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/doctor. Your GP/doctor can provide a mental health treatment plan which refers you to a psychologist – either one that your GP/doctor 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.  

Lawson Clinical Psychology can also refer you—call our client relationship team to find out more.

What does my first psychology appointment look like?

Your first session with us is mostly about you getting to know our friendly psychologists and them getting to know you. We’ll have a chat about how you’re feeling – some information on your background, family life and personal history, your worries and concerns and how we can help you.

Read more about your first session on our blog.

What do I need to bring to my first psychology appointment?

If you have been referred by GP/doctor, you may need to bring a copy of the referral (if it has not been sent by your GP/doctor), 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

More information

If you would like to learn more about goal setting or to book an appointment with one of our experienced clinical psychologists, contact our friendly client team by calling 6143 4499 or email via our contact page.

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