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The SANE Blog

Unlocking the Power of Psychology

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It’s Psychology Week in Australia, a perfect time to highlight how psychology can help promote wellbeing, growth, and resilience.

Psychologists specialise in treating mental health concerns. They guide individuals and families to recognise and change unhelpful thoughts, emotions and behaviours in order to improve functioning and quality of life.

There are different types of psychologists in Australia, but all must have completed at least four years of university training and be registered with the Psychology Board of Australia and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.

For many people, psychological treatment is a fundamental part of their mental health  journey, and psychologists can support both individuals and families in various ways, including -

  1. Help with diagnosis and understanding

One of the first steps in managing a mental health condition is understanding a diagnosis and its underlying symptoms. Psychologists are trained to assess and identify a range of mental health disorders. They delve deep into understanding your specific condition, allowing for tailored treatment plans.

  1. Provision of evidence-based treatments

Psychologists employ evidence-based therapies and interventions. There are many different types of therapies, and your psychologist will tailor the most suitable one to you and your underlying diagnosis and symptoms. These have been rigorously tested and proven effective in helping individuals manage and overcome their mental health challenges.

  1. Teaching coping strategies

Dealing with a mental health issue often requires learning how to cope with it effectively. Psychologists equip individuals with the necessary tools and techniques to manage stress, anxiety, depression, and other conditions. These strategies can be invaluable in the journey towards recovery.

  1. Assisting with goal setting and empowerment

Working with a psychologist can help individuals set achievable goals. These goals can provide a sense of purpose, motivation, and a roadmap towards recovery. Achieving them fosters a sense of empowerment and accomplishment.

  1. Providing ongoing support and guidance

Mental health is a continuous journey. Psychologists provide consistent support, a safe space for open dialogue, and guidance throughout your mental health journey. Having a professional by your side can make a world of difference.

Access to psychological therapy can vary depending on your situation. Whilst there are some free community services available, it is likely you will need to obtain a mental health care plan and referral from a GP to access Medicare subsidised psychological care. In many cases, a gap fee will need to be paid.

There are also some free and evidence-based online psychological programs available in Australia, including Mindspot and This Way Up. SANE support staff also use a range of psychologically-based tools.

Learn more about psychology as a mental health tool or find a local psychologist who is suited to you at the Australian Psychological Society.

Dr. Carissa Coulston is a Clinical Psychologist with specialist knowledge in the areas of depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, schizophrenia, intellectual disability, personality disorders, traumatic brain injury and neurological conditions.
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