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FAQ's for Psychology Services

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If your question is not answered here in the FAQ’s, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

What is the difference between a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist?

Psychiatrists are trained medical doctors who prescribe medication, whereas psychologists are trained experts in human behaviour, and the processes determining how people think, feel, behave and react. Psychologists apply their expertise using reliable and scientifically supported therapeutic methods and techniques, and they do not prescribe medication in Australia. Psychologists focus on assisting people to understand their problems and to teach them practical skills to cope with psychological difficulties, and strategies to work towards resolving their problems. Working with a skilled psychologist can help you to understand and change unhelpful patterns in your life.

What is the difference between a Psychologist and a Counsellor or Psychotherapist?

There are many people who claim to treat or counsel mental health problems, and please be aware that many are not properly trained, are unregistered, and do not hold appropriate insurance cover. To practice as a Psychologist in Australia, they must be registered with the Psychology Board of Australia and they also must: • Hold an appropriate tertiary qualification (most psychologists have a minimum of six years of tertiary training) • Undertake approved continuing professional development programs every year • Hold appropriate Professional Indemnity Insurance • Demonstrate evidence of recent practice In Australia, counsellors and psychotherapists are not regulated by a specific government body, and as such they are not required to have a license to practice. In fact, people can call themselves a counsellor or psychotherapist whether or not they have undertaken any professional training in treating mental health issues!

What are your fees?

For coaching and psychological services the initial consultation fee is $200 for one hour.  Fees thereafter depend upon what services or program you will be participating in, and we will discuss a proposed treatment plan based upon your individual needs and circumstances. The number of sessions you will require depends upon the complexity and nature of your problems, and please appreciate that this can not be understood until we meet for an initial consultation. 

What can I expect at my first consultation?

During the initial consultation the Psychologist will attempt to understand the reasons for you seeking assistance, what your concerns and problems are, as well as determining a clear understanding of your expectations, needs and goals for therapy. This is an opportunity for the Psychologist to assess and suggest a suitable treatment plan moving forward, and also for you to determine if you feel comfortable with the Psychologist to continue treatment.

How long do the sessions go for and when are they available?

Sessions are typically 60 minutes in duration. Appointments are available from Monday to Saturday and they are by appointment only.

How many sessions will I need?

The number of sessions needed varies from person to person and will depend on complexity of your problems.  Short-term interventions are available, as well as longer-term, ongoing therapy for more complex issues. At Integrated Health Specialists we also provide a number of unique individually tailored one-on-one solutions-based programs for different types of issues. During your initial consultation the psychologist will provide guidance regarding a suggested treatment plan including approximate time frames, according to your specific needs and circumstances.

Do I need a Referral to make an appointment?

No, you do not need a referral to see a psychologist. However, you will need a referral from your GP or Psychiatrist to be eligible for Medicare rebates (see below).

Can I get a Medicare Rebates for Psychology Services?

Medicare provides rebates for psychological services under their ‘Better Access to Mental Health Care’ program. In order to access these rebates you will require a referral from a GP. GP’s can refer eligible patients to a psychologist for up to 10 sessions per calendar year and a referral lasts for 12 months. If you wish to see a specific psychologist of your choice you just need to give the GP the name of the psychologist you wish to see. We recommend you book a longer consult to see your GP so they can complete the Mental Health Care Plan paperwork that is required. Then bring your letter of referral with you when you see the psychologist. Under a Mental Health Care Plan you will be entitled to receive $84.80 back per session (up to 10 sessions per year) from Medicare when you see our psychologist – Michelle van Namen. Please note that she is very qualified and experienced, so she does not bulk bill.

Can I get a Private Health Insurance Rebate for Psychology Services?

Most private health insurers offer rebates on psychological services if you are covered by ancillary benefits insurance (extras cover). We suggest that you check with your health insurance fund first to find out if you are covered and how much your rebate will be, as rebates vary greatly depending on your level of cover. Also be aware that you cannot access both Medicare rebates and private health insurance rebates, you can only access one or the other.

Do you have a Cancellation Policy?

Yes, due to the high demand for appointments to see our psychologist we have a fixed Cancellation Policy for short notice cancellations, and this is enforced to ensure that other people on a waitlist do to not miss out on the opportunity to see her: · If you cancel your appointment with less than 24 hours notice you will be charged 50% of the full fee. · If you fail to show up for your confirmed scheduled appointment without notice you will be charged the full fee.

Are there areas you do not specialise or consult in?

Yes we specialise only in Adult Psychology; Child Psychology is very different, therefore we do not work with Children or Adolescents. We also do not specialise in Anorexia Nervosa, Drug Addictions & Rehab, and Medico-Legal Cases & Reports.

Are sessions with a Psychologist confidential?

All psychologists are bound by the Psychologists Board of Australia endorsed Code of Ethics. What clients say to a psychologist is strictly confidential and will not be disclosed to anyone else, including a family member, friend or employer without your consent except where: it is subpoenaed by a court; failure to disclose the information would place you or another person at serious and imminent risk; or if disclosure is otherwise required or authorised by law. In addition, under the Medicare ‘Better Access’ Program; progress reports are required to be written and sent to your referring GP for review.