It is looking as though WA is lucky enough to have successfully stopped any community transmission of Covid with our 5 day lockdown and restrictions will be eased from Friday evening. However, this week of lockdown has probably prompted many families to have to answer questions from confused kids who aren’t used to mask-wearing in WA and who didn’t get to go back to school this week. We have been so lucky as a state to not have to deal with day to day worries such as mask wearing but it’s also possibly meant an increase in anxiety for some kids and parents wondering how to explain it all to their kids. Luckily my son was happy enough to accept the explanation that we can all be superhero’s and help each other not get sick by wearing a mask and staying home this week. However, if your child is showing signs of anxiety or confusion about Covid related restrictions such as mask wearing, here’s a tip sheet with some suggestions for talking to children about Covid. It’s important to explain as factually as possible that we can all help each other and that grown ups are making decisions and rules that are meant to help keep us all safe. Kids need to know that the adults are doing the work to keep them safe and reframing restrictions as things we do to look after each other and keep each other safe can alleviate anxiety.
Lovell Psychology is moving locations in January 2021, but will remain just around the corner in Victoria Park at 7 Manchester Street next to Archer Physiotherapy. The entrance for Lovell Psychology is off Manchester Street, and there is free street parking on Manchester.
I have recently started offering in office appointments again. However, if you prefer to have our session via video consult, or are feeling unwell on the day, please let me know. Hand sanitiser is provided on entry to the building, high touch surfaces are disinfected regularly, and our waiting area seating has been spaced out to allow for social distancing. Stay well!
In the interests of helping to keep everyone safe and slow down the spread of Covid-19, I am switching to Telehealth sessions only for the time being. It’s a difficult decision, because so much of therapy is about sharing space in the room together and Telehealth does feel a bit less personal, but it is only temporary. For now I will be conducting Telehealth sessions using Skype.
The current criteria for being eligible to claim Medicare for Telehealth using one of your existing Mental Health Care Plan sessions are:
- people isolating themselves at home on the advice of a medical practitioner, in accordance with home isolation guidance issued by the AHPPC, and
- people who meet the current national triage protocol criteria for suspected COVID-19 infection after consultation with either the national COVID-19 hotline, state COVID-19 hotlines, registered medical or nursing practitioner or COVID-19 trained health clinic triage staff
- people aged over 70
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged over 50
- people with chronic health conditions or who are immunocompromised
- parents with new babies and people who are pregnant.
If you do not meet these criteria, I can bill you privately (not through Medicare) at a reduced fee of $126.50. This is not much more than you would normally pay in gap fee. Hopefully Medicare will soon relax the criteria around who is eligible for Telehealth sessions so that we can all safely access it.
Many of us have children, and we are understandably worried about our kids picking up on the anxiety around us. It’s hard to know how much information to give a child about what is going on – we don’t want to worry them, but also realistically we know kids have pretty good bullshit radars and they can tell there’s something going on anyway. They can see the massive changes to our daily routines, and all the talk about hand-washing etc.
Rather than cause confusion or fear by not addressing it at all, or pretending everything is completely normal, it is more helpful to explain (at a developmentally appropriate level), that there’s a virus going around and we’re all trying to be extra careful not to pass it to each other. You could try reading a children’s story about Coronavirus to help explain, like this one.
Here’s an article discussing generally developmentally helpful ways to discuss Coronavirus with children.
Children pick up on our anxiety, and understandably, we’re pretty anxious right now. In addition to this, a lot of the ways we might normally manage our emotions (seeing friends, going to an exercise class, sitting in a cafe), have been taken away from us. Finding new ways to manage mental health and connect with others will be key. If you have a Psychologist you see regularly, you can probably continue to see them via Video. Now is a good time to look after your mental health and stay connected with people in any way you can.
Take care everyone.
It’s Black Friday, a day where tonnes of stores have sales, and everywhere I turn I’m being bombarded with alerts about sales and “bargains”. It’s giving me anxiety! Until I reminded myself that the Black Friday sales are a great opportunity to pick up something you’ve been wanting for ages, or things you know you’ll soon need more of anyway. Or grab some Christmas presents for people at a reduced price. But it certainly doesn’t mean we need to buy stuff we don’t actually need or really love, just because it’s on sale. If you wouldn’t have bought it full price (out of need or love) then you don’t need it at 20 or 30% off either. It will just become more stuff in your home that makes you feel bad. So if Black Friday sale alerts are giving you anxiety, try logging off social media for a few days until it dies down, or sitting down and making a proper list of what you really actually need and try to stick to that.
Over the last few weeks, there has unfortunately been some very biased and factually inaccurate reporting in a particular newspaper regarding the treatment of Transgender children. This poor journalism has sparked debate that has deeply hurt many Trans people, including children who are already extremely vulnerable, and their loved ones. Fortunately, health professionals in this field, including the Australian Professional Association for Trans Health (AusPATH) have rallied together to provide a factual and evidence based counterpoint. A reminder that all Trans children treated in Australia are treated according to the Standards of Care guidelines which already have a very well documented evidence base behind them. There have also been some media outlets that have printed factually accurate pieces, such as this one by Teddy Cook, in the Guardian,
As of July 29th 2019, Lovell Psychology will be moving locations. We will be based in Victoria Park (near the Causeway end), at WA Psychology and Wellness, 1 King George Street. There is free parking for clients behind the building, and if that is full there is also a free 1 hour parking lot directly across the road. We are right near the corner of Albany Highway if you feel like getting a coffee or a bite to eat after your appointment.
World Health Organisation (WHO) recently released guidelines recommending that in the new ICD-11 the diagnosis gender identity disorders will be reframed as gender incongruence. It will also be moved from the chapter on mental disorders into a chapter on sexual health. It sends the positive message that trans identities are part of human diversity. Read more about how the changes in this classification could affect trans or gender diverse people here.
Did you know that almost 75% percent of woman have experienced painful sex at some time, with more persistent painful sex affecting 7-22% of women? As this article explains, painful sex can create a cycle of anticipation and tension which exacerbates pain. Seeing a Psychologist, either as an individual or as a couple can be very helpful in interrupting this cycle of pain. Couples can learn how to be intimate in ways that eliminate pain or minimise pain experienced. Unfortunately, lots of women don’t ever seek help with painful sex because they don’t realise how common and treatable it is.