You may be having problems with some aspect of your life and your family physician thought it would help to talk to a psychologist.
Some patients may feel uncertain anticipating their first visit and don’t quite know what to expect. We hope to give you a little insight and understanding. Psychologists receive training to understand human behaviour and relationships, and we help others work through their problems. When we see a client who is struggling with marriage troubles, accepting the death of a loved one or adjusting to a new workplace, we try to help them understand what they’re going through.
How do we do that? We help you talk about your issues and find some clarity so you feel more able to take action and make changes. The ultimate goal of counseling is to help you reach the point of insight where you realize why you have been feeling or acting a particular way; this can help you make changes in your life. We also teach you skills to help you along your journey of change. This could involve teaching you how to recognize your thoughts and challenge those that are not helpful. You’ll also learn to recognize your own strengths and how to communicate in a different way.
Our role as psychologists is to help you reach insight, but this doesn’t necessarily come easy and it won’t happen with every client. For counseling to be successful, you must be prepared to set some goals and take an active role. We realize that talking about past events may help you gain insight; however, we try to help you recognize how the past is affecting your life in the present. Just talking about the past will not change your life—you often need to make some lifestyle changes as well.
We work with a team at the PCN that includes your family physician and other healthcare professionals. We protect your privacy and create a secure, confidential setting to establish a trusting relationship. What you tell us is confidential. There are some situations, however, where we must share your information. These include circumstances where there is risk to you or other people. We also share information with the physician who referred you.