New Extended Hours
Monday to Thursday: 8am – 8pm
Friday: 8am – 6pm
Saturday: 8am – 1pm
Our practice handles a broad range of family medicine.
All our doctors have a number of specialised interests.
We are pleased to announce our new Psychologist, Deb Henderson. Deb provides psychological treatments, therapy and counselling for children, adolescents and adults. She sees patients on Mondays (4:30 to 6:30pm) and Wednesdays 8:30 am to 1 pm).
People who are suffering from depression feel sad most of the time and have less energy to do things they used to like doing. Everyone has days when they feel down, but if you are feeling like this most of the time, and for more than a couple of weeks, then it is time to get some help.
If you are not sure whether you or someone you care about needs some extra help, some signs to look for include:
- Being withdrawn more than usual
- Not wanting to do things you/they previously wanted to
- Sleeping more or less than normal
- Complaining of a lack of energy
- Not eating as much as you/they used to
For most people, Depression is highly treatable, and the earlier you commence treatment the more successful it is likely to be. Deb uses Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy and supportive counselling to assist those who are suffering from Depression.
Everyone worries at different times. Worry is a normal emotion that helps to keep us safe. But when worry stops us from doing things we would normally do or that are age appropriate (go on camps, sleep at a friends place etc) then worry becomes a problem. Some people feel worried most of the time, and we call this anxiety. Anxiety has a physical component and if you regularly experience pain in your chest, trembling hands, a sick feeling in your stomach and racing thoughts, you may be experiencing anxiety.
Although we don’t know exactly what causes Anxiety, we know that it tends to run in families and can be worse when facing lifestyle changes (starting a new job, school etc) or as a result of previous experiences. Anxiety is different to stress as the symptoms tend to continue, even when the stressor is not present.
Minor levels of anxiety and stress can be managed by a healthy diet, regular exercise (30 mins per day for at least five days per week), getting 7-9 hours of sleep per night and working out what helps you to relax.
If you have a healthy lifestyle but continue to suffer from anxiety, then cognitive behaviour therapy is likely to help you understand what you are experiencing and give you strategies to manage the anxiety.
Our bodies are designed to handle most stressful situations. Sometimes we do not recover from a stressful event as quickly as we should or we have a stronger stress experience than normal. Psychologists call this Adjustment Disorder. Symptoms of Adjustment Disorder include feeling sad, tiredness, difficulties with sleep, lack of appetite, lack of motivation, and finding it hard to think of anything else or relax.
When people are under high stress for an extended period of time it can lead to significant health impacts and so identifying and managing stressors in your life are important.
Events that can trigger adjustment problems include:
- Relationship issues
- Death of a loved one
- Significant illness in yourself or in a loved one
- Financial strain
- Moving houses
- Moving workplaces or schools
Deb uses Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and supportive counselling to assist those who are struggling to adjust to ongoing stress in their life.
Experiencing a traumatic event can leave us feeling shaken and recovery can take time. With most mild traumas, the impact of the trauma will lessen over a few weeks.
With more serious traumas, such as those where your physical safety or that of a loved one has been threatened, you may experience some ongoing symptoms. These include difficulties with sleep, finding it difficult to make decisions, not wanting to leave the house, changes in appetite, poor concentration, and avoiding situations that remind you of the trauma.
If you continue to experience these symptoms for more than a month after the trauma, therapy can help you to process what you experienced so you can begin to enjoy life again.
Most people have fears. Being scared of things such as enclosed spaces, spiders, dogs, lifts, heights, public speaking, flying, and the dark is common. When these fears stop us from doing things we want or need to do, or start influencing family members, then it is time to seek help.
For clients who are motivated, most phobias are relatively easy to treat. Deb uses cognitive-behaviour therapy to teach relaxation strategies and then gradual exposure to overcome the fear.
Eating disorders are some of the most serious mental health disorders and result when we overemphasise the importance of body weight and shape, and this starts to impact our eating habits. The most common include:
Binge Eating Disorder – Bingeing involves eating a large amount of food past the point of feeling full. It usually involves processed or ‘junk’ food, and often the person binging has a feeling of being out of control when they are eating. Regular binges – at least 2 per week – can create significant health issues.
Bulimia Nervosa – Bulimia involves regular binging but also includes the use of other methods to control weight, such as vomiting (or purging) after eating, taking laxatives or diuretics, or excessive exercise.
