Counselling

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Individual Therapy

Individual therapy is a process through which clients work one-on-one with the psychologist to explore their feelings, beliefs, or behaviours in a safe, caring and confidential environment. People seek therapy for a wide variety of reasons, from coping with major life challenges or childhood trauma, to dealing with depression or anxiety, to simply desiring personal growth and greater insight about themselves. We only use evidence based approaches such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Acceptance Commitment Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Exposure Therapy, Mindfulness and others, ensuring we can provide a range of therapies that can meet the needs of our clients.

What We Can Help With

Depression

Everyone occasionally feels blue or sad. But these feelings are usually short-lived and pass within a couple of days. When you have depression, it interferes with daily life and causes pain for both you and those who care about you. Depression is the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide (World Health Organization). The incidence of chronic depression is disturbingly high, affecting as many as one in four women and one in six men, and it can have a devastating impact on a person’s family, social and work life and their general state of health.

Common Symptoms:
Some common symptoms of depression include:
• Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
• Fatigue and decreased energy
• Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
• Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
• Insomnia, early morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
• Irritability, restlessness
• Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
• Loss of pleasure in life
• Overeating or appetite loss
• Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment
• Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings
• Thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts

What to expect in treatment?
Many people suffer from depression, and there are many reasons why depression can persist. Working with a professional who is trained to achieve positive outcomes and management of these symptoms will ultimately lead to you feeling more empowered, stronger, and confident in the knowledge that you can handle depression in the future. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness and is not something to fear. Gaining the help, you need is a sign of strength and courage. If you or anyone close to you is experiencing depression please contact Insight to book an appointment with one of our highly trained and experienced psychologists.

Anxiety

Anxiety is a normal human emotion that everyone experiences at times. Many people feel anxious, or nervous, when faced with a problem at work, before taking a test, or making an important decision. Everyday anxiety is occasional, mild and brief. However, the anxiety felt by a person with an anxiety disorder occurs often, is more intense, and lasts longer: up to hours and sometimes even days. Anxiety disorders can make it hard for people to work or study, manage daily tasks and have relationships. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health problem in women and are second only to substance-use disorders in men. On average, one-in-four Australians will experience an anxiety disorder at some stage in their life.

Common Symptoms:
An anxiety disorder is a serious mental illness and for people with anxiety disorders, worry and fear are constant and overwhelming, and can be crippling. The most important thing to do is recognise the symptoms and seek help.
Anxiety disorders are a group of related conditions rather than a single disorder, so they can look very different from person to person. One individual may suffer from intense anxiety attacks that present without warning, while another gets panicky at the thought of mingling at a party. Despite their different forms, all anxiety disorders share one major symptom: persistent or severe fear or worry in situations where most people wouldn’t feel threatened.
Anxiety also involves a wide range of physical symptoms as a product of our body’s fight or flight response system. Due to the numerous physical symptoms, anxiety sufferers often mistake their disorder for a medical illness. They may visit many doctors and make numerous trips to the hospital before their anxiety disorder is discovered. Some common physical symptoms of anxiety include:
• Pounding heart
• Sweating
• Upset stomach
• Dizziness
• Muscle Tension
• Shortness of breath
• Tremors and insomnia

What to expect in treatment?
The goal in the management of anxiety is not to remove all anxiety, but to reduce it to a manageable level so that a person can function well in their daily life. Psychological treatments may not only help people to recover but can also help to prevent a recurrence of anxiety problems. Effective treatment helps people with an anxiety disorder learn how to control the condition – so it doesn’t control them.
If you or anyone you know has anxiety or an anxiety related disorder, please contact Insight to book an appointment with one of our highly trained and experienced psychologists.

Trauma (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – PTSD)

Trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, sexual assault, rape or natural disaster. Immediately after the event, shock and denial are typical. Longer-term reactions include unpredictable emotions, flashbacks, strained relationships and even physical symptoms like headaches or nausea. While these feelings are normal, some people have difficulty moving on with their lives. Psychologists can help these individuals find constructive ways of managing their emotions.

Common Symptoms:
Trauma develops differently depending on the individual. While the symptoms most often make their first appearance shortly after the event, they can sometimes lie dormant and appear even years later. Trauma can impact the body, thinking, behaviour and emotions. For example:
Body: rapid heart-beat; sweating; shaking; feeling faint
Thinking: Intrusive thoughts of the event, flashbacks, nightmares
Behaviour: Withdrawing from others; avoidance
Emotions: fear, shock, sadness, numbness, guilt, anger, anxiety

Trauma may occur in two ways: either direct experience, where the survivor experiences a horrible incident or treatment, or second-hand experience such as hearing of or witnessing a traumatic incident.

