frequently asked questions

what is a psychologist?

psychologists are trained health professionals (minimum of 6 years training and supervised practice) who help people to manage their mental health, stress or relationship difficulties, enhance their wellbeing and develop both personally and professionally.

psychologists fulfil a therapeutic role by assessing their clients’ concerns, needs and life circumstances; and developing a tailored treatment plan that meets the clients’ therapeutic goals and preferences.

finding the right psychologist for you?

psychology is an investment in your mental health and research suggests that a strong relationship between a client and psychologist (known as the therapeutic alliance) is one of the most important factors in determining the success of therapy. consequently, it’s important to get the match right.

you can search for a psychologist via the APS Find a Psychologist service, which will advise you of their practice areas, location and bio information. once you feel ready to book with a psychologist, be mindful that you want to feel comfortable, safe, heard and understood; as well as feeling able to receive and engage in reciprocal feedback. after the first few of sessions you should feel that you have established a beneficial level of rapport and trust; and feel therapeutically relieved, supported and empowered to make change. if, at any point you are not feeling like there is a good fit between yourself and your psychologist, it’s important to know that you can discuss this with your psychologist; or that you can move along and find a better suited psychologist.

what is the clients’ role in therapy?

you are an active participant in the therapy process. this means committing to your appointments, actively engaging in the session, taking feedback on board, and applying the knowledge, strategies and skills you have learnt outside the therapy room into your daily life.

do I need a referral to visit a psychologist?

no, a referral is not required to see a psychologist. however, in order to access the medicare rebate through the better access scheme, you will first need to visit your GP, who will assess your eligibility for a Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP). a MHCP entitles you to up to 10 subsidised sessions per calendar year. to receive the rebate, you will need to bring along your signed and dated MHCP referral letter.

your initial referral does not cover all 10 subsidised appointments. after your 6th session with your psychologist, a re-referral letter is required from your GP to access the additional 4 subsidised sessions.

after your 6th appointment, your psychologist will send a treatment review and recommendation for future treatment to your GP. this will help inform your GP of your progress and eligibility for your re-referral. it’s therefore important to book an appointment with your GP between your 6th and 7th appointment, as this will help to ensure that you have your re-referral letter prior to attending your 7th appointment.

please also note that a GP may give you a referral with a suggested psychologists’ details already attached. this does not mean that you have to see that particular psychologist. you are able to take that referral to your preferred practitioner.

how do I claim my rebate?

all session fees are paid in full on the day of your appointment. you will be then be issued an invoice, which can be used to claim your rebate directly through medicare; OR once you have made payment, erin can process your rebate on your behalf. please note that in this instance your rebate will be refunded back to whatever account you have linked to your medicare account. if you haven’t linked a bank account the rebate will sit in your medicare account until you arrange to have it deposited into an account.

how much will I receive back from medicare?

for a general psychologist you will receive a rebate of $86.15 per session.

what is the difference between a clinical and general psychologist?

there is a fair amount of overlap between a general psychologist and a clinical psychologist. both aim to provide a wide range of psychological services to help people to reduce their psychological distress and to enhance their wellbeing.

clinical psychologists however, tend to focus on supporting people with more severe and complex mental health issues; and can specialise in clients from particular pathological populations. while general psychologists tend to focus on supporting people from the general population.

how does confidentiality work?

everything that you disclose in session with your psychologist is confidential. however, there are two reasons a psychologist may break confidentiality (1) the psychologist believes there is risk of harm to yourself or others (2) if subpoenaed by law. in both these instances, the psychologist will discuss this with you directly.

taking adequate session notes is an ethical obligation of your psychologist, as they help to document the session and act as an important part of the review and planning associated with your ongoing support and treatment. these notes are stored electronically and securely.

what can I expect from my sessions with a psychologist?

initially your first couple of sessions will be focussed on gathering information to help inform the treatment planning process (personal information, history and background, life circumstances, social relationships, what brought you to therapy, therapeutic history). this also helps the psychologist to develop a thorough understanding of your story, your concerns and your focus. a treatment plan is then developed with you, which takes into account your goals, needs and preferences.

subsequent sessions may then involve aspects of psychoeducation (education + information related to mental health, wellbeing and treatment); cognitive behaviour therapy, counselling, coaching, mindfulness therapy, positive psychology. for a more extensive list of therapeutic approaches and their definition please check out this Types of Therapy article by Psychology Today.

how long are sessions with a psychologist?

  • Individual sessions are 50 minutes per session.

  • Couples Counselling is 90 minutes per session

how many sessions will I need and how frequently do I need to attend?

everyone is different due to the nature of what brought them to therapy and what their goals are. however, generally people can receive adequate support from <10 sessions.

committing to regular therapy is important as it ensures that consistent progress is made and therapeutic gains are maintained. initially many people tend to attend on a weekly or fortnightly basis. this may then be spaced out to every three weeks or monthly, or top ups as required depending on the clients’ needs.

does EG Psychology have a cancellation policy?

eg psychology has a 48-hour cancellation and rescheduling policy. this means that if you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment you must arrange this 48 hours prior to your scheduled appointment time. this helps to allow enough time to offer your appointment to other clients.

if you cancel or reschedule your appointment within 48 hours, you will be charged the full session fee. please note that medicare does not provide rebates for cancelled or missed appointments.

does erin see clients through Workcover, NDIS or other third party organisations?

workcover: erin is registered with workcover however erin is not currently taking on any further work cover clients.

ndis: erin is not a NDIS registered psychologist. however, if you are on a self-managed plan with the NDIS, you can choose to see any psychologist. please note a letter is required from the NDIS that outlines how many sessions you are entitled to with a psychologist. this helps to ensure you stay on budget and the psychologist can bill the NDIS.

private health insurance: some private health funds and policies do cover sessions with a psychologist; however each fund can vary with how much of the session cost they will cover and what your budget for psychological services may be. it is therefore best to always contact your insurer before booking in an appointment with erin. please note all invoices are paid in full on the day of your appointment and claimed back through your private health fund.

can I move between Ivory Health in Blackburn North and EG Psychology in Thornbury?

EG Psychology and Ivory Health are two different practices and therefore have different booking systems, fees and policies. please choose which location and service works best for you, as client’s cannot move between practice locations, unless it is a permanent change. to make

got any more burning questions?

if you have any further questions, please feel free to contact erin via the connect page.