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Diabetes Centre Psychological Services

This page answers some questions that people commonly ask about the clinical psychologists at the Diabetes Centre.

What are clinical psychologists?

Clinical psychologists are registered with the New Zealand Psychologists Board and have had at least seven years of intensive university education. They've learned how to listen to and understand people's problems, and how to help people make changes in their lives.

Who can see a clinical psychologist at the Diabetes Centre?

FDP therapyThe clinical psychologists at the Diabetes Centre see anyone from adolescence onwards who have type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

People will often be referred to see a clinical psychologist at the Diabetes Centre if:

Examples of the areas that clinical psychologists may be able to help with are:

There's a high demand for this service. This means that clinical psychologists at the Diabetes Centre can't offer treatment for mental health problems unrelated to diabetes.

If I have a problem, at what stage is it best to see a clinical psychologist?

From our experience, the sooner you're aware you have a problem, the less time it takes to work through it.

What happens when I first see a clinical psychologist?

Your first appointment is a chance for you to get to know the psychologist as much as it is for the psychologist to get to know you. If at any stage you don't understand what your psychologist is saying, you should ask them to explain again. When you first see a clinical psychologist, they'll ask you about the problem that has brought you to see them and about your past and present life.

Your psychologist will discuss with you the type of therapy they think will help you.

You may continue meeting together or your psychologist may suggest you see another psychologist or agency specialising in the type of help you need. If this is the case, the psychologist will refer you to the recommended agency or psychologist.

In the first session, you can discuss how much information you want kept in confidence.

What happens in sessions with the clinical psychologist?

Clinical psychologists use talking therapy to help you find solutions to your problems. This means sitting in a chair in an office talking about the way you feel, think and act. The clinical psychologist listens and supports you to help you gain new understandings of yourself so you can make changes in your life. There are many different types of therapy a clinical psychologist may use. These include:

Therapy sessions are generally for 50 minutes.

Cultural support or interpreting services can be arranged for your appointment. Tell the person referring you or the clinical psychologist if this would be helpful.

How many times will I see the clinical psychologist?

Sometimes people only see the psychologist for one session, sometimes three or four times, and sometimes for much longer depending on your treatment needs.

How many clinical psychologists are there at the Diabetes Centre?

There are two part-time clinical psychologists at the Diabetes Centre.

How can I access clinical psychology at the Diabetes Centre?

Generally, referrals to clinical psychologists come from another health professional at the Diabetes Centre. For example, a doctor, a nurse or a dietitian. During an appointment at the Diabetes Centre, the person you're seeing may suggest a referral if there are problems or difficulties affecting your diabetes management.

We can also accept referrals from your GP, practice nurse or an allied health professional (such as a podiatrist).

Due to the high demand, there's often a waiting list to see a psychologist. When the Diabetes Service has accepted your referral, they'll contact you as soon as possible to arrange an appointment time.

How much will it cost to see the clinical psychologist?

There's no charge to see the psychologist at the Diabetes Centre.

Where is the Diabetes Centre?

Ground floor, Christchurch Outpatients building, 2 Oxford Tce

Phone: (03) 364-0860

Written by the clinical psychologists, Diabetes Services. Adapted by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed October 2019.

Image courtesy of Ambro at

Page reference: 48340

Review key: HIDIA-21832