Q: What do I bring to the initial appointment?
A: If you are an adult and you are attending just for yourself, you may have been to your GP prior and have set up a Medicare Mental Health Care Plan that will entitle you to a partial rebate for the session. In which case, please bring your Mental Health Care Plan letter from your doctor as we need this for our Medicare records and for you to make your claim with Medicare. If you do not have a Mental Health Care Plan, don’t panic, you do not need a referral from a GP to see a psychologist.
Any relevant reports may be of help if you are bringing your child (e.g. photocopies of school reports, previous cognitive or educational assessments, optometric reports, audiology reports, etc.).
Q: How many sessions will I need?
A: The answer tends to relate to the complexity of your circumstances and the nature of the condition(s) that need to be addressed. At the initial consultation you will have the opportunity to comfortably express what it is that you wish to achieve as a result of attending and we will then explain to you the process of treating your situation and logistics involved. You will always be able to decide what you are prepared to commit to.
Essentially, our focus is to educate and teach you and/or your child the skills and techniques necessary to get on with your lives as soon as possible. Naturally, of course, everyone’s circumstances are different and the number or frequency of sessions is always open to discussion and review. Be assured we will always make a professional recommendation with respect to the frequency and intervals in-between your appointments.
Q: If the issue is about my son or daughter, who attends the initial appointment and subsequent consultations?
A: It is our philosophy that unless an adolescent does not want their parent or caregiver to be included in the first consultation, that either a parent or caregiver (whoever is most available and across the dynamics of the situation) attend the initial consultation with the young person.
Whilst there are no hard and fast rules about who remains present throughout the course of the consultation, we find that having a parent initially attend helps provide context, assurance and clarification to the young person regarding why they are attending and what the process will entail.
For most children, a parental or caregiver’s presence during the session tends to yield the most benefit given adults are better equipped to remember conversations and will need to reinforce certain messages and techniques in the home environment.
Often adolescents thrive on having the opportunity to independently work with us. This is completely natural as they are essentially young adults. However, whilst client confidentiality is assured, we do like to have a parent present either in the first or last 5 minutes of the session so as to ensure the main messages are communicated to all parties.
Q: Who is going to know that I have been to a session?
A: Understandably so, young people are often concerned that their school or other people will know that they have been to see us and that other people will know what is being discussed.
Client confidentiality (privacy) is one of the most important factors of your relationship with us and any other registered psychologist for that matter. As professionally registered psychologists, we are bound by law to uphold your privacy. Hence, unless we have consent from our clients to communicate with third parties (such as schools, other family members, lawyers, etc.), we will not be communicating any information that you have discussed with us.
Of course, there are circumstances where we are legally bound to communicate with responsible related adults or relevant authorities and these circumstances typically involve risk of harm to self or others; issues of abuse that may come to light and in the very rare circumstance where a court may subpoena client records (i.e. in the case of insurance claims, major crime investigations etc.). Should you have any concerns about your privacy and confidentiality, we simply recommend that you call us and we will happily clarify any uncertainty you may have.
Q: What does it cost to have a consultation?
A: As we are private fee-for-service professional organisation, there are different fees for different services. We believe in absolute transparency about our fees and charges so there are no hidden costs to you.
Please refer to the relevant link on fees and rebates or view the relevant link on assessment that will clearly outline the cost of engaging our services. We invite you to call us if you are considering engaging our services and we will talk you through any associated costs and the process.
Q: Do you conduct learning assessments and WISC-V assessments?
A: Yes. We have conducted hundreds of WISC-V assessments and work closely with you (and should you wish, your child’s school), in an effort for you to gain the most out of these invaluable assessments. Please refer to our link on Assessments.
Q: Do you prepare legal reports for young people and adults who are facing a court matters.
A: Yes we do and we have extensive experience in criminal matters relating to The Children’s Court; The Magistrates Court and County Court of Victoria. We regularly liaise with legal practitioners in an effort to achieve the best outcomes for our clients.
Q: Do you provide career guidance and planning services?
A: Yes we do. Whether it is for you as an adult or your son or daughter, we have extensive experience providing career planning, assessment and guidance.
Q: Are you registered with Medicare to provide services under the Mental Health Care Plan Scheme?
A: Yes. Please refer to our link on Fees and Rebates.
Q: Do you treat anxiety and depression?
A: Yes. We treat all anxiety conditions and depressive illnesses. In fact, clinical work in these areas makes up a significant percentage of our daily consultations.
Q: Do you deal with grief, loss and trauma?
A: Yes we do.
Losing a member of one’s family or a close friend is a significantly confronting and stressful life event. Most adults are aware that there is a natural process of adjustment otherwise referred to as series of stages that each individual will progress through in making the adjustment to the loss of a loved one. It is important to understand that no-one can or will be rushing you through this process as emotions do not run to specific timeframes. Providing you with support, understanding and helping you make sense of your loss is something that we can help with.
If you have experienced a traumatic event (severe personal injury; encountered a terrifying personal experience; or witnessed an extremely distressing event) you may well be traumatised. Treating trauma appropriately and addressing your trauma in a timely manner is highly recommended as unresolved trauma can have all sorts of secondary complications if not effectively treated.