A Closer Look at Psychology Services

With LiveBig psychology services, we can support you to feel your best and acknowledge and promote positive behaviour change and good mental health.

 

What are psychology services?

Psychology is the study of the mind and human behaviour and relationship between the two. Registered under Therapeutic Supports in Improved Daily Living Skills, a psychologist will support their client to develop and maintain the skills to live life to the fullest. LiveBig can provide psychology services in the form of assessments, counselling, and training.

 

What do psychologists do?

A psychologist is a trained allied health professional whose specialization is in the field of supporting mental health conditions and human behaviour. Psychologists collaborate closely with clients, their families, and carers to provide a comprehensive assessment of their mental health requirements and identify the best course of action. This can be done online or face to face. If you want to know more about whether telehealth sessions may be suited to your needs, read our article on Why Telehealth May Be the Best Choice for Your NDIS Plan.

 

When would I need to see psychology services?

You will need psychology services as part of your NDIS plan if you have a diagnosed mental health condition or intellectual disability that is negatively impacting areas of your life or is inhibiting your ability to function daily.

We support clients with disability with specific needs in the areas of:

  • Therapy
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Hoarding
  • Dual diagnosis
  • Psychotic disorders such as auditory hallucinations and paranoia

 

I am trying to explain Psychology to my child, how can I break it down?

For children working with a psychologist as part of their NDIS plan, understanding the services they’re receiving is important. For a better understanding on the services you or your loved one is receiving, our psychologist George features in our animated ‘Psychology Explained’ video, looking at who would require this service, and in what ways does it improve your quality of life.

Psychology Explained for Kids

Being informed about the service you are receiving is important. It means that you know what to expect from a psychologist, as well as comprehending what your psychologist is working with you to improve. 

For a better understanding on the services you or your loved one is receiving, our psychologist George features in our animated ‘Psychology Explained’ video, looking at who would require this service, and in what ways does it improve your quality of life. 

Meet George

George is a registered psychologist at LiveBig with experience in educational and private settings, specialising in effective therapy for kids. He is able to form a positive working alliance with a variety of clients, family members and stakeholders and is competent working with a range of psychotherapies and behavioural therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Acceptance & Commitment Therapy.

You can find out more about George in this interview.

Meet a LiveBig Team Member – Jay, Team Leader

Here’s what Jay had to say: 

I completed my training as a counselling psychologist in New Zealand and soon after moved to Melbourne, Australia. Throughout my career I’ve worked with a range of people from individuals who have experienced mental health concerns to families looking to reach quality of life goals. I enjoy working with clients of all ages, but specifically have an interest in working with those who are going through life-stage developments. I pride myself in being able to adapt and create a safe, non-judgemental, and open reflective space for all my clients. 

Can you outline your experience and background in Psychology?  

Since gaining my registration in New Zealand, I have worked in non-government organisations, where I have worked with individuals who have experienced mental health concerns such as anxiety and depression through to concerns around life stages where social and resilience building skills have been required. I have worked with clients from 5 years old to 65 years old. I pride myself on being culturally sensitive and inclusive, which plays to the strengths of multi-cultural cities like Auckland and Melbourne.  

What inspired you to pursue a career in Psychology? 

I recall wanting to originally be a doctor as I always wanted to help people. But realised quickly that I didn’t hold the disposition required to become a doctor as I tended to faint around the sight of needles and blood. Luckily, when I was 14 years old, I crossed paths with a psychologist. This clinician’s ability to connect and relate to me as a teenager was remarkable, but I recall thinking it wasn’t what she said but how she made me feel that made an impact. Also, knowing that she could help people but without having to engage with the medical disposition was instrumental in my decision to become a psychologist.  

What type of patients are you most interested in working with, in terms of age and type of disability? 

I enjoy working with clients of all ages, but specifically have an interest in individuals who are going through life-stage developments. For example, those leaving primary school and going into secondary school, or individuals leaving secondary school and entering the work force or deciding on university. These pivotal points in each individual’s life can be instrumental in their character development and the way they engage with their environment. I have a special interest in working with individuals who are on the Autism Spectrum, who have an Intellectual disability and non-verbal presentations. However, no two individuals are the same and I find learning alongside each person and presentation is most interesting to me. 

What, in your opinion, are the most important qualities for a Psychologist? 

That’s a hard one! I think the main quality is a desire to understand what your client needs, followed closely by genuineness and authenticity. As each person requires different skills and qualities, it’s imperative to be flexible and know your limits on what you can provide, which is where the authenticity portion is important, as it ensures you’re doing your best to support your clients with what you have.  

How would you define a successful Psychologist? 

I would define a successful psychologist in two stages the initial from a clinical perspective and the consequential success of the clinician on the client’s life. The initial success from a clinical perspective would be a psychologist being able to hold their authentic-self alongside their therapeutic engagement with client. The latter success in my opinion is the mark of a successful psychologist, which would be that a client is able to live their fullest life, with no knowledge that the clinician was ever there. 

