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Breathing

In therapy I share with clients the relationship between breathing and anxiety and encourage bringing awareness to their breath in order to change it thereby reducing an anxious response. I recently discovered a free virtual Pranayama class (breath work) hosted by Laurin Vassella from Bend It Like Buddha Yoga. This is a quick 15 minute class on a Monday morning to start your week. Laurin teaches different breathing techniques to ease stress, anxiety and to energise. The class can be booked through her website bendityoga.com.au. This is a great way to find a breathing technique that works for you.

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Telehealth now available for all

With the recent Commonwealth Government announcements, telehealth (sessions over video conferencing) and phone consultations are now available for all clients, not just those in at risk groups.

I continue to offer face to face sessions as required and to reduce the risks of transmission I am:

  • disinfecting hard surfaces between appointments,
  • have hand sanitiser available for clients,
  • encourage you to bring a drink bottle (I have disposable cups also), and
  • maintaining social distancing, the office is 17m2, by not shaking hands etc.

I am using Coviu for videoconferencing sessions which meets the privacy requirements for telehealth.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

COVID-19 is going to change the way we go about life for some time. Please follow the Health Departments advice to stay safe.

I am continuing to practice face to face – until instructed not to – but there are some changes. If you are at risk, or considered susceptible then I will offer telephone or videoconference sessions.

Medicare defines:

Patients at risk of COVID-19 include people who:

    • have been diagnosed with COVID-19 but haven’t been admitted to hospital
    • are required to isolate themselves following the advice from the Department of Health
    • are considered susceptible to COVID-19
    • meet the current national triage criteria for suspected COVID-19 infection.

People are considered susceptible to COVID-19 if they’re:

    • over 70
    • over 50 and of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent
    • pregnant
    • a parent of a child under 12 months old
    • being treated for a chronic health condition or are immune compromised.

Source Medicare website 22 March 2020

I am (as of 22 March 2020) continuing to see other clients in my room at Wahroonga. To reduce the risks of transmission I have:

  • disinfecting hard surfaces between appointments,
  • have hand sanitiser available for clients,
  • encourage you to bring a drink bottle (I have disposable cups also), and
  • maintaining social distancing, the office is 17m2, by not shaking hands etc.

Please contact me if you are concerned or would like to change an appointment to telephone or videoconference.

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10th Anniversary Celebrations

Today, 10 years ago, I saw my first client in private practice in Wahroonga. I reflect back on the psychologist I was then and the one I am now. I guess in any profession one learns and grows the longer they are there. Practising as a psychologist is just the same. I have done additional training in many therapies and for many different issues since starting to further assist those who walk through my door. I have expanded my practice beyond perinatal, which is where it began. Over the years I have seen adolescents and adults for many difficulties and discovered I enjoy working with people of all ages and stages of life. I also learn from those who seek help from me – “how might that feel?”, “what were their thoughts?”- which furthers my understanding and enhances my practice. So thank you to those who choose me to walk alongside them – it is truly an honour.

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Practice Technology

For GP and Patient convenience a number of processes have been implemented at this practice recently

Secure Messaging via ARGUS and Health Link

Referrals and MHCPs can be sent to Rhona via ARGUS or Health Link. Patients need not worry about the paperwork and GPs can be assured that referred patients are receiving the help they intended.

Rhona will send referral acceptance letters and progress reports via secure messaging in return, ensuring GPs are kept in the loop about their patients progress.

Secure messaging via these systems is the safest and most direct way to protect the privacy of patients.

GPs please refer to “information for GPs” tab on my website.

Payments

Rhona accepts payment by credit card, cash or direct debit.

Medicare Processing

Rhona electronically submits Medicare rebates for her patients thereby reducing their administration load at a time when it’s just one more thing to worry about.

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International Pregnancy Loss & Remembrance Day – October 15

Did you know that an estimated one in four pregnancies (103,000) end in miscarriage in Australia each year, while approximately 3,000 babies are either stillborn or die in the first 28 days after birth.

I have counselled many mums and dads following the loss of a baby, whether still in the womb or as an infant. Because it is not often spoken about, friends and family generally don’t understand the emotional loss and therefore can respond inappropriately or simply avoid the topic.

candle

Today is International Pregnancy Loss & Remembrance Day – a day for the world to remember this loss, to grieve with those who have experienced it and to bring awareness to the topic so that it does not remain taboo. The day will end in an “International Wave of Light”, a world-wide lighting of candles at 7.00pm local time for an hour. Join with others across the world in remembering little loved ones lost.

 

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Being Mums Group

Screenshot 2017-09-23 14.12.35

I will be co facilitating the Being Mums Group in both Gordon and Hornsby. If you are interested please enquire.

2017 Group Dates

  • Tuesday 10th October 2017, 9:30-11:30am, at Girl Guides Hall, 15 Mount William St, Gordon
  • Wednesday 11th October 2017, 2-4pm, Hornsby Heights Community Centre, 104A Galston Rd, Hornsby Heights

Cost: There is no cost to attend the group but you will require a referral from your GP.

To register your interest please talk to your GP (they will refer you with the form found here: sydneynorthhealthnetwork.org.au/mentalhealthtriage or call PHN mental health triage 1300 782 391.

For more information contact the PHN groups coordinator on 8287 1158, or email PHNgroups.coordinator@lifelineh2h.org.au

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Managing Social Media

What we see on social media isn’t necessarily a proper representation of reality……what is shown is only what people want you to see.

If your interaction with social media results in you feeling bad then take steps to manage your exposure:

  1. Unfollow – from groups or people whose actions you don’t need to know
  2. Unfriend – from people who are no longer relevant in your life
  3. Turn off notifications – you decide when you have the time and energy to interact with it
  4. Mute tweets
  5. Choose who sees your posts so you only get positive responses 
  6. Unsubscribe or pause your account
  7. Delete the app

Don’t allow social media to impact on your daily functioning and mood when you can choose to control it at varying levels.

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New practice location in North Parramatta

After a fantastic five years with PBB Health Centre I’ve found a fantastic space just around the corner at 23 Harold St, North Parramatta. With a larger, dedicated room in a the lovely Windsor Cottage Integrated Health, you’ll find that same service in a relaxing environment. Bookings can be made directly on 0422 134 169, or via email to rhona@rhonabarkerpsych.com.au otherwise everything else: fees and charges, medicare rebates, etc stays the same.

While I plan to be there on Thursdays, as I was at PBB Health Centre, I can be a little more flexible at Windsor Cottage if Thursday is too difficult.