How Speech Pathology can help you achieve your NDIS goals
17 Sep 2021
13 min video
09 Oct 2021 13 min video
Anxiety, depression and stress are some of the most common mental health conditions that stop people living with disability from achieving their potential.
It’s so important we prioritise our mental health. We chat with leading clinical psychologist and co-founder of MindAid, Dr Leah Pischek Simpson about how a psychologist can help an NDIS Participant achieve their goals.
It may start with a GP giving you a referral or you having access under one of your NDIS budgets for psychological support.
You can go with a recommendation from a service or your GP, or you can find someone to suit your needs.
Every psychologist works differently. It depends on their interest area and treatment approach.
In my opinion, having a good therapeutic relationship with your therapist is part of the journey of getting well.
This means you have to like them, trust them, respect them and feel validated by them. If it does not work or feel right, there is nothing wrong with changing course after several sessions.
Different approaches work for different people, so it’s important to ask what type of treatment your therapist would do.
Some clients like breathing and relaxation. Others like to be confronted about their internal worlds and conflicts. Some need specific skills training for lifestyle changes.
There are various types of Psychologists – general, clinical, forensic etc. These psychologists have different roles, based on different levels of training. It’s important to understand what you may need so you can find the right specialist.
For example, some services such as Centrelink will only accept a diagnosis from a Clinical Psychologist. You may need to be aware of some of these things depending on what you are trying to achieve.
It’s important to note, not every psychologist is familiar with the NDIS process and may only see patients under Medicare.
At the moment, due to the pandemic, it is very difficult to get into a Psychologist. I encourage people to pick a psychologist and make a booking understanding you may be waiting 3-5 months in some regions.
However, if things escalate and you need support ASAP, please see your GP regular or call Lifeline. It’s so important you do what you need to do in order to keep well.
This really comes down to level of severity. How intense the symptoms are and how long they have been there.
There are general things we can do, such as encouraging lifestyle changes – exercise, diet, reducing alcohol, relaxation and self-care.
I’m very focused on working with people’s emotions. What are they feeling?
Feeling’s not a fact. A lot of people might say they’re experiencing anxiety, but when you start peeling back the layers you might actually find they’re actually really sad or they’re really angry, or they’re really disappointed.
In the world of emotions there’s a lot that we can learn about that because most of the emotions that we experience as humans are unpleasant. There’s only one that’s pleasant, which is happiness.
The other emotions can be helpful and adaptive, but we have to really understand them and know what’s going on for us.
If we ask people how do you feel? Most of us launch into, “Oh, I’m good. I’m feeling this, I’m doing this.”
That’s not really your feeling. That’s a thought. An emotion is one word. I’m sad, I’m agitated. I’m confused. If you can pinpoint your emotion you’re in a better position to tackle it.
Just labelling your emotions can be very healing because it allows us to work out what we’re feeling. What’s happening in our bodies. How are we reacting. How can we change course.
I’m a big fan of listening to your emotions but I must also point out there’s a lot of room for psychiatry and medication.
Depending on what’s going on for someone, some people may require additional help through a treating team if their symptoms are not remitting or intensifying across time.
Like all forms of therapy, the effect can vary. Some people may respond positively while others may find it doesn’t improve their mood much, and some may experience only a modest short-term benefit.
Exercise can :
The number one thing I say to Support Workers and family members is listen. If we don’t listen we don’t know what people need.
We have to stop using the word crazy. People are not crazy for seeking mental health support. I’m not sure how wanting or needing help constitutes craziness, or how wanting to improve your life is a sign of craziness.
There is still so much to learn about mental health.
It’s not just anxiety and depression, which many people suffer from, but it’s the complex mental health illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and personality disorders that need greater understanding. They tend to be poorly understood and attitudes are less positive.
Common stereotypes about people with complex or severe mental illness include that they are dangerous, unpredictable, lack competence to look after themselves, and have little chance of recovery.
These negative attitudes lead to discriminatory behaviour. This can affect a person with mental illness’ opportunities for finding and keeping a job and their relationships with friends, family, and romantic partners.
We don’t want people to feel worthless or hopeless about their future. We want people to get help, but that means understanding that level of mental health difficulties.
The bottom line is – everyone is going through something. If you need professional help with a psychologist or treating team such as a GP or psychiatrist, make sure you make it a priority.
17 Sep 2021
13 min video
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