Chronic Pain: How Psychology can help

What is chronic pain?

Pain is said to be chronic when it extends beyond the expected healing time of an injury and can accompany chronic illnesses such as arthritis or lupus (Pfizer Health Report, 2011; Stollznow Research for Pfizer Australia, 2010). It is typically described as pain that lasts for three months or longer. As many as one in three Australians (35%) experience chronic pain, with this number increasing to 49% in adults 65 and older. Chronic pain can have a significant societal burden; in 2018, the financial cost of chronic pain was estimated to be $139.3 billion (Pain Australia, 2019).

 

Impacts of chronic pain

Beyond physical pain, experiencing persistent pain can impact an individual’s social and psychological wellbeing.

Individuals with chronic pain can also experience:

  • Difficulty maintaining usual routine (ability to work or go to school)
  • Upset sleep
  • Appetite and nutrition issues
  • Social isolation and withdrawal from friends and family
  • Depression and anxiety

 

The role of psychology in pain management

Almost 87% of Australians experiencing chronic pain have limited awareness of how psychological treatment could help with the pain. However, those who have received psychological treatment view it as an essential part of their recovery.

There is strong evidence to show that psychology is effective in treating chronic pain. Psychology aims to change an individual’s relationship with their pain. Whilst this won’t get rid of the pain altogether, it can help individuals normalise and become less affected by their pain and hence live a better life.

Psychologists are experts in helping people cope with the thoughts, feelings and behaviours that accompany chronic pain. They can work with the individuals to improve sleep health, manage their ability to work and help maintain a balanced routine.

Cognitive based therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based treatment for chronic pain. It aims to address unhelpful thinking and behavioural patterns so that the client can have more productive thoughts and behaviours that lead to reducing pain. Psychologists are good at helping people develop skills to help change unhelpful thoughts and behaviours, self-manage their symptoms over the long-term and overcome any barriers to recovery.

 

How LiveBig can help

Our sessions are based around getting to know you as a person and your experiences.

These can involve understanding what negative and unhelpful thoughts you may be having about your pain and how it has been impacting you. We will aim to identify coping strategies as well as building upon a more positive and helpful relationship towards yourself.

 

If you are interested in our Psychology services, get in touch today or phone 1300 390 222.

LiveBig Success at Virtual Disability Expo

The Virtual Disability Expo was a fantastic opportunity for people with disability, their families and carers to connect with a variety of disability service providers and obtain helpful information from the comfort and safety of their own home. 

LiveBig was thrilled to participate as a silver sponsor, meeting with many booth visitors and having many conversations about our therapy services which include psychology, speech pathology, exercise physiology, occupational therapy and physiotherapy. Our virtual booth had an engaging atmosphere over the two-day event with a range of informative and interactive features. Stephanie, our team member who attended the event, was available for video chats, text, and personal messages in real-time. LiveBig spoke to many people, including clients, families, support coordinators, and NDIS providers regarding the services we provide.  The range of information and interactive features saw us receive 236 booth visits with 29 direct requests for more information. 

Stephanie said: “ This expo has been a huge success. I am really excited by the turnout, the number of people that I have spoken with and the relationships I have formed with clients, families and support coordinators. The expo functions, which included chats and zoom meetings, was beneficial to all as we had so many questions about our telehealth services, especially from people in the Victoria region”.

At LiveBig, we will always adapt our service delivery processes to overcome any challenges that may arise during Coronavirus. Our number one priority is to continue to safely meet the needs of our clients, no matter the circumstances. We are grateful that events like these enable us to connect and help people from the safety of their homes. 

Meet a LiveBig Team Member – George, Psychologist

george-psychologyCan you outline your experience and background in psychology for us?
I started my provisional psychology internship in developmental psychology and worked in schools as a school counsellor and then moved to support work with adults living with severe mental illnesses. Upon general registration, I worked in private practice as a general psychologist working with families, couples and individuals who presented with a wide range of problems. I relocated overseas for two years to explore my other passions for travel and business, and in the last year have returned to Australia to continue to pursue my background in psychology. One day, I aim to combine my love of business and psychology.

What inspired you to pursue a career in psychology?
I pursued psychology because I could see the impact mental health issues had on people. I have always worked with the most vulnerable people and being a psychologist allows me to help those in need with problems that they might not necessarily know how to deal with or resolve on their own. I find enjoyment in helping people to articulate their story, guiding people on their road to recovery and being able to celebrate every small achievement towards their goals! My passion is seeing positive outcomes, Improved wellbeing of clients and making good friends and experiences along the way.

What, in your opinion, is the most important quality for a psychologist?
Empathy. I believe one of the most important qualities is to really put yourself in someone else’s shoes. To spend that time to get to know who they are and why they think that way and behave that way helps a psychologist to understand the reasons behind their actions.

Which are the most common disorders you have treated, and how have you approached these?
Anxiety and emotional difficulties. Each person is different and often require an eclectic approach, so no session is ever the same. However, all sessions use an evidence-based approach to ensure that therapies are as effective as possible.

