Adelaide Psychological Services supports the initiatives by the SA Government to improve psychological rehabilitation services for workers with a mental health injury by amending the WorkCover Act and by re-organising the responsible agency to form ReturnToWorkSA.  The public was informed that the old WorkCover Corporation had faced financial troubles because of both the increasing number of claims for mental health injuries and the long periods workers remained on income support.  This is clearly an area where skilled rehabilitation psychologists can make a contribution to the community.


After a year of planning and 6 months of implementation, it is timely to review how well the new system is operating.


Adelaide Psychological Services is disappointed by the limited leadership shown by senior staff of the new ReturnToWorkSA.  As many psychologists have moved into private practice following the introduction of Medicare funding for psychological therapy in 2007, it is possible to widen the group of skilled therapists who assist workers with a mental health injury, and to move away from reliance solely on a small group of therapists who operated with WorkCover while the  troubles were developing.  It is appropriate for ReturnToWorkSA to introduce new practice guidelines to coordinate the efforts of multi-disciplinary professionals who operate within the Workers system, and to move away from the old system that did not work.


New practice guidelines could recognise not all workers have the same issues or the same level of difficulty, to introduce a system that provides a sequence of services that are delivered in phases for workers at each phase of recovery.  It is not sensible to continue with a system that dichotomises workers into those whose problems are simple and can be resolved within a few weeks, and those who are permanently impaired.  Many workers have serious injuries and require carefully coordinate inter-disciplinary support for a period of many months before they return to work, and these are the workers who should benefit from a revised system.


One senior staff of the old WorkCover informed the writer that WorkCover did not plan to introduce guidelines for dealing with complex cases, saying complex issues could wait until the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Tribunal made rulings.  This approach leads to litigation that is unnecessary and that increases psychological trauma for workers who are already injured.


Many cases have predictable complexities that would benefit from administrative guidelines provided in advance.  Workers who do not quickly return to work due to a mental health injury commonly have a medical treatment team (including a GP, physiotherapist, surgeon and psychologist), a return to work or rehabilitation coordinator, and a case manager.  But there are no guidelines about how these three sets of professionals will communicate or coordinate their efforts.


The powers of case managers have been increased, but the public has no precise information about how case managers use their new powers.  The new system continues the considerable confusion that bedevilled the old system, leaving workers still exposed to frustrations arising from dysfunctional communication within the rehabilitation system.  The new system appears to be diverting workers with a mental health injury away from effective therapy that is provided promptly.  The current system continues to exacerbate mental health distress for workers who begin with a mild and treatable case of anxiety or depression.


Adelaide Psychological Services also has concerns about the limited role being played by the national association presenting psychologists, the Australian Psychological Society.  These concerns were accentuated during the recent AGM of the state branch in December 2015.  Representatives of the national society meet regularly with ReturnToWorkSA.  But questions are being asked about whether the current committee is supporting the interests of the few psychologists who have always liaised with the WorkCover Corporation and who contributed to the troubles emerging, or whether the committee represents the interests of its wider membership.


The involvement of the state government in changing legislation reflects the high level of public interest in this important topic of how best to provide rehabilitation for workers with a psychological or mental health injury they incurred in their workplace.  There is a need for ongoing open discussion until the public is confident that changes have been made and a new system is functioning well.


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Christmas closure


Adelaide Psychological Services will be closed from Friday 18th December 2015 and will reopen Wednesday 6th January 2016. 


We hope you have a safe and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 


If you require immediate assistance, please call ACIS (Adult Crisis Mental Health Services) on 13 14 65. 

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Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence and Family violence occurs when someone in a close relationship with you, makes you feel afraid, unsafe and powerless.

Domestic and Family Violence can happen in many forms, including social, emotional and physical violence and can occur to any culture, age or sex.

Victims often experience:

  • Fear
  • Shame
  • Depression
  • Anger
  • Humiliation
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Injury or death
  • Self-harming
  • Drug and Alcohol dependence


Psychologists distinguish five types of domestic violence or family violence, where different interventions are recommended for each type. 

Family violence affects both partners and children and can be improved by appropriate therapy.


The five types of family and domestic violence are:

  • Emotionally driven anger
  • Controlling aggression
  • Righteous anger
  • Cynicism
  • Manic behaviour.


If a member of your family is exposed to family violence and you would like to have their situation assessed to improve their ability to deal with their own situation, then contact our skilled psychologists on 8295 4150.


The Central Domestic Violence Service has a useful website with further information:


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Have you been feeling sad or down for a long time? It could be a sign of depression.

Sometimes we may feel down, moody or sad, but when these feelings last longer such as weeks, months or years, it could be depression.

Depression affects both people’s mental health and physical health. Symptoms may include:

  • Low mood and unhappy thoughts
  • Loss of enjoyment and lack of interest in usual pleasurable activities
  • Withdrawal from family and friends
  • Unable to concentrate
  • Feeling unhappy and irritable
  • Relying on alcohol or drugs 

Physical conditions may arise from depression, such as lack of sleep, headaches, stomach aches, muscle aches, considerable weight loss or weight gain and feeling tired.

Psychologists at Adelaide Psychological Services provide early intervention and evidence based therapy to clients who are experiencing depression. Effective therapy by a trained psychologist allows clients to develop coping and self-managing skills.

GP’s can refer clients suffering from depression, under the GP Mental Health Treatment Plan as this allows Medicare rebates which subsidize the cost of appointments. Alternatively some Private health funds may provide rebates. 

If you are concerned about yourself or a loved one, phone our practice today on 8295 4150.


Beyond Blue has information available to the public. 





