There are several ways that a person may be able to see a psychologist:
- clients can self refer by making an appointment with a psychologist
- clients can be referred by a GP to a particular psychologist that is known to the GP or any psychologist of their choice on a Mental Health Care Plan. For more information on Mental Health Care Plans and Medicare rebates refer below
- clients can refer a family member, for example, parents can make an appointment on behalf of their child or adolescent
- clients may be referred by an organization, for example, Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal (VOCAT)
A fully registered psychologist is a professional who has completed a minimum of 4 years of a recognized psychology degree followed by either a masters degree in psychology or two years of supervised practice in the field of psychology in order to be eligible for full registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) to be able to practice as a psychologist in Australia.
A person may seek counselling for various reasons. Common issues people present to counselling with include (but is not limited to):
- anxiety, panic attacks and depression
- grief and loss issues which may be the result of the loss of a loved one, end of a significant relationship, traumatic experiences, loss of a job as well as many other losses
- difficulty with managing anger
- low self esteem and confidence issues
- relationship problems, separation/ divorce
- post natal depression
- managing stress
- pain management
- sexual issues
Counselling can benefit people in different ways depending on the reasons a person is seeking counselling. Counselling can enhance a person’s psychological wellbeing in many ways including improving a person’s overall life satisfaction, enjoyment/ pleasure in day to day activities, improve overall mood, decrease anxiety, improve self esteem and confidence, assist a person to manage and deal with painful feelings and thoughts and assist people to improve their relationships.
The number of sessions required varies from person to person and is dependent on a number of factors including the individual circumstances, the client’s needs, the history and complexity of the client’s problems, personality differences and persons openness and readiness to change. People often require six to 10 sessions, however, others may require longer term treatment.
Sessions usually last 50 to 60 minutes in duration, however, the initial session can sometimes take longer.
Please refer to the Fees section regarding the cost of each session. Cost of sessions vary depending on individual circumstances, therefore, are categorized accordingly to ensure eligibility for all members of the community. Please call our office if you require further information about fees.
Each individual is able to access a Medicare rebate of $86.15 for each counselling session (up to 10 sessions per calendar year). This means that $86.15 will be refunded to the client after each session. For example, if the total cost for a counselling session is $120 you will receive $86.15 back from Medicare which means the out of pocket expense will only be $33.85 for each counselling appointment! In order to access this rebate a person needs to visit a GP to obtain a Mental Health Care Plan prior to attending their first counselling appointment. For more information on the Medicare rebates for access to psychological services please ring our office or refer to the following links: www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/content/OF792912834609B4CA257BF0001B74FA/$File/patients2.pdf
If you have a Mental Health Care Plan from your GP you will be eligible for up to 10 counselling sessions through Medicare. That is Medicare will refund you $86.15 of the cost of each counselling session for up to 10 sessions per calendar year. For example, if you received a Mental Health Care Plan from your GP in March and you used all of your 10 sessions you do not have to wait until March the following year to get a new Mental Health Care Plan; you can get a new one in January the following year.
Psychological reports can be written at Blissful Mind Psychology for various matters for example, court cases, Centrelink, TAC, Work Cover, Victims of Crime and Custody matters. Please note that there will be a charge for reports. For more information on fees for reports please refer to our Fees section or contact our office if you require any further information.