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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Does my daughter need to see a clinical psychologist or psychologist ?

    For my 18 year old daughter who is suffering from anxiety, depression. She feels sad all the time and wants to die. We have just moved to Sarina and she was flatting with her boyfriend before this, but he couldnt do it anymore. She has her good and bad days, but mainly bad ones at the moment. I have tried everything including head space on the Gold Coast. She is taking zoloft and valium tablets (when needed), but I dont know what else to do. She tried to jump out of my car yesterday when I was driving. Any advise would be so much appreciated.
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  • 4

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    Richard Hill

    Counsellor, Psychotherapist

    Resident counsellor/psychotherapist at the Davis Health Centre with a solution focused approach; an international lecturer on the neuroscience and psychosocial genomics of human behaviour; author … View Profile

    It is always so hard to see our children suffer. Trying to find answers is exactly what a parent is driven to do. Your daughter is certainly having a very difficult time. Headspace is a very good service and has had great results for some, but each person is a different case with different needs. We know from research and practical experience that medication and good talk therapy together do the best job. Your daughter needs to find someone who is able to work with her and who she wants to work with. When someone considers harming themselves they are wanting to escape the pain and even though the pain may only be in a part of themselves, it often feels as though the only thing to do is to get rid the whole ‘self’. It is definitely throwing the baby out with the bathwater. So, I agree that she will most likely benefit from psychotherapy, but the most important thing is to find a therapist where their is a positive relationship with your daughter.

  • 2

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    Tracey Frazer

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    Tracey is a Clinical Psychology with over 24 years of clinical experience and her own practice in Hurstville, Sydney. She has a passion for working … View Profile

    It sounds like you have all been through a very stressful time. Its challenging as a parent of a very depressed child as you want them to get help and to sort things out but that is often difficult as you may have different goals for the process. Is she ready to engage in some help or is she resistant to help because of her depression ? If she is open to getting help then talking to the GP about getting a mental health plan done may be the best option as someone discussed earlier. If not, it may be important to get her risk addressed by either a GP or a local mental health service.

    Getting the right help is important. I would suggest involving your daughter as much as possible in the process so that she plays a role in selecting the right person for her. I think the most important thing is finding someone that your daughter engages with and feels emotionally safe with. It would be ideal to find a Clinical Psychologist as soon as possible who can engage in a therapeutic way with your daughter and provide her with helpful skills to deal with her mood.  

    I hope you can find someone soon.

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