- What kinds of problems can a Counsellor help with?
- How can counselling help?
- What happens in a counselling session?
- What approaches do you use for individual counselling at Life Focus?
- How long is a session?
- What approach do you use in couples counselling?
- Why do you use Imago Relationship Therapy in couples counselling?
- What can I expect from my first session as an individual?
- What can we expect from our first couples counselling session?
- How many times do I need to come to counselling?
- What will my counselling cost?
- Do I need a referral?
- Can I get a rebate?
- Will counselling be confidential?
- What do I do if I need to change or cancel my appointment?
- What if my partner doesn’t want to come to counselling?
- I am concerned about a family member/friend. What can I do?
- What is Life Coaching?
- What is Business Coaching?
1. What kinds of problems can a Counsellor help with?
A counsellor can help you focus on issues that are concerning you, or causing you distress, whether they are within yourself or in relation to others or to outside events. People come to counselling to seek help for mental health and ‘hygiene’ and all sorts of other issues, for example:
- Relationship Issues – With partners, family, friends, work colleagues, jealousy, communication, commitment and control.
- Family Issues – Affairs, divorce, separation, abuse, parenting, in laws.
- Difficult Life Circumstances – Bereavement, grief and loss, illness, career change.
- Depression – Feeling anxious, fearful, alone, helpless, lack of interest, unable to sleep, suicidal.
- Addiction – Food, work, drugs, alcohol, sex, social media, destructive behaviour.
- Self Esteem – Lack of confidence, procrastination, defining purpose, values, achieving goals.
2. How can counselling help?
Counselling can help you identify, clarify and work through your problems in a positive and practical way.
With the help of trained and experienced professionals who listens to and respects what you value and want most, you can explore a broader range of options and formulate what you want to achieve and how you will achieve it.
3. What happens in a counselling session?
In essence, what happens is that your counsellor listens to you express your problem, helps you identify what you want to achieve, and through support and encouragement, helps you achieve it.
In particular, at Life Focus our aim and best endeavour is to provide you with a warm, emotionally safe and caring environment and professional service. At your first visit, your counsellor will have the opportunity to establish rapport and assess your concerns. This will give a better understanding of how you can best be helped by offering you the most appropriate counselling and therapy approach to your situation.
You will sense very quickly if the counsellor is the right one for you. For example, you might find yourself asking: “Do I feel comfortable?”, “Am I being listened to?”, “Do I feel safe enough to talk about my deeper thoughts and emotions?”, “Can this person help me?” “Can I imagine myself meeting with this person on a regular basis?”
Typically, your counsellor might ask: “What brought you here today”, invite you to talk about your concerns, and then discuss the first steps, options and practical steps that you could take to address your situation and make positive changes in your life.
You will be given access to a wide range of skills, frameworks and evidence based approaches that help you find new responses to old situations and adequate responses to new situations.
4. What approaches do you use for Individual Counselling at Life Focus?
The dictum: “No one size fits all”, is especially true in Counselling. The approach we take depends on an accurate assessment of your particular needs and your particular situation.
Depression is one challenge that, accordance to research evidence, responds well to Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, for example, as an overall approach. However, you may find some aspects of an approach more helpful than others.
From training and experience we are able to select from a range of interventions that complement that approach. This may be from amongst the following:
- Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
- Imago Relationship Therapy
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
- Solution Focused Therapy
- Voice Dialogue
- Neuro Linguistic Programming
- Role Training
- Attitudinal Healing
- Interpersonal Therapy
- Gestalt Therapy
- Transactional Analysis
Generally, you will be given a summary and overview of how your counselling can proceed and what you might expect from your counselling experience. There may be suggestions to implement before your next sessions.
5. How long is a session?
Patricia’s Counselling sessions are an hour and a half.
Initial interview with Donatus is 75 minutes. At the initial interview, you can discuss options of either 75 minutes or 50 minutes for subsequent counselling sessions, that best suit your situation.
6. What approach do you use in Couples Counselling?
Imago Relationship Therapy is the main overarching approach we take in Couples Counselling. It offers an integrated theory and process that focuses precisely on the relationship itself, not just on the individuals.
Imago is a system that makes it safe enough to talk to each other and get to the root causes of the pain you are experiencing in your relationship. Its simple, structured tools and strategies help you resolve these conflicts by getting to the heart of your distress, so that a deeper more satisfying resolution and communication can emerge.
Our childhood certainly does influence who we are and the people we choose in our relationships. We often choose a person who is enough like the unfinished business from our childhood that they act as a catalyst or a poultice to draw that pain to the surface so that it can be acknowledged and healed.
Imago gives you the tools for that same person to become your healer, rather that reinforcing your old wounds. It offers you handy take home ways of communicating with each other that hold you both in care and safety.
7. Why do you use Imago Relationship Therapy in couples counselling?
We use Imago Relationship Therapy principles because it gives couples good results. Over many years, they have told us that they find it practical in their day to day relating and it’s something that they can use themselves, outside of counselling. Patricia and Donatus have found Imago very helpful in the many years they have been together.
Extensive University research into this evidence-based and relationship-focused approach, has shown that Imago Relationship Therapy has given significant numbers of couples from all around the world, satisfying results as well as simple, powerful and effective tools that they can integrate into their day to day relating and address and modify the root causes of their behaviour as well.
Amongst several other encouraging findings that have emerged In the course of this research, many couples have stated how pleasantly surprised they were that they began to experience positive feelings of warmth and closeness that they thought were a thing of the past, together with a new emerging hope and optimism as they addressed their key issues.
As stated above however, “No one size fits all.” Depending on clients’ individual needs, within the Imago Relationship Therapy framework, we also use aspects of different tools and approaches, drawn from various modalities listed above.
