FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Will I benefit from counselling?
There is a large evidence base showing psychological counselling is effective in improving mental health and wellbeing. We believe that the effectiveness of counselling intervention relies on a good relationship between the therapist and the client, so it is important that you find someone you feel comfortable and confident about working with. Counselling can be helpful to many people, including those struggling with:
Persistent feelings of sadness or depression
Feeling stressed or anxious
Difficult relationships with their partner or family member/s
Lack of self-confidence or difficulty being assertive
Managing the effects of childhood trauma
Adjusting to the demands of parenting
Have thoughts of harming yourself or suicide
Trying to balance work and family commitments
Worrying about the health or wellbeing of someone close to you
Grief or loss
Alcohol or other drug use
What are the fees for counselling sessions?
Monday - Friday:
Sessions with Psychologists are 50 minutes duration and the fee is $190. The Medicare rebate for eligible clients is $86.15.
Sessions with Heather Lilley, Counsellor/Clinical Social Worker are 50 minutes duration and the fee is $190. The Medicare rebate for eligible clients is $75.95.
Sessions with Clinical Psychologists Dr Miriam Kirby and Pauline Calameri are $230 per 50 minutes session and the associated Medicate rebate for eligible clients is $126.50.
Couples often prefer and can request a 70 minute couples therapy session and the associated fee is $260.
EMDR sessions are often 90 minutes and the associated fee is $290.
Individual therapy sessions with Psychologists on Saturdays are 50 minutes duration and the fee is $220. The Medicare rebate for eligible clients is $86.15.
Couple therapy sessions with Psychologists on Saturdays are 50 minutes duration and the fee is $230. No Medicare rebate applies.
Fees must be paid on the day of your session and we have EFTPOS for your convenience. Please note, we do not accept American Express.
Can I book my appointments online?
If you have already seen one of our practitioners, you can arrange your appointments online, just click here. If you are a new client and would like to arrange an initial appointment, please call our reception on 9456 0411.
Can I claim a rebate from my private health insurance fund?
Many private health insurance funds provide a rebate for services provided by psychologists. We encourage you to contact your health insurer prior to your appointment to find out whether your policy covers services provided by the practitioner you are scheduled to meet with. We offer HICAPS electronic claiming for your convenience.
Can I claim a rebate from Medicare?
In order to obtain a rebate from Medicare, your General Practitioner (GP) must complete a Mental Health Treatment Plan (MHTP) with you and refer you to our practice. You will generally need to book a long/extended appointment with your GP to discuss whether you are eligible for a MHTP referral. Referral letters from psychiatrists and paediatricians are also welcomed. Please bring your referral letter to your initial appointment with us.
Once a Mental Health Treatment Plan and referral letter have been completed by your doctor, you will be able to obtain a Medicare rebate of $86.15 per session (Psychologist) or $126.50 (Clinical Psychologist) for up to 10 sessions per calendar year.
The Medicare rebate associated with Clinical Social Worker/Counsellor Heather Lilley's sessions is $75.95.
You must visit your referring doctor after attending 6 counselling sessions, to ascertain whether further sessions are appropriate and if so, you may be referred by your doctor for a further 4 sessions.
Please note that Medicare rebates are not available for:
couples counselling sessions, even if one or both partners have a Mental Health Treatment Plan
Psycho-educational and learning assessments
Adult autism assessments
Sessions held with parents regarding their child's therapy if the child is not present at the session, regardless of whether the child and/or parent has a MHTP in place.
Do I need a referral from my doctor?
No, you do not need a referral in order to attend counselling at our practice. However, you will be unable to claim any Medicare rebate without a Medicare eligible Mental Health Treatment Plan referral from your doctor.
What can I expect during my first appointment?
When you arrive for your initial appointment, our receptionist will ask you to read & complete a few forms which will give you information regarding our services and provide us with your consent and contact details. You may have already completed these forms if they were emailed to you prior to your first session. We suggest you arrive 5 minutes early for your first appointment if you need to complete these forms, to maximise the time available for your counselling session. If you have any difficulties or concerns about completing the forms, your therapist will be happy to assist you with this during your session.
If you have a referral letter or Mental Health Treatment Plan from your doctor, please bring these to your appointment, along with your Medicare card and give these to to our receptionist when you arrive.
During the session, we will first briefly explain important aspects of our service, such as the privacy and confidentiality of any information discussed in your sessions. We will then give you an opportunity to talk about why you have decided to attend counselling and what you hope to change or improve upon as a result of your sessions. We will also be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding the counselling process. After discussing your concerns in some detail (which may take more than one session) you can expect us to outline how counselling may assist with the difficulties you are experiencing and what would be involved in any future sessions. If we believe there is a more appropriate practitioner or organisation to assist you, we will explain this and help arrange a referral for you.
What’s the difference between a Psychologist, a Psychiatrist, and a Psychotherapist?
Throughout Australia (and most of the world) Psychologists are registered by the government. In order to use the title ‘Psychologist’ in Australia you must have a minimum of four years’ university training in psychology and two years subsequent supervised professional practice. As part of their registration, Psychologists’ are bound by the Australian Psychological Society's Code of Ethics, which aims to safeguard the welfare of clients. The fact that the Psychologists Board of Australia registers all Psychologists provides reassurance for clients, as any concerns regarding the conduct of Psychologists can be directed to the Board for consideration. Psychologists do not prescribe medication.
A Psychiatrist is a medical practitioner who specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders. Psychiatrists are able to prescribe medications and often work in conjunction with Psychologists.
The titles ‘Psychotherapist’ or ‘Therapist’ are not registered. Anyone who wishes to can practice as a Psychotherapist or Therapist. There is no mandatory training or qualification required to be a Psychotherapist. Some psychologists may also refer to themselves as psychotherapists.
What are your office hours?
We offer appointments from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 2pm on Saturdays. Our receptionists Debbie and Kate are available to answer your queries or schedule appointments on 9456 0411 from 8.30am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday and from 9am to 2pm on Saturdays. You can also click here to book online.