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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Who to see if I am suffering from anxiety and depression?

    I spoke with my GP who said I should see someone about my anxiety and depression. Although she referred me to a social worker, I did not actually feel like I received any treatment, I was just made aware of my anxiety and depression (childhood trauma, PTSD, mental abuse by partner). Is a social worker the person I should be seeing? I felt I did most of the talking, she said I should start by removing my partner from the situation, although this is easier said than done. But regardless of my partner, I have always had these underlying feelings of anxiety and depression. Who is the best person to see to seek treatment about this? I am a female and 24 years old, my anxiety gets so bad for no reason. I have to take time off work, I can't sleep and when I do sleep I have nightmares, which in turn makes me afraid to sleep. I also have a constant fear of being alone.
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  • 2


    I have been working in Eltham, Melbourne as a relationship and family counsellor for over twelve years. I draw on current theory and research about … View Profile

    If you are seeking treatment rather than counselling, you may wish to seek a referral from your GP either to a psychiatrist (who has specialist knowledge in assessment, diagnosis and pharmacological treatment for mental health issues), and/or a clinical psychologist - they can also assess and diagnose mental health issues, and offer psychological treatments such as cognitive behavioual therapy and other evidence-based treatments. Counselling is a different process where you are supported to connect to and make sense of your emotions and experiences. Often when someone has a history of childhood trauma they can find this very difficult to do, and may require support to stay with and re-process difficult feelings and experiences, and it is likely that this is what you would have received if you had decided to stay with the social worker (who would also equip you with strategies to manage your anxiety and depression as part of this process).

  • 2


    Oliver Armstrong


    Unlike most practitioners, my focus is working solely with anxieties, fears and trauma. Nothing else. Only talking about problems often makes them worse or more … View Profile

    Firstly good on you for reaching out, that's often the hardest step for many people.

    As an alternative to reprocessing or re-traumatising by talking about past emotional events; I highly recommend that you work with a practitioner whose modality (such as Clinical Hypnosis, NLP, EFT) is able to assist you to safely and comfortably resolve or neutralise underlying feelings and emotions, relating to past traumatic events, out of conscious awareness. You've already experienced that trauma once, you don't need to experience it again.


    Additionally I'd recommend that you learn preventive skills and techniques that will enable you to change unwanted problematic thoughts, feelings, and emotions as they come up. The same practitioner should be providing these as a matter of course.

    In my experience, once the past traumatic memories have been emotionally neutralised, the nightmares tend to stop. Sleep is vital for us to function day to day, not to mention our body uses it to heal and regenerate cells etc., so the sooner you can get some good sleep, the better.

    In the mean time, some general sleep-related advice I'll offer, is to stay off mobile devices at least one hour before going to bed, don't watch or read anything that is overly stimulating, and certainly don't drink any caffeine before going to bed, as caffeine stimulates the activation of the stress response [fight or flight] in the body.

    I hope this helps.

  • 1


    Mr Max von Sabler

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist Max is a clinical psychologist working in the public and private health sectors. He currently holds several appointments at Monash Health where he provides … View Profile

    Hi there,

    This is a great question and a problem that I think many people run into. There are various types of practitioners that can treat these conditions from different frameworks. I would suggest that you see a clincial psychologist in the first instnace - these professionals are specially trained in treating these conditions, and can help you achieve the results that you are looking for.

    I personally treat these conditions and have had much success in helping people understand where these experiences come from, and how they can manage them.

    Fee free to get in touch:

  • 1


    Angela Peris

    Registered Nurse

    I am passionate about helping people with Health and Wellbeing - with extensive knowledge and skills on cardiology and critical care nursing I have published … View Profile

     Yes, it is sometimes difficult to find the right person/therapist to help you. As suggested a clinical psychologist is a good option. 

    Most of the emotional issues stems back to very early childhood traumas. They are ingrained in to your subconscious mind and later on in life they seem to fester and grow in to your life, to hold you back from living the life you desire. 

    I do personally treat people with emotional and lifestyle issues through healing your past hurts and emotions. What I do is Holistic Counselling and Life coaching and Soiritual Healing.

    It does release you from limitation and help you be a stronger person - to decide how you want to be treated and not tolerate abuse from any one - Empowering your self to value who you are as a human being.

    you can send me a message if you like more info - or visit 

  • 2


    Georgie Lavan


    Georgie is a passionate Registered Psychologist, who prides herself on being nurturing, empathetic and transparent to provide an excellent experience for clients of various presentations. … View Profile

    I'm sorry to hear that your anxiety and depression is having such an impact on your life. 

    Meeting with a clinician requires a lot of talking to begin with. It gives us the opportunity to learn what is going on in your life and the impact it's having on you. Once we've gathered this, you will be provided with some education as well as therapeutic work. It can take some time, but having the right space to talk about these fears you've mentioned will give you the opportunity to unpack the theme of these fears and acquire some skills to learn how to cope with the emotional and physiological responses you experience during your anxiety.

    Finding the right clinician is like speed dating - you may have to meet with a few people before you find the right "fit". This can be daunting to patients, as they may find it difficult to let their clinician know that they are not the right fit. Fear not though, because a goodness of fit is the most important part of the experience, so it's vital that your needs are met in a therapist.

    One of the benefits of seeing a psychologist is being assisted with Medicare Rebates under a Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP). This can be arranged through your GP before coming to a consult. Other alternatives include private health insurance, depending on your level of cover.

    If you'd like to work with a psychologist, you can message me or check out my profile.

  • Alicja Weidner

    Counsellor, Hypnotherapist, Social Worker

    Alicja Weidner is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker, Counsellor, and Clinical Hypnotherapist with a particular interest in working with people with anxiety disorders, depression, … View Profile

    You have many, many options. You can see a counsellor, psychologist, clinical hypnotherapist, social worker, even art and music therapist, etc.  They all work with anxiety and depression, although their frameworks and methods are different.  I cannot recommend any particular profession over the other but would like to point out that trust and rapport is very important to achieving positive outcomes, as many studies demonstrated. Of course, you would like to check their credentials, first by verifying if the person you wish to engage has sufficient training and experience in this area.  One way of verifying it is to check whether they are a member of relevant professional association and ask them about their experience in working with clients with anxiety and depression, and also about the results. Apart from this, each professional would have a preferred modality (psychotherapeutic model) from which they practice.  Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is most common, but many practitioners also use Dialectical Behaviour Therapy. Schema Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Neurolinguistic Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy and many, many others.  It may be a good idea to ask the person you would like to engage what is their primary modality, what is the evidence base behind it, and what strategies would you be able to learn in the therapy session, so you can then apply them in your everyday life.  And if your current therapy does not work you can always change the provider as some professionals may have more skills and experience than others.I also think that in your situations you may be responding better to someone who specialises in relationship counselling.  

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