Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a referral from my doctor?
Individuals do not need a referral to see a psychologist. Private health insurance rebates may be available if you have Extras Cover. Please check with your insurer. If you are referred by your GP through a mental health plan (item 2710) or referred by your Paediatrician or Psychiatrist you will be eligible to claim a Medicare rebate for up to 12 sessions per year. If you are referred by a third party, such as an Insurance company, WorkCover, Solicitor or rehabilitation program, referral information must be made available at the time of making the appointment.
How long will each session be?
Appointments are usually 50-60 minutes long. The initial appointment may be longer to allow us plenty of time to understand your needs and to get to know you. The initial session is charged at the same rate as a standard consultation.
How many sessions will I need?
This varies and generally depends on the severity and duration of the problems you are facing. Typically people attend between 6 to 15 sessions but simple issues may take only a few sessions. More complicated or longstanding issues can take longer. It is up to you how long you need our support but our goal is always to provide the skills, knowledge and strategies for you to be able to cope without therapy. We will work together on a flexible plan that you are comfortable with.
Are my sessions confidential?
Your privacy is protected at all times. Psychologists are bound by the legal requirements of the Privacy Amendment (Private Sector) Act 2000 and follow strict guidelines for professional conduct that include confidentiality. Your client file, which includes your personal information and session notes is kept in a secure location and is only accessible to authorised employees. You can ask to see the information that is kept in your file at any time. Any information disclosed to your psychologist in sessions also remains confidential. We are however obliged to release information if it is subpoenaed by a court or if our failure to disclose the information places you or another person at risk. We can release information if we have your consent.
Am I eligible for a Medicare rebate?
The simplest way to access Medicare funding for psychological services relates to the Better Access to Mental Health Items introduced in November 2006. These items are for people who are suffering from a diagnosable mental illness (such as Depression, Panic Disorder) that is impacting on their everyday lives. You will need to see your GP who can assess whether you are eligible. If appropriate they will draft a Mental Health Care Plan. Alternatively, you can be referred to us by your Psychiatrist or Paediatrician. A Medicare rebate is available for up to 12 sessions per year. The government set rebate for a one hour consult with one of Guidelight Psychology approved registered Psychologists is $84.90 for a total of 10 sessions per calendar year.
Am I covered by my Health Insurance?
You will need to check with your private health fund whether your plan covers your session costs and to what level. Most funds offer a rebate on their extras cover policies. You can be reassured that we qualify as a fully accredited and credentialed firm for any rebates that your private health fund policy may offer you.
How and when do I pay?
Clients are expected to pay at the end of the session unless prior arrangements have been negotiated with the psychologist. Cash, cheque, eftpos or credit card can be used to pay for our services. A receipt will be issued so you can claim with Medicare or your private health insurer. More information about fees and payments.
What happens if I can’t attend or make an appointment?
A cancellation fee may apply. For more information please read our Cancellations Policy.
What services don’t you cover?
We do not offer individual psychology expertise for infants (children under the age of 9), unless the matter is part of a family therapy session.
What is the difference between Psychologists, Psychiatrists and Counsellors
Psychologists, Psychiatrists and Counsellors Do You Know The Difference Between Psychologists, Psychiatrists and Counsellors?
There are some quite significant differences between the qualifications and general style of treatments used between psychologists, psychiatrists and counsellors.
Often the term counsellor is used to describe someone who is actually a qualified psychologist or psychiatrist. It is important that you take some care in understanding whether the service being offered will meet the level of care you expect and pay for.
Psychologists study the physical, cognitive, emotional and social aspects of human behaviour. They are trained in techniques to diagnose and treat a wide range of emotional, behavioural or cognitive problems. To become a psychologist you must complete a minimum of 4 years university study in psychology and complete a minimum of 2 years supervised practice to become a registered psychologist in Australia. Psychologists cannot prescribe medication.
At Guidelight Psychology we have experienced registered psychologists on staff. And our treatments focus on changing behaviour without medication. We use techniques based on considerable scientific evidence showing these treatments are effective.
Psychiatrists Psychiatrists also have to go to university to study psychiatry. They have a medical degree, which involves 6 years of studying general medicine, followed by further study of the mind to specialise in psychiatry. They specialise in the medical treatment of mental illness. Psychiatrists can prescribe medication. Some psychiatrists combine medication with other forms of therapy.
Counsellors listen to clients personal problems and provide support and advice. Currently in Australia, counsellors are not regulated, and therefore there are no uniform standards of qualifications required. Effectively anyone can set up practice as a counsellor or a psychotherapist. As a result there is a wide variation in the level of training and expertise among cousnellors. This can range from Masters Degrees to 3 day courses.
At Guidelight Psychology our counselling staff are all trained psychologists. To make an appointment please feel free to phone us on (07) 5527 0123 or contact us by email.
It is important that you take some care in understanding whether the service being offered will meet the level of care you expect and pay for. We hope that this brief information on the differences between psychologists, psychiatrists and counsellors helped clear up some of the confusion regarding the different types of help that you can seek.
Guidelight psychologists get results. Just one session with any one of our counsellors will have you looking at your life differently and making positive changes within the next 7 days.