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Individual Therapy

Shaun McMahon is a Psychotherapist who offers private therapy sessions to adults in person in Moonee Ponds, Victoria, and online via Zoom.

As a psychotherapist, I offer individual sessions to adults from all walks of life who are in need of someone to talk to. Some of the areas I can assist you with include:

 

  • Anxiety, OCD and Panic Attacks

  • Bereavement, Grief and Loss

  • Stress and Anger management

  • Depression

  • Men’s Issues

  • ADHD and Autism

  • Assertiveness and Boundary Setting

  • Relationship and Family Issues

  • Communication Issues

  • Self Esteem Issues

  • Career Changes

  • Divorce and Separation

  • Suicidal Feelings

 

Like many in my field, over time I have gravitated towards working with certain areas of interest or demographics that I find fulfilling to engage with in my work. Some of these include:

 

  • Childhood / Developmental Trauma

  • C-PTSD and PTSD

  • Sexual Abuse Survivors

  • Sex Workers

  • Dissociative Disorders

  • Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

  • The Enneagram of Personality

 

While I have an interest in helping anyone who feels like they would like to talk to me about their problems, it’s important to know that some areas require training or specialized expertise that I do not currently possess. As such, I'm unable to offer assistance with:

 

  • Addiction / Substance Abuse (ie. alcohol, other substances, gambling)

  • Current Domestic Abuse / Domestic Violence / Family Violence

  • Psychosis or Schizophrenia

  • Bipolar Disorder

  • Education and Learning Disabilities

If you would like to speak to me about beginning therapy I offer a free 15 minute consultation that will give you a chance to tell me about what's going on for you right now. You're welcome to ask questions about the process and I'll give you a sense of how I can help. I invite you to request a consultation by clicking here, or you're welcome to read on and learn a little more about psychotherapy and how I work. 

What is Psychotherapy?

 

Psychotherapy means a lot of different things to a lot of different people, depending on who you’re talking to and where they are in the world. Psychotherapy comes from the Ancient Greek words psyche and therapeia, loosely translating to treatment for the soul, mind and spirit. It was developed to work with problems, in particular working with problems of trauma. 

 

Given that Psychologists are the dominant professionals in the mental health field in Australia, you might be wondering how psychotherapy differs from psychology. This can be hard to pinpoint because there is a great deal of crossover between the two professions. Put simply, they are both talking professionals who speak to people about their problems in an effort to help them better understand themselves and navigate their world.

 

With that said, Psychology is really a science first and foremost, which was developed out of research and the study of the mind. Psychologists are trained in particular kinds of psychotherapy, which in Australia is mostly something called Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). This approach roots problems you’re having in deficits in your thinking. As with all interventions and treatments, this approach works for some people, but not everyone.

Regardless of whether you see a psychotherapist or a psychologist, the research shows that what makes therapy effective is the quality of the person you’re working with, and by extension, the relationship that you form with them. So in our work together, I’m going to be focused on our relationship and your experience in our session to ensure that we’re working together in the way that's best for you. 

What To Expect From Our Sessions

 

Since psychotherapy is about treating the soul, mind and spirit, it recognizes you as more than a brain having thoughts, or a diagnostic label like ‘anxious’ or ‘depressed’. You are a full human being with a body, feelings, hopes, fears and dreams, relating with other human beings in this complex thing we call life. As a psychotherapist I’m interested in looking beyond flaws in your thinking to explore and understand your unique individual experience in engaging with our world.

 

This begins with establishing a strong therapeutic relationship. It’s easy to downplay the importance of your relationship with your therapist, often because people compare it to going to a doctor, or a physiotherapist. Most people might pay little attention to how they feel about their doctor, so long as they have the right medicine to help you when you’re sick. However, in psychotherapy the relationship often is the medicine, and therefore it's vital that we focus on establishing a strong therapeutic relationship early on.