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Phobias and Fears


People can suffer many different types of phobias and fears.


A phobia is an overwhelming and unreasonable fear of an object or situation that poses little real danger but provokes anxiety and avoidance.

Unlike the brief anxiety most people feel when they give a speech or take a test, a phobia is long lasting, causes intense physical and psychological reactions, and can affect your ability to function normally at work or in social settings.

Several types of phobias exist. Some people fear large open spaces, some are unable to tolerate certain social situations and others have a specific phobia, such as a fear of snakes, needles, elevators or flying.

Not all phobias need treatment. But if a phobia affects your daily life, several therapies are available that can help you overcome your fear.


What are the signs and symptoms of specific phobias?

A person may have a specific phobia if they:

  • Have a persistent, unreasonable and excessive fear of a specific object, activity or situation, e.g. heights, the sight of blood or encountering a snake.
  • Avoids situations in which they may have to face the phobic situation, e.g. not walking in a park where there may be snakes. If the situation is unavoidable, it is endured with distress.
  • Feels that the anxiety and or avoidance associated with such situations makes it difficult to go about daily life (e.g. interferes with working, studying or seeing friends and family).

Our psychologists provide effective therapy to address phobias and fears and the benefits of therapy and addressing your fear can lead to permanent positive changes. 

Effective therapy helps a person both to manage their own body reaction of panic and to find useful ways to deal with the stressor.

Speak to your GP about getting a GP referral, or call our receptionist on 8295 4150 for more information or to book an appointment.


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National Pain Week 20th – 26th July 2015. 


National Pain Week is from 20th – 26th July 2015 and aims at getting people to talk about living with pain. 

At Adelaide Psychological Services, we see clients who suffer from chronic pain and many other issues.  

Our psychologists provide evidence based approaches to sufferers of chronic pain. It is beneficial for people with pain to understand the causes and processes associated with chronic pain and our psychologists will provide therapy and explain these processes. 


View our Pain Brochure


Lady with neckpain 2 Med


GP’s can refer using a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan. Rebates are available from Medicare and some private health funds. Talk to your GP about getting a referral to one of our psychologists, or ring our office today on 8295 4150. 


Currently it is National Pain Week. Visit their website for more information.

The Australian Pain Management Association, also have some resources available on their website. 


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Chronic Pain

Chronic pain can be mild or excruciating, episodic or continuous, uncomfortable or totally incapacitating.

Pain is chronic if it continues for one month following an injury, is not reduced by physical therapy, and produces a significant impact on a person’s lifestyle.

Adelaide Psychological Services have psychologists available who are skilled and focus on chronic pain and therapy.


Benefits of skilled psychological therapy include:

  • Help people to cope with chronic pain while medical treatment occurs
  • Minimise impacts of negative emotions
  • Help people to focus on what they can do rather than on impairments and distress
  • Help to communicate their pain objectively to others
  • Effectively self-manage symptoms of pain
  • Focus on enjoyable activities not only on loss


Psychological therapy for chronic pain addresses eight topics:

  • Education about pain
  • Effect of emotions on pain
  • Beliefs about pain
  • Pain and exercise
  • Self-management of pain
  • Family support
  • Medications and substances
  • Return to work issues

 man with back Med facing R


Our psychologists provide intervention plans, based on an individual assessment. Evidence-based therapy practices are used and our psychologists collaborate with other health professionals.

GP’s can refer using a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan, this allows Medicare rebates or alternatively some private health funds provide rebates.

We also accept referrals for WorkCover / ReturnToWork SA, Motor Vehicle Accidents (Allianz) and other 3rd parties.

For more information, please call our receptionist on 8295 4150.

The Australian Pain Management Association  and  National Pain Week have some resources available on their websites. 


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Depression and anxiety


Is depression and anxiety preventing you from enjoying your usual things in life?


Our psychologists at Adelaide Psychological Services have many years experience and skills in treating anxiety disorders and mood disorders.

Anxiety symptoms may include:


  • Feelings of panic and fear
  • Felt irritable
  • Obsessive thinking and worrying
  • Compulsive behaviour
  • Problems sleeping
  • Being unable to enjoy activities.


If you feel that you have anxiety or depression, make an appointment to see your GP. Your GP can refer you under a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan, to see a psychologist for treatment and management of anxiety and depression.


For more information, please call our receptionist on 8295 4150.


Beyond blue have brochures and factsheets about depression and anxiety. Visit beyond blue website.


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Family separation



Family separation can affect many family members, not just parents or children.


We have psychologists who are skilled in providing therapy for:


  • Separated families
  • Stress from proceeding with divorce or separation
  • Children and separation
  • Custody / access issues
  • Parenting
  • Relationship counselling
  • Child and adolescent behavioural issues
  • Split families

Some psychologists are able to provide legal reports to the Family Court.


 Divorce - paper family being cut in half small


If you or a loved one is struggling with a family separation or divorce, call today to speak to our receptionist or to make an appointment on 8295 4150. 


Relationships Australia has useful information available on their website: Relationships Australia.



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Vocational Assessments


Are you confused about which career path you should take or have recently left school?


If you or someone you know needs direction in sourcing a new career and needs career advice, we can assist you.


At Adelaide Psychological Services, our psychologist offer Vocational Assessments to assist with finding you your next job.


Our Psychologists will work with you to:

  • Explore your transferrable skills
  • Discuss labour market and research job opportunities
  • Develop a resume
  • Learn basic interview techniques


Our vocational psychologist uses standard tests to identify skills and interests of each person.


If you are wanting more information, call our receptionist today on 8295 4150.


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