AM I ELIGIBLE FOR A MEDICARE REBATE ON SESSIONS?
With a referral from your GP, you are eligible for a rebate of $136.35 per session, for up to 10 sessions per calendar year. Your GP will determine if you are eligible for a mental health care plan. You will need to book an appointment with your GP to discuss, and they will then make the referral on your behalf. To receive the rebate, you need to bring your referral letter along to your first appointment.
HOW LONG ARE THERAPY SESSIONS?
HOW MANY SESSIONS DO I NEED TO ATTEND?
The number of sessions depends on your circumstances and goals.
Some people see a clinical psychologist because they are experiencing current mental health symptoms, such as depression or acute anxiety. These types of conditions are often treated in the short to medium term. The first 2-3 sessions are usually spaced close together (weekly or fortnightly). Subsequent sessions may be fortnightly, or more spaced out (e.g. every 3 or 4 weeks) depending on your needs.
Other people see a psychologist to address issues from their childhood, or to heal from past traumas or life events. When issues are deep seated, longer term therapy can be helpful, to shift unhelpful core beliefs and foster a more self-compassionate worldview.
Sometimes, people may have a specific, contained issue that they aim to address in one, or a few structured sessions. This short-term approach may help you gain strategies to cope with a specific stressor or life circumstance.
WILL SEEING A PSYCHOLOGIST REALLY MAKE ME FEEL BETTER?
Scientific evidence shows that, on average, psychotherapy can help you to overcome psychological symptoms (such as symptoms of depression or anxiety). It is also possible to purposefully cultivate positive qualities (well-being, self-compassion, happiness) through specific guided practices.
Importantly, though, to get the most out of therapy, it can be helpful to be willing to make small 'tweaks' or changes in your life. These changes are about 'leaning in' toward personal growth, balance and happiness.
Seeing a clinical psychologist is a bit like going to the gym - for your mind. Sometimes, it can be a little painful - but it is good pain, the type of pain that makes you stronger. You may talk about some negative experiences (or even, for some people, traumas) - but the intention is to process, heal and let go. Neuroscience now shows that psychology can help us activate - and literally transform (at the neural level) old memories to be less painful and more peaceful.
That aside, my work at Harvard focused on positive psychology (PP), and I use PP quite a bit in my clinical work. For this reason, you won't be forced to focus solely on negativity during your sessions! On the contrary, I ensure we also spend time focusing on personal strengths - as this is a powerful pathway to growth.
DO YOU OFFER SLIDING SCALE RATES?
Consultations cost $225 per session. With the medicare rebate, you will then be reimbursed about $136 , meaning the gap fee is about $90. For those with a low-income healthcare card, the gap fee is about $70. Under exceptional circumstances, I may be able to offer limited lower cost sessions.
DO YOU SEE CLIENTS THROUGH TAC, WORKCOVER, VOCAT OR PRIVATE INSURERS?
I am registered to offer services through TAC, Workcover and VOCAT.
ARE SESSIONS CONFIDENTIAL?
All sessions are confidential. The only time when that would be breached is if I believed there was a very serious, imminent risk to yourself or somebody else, or if my file is subpoenaed by court.
WHAT IS YOUR CANCELLATION POLICY?
48 hours notice is required to reschedule an appointment. Cancellations after this time cannot usually be reallocated, so if you give less than 48 hours, the full session cost will apply. Cancelled appointments cannot be claimed on Medicare. If it is possible to reallocate an appointment with less than 48 hours notice (not guaranteed) then the cancellation fee will be waived.