What to expect in treatment?
Treatment for trauma and associated conditions such as PTSD typically involves a detailed evaluation and development of a treatment plan tailored to the symptoms and needs of the individual. Treatment typically involves identifying strategies for leading a more balanced and functional life.
If you are anyone close to you are experiencing these symptoms please contact Insight for further information or to make an appointment.

Low self-esteem and self confidence

Self-esteem refers to how you feel about yourself overall; how much esteem, value, positive regard or self-love you have. Self-esteem develops from experiences and situations that have shaped how you view yourself today. Self-confidence is how you feel about your abilities and can vary from situation to situation.

Common Symptoms:
While everyone lacks confidence occasionally, people with low self-esteem or low self-confidence feel unhappy or unsatisfied with themselves most of the time. They often spend lots of time criticising themselves. This can cause negative feelings such as anxiety, depression anger, shame or guilt. Problems with self-esteem and self-confidence can affect relationships, can cause a lack of self-care and can put a person at increased risk of self-harm.

What to expect in treatment?
At Insight our psychologists can help identify the emotions underlying self-esteem and work with you to develop strategies for understanding and managing those emotions to reduce the impact on your sense of self.
If you or anyone you know are seeking help for low self-esteem and self-confidence which is becoming a problem, please contact Insight to book an appointment with one of our highly trained and experienced psychologists

Grief and loss

Grief is a natural response to loss. It might be the loss of a loved one, relationship, miscarriage, pet, job or way of life. Other experiences of loss may be due to children leaving home, infertility and separation from friends and family. The more significant the loss, the more intense the grief is likely to be.

Common Symptoms:
Grief is expressed in many ways and it can affect every part of your life; your emotions, thoughts and behaviour, beliefs, physical health, your sense of self and identity, and your relationships with others. Grief can leave you feeling sad, angry, anxious, shocked, regretful, relieved, overwhelmed, isolated, irritable or numb.
Grief has no set pattern, where everyone experiences grief differently. Some people may grieve for weeks and months, whilst others may describe their grief lasting for years. Whatever your grief experience, it’s important to be patient with yourself and allow the process to naturally unfold.
When grief remains strong over time, emotions like anger, depression or disbelief can stick with you. You may find that your ability to go about your daily routine is hampered by intrusive thoughts of the lost loved one, or you have not yet properly accepted the loss yet. When this happens, it may be time to speak to a professional about your experience.

What to expect in treatment?
At Insight, our psychologists can help you work through the intense emotions you may be feeling and identify strategies for overcoming the obstacles to your grieving process.
If you are someone you know are experiencing grief and loss and it is impacting your day to day routine, please contact Insight for an appointment with one of our highly trained and experienced psychologists.

Stress management

Stress is a normal psychological and physical reaction to the ever-increasing demands of life. In looking at the causes of stress, remember that your brain comes hard-wired with an alarm system for your protection.

Common Symptoms:
The signs and symptoms of stress overload can be almost anything. Stress affects the mind, body, and behaviour in many ways, and everyone experiences stress differently. Not only can overwhelming stress lead to serious mental and physical health problems, it can also take a toll on your relationships at home, work, and school.
When your brain perceives a threat, it signals your body to release a burst of hormones to fuel your capacity for a response. This has been labelled the “fight-or-flight” response. Once the threat is gone, your body is meant to return to a normal relaxed state. Unfortunately, the nonstop stress of modern life means that your alarm system rarely shuts off. That’s why stress management is so important. Stress management gives you a range of tools to reset your alarm system.

What to expect in treatment?
Without stress management, all too often your body is always on high alert. Over time, high levels of stress lead to serious health problems. It is important to learn how to recognise when your stress levels are out of control. The most dangerous thing about stress is how easily it can creep up on you. It starts to feel familiar, even normal. You don’t notice how much it’s affecting you, even as it takes a heavy toll. At Insight, our psychologists can work with you to identify factors contributing to your stress levels and help you implement strategies that assist in the management of your stress.

If you feel that you could benefit from learning some life-long skills that can improve your stress management, contact us at Insight for an appointment.

Child and family

Your child is a vibrant and distinct individual who experiences his or her own unique combination of emotions, circumstances and influences. There is no one-size-fits-all solution; every child and youth deserve the appropriate time and attention to be heard and understood. Coping with the social, emotional, developmental and behavioural challenges that affect your child or adolescent takes time, patience and understanding.