Anorexia Nervosa – Involves a preoccupation with being thinner and losing weight, using either starvation or excessive exercise. People with anorexia usually have an unhealthy weight loss, are underweight and have a distorted body image.
If you suspect someone you care about is suffering from an eating disorder, or are concerned about your weight, it is best to talk to your GP immediately. Deb has specialised training in eating disorders and uses CBT for Eating Disorders for early intervention. More serious eating disorders require specialised treatment in an eating disorder clinic, in conjunction with a dietician.
Behavioural issues can cause particular problems at school and in the home environment during childhood. Causes can vary, but some of the more common developmental issues that can result in behavioural problems include:
ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a developmental disorder characterised by a difficulty in self control. This can be manifest in impulsive behaviour, difficulties in keeping still, difficulties in decision making, problem paying attention, poor organisation and time management. Children with ADHD may struggle with social connections and formalised schooling. Therapy for ADHD includes parent training, behaviour programs, social skills and organisation skills.
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) – The autism spectrum describes a wide range of behaviours. Children with high functioning ASD (previously called Aspergers) can find it difficult to understand social cues and the nuances of non-verbal communication. They find changes in routine difficult and can be extra sensitive to noise, touch or smell. Children with ASD are likely to struggle making friends and become overwhelmed in a chaotic environment. Therapy for ASD often includes social skills training, education for family members and behaviour management training.
Social anxiety arises when people are preoccupied with the way that others view them. People who suffer from social anxiety tend to experience the physical symptoms of anxiety (nauseousness, chest pain, difficulty breathing) when they have to interact in social situations, particularly new situations or with people they don’t know.
It is normal to wonder how other people view us, but when that concern turns into fear of social judgement and stops us from going out to new places or interacting with different people then it is time to get some help. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is used to help clients be able to interact in new social situations, and challenge their thinking around how others view them.
Teenagers that have good mental health feel happier and more positive about life, they have better relationships with others and are more active in their community and social groups. Teenagers that are struggling with aspects of their identity, have poor peer or family relationships and struggle with regulating their emotions are more likely to engage in risky behaviour; including self harming, experimenting with drugs and alcohol and unsafe sex.
Most teenagers are still learning how to control their impulses, tolerate distressing situations and handle big emotions. They are often still working out the type of person they want to be. Talking to someone neutral in therapy or counselling can provide an alternate perspective to their peers – especially during a life stage where some will struggle to open up to parents.
A mental health plan is a plan developed between you and your GP to help you reach your mental health goals. If your mental health plan includes seeing a psychologist, then you are able to access a Medicare rebate of $128.40 per session with Deb for up to 20 sessions per year. Talk to your doctor to see if you are eligible for a mental health plan.
The full cost for a session is $190, or $140 if you hold a pension or health care card. This is a significant reduction from the Australian Psychology Society recommended hourly rate for psychologists, which is $260. A mental health plan then allows for a rebate of $128.40.
A mental health plan or referral from your GP is not necessary to see a psychologist – only to receive a Medicare rebate. Anyone can make an appointment – Deb sees clients from a variety of areas.
Some rebate may be available from your private health insurance provider if you are a private patient – talk to your insurer for more information.
We provide comprehensive vaccination services. Childhood vaccines are provided free by the Department of Health. Some adult vaccines are also for free to high risk groups eg. Flu vaccine, Pneumococcal vaccine for over 65’s
Travel and other vaccines are available by prescription. Please purchase vaccines immediately prior to your appointment and give to reception when you arrive. We will place them in the fridge to preserve their integrity.
We firmly believe in preventative medicine and so to that end we have a number of reminder programs in place. If you wish, you can be included in these according to your needs. These recall programs include immunisation and pap smear testing. We also participate in State and Federal reminder systems as appropriate.
Bulk billing is extended to pensioners, all children under the age of 16, Health Care Card holders and some patients who are in financial difficulties. If you feel this applies to you please discuss this with your doctor.
Allied Health Professionals
Sandra Mckinven-Bragg, Physiotherapist
Thursdays 9am to 12 noon
Richie Kumerage, Physiotherapist
Tuesdays 9am to 12 noon
Tracey Fleischner, Podiatrist Alternate Mondays : 8 – 12pm
Douglas Hanly Moir Pathology
Monday to Friday: 8 – 2pm