Frequently Asked Questions
Below you will find a list of answers to frequently asked questions when it comes to all things about seeing a psychologist.
Take a read, and if there’s anything that you still need answered – feel free to contact me.
How much will sessions cost?
Sessions costs depends on a number of things, including whether or not you have a Mental Health Care Plan from a GP or if you are using private health insurance.
Session costs are as follows:
Full fee session (50 minutes) – $165.00
Concessional Session (with a concession card) – $120
If you come to a session with a Mental Health Care Plan from your GP, I can process a rebate after you’ve paid for your session. Rebates are $87.45. This means that you are out of pocket $77.55 per session (or $32.55 if you have a concession card).
I can process Worker’s Compensation claims, and DVA claims if you have the relevant paperwork and referrals.
If you are claiming under private health, I will provide you with a paid receipt so that you are able to claim back from your health fund.
If you have any questions about sessions and fees, please do not hesitate to contact me.
What rebates are available and can I use my private health fund?
If you have a referral from a GP or a psychiatrist for a Mental Health Treatment Plan you will be eligible to receive a Medicare rebate of $87.45 per session for up to 10 sessions per calendar year.
Private Health Insurance
If you have private health insurance that includes psychological counselling as extras cover, you may be eligible for a partial rebate. It is recommended that you contact your individual insurance provider for further information about your individual coverage. You cannot claim a Medicare rebate AND a private health rebate for the same session – you can only use one rebate.
How do I know if I am eligible for the Medicare rebate?
You will need to make an appointment with your GP who will assess whether you are eligible for a Mental Health Treatment Plan. When booking an appointment to discuss a Mental Health Treatment Plan, please request an extended appointment. A Mental Health Care Plan will enable you to claim a Medicare rebate of $86.15 per session for a maximum of ten sessions per calendar year.
To be able to claim the Medicare rebate for your session you will need to bring a copy of your Mental Health Treatment Plan to your first appointment with your psychologist.
How many sessions will I need?
Every person has a different journey through therapy. This is largely dependent upon the nature of why they are coming in, and what it is that they are hoping to get out of sessions.
Some people come to see a psychologist to develop coping sstrategies to reduce or manage symptoms of mental illness (such as anxiety or depression). This type of work can be short to medium term, but might also involve checking in less frequently over the longer-term to deal with any setbacks or to prevent relapse.
Other people come to therapy to understand long-standing patterns (such as relationship issues) that stem from exeperiences during their childhood, or to receive on-going support – perhaps around a traumatic experience. This type of work tends to happen over an extended period of time, although again, this is dependent upon client preferences.
Sometimes people come to therapy for a one off session, or for just a handful of sessions, to speak about a specific issues in their life or a particular concern. Although problems and challenges are typically what bring people to a psychologist (at least initially), therapy can also be a space for self-development and growth.
What is the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?
Psychologists are health professionals who work in a range of areas including clinical, health, neuropsychology, sports, forensic, organisational and community settings. To become a fully registered psychologist you must undertake an undergraduate degree, an Honours degree and and at least two years of supervised training and further education in the field of psychology (either a Masters or Doctorate degree).
Psychologists assist people with everyday concerns such as stress and relationship difficulties, as well as mental health issues. Psychologists use “talk therapies” to help people to develop skills to cope with difficulties and to prevent on-going issues. There are a large number of research studies supporting the effectiveness of psychological therapy.
Psychiatrists have completed a medical degree and further training and study related to the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. Psychiatrists specialise in the medical treatment of mental illness and can prescribe medication. Some psychiatrists combine medication with therapy.
What should I expect from my first session?
The procedure for a first appointment varies from practice to practice, but here is an overview of how things tend to work at Dr Carla’s clinic:
At the beginning of your first session your psychologist will briefly run through important paperwork with you. This will include completing a form with basic personal information and a consent form that cover issues such as confidentiality, fees and other important information about sessions. If you have been referred by a GP or psychiatrist, we will discuss the details of your Mental Health Treatment Plan at this point.
After completing paperwork the remainder of the session is usually spent discussing the issues that have brought you into therapy. As well as developing a thorough understanding of your concerns, your psychologist will explore relevant background history, for example, information about your family, social relationships, work history and any past counselling that you have done. Based on this information we will begin to help you to understand more about what might be triggering and maintaining your current issues. If time allows we will also work with you to develop a collaborative and flexible plan for future therapy sessions.