Frequently asked questions
What is the difference between a Clinical Psychologist and a Psychologist?
Clinical Psychologists are Psychologists with the highest level of training in evidence-based therapy for mental health difficulties.
Clinical Psychologists have a minimum of a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology with a further two years of supervised clinical practice after receiving their degree. They specialise in the treatment of mental health difficulties and challenges of daily living. Clinical Psychologists have Clinical Psychology endorsement with the Psychology Board of Australia and are Clinical Psychology providers under Medicare.
When you see a Clinical Psychologist with a Mental Health Care Plan you will qualify for a larger Medicare rebate compared to a Registered Psychologist.
What is meant by evidence-based therapies?
Evidence-based therapies are those therapies that are based on well developed psychological theory. They have been subject to rigorous scientific testing to demonstrate their effectiveness with many other people experiencing similar difficulties.
What will happen when I make an appointment?
If you haven't seen a Clinical Psychologist before, it is normal to feel a little anxious or uncertain about making an initial appointment. Most people feel more at ease once they have made that initial contact and attended their first appointment. We provide a warm, relaxed and supportive atmosphere and are happy to answer questions at any time.
When you call to make an appointment you will first speak with Jess or Lynda who are our friendly and caring Intake Specialists. They will assist you to answer any questions and determine a time that best suits you for an appointment. They will also ask a few brief questions to work out if our service is the best one for you.
What Medicare and Private Health Rebates will I receive?
As we are registered Medicare provider, you will receive a Medicare rebate ($124.50) per session for up to 10 sessions per calendar year (and a rebate of up to 10 group sessions per calendar year) plus rebates for additional sessions from your private health fund should this be applicable.
In order to receive a Medicare rebate you will need to first go to your GP who will determine your eligibility for a Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP). You have the right to choose the Clinical Psychologist you wish to see with this MHCP. You will need to bring your MHCP to your initial appointment.
As we are Medicare providers you are able to process your Medicare rebate immediately into your nominated bank account. Alternatively, rebates can be claimed through most private health funds. The amount may vary depending on your fund and your level of cover.
Additional benefits are available under the Medicare Safety Net after you have paid out a certain amount per calendar year. You might also be eligible for tax rebates for out of pocket health expenses.
Do I need a doctor’s referral?
Although a referral is required to obtain a Medicare rebate, individuals also commonly see us without a referral. Many people have been referred directly by recommendations from their family, friends or school, or otherwise have seen our details online.
What is the cancellation policy?
We try to offer spare appointments to people on our waitlist, so we would appreciate if more than 48 hours notice could be provided if you need to reschedule an appointment. Except in the case of emergency, cancellation without 48 hours notice will incur 50% of the appointment fee and cancellation without 24 hours notice will incur the full appointment fee.
What will happen when I come to my first appointment?
Appointments are 50-55 minutes. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your first appointment to complete a questionnaire, which will provide further essential details in understanding your concerns and in monitoring how things are going.
Your first session is dedicated to obtaining some background information, a detailed understanding of the nature of your concerns or that of your child, and the areas where you would like our help. We will then discuss a roadmap for treatment and answer any questions to provide clarity and confidence in the way forward.
If the appointment is for your child, it's always helpful to present information to your child in a positive and solution-focused manner so they in turn see the appointment positively. Communicate as openly and honestly as possible with your child about coming to a caring and supportive doctor who is going to help them with their worries.
How many appointments will I need?
Although our practice specialises in short-term solution focused therapy we always follow individualised treatment plans and the number of sessions you need depends on the nature of your concerns.
Some people find that 3-6 sessions are sufficient to discuss specific challenges and formulate effective solutions. For many anxiety concerns about 10-15 sessions are effective to bring about significant change with more sessions required to work through more complex difficulties.
Sessions are always a collaborative process where we work together with you at your own pace on areas that best meet your needs.
What kind of fees can I expect?
Fees are consistent with the Australian Psychological Society's recommended rates. Session fees are payable at the time of the consultation and Medicare rebates are transmitted to your bank account. We accept Mastercard, Visa, Eftpos or Cash.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a normal and helpful part of the human experience. It is what we feel when we encounter a threatening situation. Without the emotional experiences of fear and anxiety it is likely that we would be inadequately prepared for the challenges that we all face from time to time. Anxiety motivates us to either fight against such threats or to flee from them.
This fight-or-flight reaction triggers an abundance of changes within us: physiological changes within our body, changes within our thoughts and changes within our behaviours. These changes are designed to help us in the case of a real threat.
The problem, however, is that the fight-or-flight reaction is triggered regardless of whether the threat is real or the threat is perceived to be real. If we perceive certain situations in our environment to be threatening we end up having all of these bodily, thought and behavioural changes occurring when they don’t need to be.
If the triggering of this fight-or-flight reaction keeps on occurring it can result in the symptoms of anxiety spiraling out of control - physiological symptomsintensify, thoughts become overwhelming and life starts to become restricted.
The problem in contemporary society is that the retriggering of the fight-or-flight reaction is really, really common. For a very large number of people, the experience of anxiety can become unhelpful, unmanageable and terrifying.
In fact, research shows that approximately 15% of all Australians meet the criteria for having debilitating anxiety to the point of a diagnosable anxiety disorder within a given year; and approximately 20% of all Australians will meet criteria for having an anxiety disorder within their lifetime. In fact, anxiety is one of the main contributors to the daily difficulties reported within the Australian population across work, school, relationships and health.
Are there employment opportunities for Clinical Psychologists and Registrars?
We are always happy to hear from Clinical Psychologists or Registrars who have a passionate interest in helping people with anxiety and other related issues. If you are interested in joining our team, have a warm and compassionate personal style, and are highly skilled in a range of evidence-based therapies, please get in touch via our contact form or call (02) 9389 3339.