How would you define a successful clinical psychologist?
A successful clinical psychologist is all of the following:

  • Flexible and adaptive
  • Knowledgeable yet humble
  • Allows the client to create their own story and ensures that the client feels understood
  • Challenges any blind spots and negative thought patterns while allowing the client to discover these and make their own decisions on how to better themselves

Has Coronavirus (COVID-19) changed the way you deliver your services, and what challenges have arisen?
Coronavirus has impacted the conventional face-to-face psychology service and this presents as a challenge because client sessions are now conducted predominantly through telehealth, which can alter the level of engagement. However, it is also a positive as I can now work with people from all around the country, reducing travel time and costs for the customer.

Have you noticed any positives in your patients in the transition to telehealth during Coronavirus?
I notice that some of my clients prefer telehealth as it allows them to attend our sessions from the comfort of their own homes. It also makes some people feel more comfortable as they don’t have to be in the physical presence of another person, which can be anxiety-provoking to some.

Would you like to learn more about LiveBig psychology services? Contact us online or phone 1300 390 222.

NDIS to Move to Real-Time Claims

Reasons for the change

There are currently around 365,000 active participants in the scheme, with payments for 2018-19 totalling approximately $10.2 billion. Over the next five years, it is estimated that more than $22 billion will be paid out through the scheme to 500,000 Australians with disability each year, putting a strain on the system and increasing the need for a faster and more efficient claims system.

Currently, claims are lodged by either the participant, provider, or the NDIS after a service has been carried out, through either the myplace Participant or myplace Provider online portals. The NDIA said that in some instances a .csv file is then uploaded to the NDIS portal, providing details of a number of claims. This is a slow and antiquated process that results in lengthy delays between the provision of support, and payments are prone to error.

To fix this outdated process, the NDIA aims to develop a solution that enables providers and participants to automatically lodge claims, known as payment requests, in real-time and at the point of support. The agency expects that moving from the current portal-based manual claim processing to real-time claims at the point of sale will result in significant benefits for participants, providers, and the NDIA.

Benefits of a real-time claim system

It is anticipated that providing one simple, consistent, automated claims and payments process between the provider and the NDIA will increase efficiency through automatic calculations, reduce the financial burden on participants and providers, and improve customer experience. The NDIA will also benefit through increased transactional data visibility and strengthened fraud controls, improved payment correctness, and reduced overheads associated with manual processing.

NDIS provides its participants with the support and services they need to achieve their goals, but the claims process can be complicated and difficult to navigate. While the move to real-time payments should make the process simpler, it may take some time to get the new system up and running. In the meantime, we are here to help. The team at LiveBig will not only help you get your head around the current claims system but will provide you with ongoing support for years to come.

Why Finding the Right Psychologist is the Key to Success

How can a psychologist help?

Psychologists are trained and experienced in using evidence-based treatments to achieve the best outcomes for their clients. They focus on the thoughts, emotions, and behaviours related to a person’s specific problem and create a personalised treatment plan that supports their client and helps them live a meaningful life.

What makes a good psychologist?

Finding the right psychologist can take time, but it’s definitely worth the effort. Some of the traits a good psychologist will have, include:

Experience – the more experience a psychologist has with treating a particular condition, the more knowledge and insight they will possess. Psychologists who specialise in certain areas will most likely be up to date with the latest research and treatment options and understand what is required to help their clients achieve their therapy goals.

Empathy – a good psychologist will actively listen and engage with their clients, and make them feel understood. They will not only understand what a person is saying but will also understand what the person is not saying, and communicate this understanding in a constructive and non-judgemental way.

Problem-solving skills – a professional psychologist will resist the urge to give advice. Instead, they will listen patiently and wait for their client to open up and share their thoughts. The psychologist will then identify the problem and help their client change the harmful behaviours that are contributing to their condition.

Flexibility – psychologists who are flexible understand that everyone is different and will tailor their treatment plans to suit their individual needs. They also know that clients who are dealing with mental health issues may cancel their appointments at the last minute or require an emergency session, and make allowances in their schedule for this.

Patience – effective psychologists understand that negative behaviours cannot be unlearned quickly and that setbacks are common. Instead of telling their client how to change their behaviour, they patiently guide the client in the process of self-discovery. Clients are not coerced into changing before they are ready to do so.

Trustworthiness – psychologists show they can be trusted by emphasising confidentiality and informing clients of their privacy rights during their initial assessment. Psychologists reassure their clients that they are trustworthy by actively listening to their concerns and providing unbiased feedback that supports them in their recovery.

Psychology services to suit your needs

Finding a psychologist that you feel comfortable with is paramount to your recovery. Having a good rapport with your therapist will make you feel at ease and encourage you to share your innermost thoughts and feelings. At LiveBig, our psychologists are experts in treating a range of conditions. We provide a supportive environment to talk openly and confidentially about your concerns and offer practical advice to help you on the road to recovery.

To find out more about LiveBig’s psychology services, contact us

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