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What Happens

What ACTUALLY happens in my first session?

There’s one question that pretty much everyone wants to know before coming to their first session… WHAT HAPPENS?
So I thought I would take a little time to try to answer this for you.

Disclaimer: Every clinican has their own style, but I’ve tried to keep this as general as possible! 

When most people think of counselling, psychology, or therapy they think of Freud and the lounge.

Something a little like this?

You may be pleased to know that this is not how we do therapy here at Psychological Solutions! We want you to feel comfortable and relaxed, and for many people laying on a couch talking to someone who you can’t see is not comfortable OR relaxing.

So what actually happens?

First of all, we always ask you to come at least 10-15 minutes early to your first appointment. You’ll come into our wonderful waiting room, where one of our lovely admin team members will take your name and ask you to complete a couple of initial forms. There’s a great outdoor area where you can sit in the sun, or you can chill inside with the fishes. If you’d like a coffee, tea, milo or water, just let the admin team know and they’ll be happy to help!

When it’s time, your clinician will come out to greet you and bring you into a private room that looks a little something like this…

You get the couch, we get the chair. You don’t have to lay down – just sit comfortably!

You will probably be pleased to know that EVERYONE is nervous at this point. It’s a very strange situation to be in, but we hope it is also one you’ll come to love!

The first part of the session is usually just more housekeeping! Your clinician may have some extra forms for you to fill out, and may start by talking about the kind of referral you have (like Medicare, PTS, etc.) and what this means for you.

After this is taken care of, it’s time to really start. Feeling those nerves kick in again? That’s totally normal and we expect things to be a little tense to start with. Luckily, we have lots of experience at putting both adults and children at ease!

From here on out each session is as different as each of our clients, but the point of this session is simply to get to know you and find out what you’re hoping to get out of coming. Some people like to jump straight into talking about why they’ve come, others like to work up to it gradually – we’ll go along with whatever you’re comfortable with and won’t pressure you to talk about anything you’re not ready to discuss. This is YOUR session.

By the end of the session, we always hope to have a goal or two so we can start planning future sessions for you, but this absolutely does NOT happen every time. Sometimes there’s a lot to talk about before we get to goals, and that’s OK.

If you’re a parent bringing in a child, we usually like to bring them in during the second half of the session so we can get to know each other! This part of the session is often just playing games (we have the BEST board game collection!) and a casual chat about things like school, friends, and favourite things. If you’re concerned about your child being bored in the waiting room, don’t worry! We have iPads, books, and loads of cool toys to keep them happy. They are also welcome to play outside in our fenced yard.

At the end of the session, we will usually discuss how often you want to come in and how you would like sessions to be structured. If you have any questions at all, feel free to ask your clinician at any time. They’re here to help and will do whatever they can to get you the information you need.

After the session, your clinican will usually walk you back to the waiting room, and leave you in the care of our admin team. The team will sort out payment and organise your next appointment.

And that’s it! Hope this answered some questions! 



Welcome Back!

Happy new year from everyone here at Psychological Solutions! 

We’re in our second week back at the clinic since our holiday break and ready to get back to work! We have some great things planned for 2017… 

We have two great new groups starting soon! 

  • Positive Pals is a social skills group for kids aged 5-6 years. This group will focus on developing basic social skills like identifying emotions, conversation and listening skills, making friends, and staying cool and calm! This group will run Saturday’s at 10am for 6 weeks starting 04/02/2017
  • I Have, I Can, I Am is a resiliency group for kids of all ages. It will focus on building resiliency, reducing worries, and providing support to help your child work through social, emotional, and academic difficulties. This group will run Wednesday’s at 4pm for 4 weeks, starting 08/02/2017.

We have two new clinicians starting in February! We are very excited to welcome the wonderful Craig (psychologist) and James (speech pathology) to the team! 

Laani and Kelly have been travelling around doing some presentations on enneagram, ASD, trauma, and other interesting topics. If you would like more information about this, get in contact and we can chat! 

We will also be kickstarting a brand new outreach program for Drake Public School in Drake, NSW. This program will be bringing allied health services to a rural school of just 30 kids! We will be partnering with a local GP and businesses to provided these services completely bulk-billed to kids who otherwise may never have access to services. 

Here’s looking forward to an exciting year at Psychological Solutions!

End of 2016!

It’s that time of year again! School is out, Santa is busy checking his list!

At Psychological Solutions, we too are getting ready for a little break and will close Friday, December 23rd . It’s been an exciting year, with our brand new clinic at Belmont, some new clinicians, not to mention the promise of chickens for Christmas!

picture2Some of our proud 2016 social skills group graduates!

We will reopen on Monday, January 9th, with lots of new, exciting things planned! It will be the year for new groups, great innovation, and lots and lots of animals! Chickens, goats… and maybe a pony????

(Everyone wants a pony for Christmas!) 

So Merry Christmas everyone! Have a wonderful holiday, we’ll see you in the new year! 

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Did you know that Psychological Solutions offers Brain Gain Neurofeedback Therapy?

Not sure what Neurofeedback is? Find out  here!

For us, Brain Gain represents an exciting frontier with amazing opportunities for our clients.  We constantly see the gains of brain training realised in our clinic and in the everyday lives of our patients. We love hearing of the positive differences clients have made with Neurofeedback.  Our multidisciplinary clinic sees clients across the developmental lifespan which gives us an insight into the needs of different age groups, different behaviours and thought patterns, different perspectives and personalities.  As Neurofeedback allows people to train their brains through visual connection with their thought behaviour, we get excited about how we can help people, particularly with issues of concentration and attention. We see many applications for Neurofeedback and where we can use Brain Gain to help people adapt and thrive in today’s complex world.



