Why picking up the phone to make a psychology appointment is hard…
For many, the hardest part of starting to talk to a psychologist is making their first appointment. Picking up the phone, agreeing to come in, turning up for the appointment, speaking with someone new and then opening up to talk about things that concern you—it’s a lot.
The worry and anxiety you may be feeling before picking up the phone is really normal. Change is not easy. In fact, our brains prefer to keep things the same way—this lets the brain work a little less. But, if we are trying to change unhelpful thoughts and behaviours, the brain’s natural tendency can work against us and make changes hard.
On top of this, you’ve made the decision to call or start therapy when you don’t feel like you’re in a good spot mentally and making decisions when we feel this way can often feel like a heavy weight to bear.
So, congratulations—by thinking about picking up the phone you’ve already taken the first successful steps in starting your journey. By doing this you have made an active decision that you’re going to seek out help on how to make some changes.
If you now find yourself stumbling (stumbling being a small temporary fumble, rather than failing) at the last step of making an appointment, for example, making the call or attending the first appointment, here are some things that might help you keep moving forward.
We’re here to help
Firstly, some reassurance – psychologists are here to help. And that isn’t just a passover statement or because it’s our business model, it’s a genuine passion to help people.
We also spend many years being trained how to help you through difficult periods, to make the changes you want and, find your feet again.
So phoning up to speak to someone isn’t you ‘failing at something’ – it’s you seeing an opportunity and taking it. And we’re here to support you with that.
How can you get a Psychologist appointment?
For many, the best place to start is with their GP. Your GP can provide a Mental Health Treatment Plan which refers you to a psychologist – either one that your GP recommends or you can specify one. The Mental Health Treatment Plan allows you access to 20 sessions each year which attract a Medicare rebate to assist with the cost of the session.
Here at Lawson Clinical Psychology you can also refer yourself—just call up our friendly client relationship team.
What does my first psychology appointment look like?
Great question! At Lawson Clinical Psychology your first session is mostly about one of our friendly psychologists getting to know you and you getting to know them. We’ll have a chat about how you’re feeling – some information on your background, family life and personal history. Basically, we’d like to understand what your worries are and how we can help you. If you’d like more information about what your first session will look like, head over to our blog page and read What to expect when seeing a clinical psychologist.
What do I need to bring to my first psychology appointment?
If you have been referred by GP, you may need to bring a copy of the referral (if it has not been sent by your GP), but other than that, just bring yourself.
Ideally, we’d like to know what you’d like to work on and how we can help you. A simple bullet point list can help prepare you, but sometimes that pathway isn’t always clear. So don’t worry, we’re here to help you find that.
Remember, just turning up and being open is a big step forward and one you should be proud of.
Making an appointment can feel difficult, it feels difficult for many, but remember if you’ve got to the point of thinking about making one you’ve already taking so many positive steps to get there.
We’re a friendly bunch who is here to help—just raise your hand and we’ll start the rest. We’re on your team.
You can explore our website and social media to find more about what we do and if you’d like to get in touch with us you can give us a call or send us an enquiry via our website.
Written by Dr Kristen Seaman, Clinical Psychologist Registrar
Monday to Thursday 9am - 8pm
Friday 9 am - 4pm
Saturday 9am - 2:30pm
6 Outram Street
West Perth, 6005 WA
36 St Quentin Avenue
Claremont, 6010 WA
In the spirit of reconciliation, the Lawson Clinical Psychology acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.
Lawson Clinical Psychology celebrates the extraordinary diversity of people’s bodies, ability genders, sexualities and relationships that they represent.