Services

Catering for Most Needs
Access psychology provides a very flexible assessment & therapy service catering for most psychological needs. The principle mode of therapy practiced at Access Psychology is Cognitive/Behavioural Therapy (CBT). This is a relatively brief and very effective approach to use for a wide range of disorders and it is well founded in psychological research. Aside from CBT, other therapies are also practiced. These include Hypnotherapy (which is particularly useful for problems such as stress management, chronic pain, and low self confidence) and Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR). Many people are not aware of EMDR. It is generally a dramatically quick and permanent way to treat problems related to traumatic experiences.

Surprisingly Quick and Easy
Clients are often surprised at the ease with which they have been able to change, and how permanent and rewarding are the changes. Consultations vary from the single counselling session to the more usual three to five psychological therapy sessions required for most Cognitive/Behavioural Therapy treatments. Some problems, however, (e.g. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, chronic pain, particularly complex problems or E.E.G. Biofeedback training) may require more time.

Counselling
Counselling services are available for all those personal or interpersonal problems where one is unable to properly see or evaluate one's options and/or put them in perspective. Counselling is the backbone of any psychological service and it helps the client find solutions that they can live with.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy helps to provide thinking skills and behavioural skills that help the client to overcome many problems and to avoid the reoccurrence of those problems. Once you learn these skills and apply then to the current problem, you are also able to apply them to future similar problems. Not only that, but also you are able to demonstrate (or "model") to others (e.g. your children) healthy ways to deal with those life problems.

Pain Management, Smoke-Stopping & Hypnosis
Pain has both a physical and a psychological component. Hypnosis is commonly used in the treatment of chronic pain because of its ability to alter one's senses (in this case we produce a reduction of the experience of pain). As a result one can achieve some regular respite from the usual degree of pain (an possibly be pain free) which assists in one's efforts to minimise the use of medication (for pain relief &/or depression) and an improvement in other areas such as sleep and level of frustration tolerance. Hypnosis is also used, in conjunction with Cognitive Therapy, in our highly successful and unique 4-SESSION STOP-SMOKING PROGRAM. Also, see TRTP (below) for the use of hypnosis for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post Traumatic Stress - EMDR, and TRTP
Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an odd treatment in that it looks like it could not do anything. However, this is clearly not the case. While there is generally some short term distress during treatment, in most cases I have found the results to be are strikingly positive, quick and permanent. EMDR has been recognised in 2007 by both the Australian Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health and the National Health and Medical Research Foundation as a Best Practice treatment for PTSD.

The Richards Trauma Process (TRTP) is a particularly effective use of hypnosis for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), abuse, grief, and several other psychological issues that are linked to difficulties in one's earlier life. It is comprised of a program of three structured long (about 90-minute) weekly sessions of hypnosis, followed by a normal-length counselling follow-up consultation approximately a month later. The first session treats unhelpful unconscious core beliefs and self-sabotage, the second session removes the emotional charge from the traumatic issues of the past, and the third session sets up a positive future. TRTP is a relatively new innovation and you will be hearing a lot more about it in the future.

Standardised Tests
A comprehensive range of standardised psychological tests are available to prepare for and/or complement therapy.

These include:
  • Personality Tests
  • Symptom Checklists
  • Neuropsychological Screening Tests

Referring-on As Needed
Referrals are made to other services as needed - e.g. addictive behaviours (regarding alcohol or illegal drugs) are generally dealt with in conjunction with other professional or community services and medical problems, of course, would require the involvement of your General Medical Practitioner.

Are Psychologists and Psychiatrists Different?
Psychology and Psychiatry are different professions.

Psychologists are specialists in emotional and behavioural assessment and change. The treatments they use are based on cognitive principles (i.e. to do with the way you think), behavioural principles and learning principles that have been developed through rigorous scientific study. These are applied through methods such as counselling, skills-training and biofeedback. Psychologists do not prescribe drugs or treat psychotic patients and they do not engage in long term psychoanalysis (although some do specialise in this type of work).

Finally, Psychologists are licensed to administer restricted psychological tests such as Intelligence tests.

Psychiatrists are medical practitioners who specialise in the drug treatments required for the medical management of psychiatric illnesses (although some also specialise in the treatment of psychological problems). They can also provide a sickness certificate, admit a person to a general hospital and detain a person to a psychiatric hospital.

Where the most appropriate treatment for your problem would involve drugs or hospitalisation, a psychologist would refer you to your medical practitioner who may then refer you to a psychiatrist.