We do not offer a crisis service but here are some contacts for people who do. Sorry but most of this information applies to Auckland only.
In a real emergency – where someone’s safety is at immediate risk DIAL 111
Otherwise in a crisis usually the best place to start is your regular GP or Emergency Doctor – they should know what services are available to help you.
If you are - or someone close to you is - actively suicidal or out of control you can contact the local Mental Health Crisis Team. In Auckland there are four different teams, depending on where you live (i.e. which District Health Board you come under).
In the Auckland DHB area (Central Auckland) dial 0800 800 717
In the Counties Manukau area (South & East Auckland) dial 270 4742
In the Waitemata DHB area, for North Shore dial 496 8900
For West Auckland dial 839 0500
If you live out of Auckland look in the “Hospitals” section in the front of the phone book under your local hospital board’s “Mental Health Services”, for something like “Crisis Team” or “Community Assessment & Treatment Team” or “Psychiatric District Nurses”.
If you have been the victim of violence or sexual assault there are a number of services for “personal emergencies” available to you listed right in the front of the phone book under “personal help services” (page 6 in the current Auckland Directory), starting with the HELP foundation for sexual assault on 277 9324 and the SAFTINET for “domestic violence” 303 3939 both of which operate 24 hours a day.
If your crisis could be helped by talking to someone you can always phone a telephone counselling service. Lifeline (5222-999) operates 24 hours a day. There are a number of other more specific phone counselling services listed on that same page in the front of the phone book under “personal help services” (i.e. page 6 in the current Auckland Directory).
How long will it take?
This depends on the kind and complexity of issue(s) you are bringing, and how much time and energy you have to work on it in-between sessions.
A well-defined, specific issue where you are ready and able to work hard on it can often be resolved in 4-8 sessions. If you are bringing difficulties regarding a long standing relationship (e.g. more than five years) then 10-20 sessions is a more realistic time frame.
What will it cost?
All couple session are 90 minutes long and the cost is $330 (inc GST). If that is beyond your means we can recommend some lower cost options.
We charge $220 (inc GST) for an hour-long individual session.
We accept cash, cheque or EFTPOS but not credit cards, sorry.
How can talking help?
Surprisingly, just talking about your problems and feeling actually does help (there’s been some very interesting research about that lately). However therapy is a lot more than “just” talking. You are paying us for our expertise – we know a lot about helping people change themselves and will give you specific things to think about and to try. Given our years of experience and training, we are likely to have worked with other people in a similar situation and know what has (and hasn’t) helped them.
Don’t you have to be sick to see a psychologist?
(No – just to be one!) At some point in our lives most of us are going to have practical, emotional and/or psychological difficulties that will be hard to get through on our own. That’s just life. And most of us will get through them somehow on our own, if need be. However, there is nothing virtuous, strong or healthy about suffering more, staying stuck longer or ending up permanently bent out of shape when skillful help is available.
How will I know if you can help me?
You are welcome to phone or email us with a brief description of your difficulties and we will quickly be able to tell you if it is the sort of thing we have expertise in working with.
What’s the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?
What’s the difference between a psychologist and a counsellor?
What’s the difference between a psychologist and a psychotherapist?
Rather than reinvent the wheel, there is a really good explanation of these issues on the NZ College of Clinical Psychologists website at: www.nzccp.co.nz/public/pub_fr.htm
You can find out more about psychologists at: www.psychology.org.nz
You can find out more about psychiatrists at: www.ranzcp.org/publicarea/public.asp
You can find out more about counsellors at: www.nzac.org.nz
You can find out more about psychotherapists at: www.nzap.org.nz/index.htm
Who will you tell?
In most cases, the fact that you are seeing us and anything you might say to us is private and we will not tell anyone else about this without your permission.
There are a few exceptions to this privacy:
1. If there is a situation where you or someone else are at risk of serious harm (e.g. life-threatening or risk of sexual abuse to a child) which we could prevent by breaking confidentiality then we will act to prevent that harm. Unless there is an emergency or it would increase the risk of harm we would still try to discuss this with you first.
2. Other professionals. If you have been referred to us, we will normally ask your permission to liaise with the referrer, usually just to acknowledge the referral. If you have other professionals involved in your on-going care it is in your interests that we liaise with them in order to coordinate the help you are receiving. This still requires your permission. All information that we receive from other sources about you is available to you.
3. We may discuss aspects of your therapy within our professional supervision (see ‘what is supervision’ below).
4. If your therapy is being paid for by someone else they will, of course, know whether or not you are attending. Where it is being paid for by an agency such as ACC or other insurance company, your employer, CYFS etc, there is likely to be an obligation to report to them about the therapy - we will normally consult you about what is going to be reported.
5. If a court orders us to show them the notes of our work with you we will have to do so. This is very rare and you will have plenty of warning.
What is supervision?
Both of us receive supervision from senior colleagues and peers on a regular basis. This is where we discuss aspects of our work that are challenging, successful or just seem to need reflecting on. Regular supervision provides a check on the quality and safety of our work, a means to develop our knowledge and skills, and a place where we can talk about ways that our work is affecting us personally. Though the focus is primarily on us and our work we, of course, have to talk about our clients during supervision. We do this carefully, making sure to avoid saying anything that might identify a client.
My partner doesn’t want to come- is it worth me coming on my own?
If you are having problems in you relationship we think it is best that both of you come to talk about them. However if your partner flatly refuses to come along you are still likely to get benefit from talking over options and strategies with a therapist.
Do I keep my clothes on?
Yes. Therapy just involves sitting in our office and talking. We will not touch you other than to shake hands.
Isn’t it embarrassing, talking about personal or sexual information with a stranger?
Many people are a bit uncomfortable at first, but we are really used to putting you at ease and normally you will be quite relaxed about it by the end of the first session. Most people find that the embarrassment is nothing compared to the frustration and pain of the problem they are bringing and soon get caught up in sorting things out rather than worrying about how they come across.
What if I don’t like it?
If there is anything about the therapy that you don’t like we strongly suggest you tell us. There are a lot of different ways to do therapy and we will always be happy to find the way that suits you best. Everything we say or suggest will have a good reason and if you don’t like something or it makes you uncomfortable it is in your interest to ask us about what we are doing or to simply say you don’t like it.
However therapy is a very personal business and you may feel that the therapist you are seeing is just not the right person for you. Again, it is really in your interest to tell us this so that we can either change what we are doing or help you find a different therapist who might suit you better.
How do I know if I need therapy?
In any area, we usually ask for professional help if it feels like the problem is beyond our own skills to sort out. Personal and emotional issues are no different. If you have an issue that you can’t seem to sort out on your own, or with the help of your friends and family, then it’s probably time to talk to a professional. It doesn’t have to be serious – just as you might take your car to the mechanic for a service you can consult us to check things out before they get serious.
However, if you want to get more organised about this there are a couple of online questionnaires you can fill out to see if they think you need therapy: www.psychcentral.com/therapy
What about all the different types of therapy?
There are a lot of different “brands” of therapy. We discuss the main ones we use here
If you want a broader discussion of the different models this link provides a pretty good overview: www.psychcentral.com/therapy.htm
(although it leaves out the main model we use for couples which you can find at: http://crucible4points.com/ )
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