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Frequently Asked Questions


What is a clinical psychologist?

A clinical psychologist is a psychologist who has undertaken specialist training to develop an expertise in mental health. They have undertaken highly specialised training in the assessment, diagnosis, formulation, and psychological treatment of mental health, behavioural, and emotional disorders across the lifespan.  Clinical psychologists are the only psychologists to have this advanced level of education and training in mental health.

A clinical psychologist undertakes eight years of education and training to become endorsed by the Psychology Board of Australia. This is the highest level of training in the assessment, formulation, diagnosis, and psychological treatment of mental health problems of any profession.  Following their university education and training they undertake registrar training for up to two years to gain endorsement as a clinical psychologist.

In Australia psychology is a regulated health profession under the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency via the Psychology Board of Australia.


What is the difference between a Clinical Psychologist and General Psychologist?

Clinical Psychologist

  • Study: Has completed a minimum of 6 – 8 years university study in clinical psychology, to the level of Masters, Doctorate or PhD in psychology

  • Completed period of supervised practice to gain Endorsement in “Clinical Psychology”

  • Registration:  Is endorsed as a “General Psychologist” with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) – with Endorsement in “Clinical Psychology”

  • Medicare Rebates:  Will attract a Medicare rebate of $136.35 per session with valid Mental Health Treatment Plan


General Psychologist

  • Study: Has completed a minimum of 4 years university study in psychology

  • Completed period of supervised practice to gain registration

  • Registration: Is registered as a “General Psychologist” with Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)

  • Medicare Rebates: Will attract a Medicare Rebate of $92.90 per session with valid Mental Health Treatment Plan

What should I do before my first session?

You may decide to see your GP for a Mental Health Care Plan (should your doctor think it is warranted) or you may decide to come in for a session first to test the waters. You do not need a referral to see a psychologist so it is up to you. If you do have a Mental Health Care Plan, you will be eligible for a Medicare rebate. Please check with your private health insurance to see if they cover psychology services as many do but it depends on your coverage.

What can I expect at my first session?

During the initial session, assessment questions are asked of you and if appropriate, your child. Questions may be asked regarding the main problem that concerns you, your child or family and about what has been going on in your life or that of your family’s life. This will help us understand your concerns and difficulties.  

For child related referrals, we will work to understand your child’s strengths and goals for therapy. Depending on the age of your child and his/her comfort, we will possibly spend some time with parent(s) or carer(s) alone and some time with the child alone as well as everyone together.

At the end of the first consultation, you will have most likely worked together to identify a treatment plan. You will also receive some feedback on our understanding of what the main problem is, how it most likely came about and what can be done to help resolve the problem.

All sessions, including the first session are scheduled to last 50 minutes.

What does treatment involve?

How many sessions will I need?

Is therapy confidential?

What is the cancellation policy?

It is understandable that you may need to cancel an appointment, please note that due to waiting lists for psychology appointments, cancellation fees will apply.  We use text reminders and emails to ensure you confirm your appointment within the required time frame.
Please provide 48 hours notice to avoid cancellation fees. Our policy is that should you fail to change or cancel an appointment within 48 business hours of the appointment time, a 50% fee will apply to cover the cost of the appointment.  If you cancel on the day or within 24 hours of the appointment or do not attend the appointment, the full fee will apply. You will not be able to claim Medicare rebates for non-attendance.

Effective therapy depends on a trusting relationship between the client and psychologist, and an important aspect of any trusting relationship is an expectation of confidentiality and privacy.

Your relationship with a psychologist is a professional one with important and specific limitations to what can be kept confidential. Before communicating with us, it is important that you take the time to understand the limits of confidentiality that apply to any and all information you share with us by telephone, online, in writing, and in person.

Our strict confidentiality policy outlined below is based on the combined stipulations of the APS (Australian Psychological Society) Code of Ethics, the mandatory reporting requirements set out by AHPRA (the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency), and various state and federal Government regulations. These stipulations are occasionally updated to keep in line with changes in technology, legislation, and best clinical practice standards.

By communicating with us, you do so with the understanding that all information we gather during our contact with you will remain strictly confidential except under any of the following serious circumstances:

  • Where there is a legal obligation to disclose information (e.g., if we or our file notes are subpoenaed);

  • If we reasonably believe that the collection, use, or disclosure of such information is necessary to lessen or prevent a serious threat to the life, health or safety of any individual, or to the public’s health or safety;

  • When we access professional supervision or training (we agree to only discuss information in a way that conceals your identity and the identity of associated parties, and to only discuss this concealed information with colleagues who are professionally and ethically bound to preserve your privacy too);

  • To comply with the conditions of your funding (e.g., reporting requirements for sessions funded by a Medicare scheme, insurance company, Workcover etc.);

  • In following all legal requirements for reporting alleged or suspected child abuse to the relevant authorities as specified by the NSW governement;

  • If you are (or someone you tell us about is) a registered health practitioner that has behaved in a way that AHPRA deems ‘notifiable conduct’; or

If we wish to share information with others on your behalf under any circumstances other than those listed above, we will gain your consent or the consent of the person/s with legal authority to act on your behalf. Session notes and records of all other communication are stored in a secure location.

We do our best to cultivate a safe, relaxed and confidential environment when working with our clients. We have a strong commitment to use evidence-based assessment tools and therapies within our consultations – ones that are supported by up-to-date clinical research. We treat clients with compassion and respect in order to help yield effective and positive change.

We utilise a range of evidence-based therapeutic approaches including, but not limited to: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Attachment-based therapies, Behaviour Therapy, Cognitive-Behavioural Therapies, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Emotion Coaching, Mentalisation Based Therapy (MBT), Narrative Therapy, Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT – See attached information), Play Therapy, Schema Therapy.

Treatments are individualised for each client.  There is really no “typical” therapy session as there are different methods of treatment for different problems. For children, their age and interests will help to guide his or her treatment plan.

It is difficult to say exactly how many sessions you will require, because of the multiple factors involved (e.g., regularity of sessions, the complexity of the problem/s you are experiencing, how effective the recommended treatment is, unexpected complications or life events along the way, etc).

Some people get everything they need within a session or two, others require many more. We will discuss treatment and aim to set goals with you early in our work together, and there will be regular opportunities to collaboratively review how this process is going.

If you have a Medicare Mental Health Care Plan you will be entitled to 10 sessions in a calendar year. 

Please talk to us in session if you have any concerns or questions about this process.

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