A psychiatrist is a doctor/medical practitioner with extra training and experience in dealing with emotional, psychological and personal problems. Because this is their primary area of work they can provide more time to deal with these issues. A psychiatrist is a medical specialist and is usually a member of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists.

I look at two issues when I assess a person:

1) What is the problem? or, What things are troubling you? or, Why have you come to see me?
2) What can be done to help you? or, What do I advise that may assist with your problems?

A psychiatrist spends a lot of time talking and asking questions. A full assessment means (1) inquiring about and trying to understand all the things that have happened to a person, and (2) assessing physical health, and (3) understanding which issues are causing particular worry.

It usually takes about 2 or 3 visits to complete my initial assessment after which I will be able to provide “feedback” about what I believe to be the nature of the person’s problems.

Seeing a psychiatrist does not mean you are mad, crazy, loopy, looney, dull, dense, weak, inadequate, neurotic, nor is a cause for being ashamed. It is a sign of health to realise you have a problem and then to take the trouble to go and do something about it.