There are many who think twice, when you decide to take your child or family member to a mental health professional. The lack of awareness and understanding about this profession has isolated those that get help from these professionals. However, what many fail to understand is that, meeting a mental health profession doesn’t mean you’re ‘mad’. It’s basically that, people are unable to cope with stress and other triggers. As a result, they aren’t able to function personally, socially and, or in an occupational setting.
For instance you notice that you’re spouse has a change in their behaviour and moods. For example he or she is withdrawn, doesn’t enjoy leaving the home, demotivated, sad all the time, etc. As a fact, you decide to get help for him or her. So, you visit a doctor and then he refers you to a mental health professional.
• Do you have to worry about it?
Certainly not! You don’t have to worry about meeting a psychologist Southbank or other mental health practitioner. These professionals are aware that you have come to visit them, to find answers to your problem. You need to be aware and avoid myths such as these professionals being able to read their minds. Hence, for them to help you or your loved one, you must corporate and provide proper information to them.
• Questions asked during the first meet-up
You must be confused about what they would ask and how the meet up will go about? Here is a list of some questions that you would have to share during the first meet up:
– Family background
– Prenatal development and complications (if any)
– Childhood disorders
– School, college or occupational routine
– Medical history
– Previous psychological diagnosis
– Current medical complications
Looking at the above questions, you might be wondering if it’s an interrogation you’re going to. Don’t take it to mind in such a way, as it will affect the quality of the session. These are some initial queries the practitioner would ask from you. Based on the answers that you provide, they would be able to identify some of the following:
– Presenting problem
– Predisposition factors (e.g. triggers, cues)
– Precipitating pointers (e.g. irrational thoughts)
– Perpetuating factors (e.g. overload of work)
– Protective pointers (e.g. insight of the problem)
• Being prepared
Based on these pointers, the psychologist would further probe into the problem and ask more queries to rule out any other facts. Later, they would brief out what the possible reason could be and what steps would be taken afterwards. Hence, you should be prepared to hear out what they are explaining.
Bear in mind that you should provide details honestly, so that he or she would be able to help you in the best possible way. This is what you should expect, when you have planned to meet a mental health professional for the first time.