At the Australian Health and Education Centre (AHEC) we provide psychotherapy in the heart of Sydney convenient to all forms of transport and with good street and car park parking. We have a range of flexible opening hours and can at times continue therapy by Skype after the initial consultation.
For full details about psychotherapy with Dr Tracie O’Keefe DCH, visit her dedicated therapy website by clicking the button below:
What is Psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy is a relationship between a psychotherapist and client to help the client examine what is happening in their life to cause the problems they might be experiencing.
Psychotherapy is a more in-depth process than counselling and tends to deal with more deep-rooted problems.
You may have experienced severe psychological and emotional dysfunction that renders you unhappy and unable to function in everyday life.
Once having examined what is going on with you, the whole point to psychotherapy is to help you become fully functional once again and able to lead a high-quality and rewarding life. Life is after all meant to be rewarding meaningful and fun.
As with every therapy at our clinic, Dr Tracie O’Keefe DCH approaches treatment from a naturopathic perspective, helping you to use your mind, wherever possible, rather than over-use of drugs.
What Qualifications Should My Therapist Have and Should They Belong to Professional Associations?
Psychotherapists are generally trained at a post-graduate level of education over several years. Part of their training is to also examine their own lives, motivations, behaviours and emotional experiences. They are mentored and remain under peer supervision for the whole of their careers.
Dr Tracie O’Keefe DCH trained at the National School of Hypnosis And Advanced Psychotherapy (London, UK) in the early 1990s and the Open University (UK) as well as many other institutions. She holds a degree in clinical Hypnotherapy, Advanced Post Graduate Diploma in psychotherapy and Hypnosis, a Doctorate in Clinical Hypnotherapy, a Degree in Complementary Medicine and is also a practising naturopath.
She is registered with the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) and with the Australian Register Of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (ARCAP). She is a member of the Association of Solution Oriented Counsellors and Psychotherapists and the Australian Hypnotherapy Association. She has seen over 20,000 clients in her clinics over several decades.
What Kind of Psychotherapy Should I Choose?
Psychotherapists often initially trained in a particular school of psychotherapeutic treatment. Like all professional clinicians, however, they remain in continual education over their careers and constantly retrain in other therapeutic techniques so they become an eclectic therapist.
Dr Tracie O’Keefe DCH was originally involved in co-counselling at college in 1970, then later trained in Rogerian counselling and telephone support counselling, solution-focused therapy, brief therapy, hypnotherapy, neuro-linguistic programing (NLP), sex therapy, couples and family therapy, psychoanalytical therapy, psycho dynamic therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, as well as being trained in natural medicine and a mental health partitioner.
Since she works eclectically, she chooses the disciplinary approach to psychotherapy that can help you the best.
What is Psychotherapy Used For?
Psychotherapy is used to help you overcome the problems in your life though the power of your mind.
This may include psychotherapy for depression, anxiety issues, obsessive compulsive disorder, identity issues, lack of self-esteem, failure to form meaningful relationships, eating disorders and coping with mental illness.
While we practise brief therapy for the majority of people who attend the clinic, some people do require more extended psychotherapy treatment since their issues may be very serious, deep-rooted and steeped in a history of mental or emotional dysfunction.
So sometimes the kind of therapeutic help needed to help you may be extensive and require commitment from you to see the process through until you reach a fully functioning, healthy, self-perpetuating personality.
What Are the Differences Between Psychotherapy, Counselling, Psychology and Psychiatry?
Psychotherapy is a more intensive and in-depth psychotherapeutic treatment than counselling. Both are called ‘talking disciplines’ and a psychotherapeutic process is exploring the mind and manipulating the mind so it becomes healthy and resourceful. Psychotherapy is experiential so it is about learning to have new experiences.
Psychology is basically the study of human behaviour but a psychologist does not necessarily learn how to change behaviour. After studying in psychology, psychologists often then go on to study counselling and psychotherapy to practice as therapists.
Psychiatry is a medical discipline that generally prescribes medications in response to human psychological dilemmas and also deals with mental illness. Psychiatrists are not necessarily trained in counselling, psychotherapy or human behavioural techniques.
Dr Tracie O’Keefe DCH trained at university level of education in natural medicine, counselling and psychotherapy so she always looks at the physical as well as the psychological issues happening with you.
She believes that you deserve a holistic approach to your health and mental wellbeing. At times she may also work across disciplines in a multi-disciplinary team with other professionals.
What if My Doctor Does Not Believe in Psychotherapy?
It is true that some doctors are not educated about the benefits of psychotherapy.
The field of medicine is so large that often professionals can be unaware of what other professionals actually do in their clinics.
The Australian government recognises the practice of psychotherapy and consults with the Australian Register of Counsellors and Psychotherapists. There are of course many doctors who are fully aware of the benefits of psychotherapy.
There are also doctors who try to give you drugs for your problems and never offer you the opportunity to talk things through so you can find some life solution for your situation and issues. In these circumstances you are entitled to a second and third opinion.
What if My Partner and Family Do Not Want Me To Have Therapy?
