Do I really need to see a psychologist?

The only way to find out if therapy is the right option for you is to come to a session and talk things over with a psychologist.

You can have a brief conversation with one of the psychologists at Psychology Perspective via email to find out if your particular issue is something that would respond well to psychological treatment. You will find each psychologist’s email address in Psychologists individual page.

What should I expect from my first session?

In your first session you will be asked several questions so that the psychologist can to get to know you and understand your story. What you share is up to you. You may also be asked to fill out some questionnaires on arrival at your first session. These help the therapist learn more about what you are struggling with, thus giving them the best possible chance of helping you on the road to recovery.

The psychologist will also explain how they work, and together you will establish some guidelines for the sessions (frequency of sessions, format of sessions and confidentiality issues). There will also be an opportunity for you to ask any questions.

How many sessions will I need?

The number of sessions required will depend on the severity of the issues you’re dealing with. Let your psychologist know if you have a particular time frame in mind.

How often will I need sessions?

When you start seeing a psychologist it is ideal to have weekly sessions so that you can build some momentum. Once positive change starts to become apparent, sessions will be scheduled fortnightly. This allows time for you to consolidate progress made so far on your own.

How long are sessions?

Sessions for individual clients are usually 50 minutes but they can be changed to suit your needs.

Are sessions confidential?

Information shared during sessions is confidential and cannot be disclosed without your consent. There are some legal limitations to confidentiality, which your psychologist will discuss with you in your first session. Your psychologist will ask you to sign a consent form if there is a need to discuss information about you with another person (such as a GP, lawyer or third party billing source). For more information please see our privacy policy.

What is CBT?

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) explores the links between thoughts, feelings and behaviours whilst teaching strategies to think and behave in healthier ways. CBT is widely regarded as one of the most effective treatments for several mental health problems. For this reason, Medicare offers rebates for sessions where a Mental Health Care Plan has been prepared by a GP where CBT will be used.

What is the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?

Psychiatrists and psychologists work in the area of mental health but there are some significant differences between the two professions.

  • Psychiatrists are medically trained doctors who have specialised in the field of psychiatry. Psychiatrists are able to prescribe medications to treat mental illnesses.

  • Psychologists generally have at least six years of training in the field of psychological treatments for mental health issues. Psychologists are focused on improving a person’s mental health without medication. There is considerable evidence that psychological treatments are effective in assisting individuals with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. Many people indicate that they would prefer to try psychological approaches to address their problem before considering medication. When needed, psychologists also work in collaboration with GPs or psychiatrists to ensure their client gets the best possible treatment.

What is the difference between a psychologist and counsellor/psychotherapist?

Psychologists usually have a minimum of six years of university training and are required to be registered with the Australian Health Professionals Regulation Agency. Psychologists practice according to a Code of Ethics developed by the Australian Psychological Society (PDF). This Code of Ethics sets out standards of professional conduct for psychologists.

In Australia, counsellors and psychotherapists are not regulated by a specific government body. This means that anyone can call themselves a counsellor or a psychotherapist regardless of whether they have undertaken any professional training. If you are planning to see a counsellor or psychotherapist, it is wise to enquire about their qualifications, the professional organisations they are a part of, and whether they practice according to a code of professional ethics.

Will I need to lie on a couch and talk about my dreams?

Therapy is a collaborative process, which is why you will be engaging in face-to-face contact with one of our psychologists during sessions.

Talking about your dreams is still common in therapy, but whether you’re required to talk about them depends on the theoretical approach of the psychologist and the type of therapy being provided. Behavioural approaches to treatment (e. g. CBT) will almost never involve talking about dreams unless you’re experiencing distressing dreams as a result of trauma. Cognitive therapists may explore dreams to better understand your distress but will not focus on them. Many people complete therapy without ever discussing their dreams.

Do I need a referral from a Doctor to see a Psychologist?

You can see a Psychologist without a referral. However, you will need a Mental Health Care Plan from your Doctor if you would like to claim the Medicare rebate.

Does Medicare cover Psychologists?

All the Psychologists working at Psychology Perspective are Medicare registered so you can claim the Medicare rebate, as long as you have a Mental Health Care Plan from your Doctor.

Do Health funds cover sessions with a Psychologist?

Cover for psychology depends on your fund and level of cover. Some funds require that you use the sessions available under Medicare before claiming under the health fund. It is best to check with your particular fund about your level of cover and whether you need to access the Medicare sessions before claiming under your fund.

What does it cost to see a Psychologist?

Fees depend on the type of psychologist you see and the referral source. Although Clinical Psychologist fees are higher than Psychologist fees, at Psychology Perspective the gap is the same for both Clinical Psychologist and Psychologist sessions. Fees are also vary between private, Medicare and WorkCover referrals. For specific fee information please look under the Fees tab.

How do I go about seeing a Psychologist?

As a private client you don’t need a referral of any sort and can make an appointment by calling a psychology practice of your choice and making an appointment. If you would like to access sessions under Medicare or WorkCover you will need to see your doctor for a Mental Health Care Plan or WorkCover referral. When you see your Doctor for a Mental Health Care Plan or a WorkCover referral your Doctor may recommend a Psychologist or you can request a particular Psychologist. The Australian Psychological Society Find a Psychologist Service can help locate Psychologists near you that have particular expertise in areas relevant to you.