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How To Get The Most Out Of Therapy And Improve Your Mental Health

The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly impacted individuals’ mental health, with current data indicating that 1 in 5 Australians are now seeking the help of mental health professionals for issues like anxiety and depression.

While talk therapy is the most common approach to mental health treatment, not all therapy, therapists, or patient issues are equal. Some patients may benefit from medication in conjunction to talk therapy, which requires accessing both psychologic and psychiatric services. Others may only need to sporadically see a counsellor or attend a support group. It is necessary then to first assess what might be the right fit.

Many therapists, such as those practicing at PsychologyCare, offer an extended first session to assess patients. While this session allows the therapist to establish the primary issues to be worked on, it also allows the patient the opportunity to ask the following kinds of questions:

• What approach does this therapist specialise in (e.g. CBT, psychodynamic, humanistic, etc.)?

• Do I feel comfortable sharing – is their consultation environment, approach, and personality compatible with me?

• Do they specialise in the kind of therapy I need (e.g., long- versus short-term therapy, a particular set of mental health issues, etc.)?

• Do the benefits outweigh the costs associated with seeing this therapist, or could I get the same level of treatment from a subsidised, free, or alternate option?

• What consultation options are available – in-person, online, or both?

In order to get the most out of therapy, it would be best to also research what counsellors versus psychologists versus psychiatrists offer and then to decide on whom to consult first – GPs can generally offer patients valuable guidance in this regard. The next step would then be to make the call and attend a consultation with the understanding that it is okay to ‘shop around’ until finding the best option.

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