Common Symptoms:
Children experience social, emotional, behavioural, and developmental challenges that can be expressed among other ways through conduct disorders, anxiety, depression and adjustment disorders. Factors that can contribute to the challenges experienced by children include things such as: parent’s divorce or separation; grief and loss; family and domestic violence.

What to expect in treatment?
At insight, we work with children ranging from toddler age to adolescence. In this work it is valuable and important to involve the family so sessions may also involve parents or other family members.
We can work with your child, adolescent or together as a family to help young people identify the issues and learn new skills to resolve emotional, social and behavioural concerns. Treatment approaches may include: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy; Play Therapy; Narrative Therapy and Family Therapy.

If your child is experiencing any of these issues please contact Insight to book an appointment with one of our highly trained and experienced psychologists.

Relationship and Couples Therapy

Couples may experience relationship difficulties whether it’s a new relationship or a long-term relationship. Couples will always be confronted and sometimes overwhelmed by challenges they face, but mostly they are able to deal with them and move on. However sometimes these challenges leave each partner feeling alienated and alone and unable to sort out the issues, no matter how hard they try. The same old arguments occur, with the same frustrating outcomes, and both partners can feel stuck. As time goes on one or both may start considering separation.

Common Symptoms:
Everyone’s relationship is different but sometimes we face similar issues. Indicators that there may be need to work on your relationship include repeated periods of doubt about the relationships accompanied by feelings of dissatisfaction, irritation, anger, frustration, hurt and disappointment. The experience of these feelings may increase in length and happen more frequently.
Some common factors contributing to these feelings include:
• Communication breakdown
• An emotional affair
• A physical affair
• Secrecy
• Emotional distance
• Conflicts
• Managing work-life balance
• Difference in parenting style

What to expect in treatment?
Sometimes only one partner attends therapy in an attempt to alleviate their negative thoughts and feelings related to their relationship or may want some skills in conflict resolution or more effective communication. Other times both partners will attend therapy together and at times there may be both individual and joint sessions. Together with the client/s we can negotiate the best structure.
When couple’s attend for therapy together they can expect structured and goal-oriented therapy that aims to disarm conflicting verbal communication, increase intimacy, respect and affection, remove barriers that create a feeling of stagnancy in conflicting situations, and create a heightened sense of empathy and understanding within the context of the relationship.
If you or your partner feels that you could benefit from learning some life-long skills that can improve your relationship, contact us at Insight for an appointment.

Adolescent issues

Adolescence can be a confusing and stressful time. There are many psychological and physical changes that occur from the ages of 11 to 21, as adolescents move through the process of becoming an adult. Most of the time, the issues can be worked through by the individual, with the support of their family and friends, but sometimes they require some professional help.

Common Symptoms:
During adolescence, you’ll notice changes in the way your adolescent interacts with family, friends and peers. Every adolescent’s social and emotional development is different. Your adolescent’s development is shaped by their unique combination of genes, brain development, environment, experiences with family and friends, and community and culture.
Social changes and emotional changes show that your adolescent is forming an independent identity and learning to be an adult. You may notice that your adolescent may be searching for identity, seeking more independence, seeking more responsibility, influenced more by friends, develop their sexual identity, think more about ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, communicate via technology, show strong feelings causing ups and downs, is sensitive, is more self-conscious, spends less time with the family and engages in more arguments with family. These are just a few of the social and emotional changes that can occur that can become challenging for the adolescent and their caregivers. With all the changes occurring, adolescents are at risk of poor mental health, including anxiety, depression, self-harm, bullying, eating disorders, antisocial behaviour and risk-taking behaviour such as substance misuse.

What to expect in treatment?
Our team of experienced psychologists support adolescents that are experiencing a range of mental health issues. We can work with your adolescent individually as well as with the family to help young people identify the issues and learn new skills to resolve emotional, social and behavioural concerns. Treatment approaches may include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Narrative therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

If you or someone close to you is experiencing any of these issues, please contact us at Insight to book an appointment with one of our highly trained and experienced psychologists.

Anger Management

Everyone at times experiences anger, from mild irritation to extreme rage. Sometimes however, a person may express anger in detrimental ways such as shouting, throwing, breaking things or causing self-harm. Understanding what triggers feelings of rage and frustration and learning how to channel it appropriately can allow men and women to be assertive and protect their rights and interests.

