Information for teenagers

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

Common questions

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

Alternatively, you can download the Teenager Information Sheet.

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What is a psychologist?

My name is Anna and I am a psychologist. My job involves talking to people and helping them learn ways to cope with feelings that are bothering them – for example, feelings like sadness, anger, and fear.

What issues can you help with?

I see teenagers suffering from with a variety of anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, anger and emotion regulation issues. I do not currently treat teenagers suffering from eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorders.

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 our first meeting, I spend time getting to know you. I will ask you questions about your past, hobbies and interests, strengths, and things that you would like to happen in the future. I will also ask you about the things that you are struggling with.

I also chat briefly with your parent and ask them similar sorts of questions. At the end of the first or second meeting, we 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 our sessions, 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 our sessions. At the end of our first or second meeting, I’ll check with you about how much would like me to discuss with your parents and how much we should involve them in our 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 our second meeting, I can give you and you and your parents a rough guide about these things.

Will you tell Mum and Dad what I say?

I do not tell other people what you say to me at our meeting unless I am really worried that you or another person is unsafe or in some sort of danger. When we have meetings with just the two of us, I will always check with you how much to discuss with your parents.

What will happen in our sessions?

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

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