The entry to the psychologist was not what I expected. It is at a suburban shopping centre and is situated next to a coffee shop and a play ground. Lucky Master X did not see the playground or we would never had made it in, evidenced by his 2 hour play on the equipment after the appointment had concluded. I was nervous, mainly because I have not seen a psychologist for over a year and this is a new centre. Plus walking past the busy cafe was overwhelming, and if I was having an anxious day there is no way I would have done anything other than drive right past the shops.
It is a fairly welcoming centre with a rocking chair, couches, play toys for all ages and lovely toilets. And you pay for it too I found out at the end of the appointment. I thought it would be comparable to my last psychologist but this was going to cost an extra $100 per session that I was used to!
Anyway the session began with me filling out some paperwork including two depression and anxiety scales and a page of general information like my next of kin and the like. I had Master X with me but this was the first doctor/psychiatrist/psychologist appointment that I have not had to worry about him, he was engaged for the whole hour and fifteen minutes in the toys that were provided. Such a relief and almost worth paying the extra cash to be able to actually time to talk to someone without an interrupting toddler every two seconds. I remember my last appointment with my last psychologist was spent in their garden and they were more focused on my son than on me and our conversation.
We talked about my current history, medications, plans for care during the remaining 5-9 weeks of the pregnancy (31 weeks tomorrow!) and then we moved on to my younger adult history and child history. It was interesting to see someone’s reaction to my history, as I don’t normally disclose more than what is going on for most people but thought that in order to get the most out of the $230 session I should probably just say everything.
What I really appreciated about the appointment is that we ended with a forward plan and some idea about what we are going to do in the next appointment. I felt like my past psychologists were all about talking and there were no concrete progressions through the sessions. So a paid friend, basically. The new psychologist is focussed on outcomes and getting something out of each session. I like that. I also appreciated that my psychologist has had experience at perinatal mental health care and specifically clients with post natal psychosis and bipolar I disorder. In fact they dropped in the session that they used to run a support group for people with bipolar I disorder and that is going to guide some of their planning and preparation work with me.
In other news I have reduced Olanzapine and feel less drowsy during the day, able to write a little easier and wake up on time for work. So far, so good…