Frequently Asked Questions 

I have a referral from my doctor, can I use it to see you? 

No, you do not need a referral to see me. However, if you want to have your treatment covered based on a referral, you'll need to find a private practicing psychologist with operating subsidies, meaning they are paid by the government. You send the referral from the doctor to such psychologists with operating subsidies and will either get an appointment, a rejection, or be put on a waiting list. With these psychologists, you pay a deductible up to the exemption limit (NOK 2921). The downside is that there is usually a very long waiting time, and for various reasons, many people do not receive an offer. You can find out which psychologists in your area have a service agreement by following this link. To check the waiting time with them, I recommend calling the free hospital choice office at phone number 800 41 004.

What do we do the first session?

I structure the first session primarily based on your preferences, while also trying to gather relevant information to create a plan for how we can work together, and make psychological assessments. Some patients have a lot to share in the first session, and that takes priority; I can gather additional information as we progress. The most important thing is that the patient feels safe and acknowledged because it's always vulnerable and challenging to meet a new psychologist, and I take this task seriously. At the end of the session, I strive to, to the best of my ability, ensure that we have established a good and mutual understanding of your psychological issues, how we can collaborate to address them for your well-being, and a clear understanding of our roles in this partnership.

I am not yet 16 years old, can I still start therapy? 

At the moment I only work with individual patients aged 16 years or older, however you a free to contact me if you need help and I will try my best to help you find appropriate help for you. 

What is a normal duration for therapy?

The duration of therapy can vary greatly, depending on factors such as the nature of one's issues and the goals set for therapy. The average length of therapy with me is around 5-50 sessions. Some individuals may need significantly more sessions, while others may only need a handful of hours. I also take on short-term assignments, for example, one or two hours to address an immediate life crisis or work on a very specific issue. Here is a detailed article discussing the question of therapy duration.

How does confidentiality work, can you be obligated to inform the police if I disclose that I use substances? 

The psychologist's duty of confidentiality means that I am legally obligated to keep all information about you secret. This means that I cannot speak to anyone about you being in therapy without your explicit consent, and information about your therapy is kept in accordance with strict security measures. However, there are exceptions to confidentiality, often referred to as the duty to report: The duty to report applies, for example, if I have reason to believe that clients have committed or are in the process of committing acts that gravely puts them selves or others in danger. This typically involves relatively serious crimes, wherein someone's health is put in serious danger. In such cases, I may be obligated to report this to the relevant authorities. This is assessed specifically for each case, and so far, I have not needed to report anything. In relation to driver's licenses, the healthcare personnel law states that not every violation of criminal law and traffic law is sufficient to override confidentiality and incur the duty to report. However, in situations where the patient is visibly intoxicated and the likelihood that driving will pose a significant risk of harm, the situation is different.

In summary, it takes a lot for me to report to, for example, the police or child protective services, and to date, I have not had to do so. It is important to me that patients feel safe to share how things really are, and therefore, I set this threshold as high as I can within the limits of the law. I will practically never notify the police or other authorities without attempting to have a dialogue with the patient about the problem first, and, for example, impose an informal driving ban, i.e., tell the patient that they are not allowed to drive for a while, but without involving the police.

How often does one need to have sessions?

This depends on the type of help you are seeking. Weekly sessions are recommended for most, and research suggests that greater frequency yields better results. However, a comprehensive assessment is necessary, and some may opt for less frequent sessions, such as every other week. For others, it may be suitable to work more intensively over a shorter period, with, for example, two hours per week. Nevertheless, I recommend at least bi-monthly sessions if one aims to make changes in oneself and not less than once a month for psychological guidance, as, in my experience, less frequent sessions do not yield significant effects. This may be different in the phase of therapy where one is concluding the sessions, where some benefit from a gradual conclusion.

Will I meet other people in the waiting room?

No, my waiting room is private, and you will not meet other patients there. I ask patients to arrive on time and not more than 10 minutes before the appointment, allowing the previous patient the opportunity to leave the premises.

Can you renew my prescriptions or give me sick leave?

No, but I can assist you in evaluating whether it might be appropriate for you to consider medication treatment in consultation with your primary care physician, or if taking sick leave could be a healthy measure for a period. When it comes to prescribing medications and providing sick leave, it's necessary to consult with a doctor, and typically, it's best to discuss this with your primary care physician.

Can you refer me to other treatment options?

As a psychologist, I have the right to make referrals and can refer to services in the so-called 'second line' of Public Mental Health Services in Norway, including contracted specialists and District Psychiatric Centers (DPS). I can also refer to certain 'third line' services, but some of them require a referral from the second line.