Psychology

General FAQ

How long are appointments?

Your initial appointment is usually 80-90 minutes. This is to allow enough time to get a clear picture of what has been going on and how we may best help.
Subsequent sessions are a standard 50 minutes.

How qualified is my psychologist?

Randolph has attained an Undergraduate Degree in Applied Psychology, an Honours Degree in Applied Psychology (1st Class), and a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology. (B.App. Psych [Hons], M.Clin.Psych). Randolph has undertaken further intensive training and supervision to become an Endorsed Clinical Psychologist and Member of the Australian Psychological Society Clinical College. Randolph constantly increases his skills base and keeps up to date with developments through Continuing Professional Development, and as a Clinical Lecturer in the ANU Clinical Psychology Program.

Will you write me prescriptions?

Psychologists, however highly qualified, cannot prescribe medication. This is the role of your GP or Psychiatrist. Clinical Psychology is focussed on working with the problem itself and changing behaviours and thinking that maintain our suffering. The skills learned in sessions can be seen as skills that will serve you for the rest of your life.

Are you a member of the PBA or APS?

Randolph is a member of the Australian Psychological Society (APS) as well as the APS Clinical College.

Do I need a referral from my GP to see Randolph?

You don't need a referral to see a psychologist - just call and make an appointment. However, if you wish to receive a Medicare rebate, then you need to obtain a referral and a Mental Health Care Plan from your GP. This will enable you to claim for up to 10 sessions per calendar year.

If you have an insurance claim (including workers compensation), you will need a Doctor's referral and approval from your insurer, and you need to bring these with you.

What is your policy on privacy and sharing information?

What we talk about remains confidential. Records are securely stored and information is not shared with anyone without your express consent. If you are referred by your GP, we would expect that you would consent to some information being shared with them.

There are, however, some exceptions to confidentiality. If the psychologist believes you intend to cause harm to yourself or others, there is a mandatory reporting requirement. If a third party is paying for the service (e.g. insurance companies), they may require assessment and progress reports, so this effects confidentiality.

Finally, if your Psychologist is ordered by a court to produce documents (subpoena) then the Psychologist must comply.

Will you share information with my GP?

If you are referred by your GP, then they will receive updates on your progress. These updates are not generally in great detail, but serve to let your GP know you are engaged in therapy and how you are going. You can of course request that more detailed reports be provided.

What will happen during our sessions?

Therapy is talking, listening and doing. The first session is intended to discuss what is troubling you, start putting things together and to begin together to work out how to help. Randolph will provide a 'formulation' to link together what you have been experiencing. This can be both helpful on its own in terms of clarity, and also guides our treatment choices. We then work through difficulties using the models of understanding that are appropriate. Randolph may suggest practicing certain skills to better manage thoughts, emotions, behaviours and situations. He will always provide sound reasoning before making suggestions.

Specific therapeutic approaches and techniques are tailored to the particular problem areas, and again, will be explained to you throughout. Randolph uses evidence-based approaches. What this means is that there is research to support the approaches. There is a lot of science in Psychology.

Can you help me with pain management?

Yes. Randolph is an expert in Pain Management. Pain can take over your life and leave very little room for anything else. Our aim is to get your quality of life back, as well as retrain the nervous system (e.g. Behavioural Neuromodulation, Neuroplasticity, Pain Desenstisation) to reduce the impact of persistent pain. Randolph gives regular public talks on Pain Management (e.g. RSI & Overuse Injury Association, MS Australia, Arthritis foundation, Richmond Fellowship) and is the ANU Lecturer in Pain Management.