Frequently Asked Questions
Many people put off reaching out for support because they want to fix things on their own, and don’t like the idea of giving up personal control. But counselling isn’t about admitting defeat and handing over the reins. In fact, making the time to engage with your problem directly in therapy is a decision to maintain your autonomy, not relinquish it.
Perhaps you have a problem, but right now it seems easier to ignore it or tell yourself that it doesn’t exist. Maybe, deep down, you’re actually worried the problem is too big. Have faith in yourself! The best time to address any issue is right now. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that there’s no such thing as a dragon…
Exactly what happens in therapy is somewhat determined by the particular reasons for coming and the person themselves. Usually, we’ll talk about your concerns, explore what changes you’d like to see occur, and discuss ways to get there.
You’ll do most of the talking, but it’s very much a two-way street. I’ll ask questions, invite you to consider different perspectives, and share information that may assist with your specific problem.
Some people benefit most from gaining insight and a clarity that helps them make healthier choices. Others learn new ways to approach problems that previously seemed unsolvable. Some are helped by discovering that their concerns are normal and that their shameful secret is in fact just another part of the human experience. And others may heal by reconnecting with previously disowned feelings that – despite being so painful – really matter.
The cost of a standard 50-minute consultation is $180, payable in full at the end of each session.
For those with a referral from a GP or psychiatrist and a Mental Health Care Plan, Medicare provides rebates for up to 20 sessions per calendar year. The rebate for psychological services at Mosaic Psychology is $88.25, bringing the out-of-pocket expense to $91.75 per session.
There are limited bulk-billing spaces for clients who receive a disability or Centrelink benefit. There is no out-of-pocket expense for bulk-billed appointments.
Some private health insurance policies include psychological services. The rebate amount varies depending on your insurer and specific policy. You should check your policy inclusions with your health insurance provider to determine whether they will provide rebates for the services offered.
If you have an accepted claim with DVA, TAC, WorkCover, or Victims of Crime, there is no out-of-pocket expense for appointments.
Please provide 48 hours notice if you need to cancel or reschedule an appointment. A late cancellation fee applies for cancellations made within the 48 hours prior to a scheduled session.
Therapy is widely accepted to be effective for most people.
Research evidence suggests that the average effects are substantially positive in general (Chorpita et al., 2011; Smith, Glass, & Miller, 1980; Wampold, 2001), and that this also tends to be the case across a diverse range of specific conditions and settings (Beutler, 2009; Beutler, et al., 2003; Lambert & Ogles, 2004; McMain & Pos, 2007; Shedler, 2010; Thomas & Zimmer-Gembeck, 2007; Verheul & Herbrink, 2007; Wampold, 2001).
The benefits of therapy not only tend to endure, but continue to grow after therapy finishes (Abbass, et al., 2006; Anderson & Lambert, 1995; De Maat, et al., 2009; Grant, et al., 2012; Leichsenring & Rabung, 2008; Leichsenring, et al., 2004; Shedler, 2010).
For therapy to work, there needs to be trust. If you’re going to open up and talk about personal subjects, it’s important that you feel comfortable knowing that your privacy is protected. I take this very seriously, as does the regulating body for psychologists in Australia. There are protections in place to safeguard client confidentiality.
There are some limits to confidentiality that are important to be aware of, however. You can read about these here.
You don’t need a referral to make an appointment, but if you wish to claim a Medicare rebate, you’ll need to obtain a Mental Health Care Plan and referral letter from a GP or psychiatrist.
When you make your appointment with the GP, be sure to indicate that you are requesting a referral to a psychologist so they can set aside enough time to discuss your needs and complete the required paperwork.
Sometimes there are barriers to face-to-face counselling. You may live in a remote location or be unable to attend in person due to physical disability. Perhaps you feel uneasy leaving the house or don’t like the idea of seeing a psychologist in person just yet.
Although I believe there is no substitute for face-to-face therapy, I do offer telehealth sessions via phone and video conferencing. I have extensive experience as a helpline counsellor and am convinced of the potential for positive change via phone and video counselling.
The fee for a 50-minute telehealth session is $180. Rebates may be available if you meet certain eligibility criteria. Contact me for more information.
A psychologist is concerned with how people think, feel, behave, and learn. Psychologists usually undergo at least six years of university training, including supervised practice. They are required to engage in ongoing education to keep their skills and understanding up to date, and adhere to a strict code of ethics. Psychologists may be involved in research, conduct assessments, perform testing, facilitate counselling or psychotherapy, consult in schools or organisations, or advise on matters of policy change.
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor with additional training in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental, emotional and behavioural disorders. While they sometimes use counselling or other types of therapy to help, they can also prescribe medication for more serious mental health conditions. Psychiatrists may consult privately, or be involved in the care of patients in hospital settings.
A psychotherapist works at a deeper level to help people understand themselves. Psychotherapy focuses on how past experiences have shaped the ways we make sense of the world and influence our choices and actions. Such an understanding can give us more freedom to determine the course of our lives. In Australia, the term psychotherapist is not regulated, meaning you should ensure that a person offering psychotherapy or professing to be a psychotherapist has suitable training and experience.
A counsellor tends to offer shorter-term, solution-focused ways to address specific problems or life events. In Australia, the term counsellor is not regulated, meaning you should ensure that a person offering counselling or professing to be a counsellor has suitable training and experience.
- If you intend to claim a Medicare rebate, you’ll need to obtain a referral letter and Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP) from a GP. Arrange for a double appointment with the GP so that you have enough time to discuss your situation and answer their questions. Make sure both the referral letter and MHCP are signed by the GP, and that the MHCP specifies the number of sessions provided by the plan (otherwise, it’s not valid).
- Read and complete/sign the Informed Consent Form and Client Intake Form. If you are the parent of a child client, complete the Child Client Intake Form.
- Gather the details of any prescription medication, including the name of the medication, the dosage and frequency, the prescribing doctor, and when it was first prescribed.
- Prepare some notes to help you explain what brings you to therapy and what changes you’re aiming for.