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Need help finding a psychologist in Canberra for Depression

By CoffeeThyme - 21 August 2013 17

Hello.

My GP has advised me to chat to a psychologist for help with depression + anxiety issues.

The psychologist the GP referred is unable to see me due to age restrictions so I am looking for other alternatives.

I found an old article on this site from 3 years ago, so am hoping people can advise on any new psychologists?

Thank you for your help.

What’s Your opinion?


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17 Responses to
Need help finding a psychologist in Canberra for Depression
gungsuperstar 3:37 am 28 Aug 13

Hi CoffeeThyme,

I hope you’ve had the opportunity to follow up the names you’ve been given, and that you’ve had some success in at least making a booking. I speak from experience in saying that anxiety is a shit of a thing, because the very notion of accepting that something is wrong and you need help only exacerbates that anxiety.

If you find this as well, all I will say is that this is only short term until you actually get that help.

I had to test a couple of different psychs. Because the most important advice I’ll give you isn’t a name – the most important advice is to forget who your doctor referred, forget any notion you might have that there is “the best” out there somewhere. You need to find a psych that you are 100% comfortable with, and that you can trust entirely with their confidence and their expertise.

I liked the fourth one I tried – but I would’ve tried as many as it took. I had this notion that I’d be more comfortable with a male psych. After trying 3 males, it was the first woman I saw that I stuck with. There was nothing wrong with the first 3 – it was just a feeling of… well, less anxiety when you find the right one.

I haven’t been there in probably 18 months, but the one I connected with was named Zora. I don’t know her last name, but she works (worked? I dunno) at Peak Corporation at Belconnen. Initially they were based at Westfield, now they’re in the Swimming Australia building over the road, and next to the lake. (They used to be “Peak Achievement” and promoted themselves towards athletes – but Zora wasn’t a sports psych, she was just a normally trained psych)

It’s hard to “recommend” people per se, because I’m such a strong advocate for finding the right one for you. But I’d absolutely suggest that, if you want to try a couple, she’s worth a call.

If Roz is still on reception, and if you’re lucky enough to speak with her, I’m sure you’ll be less anxious about going. She is a truly wonderful lady, and was at least partly responsible for the good results I got there.

IrishPete 12:09 am 28 Aug 13

Tetranitrate said :

bundah said :

Did he not consider it appropriate to prescribe you SSRI/SSNI’s to assist you in resolving your issues with depression/anxiety?

In all seriousness GP’s need to stripped off the right to prescribe these drugs.
They are not a joke, they completely re-wire the brain and tend to be extremely difficult to get off once someone has been put on them. If they are used they’re meant to be used for a short period of time in conjunction with other therapies to treat severe depression, which again, GP’s are notorious for not doing.

In fact, GP’s are completely unqualified to deal with mental health issues at all beyond acting as a gateway to other services, a psychology undergraduate knows more about depression and the functioning of the brain than a GP and GP’s are hopelessly compromised – they’re heavily marketed to by pharmaceutical companies.

Hmm… there are elements of truth to this.

BUT

Not all antidepressants are the same. Some have no or limited withdrawal effects (so you don’t get dependent on them). They don’t “completely rewire the brain”.

The biggest problem I have found with them is “compliance” – they don’t work if you take them every second day, you have to be reliable in taking them. You can’t stop and start again.

Some like Efexor and Duloxetine really shouldn’t be prescribed by GPs, or at least not commenced by GPs, because they can be quite harmful and patients need close monitoring – GPs don’t do that, they are generally reactive not proactive. When was the time a GP called you to see how you are?

Yes psychological therapies are better, but everyone finds it easier, cheaper and less time consuming to pop a pill than to engage in therapy. So it’s probably not just the GPs’ fault that antidepressants are the first and last line of treatment for many people.

By the way, I still believe that exercise is the best antidepressant. If you haven’t the energy and motivation to do it yourself, ask a family member or friend to be your external motivator and to never take no for an answer. Or borrow a dog.

IP

Tetranitrate 10:21 pm 27 Aug 13

bundah said :

Did he not consider it appropriate to prescribe you SSRI/SSNI’s to assist you in resolving your issues with depression/anxiety?

