FAQs about therapy on the Sunshine Coast
Want to know more about therapy and counselling? Wondering how I can help?
Do I need a referral to come and see you?
No. You can make an appointment to see me without a referral from a GP or a psychiatrist. However, if you want to be eligible for the Medicare rebate, you need a referral letter from your doctor or psychiatrist along with a Mental Health Care Plan.
How do I get a Mental Health Care Plan?
You first book an appointment with your GP or psychiatrist to explain your mental health concerns. Your GP or psychiatrist will determine if you are eligible, and if you are, they will write a referral letter and a Mental Health Care Plan. You can ask the GP or psychiatrist to fax the plan to my office or bring a copy along with you to your first appointment.
How much does a session cost?
The rates differ depending on the type of session.
An individual 50-minute consultation costs $246, which is well below the recommended rate set by the APS. If you have a referral letter and a Mental Health Care Plan, you can access Medicare rebates for individual counselling.
An 80-minute couples session costs $350, which is well below the recommended rate set by the APS. Couples counselling is not eligible for Medicare rebates.
A 50-minute telehealth consultation costs $246, which is below the APS’ recommended rate. If you have a referral letter and a Mental Health Care Plan, you can access Medicare rebates for counselling via telehealth.
How much is the Medicare rebate?
All clients with a referral letter and a Mental Health Care Plan from their GP or psychiatrist are eligible for a rebate of $128.40 for up to 20 sessions per calendar year.
If you have a referral letter and Mental Health Care Plan, you are eligible to receive a Medicare rebate of $128.40 for up to 20 sessions per calendar year. Counselling is conducted via phone or Zoom.
Medicare does not provide rebates for couples or marriage therapy.
Remote and rural clients
Clients who are located in a rural and remote area and have a Mental Health Treatment Plan are eligible for a rebate of $128.40 for up to 20 sessions per calendar year for counselling via telehealth. We can process your Medicare rebate for you online.
Eligible clients are required to have a referral letter and Mental Health Care Plan and be in a rural and remote area as identified by Modified Monash Model areas 4-7.
To find out if you are located in an eligible area, please visit the MMM locator, select the ‘MMM classification’ and enter your location. For more information, visit the Australian Government Department of Health website.
Can you make an appointment for me?
The easiest way to make an appointment is by booking online. Choose the date and time that suit you best, and you will receive a confirmation email. If it is your first appointment, you will receive an Information Letter and an online intake form within 24 hours. This saves time at the first appointment.
Do you charge a cancellation fee?
If you cancel an appointment with less than one business day’s notice (24 hours), you will be required to pay the full fee. For example, if your appointment is on a Monday morning, you need to let us know by Friday morning that you will not be able to attend. The full cancellation fee also applies if you forget or miss an appointment.
Are appointments confidential?
Yes. Every session is private and confidential which means everything you share doesn’t leave the room. There are two exceptions to this rule: if you are at risk of harm to yourself or someone else, or if my notes are subpoenaed by court. As a clinical psychologist, I'm bound by a Code of Ethics, set by the Australian Psychological Society, ensuring accountability for psychologists.
How do you store client notes?
I use a professional software system called Halaxy. Your health data is stored electronically and protected by bank-grade security and encryption.
Number of Consultations
How often do I need to see you?
This varies greatly from person to person. Initially, I will most likely see you weekly or fortnightly. We will put together a plan detailing the number of sessions and their frequency at the first session. I will make suggestions, but you are welcome to book appointments as often (or as sporadic) as you like. Some people are coming for specific structured treatment, while others are looking for personal development and growth. These are all factors which influence how often you may want to see me.
How long is it going to take?
The length of the treatment depends on a number of factors. It depends on what the issues are, how helpful you find therapy, and how committed you are to the process.
I'd like to stress though that you're in control. You come and see me when you think there's value in it.
What payment methods are available?
Payment can be made by EFTPOS or credit card. Consultation fees need to be paid in full on the day.
Do you bulk bill?
No. I run a private practice which means bulk billing is not available. However, the Medicare rebate can be processed at the clinic on your behalf. The rebate will be in your bank account within 48 hours of your appointment.
Do you see children?
No. I only work with adults. All clients must be 18 years and older.
Do I need to do ‘homework’?
Generally, yes. Homework is an important part of therapy. Think about it this way: during one week you spend one hour in therapy while you spend 167 hours doing other things. For that reason it's essential to put into practice new skills and try out new strategies discussed during treatment.
Do you write court reports?
Yes. I'm skilled at conducting psychological assessments and I provide pre-sentence reports, medico-legal reports and family court reports. I can also be called as an expert witness in family court cases.
Do you work with NDIS participants?
Yes. I support all NDIS participants including those who are NDIA managed, plan-managed and self-managed. My office is wheelchair friendly and has ample parking and a disability bay. Home visits are also possible, depending on the location.
Types of Therapy
What type of therapy do you use?
I only work with evidence-based and solution-focused treatments. In other words, I use therapies that are backed up by scientific evidence and a multitude of research studies. I’m a big believer in using treatments that focus on solutions and are value driven.
I have an eclectic approach which means I use a variety of therapies which have proven to be successful across the globe. I use Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Mindfulness Training and Gottman Method Couples Therapy.
What is a clinical psychologist?
A clinical psychologist has completed a minimum of six years of university training, followed by two years of supervision in a range of mental health settings and has been endorsed to practise in the area of clinical psychology by the Psychology Board of Australia.
What is the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?
A psychologist has completed a university degree focused on the human mind and behaviour and psychological treatment. In contrast, psychiatrists have an undergraduate qualification in medicine which means they are able to prescribe medication.