 

What do I mean when I say that the relationship is the medicine? Well, I’ve found that most people who come to therapy experience a lot of difficulty in their relationships with other people. This might look like difficulty trusting others, not feeling safe, finding it hard to share thoughts or feelings, a constant fear of being judged or dismissed, or feeling like you’re “too much” or “not all that important”.

 

This difficulty in finding and forming relationships that feel safe, connected and supportive is very often the reason why people are attending therapy, even if their initial complaints might involve feeling anxious or depressed. As such, it is crucial for us to focus on moving towards a therapeutic relationship that feels safe and supportive in the ways you need it to. As we do this, we’ll be figuring out where you get stuck when you try to engage with others, and work together to figure out how our relationship could offer you a different experience.

 

Our next task is to then unpack and understand the problems you’re encountering. It’s very rare that I encounter clients who have simple problems that are easily explained and in need of a simple solution. It’s more common that people are encountering difficulties they do not feel equipped to deal with. This might mean problems in relationships, overwhelming life circumstances, or dealing with the lasting effects of past trauma. These problems are often complex in nature, have an extensive history, and as such require a great deal of care and attention.

 

Once we’re able to better define the problems you’re facing, we’ll work together on overcoming them. However, it’s important to note that my role isn’t to fix your problems for you, nor to offer solutions or advice. It makes sense to hope that I, the therapist, will have some kind of cure or fix for your problems, in the same way a doctor might have medicine for pain you’re in. While it’s never easy to witness people in pain or suffering, it’s not my role to make that pain and suffering go away.

 

I’m sure you’ve found yourself giving advice to a friend or relative who has a problem, only to then watch them completely ignore your advice and keep doing the same thing. This also happens in therapy. It’s tempting to believe I have all the answers, but the truth is that I’m not equipped with any magical powers to make people do things they don’t want to, and can’t control anything that happens outside of our sessions.

 

I’m much more interested in working with you to help you figure out how you would like to approach your problems. Once we’ve helped you to figure out what you actually want, it’s quite natural to then come up with ways of moving forward that feel right for you. This puts you firmly in the drivers seat of our work together, with me by your side offering insight and perspective, rather than telling you what to do or where to go.

Availability and Costs

 

I am currently accepting new clients and can typically offer a time for our first session within 7 days. My session fee is $140 for a 50 minute session. My standard work week is Tuesday - Friday from 11:30am to 8pm, and Saturdays from 10am - 5pm. I recognize that it can be tough to juggle work, family commitments and other life things alongside therapy sessions, which is why I offer evening and weekend times. While I do my best to accommodate schedules, these slots are highly contested and I cannot always guarantee availability. 

 

Please note that I'm unable to offer medicare rebates in conjunction with a mental health care plan as I am a psychotherapist, and current legislation only permits psychologists and social workers to offer medicare rebates.

 

If you have a mental health care plan, you may find it helpful to know that the medicare rebate is only available for 10 sessions per year with a psychologist. Psychologists charge around $200 on average, with a rebate of roughly $70-90. After the 10 sessions, you will need to pay their standard session rate. If you expect you will need more than 10 sessions of therapy, psychotherapy might be a better option as it can be cheaper in the long run.

Interested In Individual Therapy?

 

If you’re interested in speaking to me about beginning therapy, I offer a free 15 minute consultation to all new clients. This will give you a chance to share your situation with me and ask any questions about the process. I invite you to get in touch with me today by clicking below and filling out a form. We can find a mutually suitable time to talk, and I’ll be asking you some basic questions about your situation so I can let you know if I’m the right fit for you, and if so, how I can help.

Please Note...

My services are by appointment only, and it is beyond my scope of practice to offer support in an emergency.. If you are reading this and are in a crisis or in need of emergency support, I urge you to call Emergency Services on 000, Lifeline on 13 11 14 (available 24/7) or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636 to speak to someone who can offer immediate assistance with your situation.

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