In all seriousness GP’s need to stripped off the right to prescribe these drugs.
They are not a joke, they completely re-wire the brain and tend to be extremely difficult to get off once someone has been put on them. If they are used they’re meant to be used for a short period of time in conjunction with other therapies to treat severe depression, which again, GP’s are notorious for not doing.

In fact, GP’s are completely unqualified to deal with mental health issues at all beyond acting as a gateway to other services, a psychology undergraduate knows more about depression and the functioning of the brain than a GP and GP’s are hopelessly compromised – they’re heavily marketed to by pharmaceutical companies.

CoffeeThyme 9:25 am 22 Aug 13

Again – thank you for the information. I am also in the same thinking where speaking to a psycologist the same gender as you would probably be important (For the record – I am male). So it sounds like ringing around and trying to find someone who you feel understands you and get along with in a professional sense is important.

Thank you again Riot Act.

astrojax 8:53 am 22 Aug 13

good luck on this journey; mental health is the hidden issue in the current election. the system is awful and the support structures so unaligned. i second the advice re the search engine and talking to a few practitioners to find one with whom you have some accord. this will be critical to the success of your sessions…

Masquara 11:09 pm 21 Aug 13

CoffeeThyme said :

Thank you for the feedback so far.

I will be trying to deal with this without medication to start with. If it is an ongoing problem my GP mentioned he will look in to that. As for headspace, that was the place where I was referred to by the GP… I am over 25 so that is why I couldn’t get in with them and am now looking elsewhere.

Northside Psychology in Hawker seems to get a good rap, and they are a large practice with about 10 counsellors.

IrishPete 9:43 pm 21 Aug 13

Try the Australian Psychological Society’s Find a Psychologist search engine at http://www.psychology.org.au and look for a Clinical Psychologist (listed as a Medicare Specialist Provider) as you get a bigger rebate from Medicare so they generally end up being cheaper, or even free.

I know John Brown of psychsessions.com.au and he is good – generally I would recommend a psychologist of the same gender as you, as it can make a big difference. I don’t know if you are male or female. John has women working in his practice too.

IP

Skidd Marx 2:37 pm 21 Aug 13

Baggy said :

DrKoresh said :

I go to Headspace at the UC, but I’m not sure if they work with people who are over the age of 25. They’re worth looking into though, especially if you’re having trouble with finances.

While I admire the work they do, it’s a bit rough if you’re a mature aged student, isn’t it?

Apart from being based at UC, Headspace have no particular affiliation with students.

Baggy 2:23 pm 21 Aug 13

DrKoresh said :

I go to Headspace at the UC, but I’m not sure if they work with people who are over the age of 25. They’re worth looking into though, especially if you’re having trouble with finances.

While I admire the work they do, it’s a bit rough if you’re a mature aged student, isn’t it?

CoffeeThyme 1:21 pm 21 Aug 13

Thank you for the feedback so far.

I will be trying to deal with this without medication to start with. If it is an ongoing problem my GP mentioned he will look in to that. As for headspace, that was the place where I was referred to by the GP… I am over 25 so that is why I couldn’t get in with them and am now looking elsewhere.

DrKoresh 1:05 pm 21 Aug 13

I go to Headspace at the UC, but I’m not sure if they work with people who are over the age of 25. They’re worth looking into though, especially if you’re having trouble with finances.

MsCheeky 11:53 am 21 Aug 13

As Nixter points out, you need to find a therapist that you connect with. I recommend Randolph Sparks at Strategic Psychology in Civic. Before I made an appointment with him, I had a chat with him on the phone about my issue and his approach, and then went ahead with him. Good luck.

Nixter 11:42 am 21 Aug 13

Tracey Bullen at Dickson is lovely. She helped me through a rough time dealing with marital break-up, separation from my son (the rollercoaster of week on-week-off custody arrangements), and all the depression and anxiety issues that come with that situation. I have suffered depressive episodes for 20 years but Tracey was the only therpist I ever clicked with.

bundah 10:21 am 21 Aug 13

Did he not consider it appropriate to prescribe you SSRI/SSNI’s to assist you in resolving your issues with depression/anxiety?

Holden Caulfield 10:04 am 21 Aug 13

I can’t offer any recommendations, other than to say I wish you all the best with your treatment. I hope you’re feeling better soon.

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