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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How do I find a psychologist with expertise in the aftermath of abuse?

    I was in a relationship with a man, who I am certain now was a psychopath. He has emotionally and mentally abused me, leaving me a shell of the person I was. How do I recover and get back my confidence? I want to find a psychologist with the expertise or interest in this area.
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    Emma Pinn

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    I'm a Clinical Psychologist who has expertise working with children, adolescents, young people, and adults in managing anxiety, depression, emotional problems, insomnia, low motivation, and … View Profile

    Recovery with the help of a therapist/psychologist is very possible. In reference to how you will recover and get your confidence back, it will somewhat depend on the therapeutic approach that your eventual therapist/psychologist uses, so your question is hard to answer. 
    On looking for a psychologist, there are a couple of things to consider:
    1) Finding someone with the right qualifications and experience. To find a psychologist, you can go to www.psychology.org.au and use the ‘Find a Psychologist’ link. This will provide you with names and contact details of psychologists in your area. Some psychologists have their own websites which can inform you about their skills, experience, and qualifications. Unfortunately your situation isn't uncommon, so you should be able to find a psychologist with relevant expertise with a bit of research. You could also talk with a GP you trust, as they might be able to suggest someone in your area. 
    2) Sometimes it can take a little while to find a psychologist with whom you feel comfortable, and this is something that you can't determine well from a website. You could try giving them a call and having a chat with them before making an appointment, as this could give you an indication. But if you make an appointment and don't think you'll feel comfortable working with them, it's okay to try someone else.

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    Dr Loretta Bell

    Clinical Psychologist, Counselling Psychologist, Psychologist

    Loretta is a Clinical and Counselling Psychologist with many years of experience as a counsellor. Loretta has worked in various community settings as well as … View Profile

    To find the right psychologist for you it is important that you are able to take the time to talk with them a little about what you need over the phone. If you have been in an abusive relationship it is really good to understand if the psychologist has had experience working with people who have been acught in this situation and who are also have experience working with trauma. In addition to many experienced and good psychologists working in this area, there is also counselling available form publiclly funded agencies and not for profit organisations like Relationships Australia.

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