An overview on help-seeking behaviour

A warm hello to my readers and thank you for returning to check out my latest blog.

In keeping with the introductory theme of the first blog, I am wanting to talk about help seeking behaviour today.  This is because I do not underestimate how daunting it may be to take those first steps towards making an appointment with me.

To me, help seeking behaviour is the process in which an individual comes to be involved with a health care professional.  It is not only the active engagement with a psychologist, but (and more importantly) the steps that have happened beforehand – and which are often the hardest for a person to work through.

Rickwood and colleagues (2005) describe four stages that comprise help seeking behaviour:

Awareness and appraisal of problem
Expression of symptoms and need for support
Availability of sources of help
Willingness to seek out and disclose to sources

Briefly, for one to seek help, they must first recognise there is an issue that requires attention.  They then need to feel comfortable talking about the issue and communicate about it in a way that can be understood by others.  There must be sufficient resources or professionals available to assist with a person’s needs once they decide to seek help.  Lastly, the person must want to reach out for help and be prepared to discuss their situation openly with a particular help source, such as myself.

There are some common factors that are known to impede a person seeking help, such as the stigma associated with mental health, poor symptom recognition by the individual, a reliance on self-care to manage the symptoms, a prior negative experience with a healthcare professional, and a person’s perception that it is helpless to try to think, feel and live differently.  Please consider whether any of these factors are interfering with your decision to make and/or attend an appointment.

I can assure you that I treat all clients with warmth and respect.  I will endeavour to increase your awareness of symptoms and improve your management of them by utilising evidence-based interventions.  If a previous interaction was not a positive experience or did not achieve a positive outcome for you, I encourage you to try again.  Each health care professional is an individual and sometimes there is some trial and error before you partner with a psychologist that is right for you.  Your first session with me is 100% bulk billed, providing you have a valid referral from your GP and bring that along to your first appointment.  You are therefore not out of pocket for the initial session and hopefully decide it is worthwhile for you to return.

I sincerely hope the above has helped ease any uncertainty or worry you may have been feeling about seeing a psychologist.  I am always more than happy to have you contact me with any questions, so please do not hesitate to reach out through my website or by phoning me.

Lastly, I revealed one of my all-time favourite quotes in my first blog and would like to end with another quote today.

Til next time, be well.

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