What is Counselling? Psychotherapy Counselling is a process which gives you the opportunity to explore, discover and clarify ways of living more successfully, with a greater sense of well-being. It may be concerned with addressing or resolving your specific problems, making decisions, coping with crises, working through conflict, or improving your relationships with others.
Psychotherapy helps to empower you in such a way that every major life stresses and traumatic life events can be dealt with effectively. The main aim of therapy is to give you a true sense of mastery, joy and vitality that will help you to live life fully.
It includes Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Interpersonal Therapy, Relationship Counselling, Choice Therapy and Acceptance Therapy and specific therapies for Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Phobias, Depression, and others. Therapy usually occurs over several sessions. All issues discussed are always dealt with utmost confidence.
What does Counselling involve? Counselling psychotherapy aims at changing your thought-pattern, thought-processing and decision making, when you feel things are not working out right. It helps you to clear your head and to see more clearly through the maze, to release the shadows of fear, panic, and pain, to deal with hurt, guilt, anger, and self-esteem. It also helps you to discover a whole new way of looking at yourself .... a new identification of your 'self ', to start thinking just a bit differently, to look at a wide range of alternatives available and to change your attitude.
Will it work for me? Your problems are respected, validated and then the opportunity is offered to think just a bit differently, and to look at alternatives to make a better change in your life. You make the choice and you make the decision for your life.
Why shouldn't I see just any Counsellor? To be a counsellor needs no registration in most States, and degrees are offered by many "counselling colleges" with minimal training. Hence anyone can put up a shingle as a counsellor. It is wise to keep away from unregistered counsellors.
How is your treatment different from that of a psychologist? Registered Medical Practitioners, on the other hand, who have post-graduate training and qualifications both in medicine and counselling, could manage both psychological problems caused by physical illness, and treat physical problems caused by psychological illness.
Psychologists could only deal with psychological problems caused by physical stress or mental strain. Psychologists could not deal with physical problems even though caused by psychological illness. Examples are stress related stomach ulcers, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, migraine and many other conditions that could be triggered by anxiety and depression.
Aren't all psychologists qualified to treat me? Not necessarily. Only Registered Clinical Psychologists are qualified to treat, apart from doctors, as they undergo special training for that, well after qualifying as a regular psychologist, but with honors. Other psychologists could well be working in schools, hospitals, universities, industries, area health services, government institutions, education departments, or even in medical centres but they are not suitably qualified as Clinical Psychologists are.
How many sessions will I need? Usually there is no one-visit solution! Multiple problems tend to confuse the issue in some situations. Hence sessions depend on the presenting concern, severity and duration of each condition treated. Brief supportive counselling is available for certain situations, directed towards identified goals, and then helping you apply your empowered skills to a new and challenging situation. If you feel you have other problems that need to be dealt with, additional sessions could then be arranged.
What is your success rate? It is prudent not to fall for 'claimed' success rates or statistics. A person is not a statistic. You are just you. Each person has a unique set of circumstances that defines their own specific likelihood of achieving their goal. So come with an open mind for your therapy, and you will be pleasantly surprised, as therapy works only as much as you want it to work!
Do I need a referral? Your doctor's referral is preferred, but not necessary. If you wish, your doctor could be kept informed of your progress. For certain conditions, referrals are necessary to claim your refund from Medicare.
How much does it cost? Initial Consultation: For Assessment and Treatment Planning - Initial Consultation (Monday - Friday, in the mornings) is covered on Medicare; so it is free for you. If you wish to be seen at other times, a fee of $90 applies, with Medicare refund of $71.35 available on site. As many are anxious or nervous during their first session, you may wish to have a close friend or a relative with you for this initial consultation, when your issues will be discussed, psychological assessment performed, main problem identified and treatment sessions planned with you making the decisions.
Subsequent Sessions: Individual/Personal Counselling - Treatment lasts for 45 minutes; a fee of $ 180 is payable at the time of therapy. If you wish to have Medicare approval please get a Mental Health Care Plan from your family doctor. Then Medicare refunds you $132.75 every time on site. So it costs you less as $47.25 per session. When you reach safety net, you get back $164.55 from Medicare. Then it costs you as low as $15.45 per session. Couple/Family Counselling - Variable fees with Medicare refunds apply. No referral is necessary.
"GP Mental Health Care Plan'' (Item 2715/2717) Referrals from your GP When you are referred by your GP under the Mental Health Care Plan, you are initially entitled to six sessions, instead of seeing any psychologist. Following these six sessions, you will see your GP for a review. If you and your GP agree that you would benefit from an additional four sessions, your GP will make an additional referral under the same care plan. When these are completed and you feel you would like other issues addressed, you could still have more Medicare refundable treatment. This is unavailable on Medicare with psychologists.
The required Mental Health Management Plan request form can be downloaded here. You may print this out for your doctor to complete.
Please call the office on 0411 354 000 or email us when you have the Mental Health Plan approved. You may make your online appointment herefor your initial assessment and treatment planning only.
As mentioned above your first session is free on Medicare (Mon-Fri Mornings). You do not need any referral at that time. For subsequent sessions that last for about an hour, a fee of $180 is payable. Medicare refunds you $132.25 every time on site. When you reach the safety-net, Medicare refunds you most of the cost.
How Does this 'Online Claim' work? For your convenience we have "Mediclear" facilities available on site to save a visit to Medicare office to rebate your claim. You will pay by an EFTPOS Savings, Cheque or Credit accounts. Your Medicare rebate can then be paid directly into an EFTPOS Savings or Cheque account. If you do not have this facility, a receipt to take to Medicare with all the relevant data will be issued at the time of payment.
Can I also claim refund from my Private Medical Fund? Medicare does not allow double dipping. Hence we can not provide a second receipt or a copy of the original. If you do not qualify for Medicare, then your private fund may refund fees at various levels. Please check with your fund.
Can my partner also attend with me? Yes. Relationship Counselling, Marriage Counselling, and Family Therapy involve more than one person. Fees are charged accordingly, and you get back higher Medicare refunds on site. Fee for Couple counselling session: $180. Medicare Refund: $118 However, for individual counselling, in view of confidentiality and privacy issues, no on-lookers are allowed, and no recording is permitted.
Therapies provided include Psychotherapy, Stress Management and Relaxation Therapy, NLP. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) helps to replace unpleasant thoughts with realistic positive thoughts. This therapy also helps to enhance physical and mental activity especially in the anxious or depressed. Cognition Based Mindfulness Therapy Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) helps to resolve interpersonal difficulties, conflicts and personality disorders by discussing and learning better ways of relating to others. Choice Theory and Reality Therapy, Psychodynamic and Psychoanalysis Therapies are insight therapies that help bring about attitudinal change from within. "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he." Proverbs 23:7 So what you think and feel is what you are. Your outer world is a reflection of your inner thoughts, feelings and emotions.