Do I need a psychologist?

“The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.” William James (1842-1910)
How do you know that you need to seek help from a psychologist?

Generally, if you are experiencing mental health symptoms that are causing distress in your social, family and/or work context, it may be a good idea to consult with a psychologist.

  • You may be finding it hard to be at ease with yourself and with other people and have difficulty forming open and caring relationships with other people.
  • You may be struggling to develop and use your mental and physical abilities to the full, or you may be battling to have peace of mind and experience difficulty relaxing.
  • You may be unable to achieve a balance between work and relaxation, or you may experience a significant change in your mood, thinking, sleep, appetite or energy levels that negatively affects your functioning in every day activities.
How many sessions will I require?

Some mental health difficulties can be treated in just a few sessions, while other problems may take longer to treat. During the first consultation, the psychologist will ask you a number of questions relating to the presenting problem and relevant personal, familial and relationship history. This will help the psychologist to understand the situation and thereafter, the psychologist should be able to give you an idea of the number of sessions required. It is important to remember that the number of consultations required will vary depending on the nature of the problem and other factors.

Costs of seeing a Psychologist

Some  psychologists are contracted with medical aids and claim directly from the  medical aid while others expect you settle directly and thereafter claim form your medical aid. It is important to note that in order to claim from the medical aid, the psychologist will need to indicate the diagnosis. It is important that you enquire beforehand from your psychologist and medical aid regarding fees and reimbursement. It is also important to note that some government hospitals and clinics employ psychologists in order to provide psychological services to the public. These consultations are charged according to a government sliding scale, depending on your income.

Will a psychologist talk to my employer or family?

Psychologists are bound by their professional code of ethics to ensure that confidentiality is maintained. There are however limits to confidentiality which include situations where a client/patient appears to be at risk of harming themselves or others. The psychologist will explain the conditions of confidentiality during the first session. When a presenting issue concerns your work or family, the psychologist may wish to talk to your employer or family. Any contact with the family or work context in this regard is undertaken with your consent unless the psychologist is concerned that you may be at risk of harming yourself or others.

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