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Common questions about Clinical Psychological  

What types of clients typically see a Clinical Psychologist? 
I see adults from a range of backgrounds who may present with various conditions. The vast majority of clients I see are high functioning, 'everyday' people who wish to improve their wellbeing. 

Who benefits from seeing a Clinical Psychologist? How can it help?
If you have tried talking with friends and sorting out the problem on your own without success, it may be beneficial to receive input from a Psychologist. If you don't feel like yourself or want to improve your wellbeing and are prepared to make changes you may find seeing one valuable. Therapy can help by teaching you new skills to manage difficult thoughts and feelings. 

What's the difference between a Clinical Psychologist, Psychiatrist and a Counsellor?
A Clinical Psychologist is an expert on human behaviour who usually has 6 years of university training often including a master's degree (or in my case two!). Clinical Psychologists offer a range of services including assessment and psychological counselling. Psychologists must meet ethical guidelines for evidence based practice as well as undertake ongoing professional development and peer review. A Psychiatrist is a medical doctor who has expertise in prescribing medication for a range of mental health conditions. A counsellor is an individual who talks to clients usually about difficulties. Unlike Psychologists who offer psychological counselling, counsellors are not obligated to have qualifications or the same ethical standards. 

Do I need a GP referral to see a Clinical Psychologist?
You do not need a referral to see me, nor do you need one to make an appointment. However, if you have a mental health care plan you are entitled to receive a Medicare rebate to see a psychologist for up to 10 sessions per year.

How will I know if you are the right Clinical Psychologist for me?
I think the most important factor in having a positive experience in therapy is feeling that you can trust and connect with the therapist. If you would like to understand if I am the right person for you, you are welcome to call me or come in for a brief appointment to see if I am a good match for you. There is no charge for this brief consult. You can also see more about my experience by viewing my professional bio.

To ensure referrals from GPs are a good fit for my skill set, I review a doctor's referral letter, where available, prior to an appointment. As well, I call new clients prior to meeting them to introduce myself and answer any questions that they may have. 

What does counselling with a Clinical Psychologist entail?
Having trained as a Clinical Psychologist, the therapy I offer involves several stages. The first stage begins with assessment in which I seek to understand what brought you to therapy. I take a history of the problem and seek to understand which factors perpetuate it so I know where to intervene. This process typically takes 2 sessions and involves clarifying what matters to you and setting goals. The second stage of therapy involves me teaching you new skills to better manage the difficult thoughts and feelings that arise in trying situations so you can achieve your goals. The final stage involves making adjustments to the approach to ensure you continue to improve. My ultimate goal is to help you make changes to improve your wellbeing and to teach you new skills to lead a richer and more fulfilling life. 

Is everything I tell a Clinical Psychologist confidential?
Everything you say to a Psychologist is confidential. The exception to this is if you are in imminent danger of hurting yourself or other people. In that instance, I seek the support of others such as your GP to help keep you safe and only relevant information is disclosed. Information may also be shared for legal reasons or if the client requests it. All files are stored securely to ensure client confidentiality. 

If you have a referral from a GP I write them a brief progress report as per Medicare requirements after the 6th and 10th therapy session.

How much do session cost?
Please contact me for pricing. Please note that I do not offer bulk billing.

Can I receive a Medicare rebate?
You can claim a rebate of $124.50 per session from Medicare at the time of payment provided you have a mental health careplan from your GP. There is a gap fee once the rebate is claimed. You are entitled to up to 10 sessions of a medicare rebate, per calendar year. Private health rebates may also apply for some health funds. However, you cannot claim a Medicare rebate and private healthcare rebate for the same session. 

Can I claim Psychology sessions on my private health cover?
Private health cover rebates may apply-check with your fund for more details. Keep in mind that you cannot claim a Medicare rebate and a private health rebate for the same session. Most clients use their Medicare rebate for the first 10 sessions. If more are needed they then claim private health rebates for subsequent sessions. 

Do you have a cancellations policy?
Yes, I request that if client's have to cancel an appointment that they do so more than 48 hours in advance. The full fee applies to last minute cancellations and no show appointments. Unfortunately, you cannot claim a Medicare rebate for a cancellation fee. 

How many sessions will I need to have?
While individual circumstances vary, I generally see patients for 6-10 sessions. At the end of the assessment phase of therapy I present clients with a treatment plan which aims to address the most important aspects of their problem and advise them approximately how long that will take.

How do I make an appointment? What days do you offer counselling?
You can make an appointment with me by calling:

Clinicare North Fitzroy
9482 3344.

I consult on: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9.15am to 1.15pm. 

All sessions are 50 minutes to allow time for notes and to ensure I run on time.

Do you offer after hours appointments?
Unfortunately, I am not able to offer after hours appointments. 

Is there a waiting list?
Yes, the waiting list varies at various points of the year, typically the wait is 3-4 weeks. If you are flexible on times and able to come in when a cancellation arises you are likely to be seen much more quickly. To expedite wait times, you can schedule an appointment and then obtain a mental health careplan provided your GP deems that you are eligible. As long as you have your mental health careplan by your appointment time you will be eligible for the Medicare rebate. Rest assured that when I take on a new patient I ensure I can offer them regular appointments to facilitate the best possible treatment outcomes.

Are there types of problems you don't see clients for? 
Yes. I do not provide specific drug and alcohol counselling. While I certainly support individuals going through relationship difficulties, I do not offer marriage counselling. I also do not provide therapy focussing solely on sexual abuse. In these instances, I refer to Clinical Psychologists who can assist with this.

I am in crisis, can I see you soon?
Unfortunately, I do not offer a crisis service. If you are in crisis please contact your local emergency room or contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Is being a Clinical Psychologist depressing?
Absolutely not! I have the great honour of supporting a wide range of people through difficult times and to provide a space for healing and hope. While I often feel a client's pain, it makes my heart sing to give clients hope, to watch them learn new skills to deal with recurring problems and ultimately to see them flourish. I find the experience uplifting.