If you are an adult you are, of course, entitled to make your own decisions about your present and future experiences and what they will be on a day-to-day basis.
Families may not always see things from your point of view and they do not have to because they are not you. They may have an investment in you staying exactly as you are or try to assert control over your destiny.
It is, however, your life and if you feel you need some help to change your life experience, the way you think, feel and act, this is your choice to get help. In making that decision, always weigh up what it would cost you not to get help to solve your problems.
How Committed to Therapy Do I Need to Be?
In starting therapy you need to be 100 per cent committed to seeing it through to get the results you want.
This involves turning up for each of your appointments and doing whatever homework Dr Tracie O’Keefe DCH sets for you to do to aid your progress. You need to be someone who not only says they want to change but also is prepared to take action and put the work into changing.
Dr Tracie O’Keefe DCH’s skill is extremely high and she has worked with over 20,000 clients. She commits herself to working with you until you reach the result you want.
Therapy is a two-way process and she also expects you to make a minimum of the equal amount of effort that she does on your behalf. If you do that and are committed, you will get good results.
How Effective is Psychotherapy?
To a large extent this will depend on you, your commitment and willingness to make changes. This may require small changes or big changes in your life, the way you think and act; but for certain it will mean changes. Remember that you maintain a problem when you stay the same.
Many factors will be important in determining your actual results and no guarantees are made that you will achieve results similar to anyone else’s. Because of the nature of therapy and the requirement on the part of each individual entering therapy to actively engage in the session and to carry out any additional recommendations outside the session, no guarantees can be made of results.
The therapist has an outside, objective view of you and your situation, and will as much as possible try to get you to create you own solution to your situation.
Sometimes, however, Dr O’Keefe will strongly suggest that you take a particular direction in your thinking, acting and behaving. When you open yourself up and are will to work interactively, you will find psychotherapy life-changing as it has been for millions of people before you.
Will Psychotherapy Be Difficult?
There is no reason psychotherapy should be difficult and in fact it is a very liberating experience because you become self-empowered. Psychotherapy can also be fun and Dr O’Keefe is known for her sense of humour and making therapy a pleasant experience for you.
Of course there will be times when you are challenged but there is no personal growth in life without those challenges as they are part of the natural growth cycle for all of us. Life changes and unless we learn to change with it, which you learn to do in therapy, life will continue to be difficult for you.
How Long Will Psychotherapy Take?
This depends on the problems you are presenting with in the sessions. Some people will present with minor problems life phobias that can be helped very quickly. Other people may present with severe post-traumatic stress disorders from being involved in war or abandonment issues and they may feel their lives have been devastated.
Therapy is not just about fixing the problems you present with, with but also about supporting you as a person so that you feel you do not have to face these difficulties alone.
The therapist does not seek to make you co-dependent but their job is to be part of a support network you may need to help you get back on your feet in life.
So the answer to how long psychotherapy will take is solely dependent on what you are presenting with and the amount of work that needs doing in therapy. For some people it will last a few sessions; for some people, longer.
Will I Have to Stop My Medication to Come in to Therapy?
This depends on the medication you may be taking and your assessment in your first session. We cannot take you off medication you have already been prescribed. We are happy, however, to work with other professionals to discuss your medication needs.
Discussion about medication will be part of your initial consultation so you will need to bring records of all medications you are currently or have recently been taking.
We generally take naturopathic approaches but Dr Tracie O’Keefe DCH is a also trained mental health professional so understands that for some clients, some medication can prove useful. We therefore take the approach of constantly reviewing the situation as therapy progresses.
How Confidential is My Information?
By law no one else is allowed access to your information without your written permission except by court order. We take confidentiality very seriously and respect your need for privacy. Because we are not part of the public health system but a private clinic, this means no outside body can access your records via any medical records network.
When we help you in therapy we understand that you tell us your innermost sensitive secrets, feelings and thoughts, which you may never have shared with another human being. At times we need you to do that in order to understand and help you. Therefore we guard that information carefully and eventually destroy your records.
Do I Need a Referral?
No, you do not need a referral to enter into psychotherapy, so you can just telephone our office for an appointment. However, if you have a diagnosed mental illness and are currently under the care of a psychiatrist for that condition we do need a referral from that psychiatrist.
Also there may be some health funds that may need you to get a referral from a GP so you can claim on your health insurance so it is worth checking with your private health fund. Every health fund is different and every policy is different, so it’s always wise to check with yours.
Do I Get Rebates?
Medicare rebates are not available. You can claim back parts of some fees from your Private Health Fund (PHF) if you are on an extras package. Basic health fund policies generally do not allow you to claim.
If you are covered for naturopathy you claim back via that means. As mentioned earlier everything we do is from a naturopathic perspective. Dr Tracie O’Keefe DCH is passionate that good physical health contributes to good mental health and you will be asked to make physical changes in your life as well during therapy.
While we have a HICAPS machine in the clinic and you may be able to claim instant refunds, if it does to go through you will be given a receipt to take to your health fund. You are solely responsible for negotiating with your health fund. In committing to psychotherapy, however, you need to commit to the personal investment for changing your life.