What is psychotherapy?
Also known as ‘talk therapy’, psychotherapy is the treatment of mental health conditions by talking through complex emotional challenges with a trained professional. Psychotherapy provides a supportive environment where you can speak openly with someone who is objective, neutral and nonjudgmental.
Psychotherapy can help children and adolescents with a range of mental health concerns including:
Grief and loss
School refusal and more.
It can also help new mums transition to motherhood, overcome worries and bond with their baby.
Psychologist or Psychiatrist?
For children under 18, it’s important to first see a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist. The years of specialist training a psychiatrist has undertaken makes them the best first point of contact after a GP referral for optimally integrated mental health care. This will ensure the fastest and most accurate assessment, diagnosis and treatment.
A psychiatrist is trained, skilled and experienced in both general medical, psychiatric and psychological treatments. This allows them to prescribe medication as well as provide therapy (talking- or play-based) depending on the age and needs of the patient and their family. A psychiatrist-led model of care leads to the best results for children assessment and diagnosis. Patients with milder conditions will be referred to psychologist-led psychotherapy for treatment.
Psychotherapy may be conducted in an individual, family, couple or group setting
Sessions are typically held once a week
Both patient and therapist need to be actively involved for effective treatment
Psychotherapy can be short-term, to deal with immediate issues, or it can continue for months or years to treat long-standing and complex issues.
A Safe Space
Confidentiality is an essential requirement of psychotherapy. While patients share personal feelings and thoughts, intimate physical contact with a therapist is never appropriate or acceptable. Building a trusting and respectful relationship between patient and therapist is essential.
Psychologist-led therapy – up to 10 sessions per calendar year are eligible for Medicare rebate under the Mental Health Treatment Plan.
Psychiatrist-led psychotherapy – up to 50 sessions per calendar year are eligible for Medicare rebate. If you are registered for Medicare Safety Net, after 10-12 sessions, most costs are covered by Medicare.
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