8. What can I expect from my first session as an individual?
You can expect to be listened to with care and respect, in an emotionally safe environment, to be helped to clarify your objectives and to be supported and encouraged to achieve them, by your choice of professional, qualified and experienced counsellors.
9. What can we expect from our first counselling session as a couple?
At your first couples counselling session you will be given a structure to use where you and your partner can have your say, and feel heard and understood by each other in an emotionally safe environment.
You will be taught a way to make it safe for you to talk to each other and get to the root cause of the pain you are experiencing in your relationship using a positive approach that is respectful, without criticism or judgement and with a focus on looking to see how you can both move forward.
Often couples get caught in a cycle of attack/defend, attack defend, going around in circles covering the same ground and patterns over and over again. They end up feeling exhausted and defeated. How do you break the cycle and the old patterns that are causing distress?
If you are walking on eggshells, avoiding issues that will cause trouble, hoping the pain will go away, the real issues never get resolved and the pain stays pushed down until the next eruption. And as you know, when there are constant and elevated levels of stress in our relationships, it starts to effect our health.
In your couples counselling session, you will generally be asked why you came, what being in the relationship is like for you now, what distresses you most in relation to your partner, what you appreciate most about your partner, and what you want to achieve most in these sessions.
You will be taught how to break destructive cycles and help you both get the love you want. You will be encouraged to explore the power of your choices and through the practice of mindfulness, how to change your responses to any situation and let go of the fear and stress.
We work together with you to find new responses to old situations and adequate responses to new situations. At the end of the session there is often a summary and take home tasks to accomplish before the next session.
At the beginning of each subsequent session, you can review the steps you have taken and the progress you are making. You can then raise other issues that concern you and your counsellor will help you both as you work together to achieve the outcome you want.
10. How many times do I need to come for counselling?
This will vary, depending on the nature and the depth of the concern you are dealing with. You may have a specific issue that you can resolve quickly. Or you may have deeper issues that will require a longer process of therapy.
You can discuss the length and form of your therapy with your counsellor and review your program regularly to best cater for your particular needs.
Many of our clients attend on a weekly basis, but of course that will vary from person to person and their needs.
11. What will my counselling cost?
Price alone may not be the main factor in determining where best to seek professional help for our mental health, personal relationships and fulfilment.
Counsellors’ qualifications, years of ongoing training and experience and their effectiveness in bringing about positive change, are all reflected in their fee for service.
At Life Focus, fees are below the rate recommended by the Australian Psychological Society. Our aim is to provide professional, practical and cost effective counselling.
For further details on pricing, please contact Jean our Practice Manager on 08 93839799 to discover the best options available to you.
12. Do I need a referral?
No. A referral is not necessary to come for counselling.
However,if the challenges you face are relevant to Medicare, you may wish to visit your GP for a referral.
13. Can I get a rebate?
Medicare rebates are available for psychological treatments by a registered psychologist, under the Australian Government’s “Better Access to Mental Health Care Initiative”. To access the Medicare Rebate, you will need a GP referral to a psychologist.
Depending on your level of cover, your private health fund may offer a rebate for counselling with a registered psychologist.
For further details on pricing, please contact Jean our Practice Manager on 08 93839799 to discover the best options available to you.
14. Will counselling be confidential?
Yes, your counselling session is private and confidential.
The purpose of the information you share is assessment, diagnosis and treatment and it help us provide you with the best possible support to you want.
Your consent is required before your information can be shared with another professional. An example of this might be the written report your psychologist sends to your referring GP, if a you wish to access the Medicare rebate under the Better Access Mental Health Plan.
As set out in The Australian Psychological Society’s Code of Ethics, limitations apply to confidentiality if a client’s file is subpoenaed by law, or if there is a specific and immediate risk to the health or safety of an identifiable person.
15. What do I need to do to change or cancel my appointment?
Appointments can be changed or cancelled by phoning Jean who is the Practice Manager at Life Focus.
In accordance with the industry standard within the counselling/psychotherapy profession, please give us at least 24 hours (one working day) notice, to avoid incurring a full cancellation fee for the missed appointment and at least 48 hours notice to avoid incurring half the cancellation fee.
16. What if my partner does not want to come to counselling?
You may want to come on your own at first. When you come alone you can use your session to explore different ways of communicating your needs and the options you have in your relationship.
Sometimes, putting a request to a partner in a different way can make all the difference. Alternatively, you may want to tell your partner that you are struggling in the relationship and ask that they come to support you.
When couples come for counselling, our experience is that there is mostly a ‘drag –er” and a drag-ee’. In other words, it’s pretty common that one partner feels the need to seek help more than the other.
It is also our experience that when people feel listened to and heard, they can be more open and willing to address issues and move forward.
17. I am concerned about a family member/friend. What can I do?
You can listen and show that person that you have heard what they are saying.
You can share how how counselling has helped you, or anyone else you know.
You can pass on any research you have done from this website and say that you know of some counsellors who may be able to help.
Or you can ask them if they would like to phone Life Focus and speak to either Patricia or Donatus.
Alternatively, you could ask if they would like us to phone them.
18. What is Life Coaching?
It’s a professional relationship between a trained coach and you, to help you get from where you are now to where you would like to be in any area of your life, whether your health, relationships, sport, career or general fulfilment and happiness.
A life Coach works in collaboration with you, to identify what you want most, to help you develop a plan, to support you, to keep you on track and to hold you accountable to yourself.
19. What is Business Coaching?
Similar to Life Coaching above, only the focus is more on your business and career.
A business coach will help you clarify your major definite purpose, what drives you, how to set achievable goals, how to overcome procrastination, take action, manage mindset and the challenges and eventualities that come your way.