From the moment you arrive at Myrtle Oak Clinic it is the aim of our team to make you feel as comfortable as possible. We understand that talking about sensitive information can feel uncomfortable and perhaps cause some anxiety. Remember we are here to help and don’t judge. Don’t feel pressured to talk about topics you don’t feel ready to, we understand that it can take a little while to feel safe to do this with a new clinician.
In preparation for your initial appointment with one of our psychologists, you will be greeted at reception by a member of the Care Coordination team, who will provide you with some questionnaires to complete. This is why we ask you to arrive a little earlier than the appointment time, and this information is invaluable in helping us to determine how to best help you.
When your psychologist is ready, they will welcome you into the room where your session will be held. In this room we have comfy lounges and chairs, an assortment of pillows and sensory gadgets to help sooth busy hands, a white board for us to draw pictures or diagrams to help explain information visually and a coffee table to rest a drink bottle on and tissues if needed. Your psychologist will carefully explain our confidentiality policy and give you the opportunity to ask questions.
Depending on your reason for attending Myrtle Oak Clinic, during the initial appointment you may be asked about the following topics:
- What has brought you to the clinic at this time?
- Any concerns you have about your way of eating or how you feel about your body.
- When did these concerns begin and how do they impact your life?
- Your current pattern of eating.
- Any other physical or mental health concerns.
- Family background and any potential underlying influences for eating problems.
- Understanding your existing health care team and how often you make contact with them.
- Assessing your mental health safety and elements of your physical health safety (Note: Your GP is your primary person for medical assessment and determining medical stability.)
Asking about these topics allows us to formulate a diagnosis (if appropriate) and make treatment recommendations that best fit your needs. If you also see one of the Myrtle Oak Clinic dietitians, we will consult with them to determine a comprehensive, individualised plan for care.
If you are interested in continuing with supports from your psychologist, they will discuss with you what frequency and length of session might be best to get started with, knowing that the overall goal would be to reduce the frequency over time and have you independent and moving on from us.
Remember, the first session is a chance for you to establish a rapport with your psychologist, share your concerns, and begin the process of addressing your challenges. It’s normal to feel a mix of emotions, but the clinic’s approach is designed to make this process as comfortable and supportive as possible.