Frequently asked questions
What is the difference between a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist?
The most basic difference between a Psychologist and Psychiatrist is that a Psychiatrist is medically trained (as a doctor) before their studies in emotional and mental health. Both Psychologists and Psychiatrists study intensely to receive the qualifications that allow them to practice. Psychologists have generally studied (and been supervised) for at least 6 years before they can practice. While Psychologists do not study medicine as such, they do study human behaviour, including the way people think, feel, act and interact with each other.
Do I need a referral?
If you looking to claim a medicare rebate under the Medicare Better Access to Mental Health Initiative, then a referral by a GP or Psychiatrist is required. However, no referral is necessary if you wish to claim through your private health fund or want to come in privately. Feel free to call if you have any further questions about the referral process.
What if I have private health cover?
You can only claim a rebate from either Medicare or through private health. Not both.
How can I claim a medicare rebate?
Prior to your first appointment, you need to obtain a particular GP referral called a 'Mental Health Care Plan'. Most GPs are familiar with this type of referral. Once this has been done, you are entitled to the rebate from Medicare and you can claim the rebate on the spot at the centre.
Can I bring someone along to my appointment?
Yes of course, you are free to bring whoever you like along to the appointment.
Is seeing a Psychologist confidential?
Yes. All sessions with a psychologist are private and confidential. The information that you share during a session is used for assessment, diagnosis, and planning treatment, so that optimal care is given. As set out in the Psychology Board of Australia's Code of Ethics, limitations to this confidentiality apply if there is an immediate or specified risk of harm to an identifiable person's safety, or if a client's file is subpoenaed by law
What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)?
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, or CBT, is a form of therapy that has been shown to be a very effective treatment for a range of psychological problems. CBT aims to help patients identify and change unhelpful thoughts, beliefs, and behaviours in order to produce a positive emotional change. It is a treatment that is focussed in the 'here and now' and it requires that the patient is very active in their treatment. It can be challenging to make changes, but you will be supported every step of the way.