Onsite Psychology FAQ’s

What is onsite psychology?

Onsite psychology is a health and wellbeing service provided at the workplace. Although there are similarities to what you might experience with a community psychologist, this service is also set apart for a number of reasons. For example, onsite psychology works of a model of wellbeing and supporting overall health, rather than a biomedical model of treating mental illness. The service is more similar to what you might expect of a sports psychologist, however instead of assisting the performance athletes instead we focus on the performance of workers.

Being onsite and easily accessible promotes a culture of mental fitness and resilience, and in the cases where people are experiencing challenges and feeling overwhelmed onsite psychology can be a protective touch point in providing early intervention. With onsite psychology you do not need to “keep calm and carry on” or take the “she’ll be right” approach. You will be able to talk through issues and be provided with practical strategies.

Will my managers find out about this?

You have the right to confidentiality with any psychologist, and there is no difference in this setting. Unless there are exceptional circumstances, your managers will not be aware you are accessing this service.

If I see a psychologist am I crazy?

The simple answer is no. Psychologists work with people who have a wide range of psychological functioning. From optimising performance of elite athletes to treating mental health disorders. Psychologists are specialists in emotions, thinking and human behaviour. Any time there is a gap between where you are and where you would like to be in life, a psychologist is likely to be able to assist.  

Why would I see a psychologist?

The benefit of seeing an onsite psychologist is that you don’t require a referral and you can see a psychologist for any reason.  The most likely reasons within a workplace setting would be difficulty sleeping, feeling overwhelmed by work or life, interpersonal stress, managing mood symptoms (e.g. anxiety, depression or stress).

How will a psychologist help me?

Often people find that talking to someone a helpful process in figuring out how they feel about complicated challenges in their life. Especially when that person isn’t closely connected to their personal life and can offer objective strategies to support.

Who will I be seeing?

Sarah Walsh or Chris McCarthy of AXIS rehabilitation. Their profiles will be made available to you.

How old is the psychologist and how much experience do they have?

A common worry when first seeing a psychologist is whether or not they have enough life experience to be working with people. The misconception here is that lived experience increases understanding. Psychologists bring a unique skill set that enables them to listen to your story and lived experience, without assuming that you would respond to a stressful or challenging situation in the same way they would. They spend a lot of time listening to ensure their understanding of your thought patterns, your emotional reaction and your actions. This gives them the information they need to help connect you with your values, what’s important to you and tailor treatment to your specific needs.

Even early career psychologists have spent six years studying human beings before they are fully qualified. When you see a psychologist you are the expert in your life and they are the experts in helping you to bridge the gap between where you are and where you would like to be. They don’t need to have lived as long as you, or have experienced everything you have to be helpful.

Does accessing the service affect my job?

Nothing that you discuss in your psychology sessions will be available to youor employer. There are rare occasions where psychologists are required to break confidentiality in order to keep people safe. The limits to confidentiality will be explained to you during your initial session.

As best as possible, your appointments will be private. However there are limitations to this in a workplace setting. For example a colleague may see you enter the psychology room, so people may be aware of you meeting with the psychologist, but nothing you speak about will be shared.

Can I talk about stuff not related to work?

Yes, absolutely.

Will it be private?

Your onsite psychologist is bound by the APS and AHPRA code of ethics and confidentiality.

This dictates that you have the right to confidentiality when seeing a psychologist. This means that nothing you discuss will be shared with anyone else.  The only reasons a psychologist would break confidentiality is if they are fearful that you may harm yourself or another person, or if their notes were subpoenaed by a court order.

Your psychologist is required by law to keep a record of your sessions. These notes are owned by your psychologist and the organisation they work for and will not be able to be accessed by your workplace. You have the right to know what is written in your notes.

How does the onsite psychologist manage my health records?

Your onsite psychologist maintains their own clinical records related to your treatment.  These records are created in line with the requirements set out by the AHPRA and kept in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principals Act (1988) and the Australian Privacy Principles (2014).   All clinical records are electronically kept on an AXIS owned device.  Your employer does not have access to these records. If you would like a copy of our Privacy Policy please ask your psychologist. 

What does a psychologist do?

Psychologists are devoted to helping people and the community find solutions to real life problems such as improving mental health and wellbeing, learning, performance, relationships, and societal cohesiveness.

The work psychologists do is incredibly varied and the list is endless. You might find psychologists helping to formulate a campaign to influence Australians to give up smoking, designing a new test to detect mental health issues early, or developing an app to help people beat anxiety.  In fact, wherever there are people, a psychologist can usually bring their expertise so that outcomes are improved.

Broadly speaking, most psychologists provide assessment and therapy to clients, help facilitate organisational or social change, conduct psychological research, or administer psychological tests to individuals or groups.

What is the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?

A psychiatrist completed a medical degree and then has done specialist training in mental health. They operate under a biomedical model of assessment and diagnosis of mental illness. They are involved in pharmacological treatment of mental illness and administer other medical interventions and procedures for mental health. Some psychiatrists do deliver talking therapies as a form of treatment.

Psychologists on the other hand have not done a medical degree and are not trained to prescribe drugs. Some psychologists also specialise in the assessment and treatment of mental illness, but they often work alongside a psychiatrist who assists with management of medication and organic symptoms. The other area that the professions can be similar is in that they both provide talking therapies as treatment.

Some psychologists work in research and don’t see individual patients, some work with teams or organisations to improve performance. Not all psychologists work with mental illness, whereas all psychiatrists do.

How do I book in? How long is an appointment and how many times can I come up?

You are able to book an initial appointment that is either 30 or 60 minutes long, depending on your reason for accessing the service.  Following your initial appointment here the psychologist will determine how long future appointments will be.  These may range from 20 – 60minutes.   You are able to attend up to 6 sessions.

Will the onsite psychologist communicate with my doctor?

Yes, only where relevant and with your consent. Where possible written communications will be provided to you to take to the doctor and phone calls would be made whilst you are present at your appointment. 

If you have any concerns about this please discuss directly with the onsite psychologist. 

Why should I choose AXIS over my own psychologist? 

There are several benefits to seeing an AXIS Onsite Psychologist.  

  • There is no cost to you. 
  • The convenience of appointments within work time and at the workplace.  
  • Your psychologist is likely to have a good understanding of your work environment and demands.

What is the AXIS treatment philosophy? 

AXIS believes that best treatment outcomes occur when patients are empowered to be pro-active in their own recovery.  Our treatment approach is focussed on best evidence-based practice and human-centred approach.