What is a Psychologist?

Psychologists are allied health professionals that are experts in human behaviour with a specialised level of knowledge regarding how people behave, feel, think, and react. Psychologists have completed at a minimum six years of university education and training depending upon their elected pathway of study. Psychologists conduct assessments and deliver individualised interventions to support their clients in achievement of their goals and to facilitate improvements in their relationship/s, social skills, mental health, functional capacity, wellbeing, and quality of life.

Please visit the Australian Psychological Society website for more information.

Who can Psychologists help?

A Psychologist’s skillset allows them to provide services to people across the full health spectrum, from healthy populations to those at risk of developing a mental illness, and those with existing health conditions such as:

  • Aged-related illnesses and conditions
  • Chronic disease and complex conditions
  • Developmental delays
  • Learning difficulties
  • Mental illness and/or psychosocial disability
  • Physical injuries and/or disability
  • Post-operative rehabilitation
  • Workplace injuries

Psychologists can help people living with or experiencing a wide range of challenges and adversity including but not limited to:

  • Addiction
  • Adjustment disorders
  • Anger management
  • Attachment issues
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
  • Burnout and compassion fatigue
  • Complex behavioural needs
  • Crisis adjustment
  • Developmental difficulties
  • Eating disorders
  • Family conflict
  • Fears and phobias
  • Grief and loss
  • Learning difficulties
  • Mental illness
  • Mood and anxiety disorders
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Parenting challenges
  • Poor coping
  • Relationship challenges
  • Sexuality/identity issues and behaviours
  • Significant health problems
  • Sleep disorders
  • Stress management
  • Suicidal ideation or intent
  • Terminal illness
  • Trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PSTD)

Benefits of seeing a Psychologist

Engaging in support from a Psychologist can lead to:

Improvements in:

  • Acceptance of condition and circumstances
  • Cognition (concentration, memory, and thinking)
  • Communication skills
  • Community access
  • Confidence
  • Coping strategies
  • Creativity
  • Emotional wellbeing, mood, and mental health
  • Energy levels
  • Functional capacity
  • Independence
  • Memory
  • Mental clarity
  • Mindfulness
  • Motivation for a healthy and meaningful lifestyle
  • Pain management
  • Productivity
  • Recovery timeframes following surgery and/or injury
  • Self-esteem
  • Self-management skills
  • Sleep hygiene and quality
  • Sports and athletic performance
  • Understanding of health condition and appropriate self-management
  • Weight loss

Reductions in:

  • Development and/or progression of mental illness
  • Need for medication for management of health conditions
  • Risk of burnout
  • Symptoms

Support in:

  • Behaviour change
  • Carer support
  • Goal setting for the ability to achieve important life goals
  • Maintenance of a healthy, meaningful, and active lifestyle

What is involved in an initial Psychology session? 

An Initial Psychology session will typically involve the following steps:

  • Assessment: The psychologist will ask the client questions about their history, current symptoms, and any other relevant information to gain a better understanding of their situation and experiences. This will help them determine the diagnosis or their clinical hypothesis and the appropriate course of treatment.
  • Goal Setting: The psychologist will discuss with the client what they hope to achieve through therapy and collaboratively set specific and measurable goals for future sessions.
  • Treatment Plan: Our approach to treatment is collaborative and person-centered. We offer you psychological intervention to meet your needs as effectively as possible. This means we work with you to to better understand you, your needs, strengths and potentials as best we can to collaboratively create a plan that resonates with you and your needs.
  • Wrap-Up: At the end of the session, the psychologist will review what was discussed and collaboratively will set goals with the client for the next session.

The responsibility of the psychologist after the initial psychology session typically involves the following steps:

  • Follow-up Planning: The psychologist will work collaboratively with the individual client, to monitor the client’s progress and make adjustments to the treatment plan as needed, whether through ongoing appointments at an agreed upon frequency or telehealth communication.
  • Referrer communication: If the client has been referred for psychology management from their General Practitioner, NDIS or Aged Care Support Coordinator, or WorkCover Case Manager, the Psychologist will accordingly communicate the outcome of an assessment and diagnosis, and liaise regarding ongoing management.

There are a wide range of types of therapeutic interventions that a Psychologist may include in an individual’s therapy and these may include but aren’t limited to:

