Seeing a psychologist could change your life – here’s why


Psychologist sitting across from patient having conversation

Seeing a psychologist could be one of the most life-changing things you ever do for yourself. But it’s hard to know if it’s right for you if you aren’t sure how it works.

So, grab a coffee and slip into your most comfortable lemon-scented canary yellow rubber G-string worn backwards.

Now, let’s do a bit of a deep dive into psychology.    

Help me help you

For many in our community, serious psychological damage has been done to them as a result of discrimination.

Growing up feeling different and feeling as though you don’t belong can be distressing.

These experiences can have a massive impact.

You can read 17 self-help books, watch 49 Ted Talks and 133 YouTube videos, and learn about why you do certain things that are unhelpful. But for some, understanding why they have issues won’t help change things.  

Counselling is a powerful way to understand yourself on a deeper level.

And if you are willing to put in some effort, it can have a transformational impact on your life.

Sharing your personal feelings and thoughts with someone who doesn’t judge you, has compassion and maintains confidentiality can prove liberating. 

If you believe you’d benefit from this process, talk to your GP about a Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP).

A MHCP provides Medicare rebates, allowing you to use your private health insurance, or pay the full fee.

During a first meeting with a psychologist, they will get to know you and you will discover if you feel comfortable with them.

It may be important for you to ask them about their specific experience in areas that you want to address.

This might include kink, polyamory, open relationships, recreational drugs, and general LGTBTIQ+ matters.  

One psychology does not fit all

Psychologists use different frameworks that have fancy names such as ‘schema therapy’ or CBT.

At uni, I had some friends who were into BDSM. So, naturally, I was surprised to hear the lecturer talk about CBT which I’d only heard referred to by my friends as ‘cock and ball torture’.

Fortunately, this is not part of the counselling process and stands for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

There isn’t one best framework, but some better suit a situation and the specific person more than others. The main thing is that it is evidence-based and not something someone just made up themselves.  

The research shows that the most effective parts of therapy are a combination of having a robust framework and feeling safe and comfortable in your relationship with your therapist.

It’s important for you to feel comfortable with them, to not feel judged and to know that they understand sexual or gender diversity if relevant.

If you’ve seen them a few times and continue to feel uncomfortable, feel free to tell them about how you feel.

And remember that you are the client and so you are empowered. You have every right to be seen by someone you feel is a good fit for you.    

Do your homework

One helpful tool that increases the effectiveness of the process is the reflecting work done between sessions.

One way our brains deal with distress, past traumas and heavy shit in life is to protect us through avoidance, distraction or minimisation.

So naturally, there might be a tendency to avoid doing the reflecting tasks between sessions and to even go back.

Rather than getting annoyed with yourself, see it as your brain trying to do its best for you.

Once you start to overcome this, and apply the insights from work done in sessions, you’ll find that things just start getting better.  

Paul Martin is the Senior Psychologist at the Centre for Human Potential. Visit cfhp.com.au to book an appointment.

For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Paul Martin

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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