What is a registered psychologist?

A Registered Psychologist in NZ has successfully completed extensive formal academic studies, training and practical experience. They are trained to use scientific measures in their practice. A NZ Registered Psychologist must be registered with The New Zealand Psychologists’ Board.

What is the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?

Psychiatrists are qualified medical doctors who have undertaken further academic and practical study in mental illness.  They are trained in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of metal disorders.  They can also prescribe drugs.

Registered Psychologists have undertaken both academic and practical psychology training for usually 6-8 years.  They provide talking therapy.  They do not and can not prescribe drugs.  Psychologists help people to understand how their experiences and personality contribute to their beliefs, attitudes and values about  themselves, others and the world in general.  Psychologists help people to become aware of their thoughts, feelings and behaviours and their impact on how they live their lives.

What is psychological therapy?

Psychological therapy is a two way process between the client and the psychologist. The initial session is about understanding your current situation and discussing and agreeing on individual treatment areas with your therapist. It can be helpful for you beforehand to think about your expectations from therapy and raise any concerns that you have with your therapist.

Research shows that therapy works best when you attend regularly, are motivated and give some thought to what you want to discuss during each session. The type of therapy offered by The Sweet Life asks you to practice skills and strategies discussed in session at home, work and when socialising. Practicing these skills allows you to get more out of therapy.

What is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)?

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a time-limited, empirically supported treatment for a wide range of problems including depression, anxiety, worry, relationship conflicts, eating disorders and substance abuse. CBT is based on the assumption that beliefs, thoughts, emotions, and behaviours are interrelated. It is a collaborative, present-focused approach to problematic behaviors, thinking patterns, and emotions. CBT therapists take an active, in-session stance to teach clients skills that can be used to improve current functioning.

What is acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)?

ACT is based on the idea that, generally, trying to rid ourselves of pain and distress only increases it, and turns it into something traumatic.  The alternative is to accept it – but that doesn’t mean being defeated or tolerating suffering.  We learn to make room for painful feelings, thoughts, and sensations – allowing them to be there, coming and going without us struggling against them.

What is dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT)?

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) was developed to treat problems in emotion regulation. It balances the use of change techniques from cognitive-behavior therapy with acceptance strategies from Zen practice. It is designed to address problems in regulating emotions, impulse control, assertiveness, and distress tolerance. Clients learn cognitive-behavioral and mindfulness skills to better identify and manage their emotions, including anxiety and depression. They then practice applying those skills to better tolerate life events and improve their ability to interact effectively with others.

What is schema therapy?

The emphasis of Schema Therapy is on combating patterns of thoughts, which can impact negatively on you for your entire life. Techniques have been developed for weakening these thinking patterns and solving the related problems.

How long does therapy last?

A clinical session is 50 minutes. Each person is unique, therefore the amount of sessions for each person will differ. I am committed to providing short-term, goal-oriented therapy. It can range from 1 session to 8-12 sessions.

What are they rules about confidentiality?

Registered Psychologists in NZ are bound by the Psychologists Code of Ethics (2001). With regard to confidentiality at The Sweet Life, all therapy discussions are confidential with the important exception that if you are at risk from yourself or at risk to someone else then we are duty bound to protect you or any other party and will seek external supervision.

How much will it cost?

For individual therapy, the initial session is $200 (up to 90 mins) and $165 per individual subsequent session (50 mins).  Couples therapy is $230 for the initial session(up to 90 mins) and $200 for one hour.  Psychology is a significant investment, however the skills, processes and techniques that you learn are lifelong and versatile.

Do I need a referral?

No, I accept self-referrals, referrals from GPs, psychiatrists and other professionals.

Who is suitable for therapy at The Sweet Life?

The Sweet Life is suitable for male and female adults who are looking to discuss lifestyle options, balance and changes. It is very important to note that The Sweet Life is not suitable for individuals with a history of severe mental illness.

If you are having thoughts of harming yourself or someone else, please contact your GP or local Crisis Action Team:

09 487 1414 – North Shore

0800 800 717 – Auckland Central

09 261 3700 – South Auckland

Phone numbers are subject to change.  If you are concerned about someone and the number you are calling is not working, call 1737 and ask to be put through to the crisis team in your area.

Where is your practice?

The Sweet Life practice is located in Browns Bay in Auckland. The address will be provided upon appointment confirmation. Parking available.

How do I book?

You can email me on laura@thesweetlife.co.nz, call me on 021 733 953 or follow through to the contact page on complete the online form.