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT): ACT is a type of psychotherapy that helps individuals to accept difficult thoughts and feelings rather than trying to eliminate or control them. The goal of ACT is to help individuals live a more meaningful life in accordance with their values, even in the presence of pain and discomfort.
  • Attachment theory: Attachment theory therapy is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on the impact of early childhood experiences on adult relationships. Attachment theory suggests that early experiences with caregivers shape an individual’s expectations and behaviors in relationships throughout their life.
  • Exposure therapy: Exposure therapy is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy that is used to treat anxiety disorders, phobias, and other mental health conditions. The goal of exposure therapy is to help individuals face their fears and reduce their anxiety through gradual exposure to the things that trigger their anxiety.
  • Family therapy: Family therapy involves working with the entire family to improve communication and resolve conflicts. It can be helpful for a variety of issues, including parenting problems, relationship issues, and mental health concerns.
  • Humanistic therapy: This therapy emphasizes empathy, self-reflection, and personal growth. It focuses on helping individuals to develop a greater sense of self-awareness and self-acceptance.
  • Interpersonal therapy: This therapy focuses on the client’s current relationships and how they impact their mental health. It aims to improve communication and develop healthier relationship patterns.
  • Mindfulness-based therapy: This type of therapy emphasizes being present in the moment and accepting thoughts and feelings without judgment. It can be helpful for managing stress, anxiety, and depression.
  • Motivational Interviewing (MI): MI is a counseling approach that is designed to help individuals resolve ambivalence and increase motivation to change problem behaviors. The goal of MI is to help individuals identify and overcome barriers to change, and to develop a greater sense of personal autonomy and self-efficacy.
  • Psychodynamic therapy: This therapy is based on the idea that unconscious thoughts and past experiences influence current behaviors and emotions. It aims to help individuals gain insight into their unconscious motivations and resolve underlying conflicts.
  • Psychoeducation: Psychoeducation therapy is a type of therapy that focuses on providing individuals with information about their mental health condition, including symptoms, causes, and treatment options. The goal of psychoeducation is to help individuals understand their condition and to develop the skills and strategies needed to manage it effectively.
  • Schema therapy: Schema therapy is a type of psychotherapy that is designed to help individuals identify and change negative patterns of thinking, feeling, and behavior that have developed over time. The goal of schema therapy is to help individuals gain a deeper understanding of the underlying causes of their emotional difficulties and to develop more adaptive coping skills.
  • Solution focussed therapy (SFT): SFT is a type of brief therapy that focuses on identifying and building on an individual’s existing strengths and resources, rather than on their problems and limitations. The goal of SFT is to help individuals set and achieve specific goals by developing a clear vision of the future and building momentum towards that vision.
  • Supportive counselling: Supportive counseling is a type of therapy that focuses on providing emotional support and guidance to individuals who are experiencing difficult life events or transitions. The goal of supportive counseling is to help individuals cope with their challenges and develop effective strategies for managing stress and anxiety.

Psychology services provided at Thriving Lives Co.

  • Behavioural assessments
  • Counselling
  • Case management
  • Early intervention for those at risk
  • Education and advice
  • Group therapy
  • Learning and educational assessments
  • Parenting support and capacity assessments
  • Psychological assessment and interventions
  • Psychometric and psychosocial assessments
  • Parenting capacity Assessments

Our Psychologist is available at our Gordonvale and Cairns clinic locations throughout Far North Queensland as well as within the community by visiting homes and schools, in addition to telehealth to ensure that the follow-up sessions occur in the location that supports realistic and meaningful change in the client’s life.

Referral Pathways

Psychology services can be funded by Australian compensable schemes/pathways including:

Through these compensable schemes, Psychologists are able to support individuals to improve their emotional and mental wellbeing and participation in activities at home, school, work, and in the community.

What is special about a Thriving Lives Co. Psychologist?

We are a and trauma informed service that utilise a compassionate person-centered approach to our work which means the care provided will be sensitive to the individual needs of the person, their relationships, environment, and occupation to support each individual to access resources and possibilities within and around themselves to help them thrive in their lives. performance, and participation in meaningful occupation.

  • We are all about empowering our clients to support them to be as independent in their personalised therapy as possible based on their needs and preferences. So, we work with everyone in our client’s lives to help support their development, autonomy, and independence.
  • We genuinely care about our clients and will commit the time required to truly understand our client’s needs to be able to deliver the most effective holistic, evidence-based healthcare for each individual.
  • We love what we do, which means when we are with our clients, we are having fun and doing everything in our power to help make it as fun and enjoyable as possible for everyone.
  • We appreciate that even though we are experts of human anatomy and physiology, our clients are the experts of their own health and life experiences, so we aim to speak less and listen more
  • We are humble and brave, so if we aren’t the right person to help or we don’t know how to help, we will refer our client to someone who can, or do more research and/or training to be able to help next time.
  • We are constantly reviewing the latest research to maintain our commitment to evidence-based practice to give ourselves and our clients the confidence that their healthcare is based upon the most reliable and valid information available to deliver the best care possible.
  • We all share a growth mindset so we love seeking out and receiving feedback and we take every opportunity we can to learn from our mistakes to become the best therapists that we can be.
  • We are constantly striving for excellence in the way we do things as a healthcare team, this is why we are always innovating and adapting to suit the needs of our clients and our community.
  • We really value teamwork and collaboration, and we are lucky enough to be able to work closely with a wide variety of skilled and experienced allied health professionals in our team to give our clients a broad interdisciplinary perspective and approach in their therapy.

Governance and Scope of Practice

All of our Psychologists achieve and maintain registration with their regulatory authority, the Psychology Board of Australia (PsyBA), which is part of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) to ensure that Australia’s registered health practitioners are suitably trained, qualified and safe to practice.

For more information regarding the scope of practice of a Psychologist please visit the Psychology Board of Australia website.