Commonly asked questions
At Croydon Psychology we are focused on helping you find ways to resolve your difficulties. But we understand it can be difficult to acknowledge that you need help with psychological issues. Moreover we recognise that you may have a number of questions about psychology and counselling. The following provides some answers to the typical questions people ask before seeking to engage with a psychologist.
Many people are uncertain about what a psychologist does and how their role differs from other mental health professionals. A psychologist is a university trained professional who is registered with a federal regulatory body. They usually are involved in assisting people to change unhelpful thoughts, emotions or behaviours. This may include helping people to manage or recover from mental health disorders. While psychologists provide counselling and psychotherapy their training differs from counsellors and psychotherapists, in that they have a greater emphasis on evidence based interventions. Furthermore psychologists are not medically trained as are psychiatrists, and do not have authority to prescribe medications.
If you have recently been encouraged by someone to “get help” for problematic behaviours, thoughts or emotions, then perhaps you are in need of counselling or psychotherapy. While receiving advice or being listened to can be helpful, counselling and psychotherapy involve the use of particular techniques, strategies and processes that are specifically designed to help people deal with issues and concerns that may be affecting them emotionally or mentally. Counselling is usually short term involving up to ten sessions, while psychotherapy is a longer term process and is appropriate for more complex or deep-seated mental health difficulties.
We all experience and make sense of life in our own unique way. So the challenges that life presents can negatively affect a person’s mental health in a variety of ways. It can be helpful to see a psychologist if you are:
- having difficulty coping or feeling overwhelmed
- struggling with low mood
- worrying excessively or having panic attacks
- having difficulty getting enough sleep
- frequently irritable or angry
- feeling isolated and avoiding social activities
- troubled by an addiction
- or wanting to change a problematic behaviour.
The cost of a consultation (usually of 50 minutes duration) is as follows;
- $140.00 for individuals
- $160.00 for couples
- Bulk-billing (i.e. no out-of-pocket fee) is available to holders of Health Care Concession Cards or Pensioner Cards (please bring concession cards to initial session to receive bulk-billing).
Medicare rebates are available for clients who have a Mental Health Care Plan from their GP. Private Health Insurance may also provide rebates for sessions. We are also registered to work with clients through Worksafe, Traffic Accident Commission (TAC) and NDIS.
Fees are payable at the end of each session by credit or debit card. If for some reason you need to cancel or postpone your appointment, please provide at least 24 hours notice, otherwise you will be charged a cancellation fee being 50% of the agreed fee for that appointment.
In the initial session the psychologist will focus on trying to understand your difficulties and how they are best treated. It will involve an assessment process in which you will offered the opportunity to “tell your story” and “get your concerns off your chest”. It will also include a series of questions from the psychologist about your past and present, which will help in understanding your current situation. The psychologist will also be seeking to understand what you want to achieve from the counselling process. Subsequent sessions are usually on a weekly or fortnightly basis and become less frequent as your difficulties are resolved.
You have the choice as to how many sessions you need and are not obliged to attend a minimum number. You are also free to decide the frequency of your counselling sessions however it is advisable to make these decisions in consultation with your psychologist. If you have a Mental Health Care Plan from your GP this will entitle you to Medicare rebates for up to ten sessions.