to find someone you can better connect with. 

Where can I find out more about ACT?

The international website for Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is www.contextualpsychology.org, or you'll find a wealth of information locally on Dr Russ Harris' website www.actmindfully.com.au.

What is the difference between a psychologist, psychiatrist and a psychotherapist?

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor with additional qualifications in mental health and a psychologist has completed a minimum of 4 years university training (plus two years supervised practice) or 6 years of university training to obtain registration with the Australian Psychological Society.

Both psychologists and psychiatrists can provide psychotherapy but only a psychiatrist can prescribe drugs and only a psychologist can conduct psychological assessments. Both are bound by strict codes of ethics and are recognised by Medicare.

While many psychotherapists have undergone specialised training, anybody can call themselves a psychotherapist. It is best to check individual qualifications and professional associations before engaging a psychotherapist.