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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs) – CHILD & YOUNG PERSON FRIENDLY

1. What is a Psychologist, and what do they do? 

 

Psychologists are people, (just like you!), who have special training in understanding the way people think, feel, and their behaviour. When you see a Psychologist, they will often talk about things like, how you think, how you feel, and what you do.  

 

Psychologists can work with people to help them achieve their goals. Some common goals people might have when they see a psychologist might include:  

 

  • Learning how to cope with big feelings 

  • Help in learning how to solve problems  

  • Communicating more effectively, so people around me better understand me 

  • Improve my relationships with other people, and making friends 

  • Standing up for myself 

  • Improving my focus  

  • Having someone to talk to 

 

And, much, much more - The list is endless!  

 

2. What happens at my first appointment? 

If you are under 16, it is likely that your parents (or guardians) have already met with your Psychologist. This way, your Psychologist understands a bit about what has been happening for you, and your family situation, before they meet you!  

When you first meet your Psychologist, they will ask you some questions to get to know you. (This is also a time you can ask some questions of your Psychologist!),  

At the first appointment, you might do some talking, some drawing, complete a questionnaire, and may play some games! (Tip: Some people like to bring a favourite toy, or game to your first appointment. We love playing with toys and new games!)  

Your Psychologist will then work with you to develop some goals and help you identify things you would like to achieve or work on in coming to therapy. Therapy is where the work (and fun) begins!  

At the end of the first session, we will usually provide your parents (or guardians) with a brief update on what we discussed and what the goals are we have agreed to work on.  

 

3. How often will I need to see the psychologist? 

This depends. Your Psychologist will discuss this with you and your parents/guardian at your appointment.  

 

4. What do I do if I don’t like my Psychologist?  

Sometimes, we might not feel like we “click” with our Psychologist right away. This is completely normal. It can feel a bit weird talking to a new person about our thoughts and feelings.  

If you feel you don’t “click” with your Psychologist, we encourage talking to your Psychologist, or speaking to your parents who can talk to the Psychologist for you.  

Sometimes there are things we can change, or do better, to help therapy work better for you. But the only way we can do this, is if you tell us what is working for you, and what might not be working for you.  

 

5. What is a provisional psychologist?  

A Provisional Psychologist is like a “P-Plate” driver. They have completed all their study, and have their licence, but there are some additional rules they need to follow.  

For example, Provisional Psychologists need to meet regularly with a supervisor (who is like a teacher). They must do a certain amount of professional development (which is like homework and study). In addition to this, they have to attend seminars (like classes) and do case reports (like assignments).  

At JBCP our Provisional Psychologists work as part of a team, so if you have a question about something, and they don’t know it yet – they will do their best to find out for you!  

 

6. Is what I say kept private? What information do you share with my parents?  

Speaking generally, what you talk about with a Psychologist is private and confidential. This means, it doesn’t get shared with anyone without your permission (or without your parent’s permission).  

We will need to share some information (e.g., what we are working on together, and therapy progress) with people such as; your parents or guardians, and your referring doctor.  

Sometimes you (or your parents) will also give us permission to talk to other people, such as, other family members or your teacher.   

The only other times we can share your information (without your permission) is when: 

  • You or someone else has been, or might be seriously hurt 

  • We talk about a serious crime 

  • Or as otherwise required by Australian law  

Usually, at the end of a session, we will discuss together what information will be shared with your parent/caregiver. If you have any concerns, please talk to your clinician about this.  

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