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Need a counsellor/psychologist recommendation

By Redhill 2 April 2011 13

Can anybody recommend a counsellor or psychologist in Canberra who would be good with a young teenage girl with anxiety, anger and relationship issues. 

I am looking for someone who is prepared to work in partnership with the parent and doesn’t hide in the ‘black box’ of client privacy and ‘the therapeutic relationship’?

What’s Your opinion?

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Need a counsellor/psychologist recommendation
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water_lily 6:45 pm 15 Apr 14

There is nothing wrong with wanting some feedback from the therapist. A good therapist won’t hide behind ‘client privacy’ and stonewall you. They certainly won’t discuss the details of what was said in a session–as your daughter needs to be able to trust the therapist–but he/she will be able to give some advice as to the best approach to take and give you a general idea about how therapy is going. I have had two children in therapy/counselling after a traumatic event. I think that Dr Fridgant is very good. He is a psychiatrist and you will need a referral from your GP. He is probably the best diagnostician in Canberra (that’s my opinion anyway). I have heard good things about Headspace. We also tried Richmond Fellowship. If you have a therapist/psychologist (as I did) talk to them about your daughter’s symptoms. He/she can give you some good parenting advice and give you some insight into your daughter’s symptoms. Anxiety is really awful. Your poor child would be suffering. I wish you the best.

housebound 9:23 am 04 Apr 11

How severe is the anxiety? Drama classes help some kids I know, but it would be well beyond the capacity of someone with severe anxiety.

And don’t listen to those who want to cut the parents out. If you get to stay in the loop, then you get the benefit of modifying sme of your own behaviours that may not be helping things.

I’m not having a go at you here, because ALL parents may have behaviours that don’t help things with teenagers. It’s just part of that rich experience of parenting a teenager! Therapy in the context of family therapy can be very helpful.

Mental Health Worker 8:05 am 04 Apr 11

oops, I changed your child’s sex at one point. sorry.

Mental Health Worker 8:04 am 04 Apr 11

… and when looking on the Australian Psychological Society website, look for a psychologist with Medicare Specialist status – you will get a bigger rebate from Medicare, making the appointments cheaper, and the psychologist will have a higher level of training.

If a psychologist you are thinking of going to is not listed to the APS website, ask yourself why they won’t spend a tax-deductible $400 to join their professional association.

Unfortunately other mental health professions are not as regulated as psychology (social workers, counsellors, psychotherapists) and as others have said, this carries some risks. Some may be very very good, but who will you complain to if they are not?

If yours son’s condition is quite disabling, consider phoning ACT Mental Health and accessing the public system. It’s free.

If your daughter is in her early teens, most professionals will talk to you as her legal guardian. In her mid to late teens they will become more cautious, as she may not be open with them if she thinks they are going to report everything back to you. So you may have to decide between effective treatment or knowing everything that goes on in the sessions – both may not be possible.

Medications aren’t recommended for children, as their brains are still developing. Few antidepressants (many of which double as anti-anxiety medications) are recommended for youngsters. There was a report an authoritative a few months back (can’t remember exactly what) which said only one antidepressant could be safely recommended. See


AcidRose 2:25 am 04 Apr 11

Dr. Nomchong…Kambah…the man is a legend! …but…dont expect him to divulge any of your daughter’s private information. Sounds like you’re wayyy too interferring and that could be one of your daughters problems.
Headspace is good too. Aimed at kids her age…goodluck to your girl

cross 3:03 pm 03 Apr 11

My 18 year old son was diagnosed with extreme anxiety and shyness at 16 ,counseling had little effect though he was happy to go .it was not until our doctor put hm on medication,Sertra to be specific was their a huge improvement in mood swings. 2 years on he is a much happier person.
I,m not saying its a silver bullet it still took a lot of patience and understanding and lots of we love you no matter what but things are much much better.

Deref 2:52 pm 03 Apr 11

Be very careful. I believe – and I’d be very happy to be proven wrong – that anyone can set themselves up as a counsellor.

Whoever you choose, choose a registered health professional. That won’t guarantee satisfaction, but at least you’ll have some protection against charlatans. eq2’s recommendation – that you get your GP’s advice – is sound.

miz 1:50 pm 03 Apr 11

Marina Truter in Fadden. She is in the yellow pages under ‘Fadden Counselling Centre’ or
My daughter goes to her from time to time in relation to a traumatic experience which resulted in some of the symptoms you describe. Like most counsellors though, you would probably have to discuss the disclosure issue. I have not asked that of her.

scorpio63 1:54 am 03 Apr 11

Hi Redhill, I have experience with the anxiety disorder in children and teenagers.

My first response to your question is a recommendation to book your loved one into Richardson House, near IGA in Richardson, word of mouth from Mums has it that these counsellors are fantastic with children, teenagers and adults!

Drama classes treats anxiety in the ‘right positive setting/environment’ along with a team sport for interaction and getting used to more crowds. A ‘reward’ is to be offered and followed through after your loved one has met you half way ie compromised. Make sure you are around during the first couple of classes and explain to the teacher (without your teenager’s knowledge) the reason you are booking your teenager into the class and for the teacher not to draw attention to her, until she interacts with some of the other kids during the first few lessons.

Empowerment is the key – your teenager needs to regain the power and free spirit she had when younger!

Tools for empowerment you will find on internet sites.

Some daring or riskier things she would not normally do although done safely, such as flying, abseiling, rock climbing, canoeing, mountain bike riding, motor bike riding on someones property, triathlons, travelling to Sydney with a group of friends with an adult supervising at a distance (ie mixing with a large population who do not know her or care) forced to sit on buses and trains with hundreds of people staring right through her! After a few of these situations, your teenage daughter will suddenly realise that facing and mixing with crowds is a normal event at the same time building up her courage and self esteem doing activities in a heavy populated environment.

Joining the Theatre in Civic for acting or back stage work, mixing with all walks of life!

Any group or activity where your daughter is faced with interaction of ‘positive’ people initially.

Gently ease her into one thing at a time with you around in the wings until she builds up her confidence levels.

My heart, thoughts and prayers are with you as I had a sister with this condition when we were all kids.

Moving to the big smoke from a country town knocked out the anxiety problemo when she turned 21 thank goodness!!

Listers_Cat 1:02 am 03 Apr 11

I’m not sure what you mean by “the ‘black box’ of client privacy and ‘the therapeutic relationship'”, but I can tell you a psychologist or legitimate counsellor will not disclose information to the parents just because they ask for it.

Having said that, I’m quite certain you will have no trouble finding a psychologist who will work with the parent once they have a good grasp on the issues – just don’t expect that the parent will be told everything.

gentoopenguin 10:24 pm 02 Apr 11

Err I think any psychologist would protect the privacy of their client, otherwise there would be no trust. Perhaps what you are looking for is family therapy??

Icepoet 6:20 pm 02 Apr 11

Headspace is a fairly well known program for young people who need mental health support.

There’s a clinic at the UC Faculty of Health.

eq2 4:52 pm 02 Apr 11

Go to your GP and get a mental health care plan for your daughter. This will allow you to claim appointments with a Psychologist on Medicare. Use the Australian Psychological Society’s “Find a psychologist” search to find a psychologist in your area who provides suitable services: All psychologists will be happy to work with parents. You can contact the psychologists directly or view their website to get a better idea of the type of services they specialise in. Alternatively, your GP may be able to suggest an appropriate referral.

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