Information for teenagers

Many teenagers who come to see us have never seen a psychologist before, and often they have questions about the sessions. It is our aim to make you feel at ease. If you want to know more about what sessions are like, please take a look at the answers to some frequently asked questions below.

Common questions

Many teenagers who come to the clinic have never seen a psychologist before.

Here are some answers to questions teenagers often want to know about before they come to see us.

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What is a psychologist?

If you have never seen a psychologist before, it can be a bit intimidating. It’s really normal to feel hesitant or unsure about coming. A psychologist is a person who talks to people and helps them learn ways to cope with feelings that are bothering them – for example, feelings like sadness, anger, and fear.

Is there something wrong with me?

Having a problem is really normal and there is nothing wrong with you.

Am I in trouble?

You are not in any trouble and you haven’t done anything wrong.

What happens at our first meeting?

At your first meeting, your psychologist will spend time getting to know you. Your psychologist will ask you questions about your past, hobbies and interests, strengths, and things that you would like to happen in the future.

Your psychologist will also ask you about the things that you are struggling with. Then your psychologist will briefly chat briefly with your parent and ask them similar sorts of questions. At the end of the first or second meeting, you and your psychologist will make a plan together about future sessions.

How long does each meeting last?

All sessions last for 50 minutes.

Will Mum and Dad sit in on the rest of our meetings?

How much we involve your parents depends on what you want. Sometimes it can be good for Mum and Dad to know what happens in the session, and even sit in on sessions, so they can help you practice things at home. Other times, it’s best that they don’t sit in on the sessions. At the end of your first or second meeting, your psychologist will check with you about how much you would like your parents to be involved with sessions.

How many meetings will I need and how often will I need to come?

The number of meetings and how often you will need to come is different for different people. After your second meeting, your psychologist can give you and your parents a rough guide about these things.

Will you tell Mum and Dad what I say?

When you and your psychologist have meetings just the two of you, your psychologist will always check with you how much to discuss with your parents. It is up to you how much to share with them. However, your psychologist will need to tell your parents if you say something in the meeting that makes the psychologist think that you or another person is unsafe or in some sort of danger.

What will happen in our sessions?

During sessions, your psychologist will encourage you to share issues you are struggling with at school, at home, with friends and in other areas of your life. Your psychologist will also teach you skills and strategies to help you cope with the thoughts and feelings that are bothering you the most. Your psychologist will also make plans for you to practice using these skills and strategies at home.

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