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What is the difference between a psychologist and psychiatrist and how can they help me?

Therapy and psychiatry are professional services that aim to help individuals navigate challenges, improve mental health, and achieve personal growth. Psychologists and psychiatrists are both trained to treat mental health conditions. Psychologists and psychiatrists assess, diagnose and treat mental illnesses. There are differences in their training, which leads to different approaches in the management of mental health problems. Psychiatrists are medical doctors and can prescribe medication. Often their focus is on medical and pharmacological treatment.
Psychologists focus on treating patients with psychotherapy (talk therapy) and behavioural interventions.
Psychiatrists and psychologists often collaborate as part of a mental health team with the aim of providing the best possible treatment for an individual.

How do I know if I need therapy or psychiatry services?

If you're struggling with your emotions, thoughts, relationships, or daily functioning, seeking professional help is beneficial. A consultation can help determine the most suitable approach for your needs.

What can I expect from my first session?
·In your first session, we'll discuss your concerns, challenges, goals, and relevant background information. This helps us tailor a treatment plan that fits your unique situation.

How long are therapy sessions, and how often will I need to attend?
A first session is 60 minutes, whereas a follow-up sessions are 50 minutes.

How long do I need to be in therapy or psychiatric care for?
The therapeutic journey is a collaborative one and usually the length of the therapy is decided by both the therapist and the client. Treatment duration will differ depending on the presenting problem and the agreed upon treatment plan. In this regard, it is always best to discuss this with your treating practitioner after they have assessed and conceptualised the presenting problem comprehensively.

Is therapy confidential?
Yes, confidentiality is a cornerstone of our practice. It can be very important that certain information be discussed with any other members of a health care team. However, this would be discussed with you beforehand.
Confidentiality may be breached in three instances as per the ethical rules of the Health Professions Council of South Africa: (1) if there is a risk to yourself; (2) if there is a risk to others; or (3) if instructed to do so by a court of law/legislation. When you are a danger to yourself or someone else however this is an extreme and psychologists usually exhaust all other possible options before opting to break confidentiality. In the rare case that this does occur, the client must be given a heads-up before the break in confidentiality occurs. Thus, as a client, you should not be unaware of a confidentiality breach.

How do I choose the right therapist or psychiatrist for me?
Finding the right psychologist can be its own journey and one which should not discourage you from persevering.
·Finding the right fit is important. Look for someone whose expertise matches your needs and whose approach aligns with your preferences. You can look at our teams profiles on our website to help you.

Do you offer remote or online sessions?
Yes, we offer remote sessions for your convenience. Online sessions can be just as effective as in-person visits.

What should I do if I need to cancel or reschedule an appointment?
If you need to cancel or reschedule, please notify us at least 24 hours in advance to avoid cancellation fees.

How can I manage the cost of therapy or psychiatry services?
We offer a range of payment options and can discuss any financial concerns during your initial consultation.

How can I schedule an appointment?
Kindly call us on 011 234 0741, Whatsapp us on 060 961 7882, or email us via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
where our admin staff will assist you promptly.

How do I discuss concerns about medication with my psychiatrist?
Open communication is key. Share any concerns or questions you have about medication, and your psychiatrist will address them.

Can I end therapy or psychiatric care whenever I want?
Yes, you have the right to end therapy or care at any time. However, we recommend discussing your decision with your provider.

Can therapy be effective for children and teens?
Yes, therapy can be effective for young individuals. We have practitioners that are qualified to work with children and teens. You can visit our Meet The Team page where you can look through our practitioners and choose the one that you feel would be the best fit.

How do I know if I need medication?
Usually medication is initiated when symptoms have become distressing and impact negatively on quality of life.
Not all conditions require medication and sometimes other treatment modalities may be recommended. A mental health care professional can guide you in the decision of whether to take medication or not. Often medication has the most benefit when it is used as a part of an overall treatment plan which may also include psychotherapy, support groups or rehabilitation programs.

Research indicates that mental health conditions are in part caused by chemical imbalances in the brain.
Medication works on these chemicals to alleviate symptoms. Some mental illnesses such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder require long-term maintenance treatment so as to minimise the risk of relapses. Other conditions, such as depression or anxiety, may be treated with a shorter duration of medication.

Can I contact my psychologist/psychiatrist between sessions?
Contact between sessions should typically only occur in emergencies. Admin related queries are normally managed by the admin team and other queries can be discussed with your therapist during your session time. If communication does occur, it typically occurs during work hours and for a specific reason. If you have any concerns or questions regarding your medication you may contact your psychiatrist via email or telephonically.
However, they may not be able to respond straight away as they are usually in consultation with patients. Your psychiatrist will get back to you as soon as possible. Some queries may be resolved during a phone call or via email. However, some issues may require more in-depth discussion (such as changes to medication) and then an in-person consultation may be recommended. If you require urgent assistance in an emergency, kindly contact and locate your nearest casualty, where you will receive help.

What would be the benefit of attending occupational therapy?
OT addresses how a person engages in their day-to-day activities – activities they need to, want to and/or are expected to do - and how this is affected by
different illnesses, life changes/challenges and environmental factors (be it social or physical). Thus, whatever difficulty you are facing as a result of any of the above, an OT will assist you, either by improving your abilities (your skills) or making adaptations to the activity or environment to ensure optimal engagement within your day-to-day activities.

What can I expect from the occupational therapy process?
The first session with an OT takes the form of an interview in which we discuss your history, habits, routines and life responsibilities. Thereafter, an assessment is conducted to determine how you engage in an activity as well as to gain a better understanding of your unique profile. A feedback session is scheduled to discuss the assessment findings and set collaborative goals for therapy.
Therefore, therapy is tailored to each individual and their needs – this is then what determines what is done during your OT sessions and the frequency of sessions.

How long will I be attending occupational therapy?
There is no set time or duration a person attends occupational therapy. The process is dependent on various factors, including but not limited to a person’s needs, the severity of their illness/injury/condition and their adherence to therapy. The aim is to reach optimal (everyone’s optimal is different) engagement in the person’s day to day activities and maintain this.