What is a Psychologist?
To practice as a psychologist requires completing a four year degree at university and then either an additional two years of post-graduate study or two years of supervised practice. Psychologists must be registered with the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency and are required to keep their skills and knowledge up to date by each year by participating in professional development and ongoing supervision.
Psychologists are trained in a range of different psychological therapies to help people understand the connection between their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours.
Psychologists do not prescribe medication but may work with other medical practitioners such as doctors and psychiatrists, who may prescribe medication as part of an overall treatment.
Psychologists use a scientist/practitioner model which means using evidence-based treatment and counselling. Psychologists also adhere to the Code of Ethics as specified by the Australian Psychological Society.
What Happens in the First Session?
In the first session the psychologist will be aiming to acquire an understanding of the reasons you have come to see them and what you would like to get from the sessions. They will introduce themselves to you, ask you to complete a registration form, ask a few general questions about you and your life, and explore the issues that concern you.
Your psychologist will also give you an overview of what you can expect from your counselling experience and discuss the strategies they think will be beneficial for you and begin to put together a plan for treatment to help you reach your goals.
What type of people sees Psychologists?
Nearly every type of person will see a psychologist because people come to see psychologists for a vast range of issues and reasons.
Psychologists see people who may have long-term mental health issues. Some of the most common problems people present with are anxiety, depression and relationship issues.
We also see many people who have ‘life’ issues. This can include people who are going through a difficult situation, or change in their life, and are struggling to adjust or manage the associated stress.
Others may be seeking to overcome barriers that are preventing them from making positive changes, to understand themselves better, or sometimes the behaviours of others, to change a pattern of unhelpful behaviours, or to understand and improve their relationships.
Sometimes people just need to talk to someone who is a professional and active listener who will help them clarify their thoughts or goals or to give them an objective perspective.
Some of the most common problems people present with are anxiety, depression, and relationship issues and they can see that they are having a negative impact on their lives and want to find different and more effective ways to deal with it.
What is the APS?
The Australian Psychological Society (APS) is the largest professional association for psychologists in Australia. The APS is committed to advancing psychology as a discipline and profession. It spreads the message that psychologists make a difference to people’s lives, through improving scientific knowledge and community wellbeing. It also provides resources, support, training, and information to member psychologists.
Are Sessions Confidential?
Yes, sessions are private and confidential. Information gathered is used to understand the problems you are facing for the purpose of assessment and diagnosis, and to provide you with the best possible treatment and care. Psychologists are required to work within the Code of Ethics as specified by the Australian Psychological Society.
Limitations to this confidentiality apply if there is a concern for the safety of the client or someone else. In these circumstances the psychologist has a duty of care which may involve notifying a relevant person or organisation or if the client’s file is subpoenaed by law.
Why is it Good to Talk?
The process of talking aloud, answering questions, explaining things to someone else, and describing our experience, helps us to clarify out thoughts and feelings and increase our self- awareness.
It can help us gain a different perspective, increase our awareness of the sometimes unhelpful thinking and behavioural patterns that we can be stuck in, and when we hear ourselves say what we want it helps motivates us to act on it.
Psychologists are trained to ask the right questions that enable people to find the right answer themselves.
What Type of Therapies do you use?
There are a number of different styles of counselling and treatment and the type of therapy that a psychologist uses will depend on a few factors. It will be determined by finding the best fit between therapy treatments and your needs.
Some of the types of therapies we use at LB Psychologists Bundall include:
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
- Schema Therapy
- Solutions Focused Therapy
- Mindfulness Therapy
- Motivational Interviewing
- Positive Behavioural Support
What is a Mental Health Care Plan?
A Mental Health Care Plan is a detailed mental health assessment that your doctor, psychiatrist, or paediatrician can complete.
Medicare rebates are available for psychological treatment by registered psychologists under the Australian Government’s Better Access to Mental Health Care Initiative.
This scheme provides financial assistance to access psychologists for evidence based treatments for a number of mental health issues.
Under the scheme eligible people with a plan in place can receive a rebate of $84.80 of the fees per session for up to 10 sessions in a year.
How Can I Get a Mental Health Care Plan to receive the Medicare Rebate?
To access the Medicare Rebate you need to make a long appointment to see your Doctor and ask for an assessment for a Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP). Once the plan is completed you bring a copy of the plan to your psychologist.
After you pay the fee for the session your Medicare card is swiped and the rebate amount will be transferred directly back into a bank account connected to your EFTPOS card.
Will My Private Health Cover Sessions?
If you have private health cover that includes psychological counselling as an extra we are able to process this prior to payment and then you only pay the GAP amount.