Common Symptoms:
Anger is a normal human emotion. It often occurs in reaction to an event or situation that may cause feelings of embarrassment, hurt, sadness, jealousy, stress or frustration. Common factors that can contribute to anger are feeling pressure, hormonal changes, a sense of injustice or general frustration with how life is going. While anger is normal, how you cope with and express your anger is important. If you feel that your anger is really out of control, if it is having an impact on your relationships and on important parts of your life, you might consider therapy to learn how to handle it better.

What to expect in treatment?
The goal of anger management is to reduce both your emotional feelings and the physiological arousal that anger causes. You can’t get rid of, or avoid the things or the people that enrage you, nor can you change them, but you can learn to control your reactions.
There are psychological tests that measure the intensity of angry feelings, how prone to anger you are, and how well you handle it, however chances are that if you do have a problem with anger, you already know it. If you find yourself acting in ways that seem out of control and frightening, you might need help finding better ways to deal with this emotion.

If you or anyone you know is experiencing issues with anger, please contact Insight to book an appointment with one of our highly trained and experienced psychologists.

Substance Abuse

People with Substance Use Disorders often don’t recognise or seek help for the problem and may not be screened for substance abuse when they seek treatment for other health conditions, which means that substance abuse and dependence disorders are often under-recognised and undertreated. Despite this, substance use disorders are among the most common of mental health disorders experienced by young people. In Australia, 12.7 percent of people aged 16-24 are estimated to have a substance use disorder. Harmful use of alcohol was the most commonly reported substance use disorder (at around 9%).

Common Symptoms:
Substance and Alcohol Use Disorders can cause problems in all areas of life. Family and friends may be affected by the person’s changing personality and inability to accept that his or her substance use is a problem. It can affect the person and their family through financial problems.
A substance or alcohol addiction can be costly and acquiring the substance is often put ahead of important expenses such as food, healthcare or bills. Substance use can also cause problems at work as abuse and/or dependence can make it impossible for someone to work productively or induce them to take excessive sick leave. There are also potentially grave legal implications to using and having possession of certain substances.
Substance abuse is an intense desire to use increasing amounts of a particular substance or substances to the exclusion of other activities. This is a psychological experience.
Substance dependence is the body’s physical need, or addiction, to a specific agent. There is therefore virtually no difference between dependency and addiction. Over the long term, this dependence results in physical harm, behaviour problems, and association with people who also abuse drugs. Stopping the use of the drug can result in a specific withdrawal syndrome.

What to expect in treatment?
At insight our psychologists take a person-centred approach and tailor an approach that fits the individual. Approaches that may be applied include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy or Family Therapy.
If you believe that you or someone close to you has a substance or alcohol related problem and you would like some professional help, please contact us at Insight for an appointment with one of our highly trained and experienced psychologists.

Psychosis and Psychotic Disorders

Psychotic disorders are mental disorders in which a person’s personality is severely confused and that person loses touch with reality. Approximately 1 percent of the population suffers from a psychotic disorder. These conditions are most commonly found in people in their late teens to early thirties and effects men and women equally. Like many other mental disorders, psychotic disorders are often genetic. Psychotic disorders require diagnosis by a Psychiatrist or a Clinical Psychologist. Most often the two professions will work together in the treatment of a person who receives a diagnosis of psychotic disorder.

Common Symptoms:
When a psychotic episode occurs, a person becomes unsure about what is real and what isn’t real and usually experiences hallucinations, delusions, off-the-wall behaviour, chaotic speech and incoherency. A person behaving in this manner is often referred to as having schizophrenia as it is the most common diagnosis of a psychotic disorder.

What to expect in treatment?
The two main forms of treatment for psychotic disorders are medication and psychotherapy. The signature medications to treat psychotic disorders are antipsychotics. These medications aid in managing the symptoms of the disease like the hallucinations and delusions.
Psychotherapy for psychotic disorders may include individual sessions, family sessions and a referral to a support group. While most people can be treated as an outpatient, in severe cases, such as when the physical well-being is in danger, hospitalisation may be necessary to stabilise the person’s condition.

If you or anyone you know suffers from a psychotic disorder and requires support, please contact Insight to see how we can help.

Our psychologists also have experience treating and providing support for:

  • Bipolar
  • Adjustment disorder
  • Assertiveness and communication
  • Gambling
  • Eating disorders
  • Conflict resolution
  • Sexual disorders and sexual dysfunction
  • Personality issues and disorders