Can I make an appointment for someone else - they need help!

No, unfortunately you cannot. Parents can make appointments for children up the age of 18. After that, we will talk to you about your concerns for the other person, but they must call us to make an appointment. The reason for this is that if the person concerned is not ready to call us themselves, then in almost all cases they either do not come to the appointment or do not proceed past the first appointment.

If you think about the last time you let your friend or partner tell you how to solve a problem you will see the difficulty.  Nothing helps until we decide to seek help.

Can you see my child and tell me all about it?

We can tell you a lot about your primary aged child and their treatment. But as soon as the child is old enough to want to talk privately, or if by telling you we compromise the child’s treatment, we cannot tell you what happens in sessions.

So in general, we work as closely as we can with parents, until children grow old enough to want their own private conversations.

So I pay the bill and get left in ignorance?

Not if we can help it. In order to include parents as much as possible we do two things. We work as a team so one psychologist sees the parents and one the child. This way the parents have support and appropriate help.  We also provide family sessions. Family sessions can be extremely helpful.

Everyone knows what is going on – but also everyone also needs to lend a hand to fix the problem. So you get to pay the bill and also do some work.

What if I have to cancel the appointment?

You need to give us 24 hours (business day) notice. If you leave us a message on Sunday we cannot do much about it. If you do not give us 24 hours notice you will, except in exceptional circumstances, receive a missed appointment fee which is the full session fee. 

We usually have people waiting for appointments, so each appointment you miss, someone else misses out on an appointment.

What if I run out of Medicare funded sessions?

Eltham Psychology Clinic has been in operation for many years prior to Medicare funded sessions for psychology. We aim to provide you with thorough treatment. Sometimes this will be possible within the time allowed by Medicare funded sessions and sometimes it will not.

We do what we can to make your sessions efficient by providing homework and good treatment structure. However, you do need to be aware that privately funded sessions may be necessary.

What if I don't want to continue with a psychologist?

Effective treatment relies on a good professional relationship between you and your psychologist. It is OK to ask for a psychologist of a certain age, or gender. Not everyone gets along with every doctor, so if you do not feel you are getting along well with your psychologist tell us and we can arrange to hand over your notes and treatment to date with another psychologist of your choosing. It is important that you feel able to make this decision.

What if it "doesn't work"?

People do not always get what they feel they want from psychology. This can be due to several things. Firstly, the thing that you want may not be possible – such as feeling happy all the time or getting into a satisfying romantic relationship. Psychology cannot change the nature of life. Happiness is not constant and romance depends to some extent on chance meetings. So a psychologist can help you understand how to manage your emotions, and can help you develop good social skills so you can get out and mix and enjoy meeting people. The rest, is for you as it is for others, part of life.

Secondly, it is easy to want something that is not healthy. We cannot help you achieve unhealthy goals. For example, if you are gay and want to be heterosexual, that is beyond us. If you want to be happy but keep your eating disorder, that cannot be done. If you would like to never explain yourself but be understood we will not be able to help. What we can do is help you to understand what the healthy goals in these areas may be.  We can help you accept your sexuality, recognise why the eating disorder is making you miserable, and help you learn to communicate well.

Lastly, therapy is a bit like having a personal trainer! If for some reason you do not undertake the homework and exercises suggested, you may not improve.

Generally, if your goals are possible and healthy and you are prepared to work on them you will make progress