What should you expect when coming to see a Psychologist?

We understand that coming to see a mental health professional for an issue you have been facing can be a daunting and emotional experience. It can be scary to open up and be vulnerable with a stranger about your innermost thoughts. However, being present with you in these moments is exactly what a Psychologist is trained for. It’s important to remember that mental health issues are common and seeking help for mental health should be treated the same as seeking help for a physical condition.

We asked Psychologist, David Ahmed, what should one expect when coming to see a Psychologist?

“This is a question I get asked occasionally and the answer is- it depends. I personally attempt to initially establish rapport. Research suggests and it is certainly my observation, that rapport is fundamentally important in any therapeutic relationship. You should expect genuine courtesy, respect and empathy when seeing a psychologist throughout your treatment.

Initially you may have a mental health care plan. This should be thoroughly read, understood and then summarised with you. You will then have the opportunity to add any corrections and emphasise what it is that brought you to therapy. Clients will likely complete some form of psychological questionnaire relating to how they have been feeling over the past week – this is scored and interpreted with the client initially then readministered in later sessions. A reasonable review of your current situation and historical issues usually peruses. I personally take a holistic approach- that is what your historical and current relationships are like, how your current employment is perceived, current supports etc.

As psychologists we are not here to tell you what you ‘should’ do, but rather provide problem solving strategies that we can discuss to resolve historical and/or current issues. I personally use an eclectic approach which mostly focuses on cognitions and behaviour known and cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT). I also add techniques from mindfulness and interpersonal therapy and various other valid therapeutic techniques in addition
to clinical experience.

From there we attempt to establish a therapeutic plan which can include specific goals, tailored to the client’s needs. Although there is a semi-structured approach to therapy sessions, for me, I always attempt to adapt each session to what the client requires for that day. From my experience therapy should be bespoke- there is no one-size-fits-all. Special mention to my daughter Aleena who has a keen interest in Psychology.”

David Ahmed currently consults across our Mitcham, Norwood and Kidman Park practices and is now taking appointments on Saturdays at Kidman Park.
To make an appointment please call your local practice:

  • Kidman Park: (08) 8356 2299
  • Mitcham: (08) 8271 2222
  • Norwood: (08) 8431 5506

Pro Psychology SA, David Ahmed, Psychologist

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