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How I work

What to Expect From Counselling

Catherine Lally

Individual Counselling

The focus of our first counselling session is on getting to know one another and deciding on a plan of action for our work together. I will ask you questions about your current situation, the history of your problems as they relate to your past and your relationship experiences. 

I often ask clients to complete a questionnaire in one of the early sessions.  This helps us get a better understanding of your problems and how to best resolve them.

In therapy sessions we will use well researched methods of psychotherapy to resolve your symptoms and help you live a more positive and happy life. Whether you are struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma or having relationship difficulties, we will work together to help you live the best life possible.

The length of individual therapy depends on the extent of your problems and your goals. Together we can determine how many therapy sessions you may attend.

Couples or Marriage Counselling

In our first couples or marriage counselling session we will explore what kind of relationship you would like to have and how your relationship became stuck in a place that you are unhappy about. We will look at the areas that are weak in your relationship and the areas that you want to improve upon.  We will work to encourage the strengths in your relationship and find ways to improve the areas where you are struggling and having troubles communicating.

As we work together in couples therapy, our goal is to help you get to a place where you are happy together and appreciating one another.  We will work to help you feel closer to one another and to find ways to resolve conflict.

The time frame for couples therapy varies depending on the extent of your problems and how long they have existed. It also depends on your goals for your relationship and how committed you are to improving your relationship.

If you are uncertain as to your level of commitment to the relationship, marriage therapy can help you clarify what you want. If you should decide to separate or divorce, marriage counselling can help you ease the pain of the transition.

Assessments

In my psychology practice, I provide vocational, clinical and forensic psychological assessments. Each is briefly explained below:

  • Clinical Psychological Assessments

    Sometimes psychological assessments are used with therapy clients in order to better understand your problems and how to help you.
  • Forensic Assessments

    I provide forensic assessments for the clients of lawyers or other individuals who may require such a report.

My Therapy Approach:

My counselling practice is evidence based, which means the therapy techniques and methods I use are well supported in the psychotherapy research.  My overall focus in therapy is on the growth and development of my clients. In other words, my goal is to help you go beyond solving your immediate symptoms. I want to help you be the best you can be and live the most fulfilling life possible.

My counselling approach is based on the “here and now” in the sense that we focus on what is happening in the dynamic of our therapeutic relationship - whether that's just you and me, you and your partner, or you, me, and others in group therapy. How you are in the therapeutic relationship mirrors your other relationships and is an invaluable learning opportunity in a safe, loving environment. 

I use a combination of therapy models and tools in our counselling sessions.  The main ones are briefly explained below:

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

The platform of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is that our problems are caused, or at least exacerbated by our negative  thoughts. By learning to master our thoughts, we can be in control of our feelings and choose to take more effective and productive actions.

Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Acceptance Commitment Therapy is a mindfulness-based behaviour therapy focused on what is happening for you in each moment. The goal of ACT is not so much to reduce or eliminate the symptoms (such as uncomfortable thoughts or feelings) you may be experiencing, but instead learn how to change your relationship to, and views about your thoughts and feelings.   This, in turn, can help eliminate thoughts, feelings and behaviours that are causing you problems.

Narrative Therapy

Narrative Therapy is based on the premise that your identity is based on the stories you create as the result of what has occurred in your life. Sometimes by seeing your story from the viewpoint of another, you can see how the stories you have created are affecting your life—both positively and negatively. Narrative therapy helps you create new perspectives or stories when the old stories are getting in your way.

Hypnosis

Hypnosis is a tool that can be used to create a state of deep relaxation and open your sub-conscious mind to new ideas and change. Since the cause of our deeper problems we are often unaware of, hypnosis can help us access and change thoughts, behaviours and feelings at the root level.

Schema Therapy

Schema Therapy is based on the premise that any unmet needs from your childhood can result in unhealthy coping patterns in adult life. The goal of Schema Therapy is to learn ways of changing these early coping styles so that you can feel better about yourself and your relationships.

If you are looking for help in overcoming depression, anxiety, trauma or relationship challenges, please call me on 1300784184 or mail to catherine@m-pact.com.au

Together, we can work to get your life on the road to greater fulfillment and happiness.

Catherine Lally is a psychologist, marriage therapist and couples counsellor who helps people overcome a variety of emotional and psychological problems. She serves clients from Melbourne Victoria, Australia.