Christmas Charity – Assistance Dogs Australia


Here at Psychological Solutions, we love animals of all kinds, so when we were searching for our Chirstmas charity, we instantly fell in love with Assistance Dogs Australia! 

Assistance Dogs Australia is a national charity which trains Labradors and Golden Retrievers to help people with disabilities, providing them with greater freedom and independence.

Their recipients include those born with developmental disabilities like cerebral palsy and spina bifida, those who acquire debilitating illnesses like multiple sclerosis, and those who have been in tragic accidents and will never walk again. They also provide dogs for children with autism, people living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and are excited to launch a new pilot working with people living at home with dementia.

Each Assistance Dog takes two years to train and requires an investment of over $30,000 – however Assistance Dogs are provided to people living with disabilities completely free of
charge throughout Australia!

To help this amazing organisation out this Christmas, Psychological Solutions are taking donations.

To help us do this, we have put together a SANTA sized lolly jar! Come on in, make a gold coin donation and take a guess at how many lollies are in Santa’s Lolly Jar for your chance to win! 

Merry Christmas! 

Find out more at Assistance Dogs Australia

Merry christmas snowman

Merry Christmas!

Here at Psychological Solutions we love Christmas!

group-1Our team has been hard at work decorating our clinic for everyone’s favourite time of year…

We’re stuffing our stockings and decorating our tree…


We’re breaking out the glitter, tinsel, and all things sparkly…


And waiting (im)patiently for Santa to arrive!


We are open until the 23rd of December, so come and see us and our beautiful, tinsel-adorned clinic!


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Now Offering Tutoring

Learning Solutions, as part of The Health Hub, is now offering tutoring! Our specialist tutor, Karen-Lee, will work with you and your child to provide creative, fun interventions to help build your child’s literacy and numeracy skills, as well as working on memory, attention, and concentration.


Tutoring is a great option for a wide variety of kids, including gifted children who want to push their limits, kids with learning disabilities such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia, as well as those who might just need a little helping hand!


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The Top 9 Signs That Your Baby May Have Autism

Recent statistics show that 1 in 68 children are now being diagnosed with autism. While diagnosis is on the rise, a child typically is not diagnosed by a professional until he or she is over two years old. However, there are signs that could indicate your child is on the spectrum as early as six months of age. Signs and symptoms can vary, as can the severity of the symptoms. Be sure to monitor your child’s development, and consult your doctor if anything concerns you. It’s important to note that autism in infants can be recognised by a lack of normal behaviour, rather than the presence of strange behaviours.


Has your child experienced significant delays in motor development milestones, such as rolling over, pushing themselves up, and crawling?

Does your child engage in repetitive behaviours such as stiffening their arms, hands, or legs? Do they display unusual body movements like rotating hands on his wrists? Do they sit or stand in uncommon postures?

Does your child gesture at objects or people to communicate? Do they wave goodbye, point, or reach for things? This is a milestone that is typically reached by 9 or 10 months old.

Does your child initiate cuddling or make noises to get your attention? Do they reach up toward you to be picked up? Disinterest in seeking a loved one’s attention or bonding is a sign your baby may eventually have difficulty relating to others, which can be a struggle for those on the spectrum as they grow up.

Does your child make limited eye contact with you and
other loved ones? Do they follow objects visually? Severe lack of eye contact as the baby grows can be an early indicator, as it is a form of communication and comprehension.

Is your baby increasingly unresponsive to their name from 6 to 12 months of age? Parents who see this in their child are often concerned it may be hearing loss and are unaware it can be a sign of autism. If you see this behaviour in your child, be sure to monitor the signs and consult a doctor.

Is your child making “baby talk” and babbling or cooing? Do they do it frequently? Your baby should typically reach this milestone by 12 months.

Does your child imitate the sounds and movements of others? Do they share expressions back and forth? Infrequent imitation of sounds, smiles, laughter, and facial expressions by 9 months of age can be an early indicator of autism.

Does your child smile back at you when you give them a warm, joyful smile? Does your child smile on their own? By the age of six months, your infant should be giving you big smiles or happy expressions.

Those were the top indicators of autism in infants. Want to learn more? Head on over to The Autism Site, and watch this video about detecting autism in your baby!

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Growing Up on the Autism Spectrum

Chris Bonnello is the author of “Growing Up Autistic: 10 Tips for Teenagers with Asperger Syndrome or Mild Autism”, an article which has had a huge online response. Sue Larkey has kindly posted the full article on her website for the benefit of parents, educators, mental health professionals, and teens on the autism spectrum.


“If you’re growing up on the spectrum, this article was written for you. I grew up with mild autism myself: I struggled with isolation, I struggled with understanding other people, and I struggled with other people not understanding me. So, from one autistic to another, here is my honest advice to you.”

Chris Bonnello


A longer version of Tips For Growing Up on the Autism Spectrum is available on Sue Larkey’s website:


 Top 10 Tips for Growing Up on the Autism Spectrum 

Whatever you’re going through, you are not alone.

The only person who can decide who you are is you.

Sometimes your pace and methods will be different, and that’s totally fine.

Once your school days are over, they’re over forever.

Find the places where you can play to your strengths.

Don’t blame yourself for things that aren’t your fault.

If you need help, ask for it.

Everyone else finds things difficult too.

I’d rather be happy than normal.

Remember how much you’re loved.

Finally, listen to other people’s advice.