It's not all Freud

Frequently Asked Questions about Psychologists

Who comes to see a clinical psychologist or therapist?

The widest range of people come to see psychologists. Other psychologists and therapists come to Delta for professional supervision (something all registered therapists are required to do). Sometimes people come for court reports on their behaviour or for victim impact reports. But mostly people come because they have some problem or issue that they want to resolve. It could be a traumatic incident, recent or past, or depression, anxiety, chronic pain (yes, there are good therapeutic techniques for dealing with long-term pain) or relationship problems. Anything that involves the mind that affects the things you do or the way you relate. Therapists do not prescribe medication but have a good understanding of any medication you might be on and will work with your doctor if needs be.

Do I need a referral?

You don't need a referral to see any of our therapists, just phone up, or contact us here, and we'll get you connected with someone who can help.

What happens when I start counselling?

When you first see a Delta therapist, they will ask you about the problem that has brought you to see them and related parts of your life. Together you'll agree on what the issues are and discuss the type of therapy that will help you. You may continue appointments with this therapist, or they may suggest another psychologist or therapist who specialises in the type of help you need. They may also refer you to groups or other community services that may help you. If, at any stage, you do not understand what your psychologist is saying, you should ask them to explain again. You can expect a clear explanation in language you understand.

How long will it take?

How long therapy will take depends on a number of things, from how severe the problem is to how good the client is at applying the techniques they are learning. However, you should expect some good progress within a few sessions. If you or your therapist feel that there is not enough progress for you, they will refer you on (with your agreement) to someone  else they believe can help.

Psychologist, psychiatrist, psychotherapist, butcher, baker...

There's always been some confusion about these different "psych" names.

  • A psychiatrist is a medical doctor with a specialisation in psychiatry. They mostly deal with serious mental illnesses that require long term medication: schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, psychosis and the like. Most psychiatrists work in hospitals but we have a psychiatrist attached to our practice that we can refer you to if the need arises. Most problems do not require a psychiatrist. You can read more about psychiatrists and their professional body here.
  • In New Zealand, psychotherapists commonly use therapies that are based on theories of human behaviour and personality, focussing on unconscious mental processes, early childhood experiences, and emotions. This may take longer than a psychologist's approach. However, Delta psychotherapist Terry Ebeling is a specialist family therapist with expertise in adolescence and parental relationships with very practical techniques for problem resolution. You can read more about psychotherapists and their professional body here.
  • Psychologists, especially clinical psychologists, use a range of cognitive behavioural therapies (CBT) to solve problems, i.e. changing thought processes to change behaviour and vice versa - an extremely effective and research-based range of techniques for anxiety, depression, phobias, relationship issues, pain management and more. You can read more about Clinical Psychology and their professional body here.

How much does it cost?

Rates for our therapists are in the range of $150 to $165 +gst depending on the nature of the work (eg if court reports are involved etc). However for private individuals the cost is usually at the lower end (sessions are about 50 minutes). Rates may vary depending on urgency, report requirements and other overheads. It is possible that all or part of the cost may be covered by your employer (under an EAP agreement) or by ACC (due to mental injury), the Family Court (relationship issues) or by Work and Income where hardship is an issue. Your therapist can advise you about where you might find assistance.

That's much more expensive than going to the doctor!

Your doctor's visit is subsidised by the government. Usually people don't engage in therapy unless they want to make significant change in their lives. In most cases the changes you make will be lifelong and give you a much better quality of life. Delta therapists have many years of training (always ongoing) and experience, yet are less costly than other Dunedin practices.


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