To Book an Appointment:
(02) 9713 9265

What is a Psychologist?

A Psychologist is a university educated professional whose training focuses on the human mind and behaviour. It includes the study of normal development as well as difficulties in mental health. Psychologists complete a minimum of four years of university training and two years of workplace-based training. Clinical Psychologists have at least six years of university training and membership of the Clinical College of the APS requires an additional year of further training or study.

What is the difference between a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist?

Treatment by Psychologists consists of talking therapy such as CBT that is designed to modify thoughts and behaviours that are causing difficulty. They do not prescribe medication but frequently work with people who have been prescribed medication by a GP or Psychiatrist. Psychiatrists have a medical degree and are skilled at the use of medication to assist people with mental health problems. Some Psychiatrists have further training in talking therapies and include this in their practice.

Who should see a Psychologist?

You can benefit from seeing a Psychologist if you are experiencing a current problem with your emotional well- being. This could include depression, anxiety, anger, difficulty in relationships with others, parenting, loneliness and many others. Some people come to see a Psychologist when they have experienced a past event such as abuse or a period of depression. Psychologists can help with recovery from such experiences and can help people with relapse prevention to reduce the impact of those difficulties in the future. In addition, psychologists can help with problems such as weight loss, adjustment to major life transitions, life direction and stress management.

How many sessions will I need?

This depends on the nature of your difficulties and what you would like to achieve. You will be given a guideline for the number of sessions that you are likely to need following the initial assessment. The aim is always to achieve change as quickly as possible. Your rate of progress will also depend on how much time you spend on working towards your therapeutic goals between sessions. You may be given ideas for specific exercises that can be used to increase your rate of progress between sessions.

How can Psychologists assist with weight loss?

Recent research suggests that CBT-based treatments are effective for assisting people with weight-loss and long term maintenance of weight-loss. CBT-based treatments identify and address the thoughts and behaviours that are preventing weight-loss. This treatment works well alongside support from GPs, Dieticians and fitness professionals. Sometimes difficulties with food are related to more complex issues, psychologists can work with you on addressing any underlying difficulties that are contributing to problems with food. 

 

Do I need a referral from a GP?

If you would think you might me covered by the Medicare subsidy scheme, then a GP assessment is necessary. You can telephone Bernadette for further information if you are not sure if this applies to you. A GP assessment of your general health can also be useful to rule out any physical causes of your difficulties. Otherwise, a GP referral is not necessary before making an appointment.

I may have difficulties with food or substances but am not sure that I am ready to change. I am concerned that a Psychologist will expect me to be motivated to change.

Motivational Enhancement Therapy is useful for people who would like more information about their difficulty with food or substances and help to think about the impact it is having on them. It does not require a readiness to change to benefit from this type of therapy.

How do I know what type of therapy is right for me?

Part of the assessment process is to get a better understanding of you and your difficulties and to provide you with information about the types of therapy that might be useful for you. Only therapies that have been shown to have proven benefit by research are offered. Please see our page detailing the types of therapy that we offer for more information.

How do I know which psychologist I should see?

When you make an enquiry at our practice, we will ask for a brief outline of the area that you would like to work on and we will discuss which psychologist will be best suited to your needs. 

What kind of support is offered for people with eating disorders?

There are some additional things to consider when planning effective treatment for people with eating disorders. The right type of treatment at the right time is crucial and having individual appointments once a week when you need something more intense can keep you stuck or even be harmful for you. The first appointment with one of our psychologists will involve a more detailed assessment to ensure that our service is right for your treatment needs. We also require that you see a dietician, preferrably one that specialises in eating disorders and have regular monitoring of your physical health with a GP. For some people, it can also be useful to see a psychiatrist. We work closely with a number of dieticians and have included some more information below from Elizabeth Stathakis of Lifestyle Consultations about the various roles of different professionals in providing treatment for eating disorders.

 

Who to have on your eating disorder recovery team

Eating disorders require a multidisciplinary approach to treatment. Here are the main players in the team and the rationale behind their involvement to help you understand who you may need on your side and why:

 

Dietitian

  • Assess intake for nutritional adequacy
  • Improve diet quality
  • Provide practical advice around food and eating patterns
  • Meal plan prescription and review
  • Support weight restoration and/or sustainable weight management
  • Reduce destructive eating behaviours
  • Support challenges of fear foods or food environments
  • Support a positive relationship with all foods

 

Psychologist

  • Psychological skills development
  • Address fears around weight and shape
  • Psychotherapy and treatment of emotional and mental suffering including comorbidities such as anxiety, depression, trauma, stress and relationship/family difficulties, social issues


General Practitioner (GP)

  • Education resource person, information on available support services in the community and hospital setting
  • Medical monitoring, physical check-up
  • Referral to appropriate eating disorder support services, including psychiatrist psychologist and dietitian for assessment and treatment


Psychiatrist

  • Diagnosis of eating disorder
  • Treatment plan to address the eating disorder
  • Review and management of medications


Exercise Physiologist

  • Support a healthy and enjoyable relationship with physical activity
  • Reduce disordered compensatory behaviours related to physical activity
  • Reduce risk of injury from activity and if applicable support with recovery from injury


Social worker

  • Assess need for support to assist or to improve wellbeing
  • Identifies and addresses external issues that may impact on wellbeing
  • Researches and refers to community resources
  • Case management & counselling for individuals or their support network

 

Elizabeth Stathakis APD AN

Dietitian, Nutritionist, Exercise Physiologist, Health Coach

Balmain - Gladesville - Leichhardt - Five Dock

E: elizabeth@lifestyleconsultations.net.au

W: www.lifestyleconsultations.net.au

P: 0474 219 540

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Important Info

What you need to know before your first session

Diary System

Please ensure we have your email address prior to your first session so that you can begin the registration process for Halaxy. Halaxy allows clients direct access to view their own scheduled appointments and invoices. Using the client portal you will also be able to print previous invoices to facilitate claiming of rebates with your health fund or Medicare, where these rebates apply. Please check your junk mail for the link to set up your Halaxy portal.

Cancelling or rescheduling appointments

Please email your psychologist directly to reschedule appointments.

alex@drbywater.com.au

angela@drbywater.com.au

bianca@drbywater.com.au

bernadette@drbywater.com.au

rachel@drbywater.com.au

jules@drbywater.com.au

Please note that our psychologists check their individual emails on a bi-weekly basis.

 

The full session fee is charged for appointments cancelled on the day and for non-attendance. Cancellations or rescheduling of appointments with less than 24 hours or non-attendance at appointments will incur a charge of 50% of the session fee. If there are exceptional circumstances, please email your psychologist or contact us on 9713 9265 to discuss your situation.

Session times and payments

Sessions run for 50 minutes. For some types of therapy, longer times may be offered as an option prior to the appointment.

You can pay prior to the session using Bpay by accessing your invoice through your Halaxy portal - our online diary and payment processing system. You can also pay at the time of the session by credit card. To make this quicker and easier, we can store your details securely on Halaxy. If you have a valid Medicare referral, your psychologist can lodge your claim with Medicare for you so that your rebate is processed into your bank account by Medicare 24 hours later. You will be emailed forms for Halaxy when you book your first appointment to set you up on Halaxy. Please return these forms via email or bring them to your first appointment. If you have any concerns about these methods of payment, please email info@drbywater.com.au to discuss other options.