When should I seek counselling?

Sharing troubles, exploring options, discussing strategies, developing a plan, building support, eliciting clarity and encouraging strength are some of the many positive outcomes of counselling.

Counselling is an opportunity to talk freely with a caring and non-judgmental professional, to untangle stresses and gain respite from your concerns.

People can attend counselling alone, with their partners (relationship counselling) or with their families (family counselling).

Booking in appointment can be the first step to an improved quality of life and wellbeing.

What outcomes can I expect from counselling?

Counselling is beneficial for those suffering from personal or relationship problems. Outcomes can vary from person to person due to a range of circumstances. For example; a client’s willingness to be motivated and open to change.

Whether the issue you wish to address in your life is seemingly simple or complex, counselling can be extremely beneficial in clarifying confusion, providing greater insight and understanding, while presenting new ways to look at a problem or issue using emotional and psychological wellbeing strategies.

How many appointments will I require?

Counselling may be short or long-term. It can involve dealing with highly emotive issues or breaking long-standing patterns of behaviour. It can be hard work and may require a number of sessions. The client outcome is Counselling in Melbourne’s focus. After your first session your practitioner will be in a better position to discuss with you.

Initially, your Counselling in Melbourne practitioner will conduct an assessment with you. During this time, you will tell your practitioner about the issues you have been experiencing. Your practitioner will also ask questions and gain an overall understanding of the types of things you have been experiencing. They will then talk to you about their training, background, and experience, and a suggested treatment plan and approach for you.

What is the difference between a psychologist and a clinical psychologist?

Clinical & General Psychologists and Counsellors are trained in a wide variety of evidence-based techniques and therapeutic approaches that are tailored to meet the specific needs and circumstances of the client.

This includes areas such as grief and loss, significant life transitions, developmental issues, relationship difficulties, domestic violence, sexual abuse/assault, trauma, maintaining healthy lifestyles, vocational assessment and career development.

Prevention, assessment, diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorder, program development and evaluation, mediation and assessment and extensive report writing are also skills and competencies of all Clinical & General Psychologists and Counsellors.

For more detailed information on Counselling Psychologist refer to Australian Psychology Society 

Clinical Psychologists develop expertise in specific areas of clinical psychology. They provide a wide range of psychological services to individuals across the lifespan and for mental health conditions that range from mild to severe and complex.

In addition to professional practice, clinical psychologists may be involved in research, teaching and supervision, program development and evaluation, public policy and other activities that promote psychological health in individuals, families, groups, and organisations.

For more detailed information on Counselling Psychologist refer to Australian Psychology Society

Source: Australian Physiological Society

How long is each session?

Each session with a Counselling in Melbourne Psychologist lasts approximately 50-minutes.

What is the cost of each session?

Please refer to our ‘fees and rebates” section.

Are your services confidential?

Your decisions, culture, religious beliefs and personal values will be respected, as all Counselling in Melbourne practitioners understand the importance of your privacy and confidentiality regarding the information you share with them.

Psychologists are bound to a Code of Ethics (set by the Australian Psychological Society) which clearly places the duty for protection of patient/client privacy and confidentiality on them. Breaches of confidentiality and/or privacy can lead to a psychologist’s registration being suspended, or even revoked.

Requests made by patients/clients for access to records will be dealt with in accordance with the Code of Ethics and relevant privacy and health records legislation. Requests from third parties will be treated in a way that respects confidentiality and privacy, with access only permitted where the health or wellbeing of the patient/client or another person is threatened, or as otherwise required by law.  Consent by the patient/client is normally obtained, and they will at all times be advised of any proposed disclosure.

Types of counselling therapies used

Our psychologists use a number of different therapies, depending on their particular practice background, the issue and your individual needs.

A key consideration for clients is the client-psychologist relationship and at times the psychologist might use a combination of evidence-based therapies rather than one core therapy.

The core therapies used by our psychologists include;

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Solutions Focused Therapy (SFT)
  • Assertiveness Training
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • Mindfulness & Relaxation Strategies
  • Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT)
  • Schema Therapy
  • Life-Coaching
  • Behavioural Therapy

Medicare rebates – How does it work?

If you have a Mental Health Care Plan referral from your GP, psychiatrist or paediatrician, you are entitled to 10 individual counselling sessions in a calendar year (January – December). Your referring doctor will assess your progress with your psychologist after the first six sessions.

Medicare EasyClaim is available and allows rebates to be lodged at the time the payment of your session. Alternatively, you will receive an invoice, which you can claim your rebate at your nearest Medicare office.

*note* Counselling rebates can only be claimed if you GP referral through Medicare or your private health fund (not both)

Private Health Fund rebates – How does it work?

If you have extras cover you will be able to claim a rebate from your health fund provider. As the rebate varies depending on your level of cover please call your private health fund provider for more information.

*note* you only can use either Medicare or your private health fund (not both) to receive a rebate

Do I need a GP referral to attend?

No, a GP referral is only needed if you want to access the Medicare rebate scheme. Medicare allows you to claim up to 10 psychology sessions in a calendar year.

I have a referral to see someone at another practice: can I use it to see someone at your practice?

Yes but only if you haven’t used the referral at another practise.

If you choose to see another psychologist not referred by your GP, after the first session the treating psychologist will write to your GP advising them you have elected to see them instead. This will link your original GP referral to your psychologist of choice and enabling you to continue to access Medicare’s Easyclaim rebate

Unfortunately, if you have seen a psychologist elsewhere, for even one session, then you’ll need to go back to your GP to get a new referral or at least a change of the cover letter to the name of the treating psychologist.

Are referrals transferable with the same practise?

If for any particular reason you’re unable to continue your sessions with the original psychologist, your GP referral is transferable to another member of the team who works at the same practise.

What is your cancellation, late rescheduling or no show policy?

We understand and appreciate how daily events can cause you not to make your appointment. However, in respect to our team of Psychologists and to other clients who maybe on our waiting list, Counselling In Melbourne does have a late cancellation and rescheduling policy. Please take the time to read and understand the following information:

  • A minimum 24-hour’s notice is required for cancellation or rescheduling, otherwise a fee will be payable
  • Appointments booked for a Monday, a minimum notice of 48-hour’s notice is required for cancellation or rescheduling, otherwise a fee will be payable
  • Any  client ‘no show’, a fee will payable

All Psychologists Are Registered

Psychology Board of Australia
Australian Psychological Society
The Australian Clinical Psychology Association
Medicare Easyclaim