Below are some “frequently asked questions”. If you have any other questions, feel free to email us.
What Do Psychologists do?
Psychologists are trained in evidence-based psychological interventions to assist you with symptom management, behaviour change, or adjustment to difficult life circumstances. Psychological therapy involves talking therapies and practical strategies to assist in improving mental health. We do not prescribe medication. Services can be aimed at early intervention, prevention and self improvement. So it is NOT necessary to have a major mental illness to benefit from psychological treatment.
Do you need a referral?
Not necessarily. You can arrange to be seen without a referral. This is called a self-referral. We accept referrals from all sources, although Medicare rebates are only available upon referral from your GP with a mental health care plan. Please see your GP to discuss a referral and whether or not you are eligible for a mental health care plan.
What is the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist?
- Psychology is the study of people: how they think, how they act, react and interact. They specialise in “talk” therapies.
- Psychiatry is the study of mental disorders and their diagnosis, management and prevention. They can prescribe medication.
What is the difference between a clinical and a registered psychologist?
A registered psychologist has completed at least 4 years of study in psychology, and often has a Masters in Psychology, and/or a high level of experience and training. A clinical psychologist has completed 4 years of study in psychology and has a Masters in Clinical Psychology and has experience and training in this area.
How many sessions will I need?
Every individual and situation is different. Generally around six sessions are required. For more complex or longstanding mental health problems, more sessions may be needed.
How long is a session & when can I get an appointment?
Each session is 50 minutes in duration and an appointment can usually be booked within two-four weeks.
Should I keep taking my medication during therapy?
Yes, taking medication does not prevent you from engaging in an effective treatment program with a psychologist. Over time, if things improve, you may be able to discuss reduction of medication with your doctor. Do not change your medication regime without the advice of your doctor.
Is the service confidential?
Absolutely. Psychologists are required to abide by a strict Code of Ethics that is set by the Psychological Board. This code protects your interests and ensures confidentiality with the exception of very particular circumstances:
- It is subpoenaed by a court of law;
- Failure to disclose it would place you or another person at risk;
- You give written consent for written information to be released to a designated agent.
The information is part of the legal requirement to document what happens during sessions, and enables the psychologist to provide relevant and informed psychological services.