frequently asked questions
Does therapy work?
Research shows that therapy is extremely effective.
Therapy can enhance happiness, increase self-esteem and increase performance, with many seeking therapy to improve general wellbeing.
For example, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can work as well as medication for treating depression (and in some cases can provide more long-term positive effects compared to medication).
Therapy can be effective for many psychological disorders and has been shown to increase family functioning, increase positive self-esteem in children and provide individuals with valuable life-long skills.
Who can benefit from therapy?
Many individuals seek therapy, from families and young children, adolescents managing adjustment through to business executives struggling with financial pressures.
Psychologists help to provide a space for learning about the true self, finding avenues out of struggles and developing skills to move forward.
Through providing the Medicare rebate, the Australian Government now acknowledge the important role psychologists play in helping people develop strong, resilient mental well being.
What is the difference between a Psychiatrist, Clinical Psychologist and a Counsellor?
A Psychiatrist has a medical background, having completed a Bachelor of Medicine and post-graduate training in psychiatry. They have a biological focus on human pathology and subsequent treatment through medication (this is a generalisation however). This is a nationally regulated profession.
A Clinical Psychologist has a Bachelor of Psychology of equivalent followed by post-graduate training in mental health with a focus on the psychological and social aspects mental health and the subsequent treatment is based on this psychosocial model.
These professionals are not trained as Medical practitioners and hence are not trained or authorised to administered medications. However, in some western countries there are recent changes that see these professionals undertaking additional studies to provide them with the knowledge, skills and abilities to engage effectively in treatment using medications. This is a nationally regulated profession.
A Counsellor works with people struggling with more general problems, for example, divorce, loss and grief, where there is a relatively less psychological distress and suffering than a pure mental health problem.
In Australia anyone can call themselves a counsellor. Thus, this is not a nationally regulated profession. There are organisations in Australia that are making great efforts to regulate their profession such as the Australian Counselling Association which also has strict criteria for membership and a formal code of conduct.
What happens in the first session?
The first session takes the form of an assessment discussions, formal/semi formal interview and may include standardised questionnaires that to focus on the underlying symptoms rather than the presenting problems.
This session also may allow the client and psychologist the opportunity to discuss treatment options and goals for treatment. Previous assessments, reports etc are very important at this stage of the process so copies of these should be presented for consideration in the assessment, formulation and treatment options.
How long does therapy take?
In a one-on-one setting each sessions takes approximately 50 minutes. The number of the sessions varies depending of the complexity of the presenting and underlying problems.
Many of the programs that we use can have good outcomes at about the 6-8 session mark. With angry children and adolescent sometimes it only needs a few sessions with both the child and the parents to make significant gains. With more significant mental health issues such as using CBT to treat aspects of schizophrenia, Bipolar or Autism many more sessions are indicated.
For many of these problems, Medicare provide additional rebates.
How do I book/change and cancel sessions?
To book or change a session time call 02 4949 4344.
Sessions times can be changed and cancelled up to 24 hours in advance.
If we receive less than 24 hours notice of a change or cancellation 50 per cent of the full session fee will be changed and an invoice sent to your address that day (Medicare Rebates do not apply to missed appointments).
What does evidence-based practice means?
Evidenced-based practice refers to psychological approaches that have been shown, through research, to be effective. For example, studies show Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) can be as effective as medication for individuals suffering from anxiety or depression.
Professional guidelines dictate that the most appropriate evidenced-based therapy is to be offered to clients for treatment of mental health problems.
What is your policy on confidentially?
Our policy is strictly based on that of the Australian Psychological Society and the state Registration Boards.
For GP Medicare referrals, reports at the 1, 6, and 12 session are forwarded. All information remains strictly confidential unless you or someone else is at risk of harm.
Being a mandatory reporter under the Department of Community Services legislation also means that when a child has suffered or is at risk of abuse or neglect than a report is made.
We will also inform you of the times that we feel conditions of confidentially arise. All clinical notes and related records are kept in a secure compartment in the clinic with access restricted to authorised clinical and practice support personnel.
For any questions about our services and programs please contact us