Seeing a Psychologist
What to expect from seeing a psychologist
For many people, the thought of coming along to see a psychologist for the first time can be daunting. However, for most clients, the first session is an opportunity to share things that have been on their mind. It is also the opportunity to start gaining support and clarity in an environment that helps you to feel listened to, respected and comfortable.
Many people feel nervous or unsure when they first see a psychologist because they are unsure what to expect. Your therapist will explain what is involved in your sessions.
What is the aim of counselling?
The aim is to empower you to live the best and healthiest life possible by helping you to understand past and current issues and help you to learn practical ways to feel more confident at creating the life that is right for you. Psychological treatment is a partnership between the therapist and client, and generally “the more you put in, the more you will get out of it”
Why see a psychologist?
At different times in our lives, we experience a range of situations and events that can be difficult and cause distress. Talking to a trained psychologist can help you get through this difficulty.
How can a psychologist help?
Psychologists are trained to talk to people about their challenges and experiences and to help people better understand themselves.
Psychologists provide a supportive and safe environment where people can explore different perspectives and develop their skills in a variety of areas effecting their life.
A session with a psychologist usually involves talking about the person’s concerns, their experiences and understanding of their situation and their goals.
How long are the sessions?
Each session goes for approximately 50 mins. Please arrive on time to ensure you maximise your appointment.
How many sessions will I have?
You may not feel better straight away, and sometimes people feel worse before they begin to feel better, so it is important to persist and keep an open mind.
Psychologists usually see clients weekly or fortnightly to begin with. This will be negotiated with you based on what you need. It can take up to two or three sessions to collect all the details of what is impacting you. However, a treatment plan will be discussed with you at each session.
Together, a plan will be created and some strategies for you to try between sessions will be discussed. Each person is different and will therefore have a different tailored treatment plan.
You don’t need a referral to see a psychologist. You can see a psychologist as a private client. However, you may be eligible to obtain Medicare rebate to subsidies the session fees or claim with your Private Health Insurer.
There are a number of referral pathways:
Self-referral – You can claim your session fee through your private health insurance insurer if you have the appropriate cover. Every Health Insurance company and package is different, so it is important that you check with your provider. If you don’t have insurance, that is okay, you can still see a psychologist however there will be no rebates.
GP, Psychiatrist, Paediatrician – You can access Medicare funding if your GP, Psychiatrist or Pediatircia provides you with a Mental Health Care Plan through the Better Access Services. If you meet the criteria for a Mental Health Care Plan, you can access Medicare rebates for up to 10 sessions per calendar year. Make an appointment with your GP to discuss this further.
If you have been diagnosed with a chronic health condition, you can access Medicare rebates for a up to five sessions per year with a psychologist under the Chronic Disease Management (CDM) Program (formerly known as an Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) Program).
The Medicare rebates provide partial reimbursement as we are a private practice, therefore there will be an out of pocket amount. We aim to keep fees as low as possible to provide easier access to ongoing therapeutic support to effect greater change.
Worksafe– If you have been involved in a workplace incident and your claim has been evaluated and approved, you may be able to access a limited number of psychological therapy for little to no cost.
TAC – if you have been involved in a road transport accident, you may be able to access a limited number of psychological therapy for little to no cost.
Evidence-based approaches utilised to assist clients