Who We Are
We are trained and experienced in the assessment and treatment of the wide range of psychological and psychiatric disorders and problems.
Whatever we do is based on the cognitive behavioural knowledge of psychology research, and is tailored to suit individual clients. The approach is thus always from a cognitive, behavioural perspective.
What We Do
Assessment, diagnoses and treatment
Clinical psychologists are trained to diagnose all forms of mental health disorders. We are similarly trained in the wide range of methods of intervention of these conditions. Because our knowledge base is that of human behaviour in general, we therefore also deal with behaviour which is sub clinical; that is, does not meet criteria for one or more ‘disorders’. We provide reports to courts, insurance companies, workplaces and for use by legal counsel and so on.
Adults, teens and children
Clincial psychologists are trained to assess and help across all age ranges. Some of our group specialise in different age groups. Commonly encountered childhood problems are those of anxiety, poor sleep, bullying, tantrums and becoming withdrawn.
Teens may need help with managing bullies, exposure to alcohol and drugs, changing self esteem, sexual orientation and sexuality. Adults may encounter problems arising from such as the transitions of entering and leaving intimate relationships, leaving workplace roles, ageing, coping with children with problems, or with an unwell partner.
Anxiety states, stress
Clinical psychologists deal with those suffering from the effects of the stresses of everyday life [This means all of us!]. Disorders of anxiety are also widespread in the population. These include panic attacks, phobias, obsessions, compulsions, excessive worrying and high anxiety and fears following traumatic events. Sometimes the person experiences fears and worries (e.g. fear of losing control, going crazy, dying or being judged by others) and/or physical discomfort or tension. Sometimes they avoid situations which trigger these experiences (e.g. going out in public) or engage in rituals to cope with the anxiety and tension. Clinical Psychologists diagnose and treat anxiety of all types.
Depression and other mood disorders
Clinical Psychologists diagnose and treat all disorders of mood. Depression is common with feature of persistent irritable and/or sad mood, reduced energy, motivation, and pleasure in usual activities, among other symptoms.
Feeling ‘down’ or sad is a normal response to loss (e.g. losing a job or relationship, or to death), and is something we all experience from time to time, but if the feelings persist or seem to be too intense that person may be experiencing depression. Bipolar mood disorders are diagnosed when the highs and lows of mood are abnormally high and/or low.
Relationships: couples, families
Clinical psychologists deal with all manner of difficulties that arise within relationships. Sometimes parents need help to manage toddlers or teenagers. Sometimes teenagers need help to manage their parents! Teens in particular, may need help to deal with problems within friendships and other social interaction.
Sometimes the simple things get overlooked in families with busy lifestyles. Giving information and a behavioural plan to getting problem behaviour back on track enables the family to function in a psychologically healthier and more harmonious way.
In the case of couples, the common issues are those wishing to avoid repeating previous mistakes when beginning a new relationship, those wanting to improve communication skills, those wanting help with infidelity or other breaches of trust, problems with sexual difficulties, and those who want help with separating. Some practitioners have access to Family Court funding for the latter.
Work Related Problems
Many problems can arise within the workplace. Sometimes these are due to personal difficulties and the need to build more effective strategies of managing oneself or life task. Sometimes these are due to work based problems like handling difficult work colleagues, bullying or exposure to distressing work content.
Some of us at Psychology Associates have contracts to provide for employment assistance programs [EAP] or contracts directly with work places [such as Police, legal firms etc].
Coping With Brain Injury And Other Neurological States
Clinical psychologists are trained to use neuropsychological tests in order to assess the brain functioning and thus determine the ill effects of different neurological problems.
Each year as many as 2,400 New Zealanders experience concussion, or a mild traumatic brain injury [MTBI]. In spite of this high number, the condition tends to be poorly understood and managed. Regardless of how small the blow to the head [brain], there is much evidence that recovery can take up to a year and sometimes longer. Thus there are many implications for daily functioning and full return to work. All forms of TBI need careful information giving and management in order to maximise brain recovery. Clinical psychologists assist people to develop awareness and manage lifestyle changes as a result of brain injury.
Practitioners also assist with managing the effects of other neurological conditions, such as Parkinsons disease, and post stroke effects.
Addictions And Compulsions
Many people struggle with the misuse of alcohol and drugs, or from the effects of others doing so. This can range from those with less severe misuse, through to those with alcohol and drug addictions. There are also behavioural addictions, such as addictions to shopping, gambling, pornography and the internet.
Problems with eating come in many forms. Children may be overly fussy eaters and thereby cause problems for getting a healthy diet, as well as frustrating their parents. Many people struggle with overeating and keeping to a healthy weight. Others binge eat and/or overly restrict food intake.
Pain can arise for all manner of reasons. Clinical psychologists help people to reason by helping develop an understanding of the mechanisms of pain, and teach coping skills so they remain active and happy.
Mentoring And Supervision
All of us at Psychology Associates mentor and supervise health professionals [psychologists, medical practitioners, nurses] as well as those who work in areas other than health [for instance, teachers, police, lawyers, bank staff]. Supervision may be aimed at assisting others to take care of their own health and well being, or focus on considerations of working safely, ethically and within required legal frameworks, or aimed at building the practitioner’s knowledge and skills.
Consulting For Workplaces And Other Groups
We talk with managers, or provide seminars and training to work places about working safely and maintaining health, building strong teams, managing change, uncertainty and stress, communicating well, and so on.