Answers to questions…

Answers to common questions

What can I expect during the first session with my psychologist?

The initial session typically entails a detailed assessment. Your psychologist will focus on better understanding the issues/difficulties that bring you to therapy, triggers/stressors that may have contributed, and factors that are maintaining your symptoms. Your psychologist will also get a better understanding of your goals for therapy and can also assist you in clarifying this. If enough information is gathered in the first session, you and your psychologist may also discuss a treatment plan moving forward. This session is also about you getting to know whether your psychologist is a good fit for you.

How can I get the most out of therapy?

You and your psychologist will discuss your individual needs for therapy, including the frequency of appointments. Typically, at the start of therapy, regular and frequent appointments are recommended to get started on your treatment plan and ensure early benefit from therapy.
As therapy progresses, the frequency of sessions is gradually reduced depending on your progress in treatment. For you to get the most out of therapy, we would recommend the following:

  1. Find a good fit. The research tells us that the quality of the relationship between a client and a psychologist (therapeutic alliance) is a major influencing factor in determining positive outcomes from therapy. You will get a feel in the first session or two about whether your psychologist is a good fit for you. If you do not feel that your psychologist is a good match for you, please let us know as we will work towards finding a more suitable fit. Our psychologists will not be offended as your treatment needs are our main concern.
    2. Prioritise your appointments. Attending your scheduled appointments is important for getting the most out of therapy. More frequent appointments will be recommended at the start of therapy to gain momentum towards your therapy goals.
    3. Ask questions and be open. Your psychologist will check in with you at each session to see how you feel that treatment is progressing. Please be open and honest with your psychologist so that necessary changes can be made throughout therapy.
    4. Integrate the skills and knowledge. Most sessions will end with a set of skills or tasks for you to integrate and practice between sessions. Attempting these tasks will assist you in getting the most out of therapy as they are designed to help you apply the knowledge you have gained in session to your day-to-day life.

How do I get a Medicare rebate for sessions?

There are two main options to be eligible for a Medicare rebate for psychology sessions:

  1. Consult with your GP or psychiatrist to see if you are eligible for a referral under the Mental Health Care Plan. This plan allows you to access up to *20 psychological sessions in a calendar year.
    *revised by Medicare in October 2020
  2. Consult with your GP to see if you are eligible for a Chronic Disease Management Initiative (previously EPC Plan). This referral option is available for individuals who have experienced a chronic health condition for a minimum of 6 months or more. This initiative provides access to 5 rebated sessions with an allied health professional, including psychologists, within a calendar year.

Do you only provide services for health professionals?

Yes. Prioritising psychological services for health professionals specifically allows for dedicated, tailored services. We work with health professionals from all disciplines and across all stages of their career paths, from students to those in the later stages of their career. We also work with health organisations to improve the wellbeing of their staff. Please contact us if you have any questions about whether our Clinic is suitable for your needs.

In our endeavour to support the mental wellbeing of health professionals, we very much appreciate the role of spouses in supporting their health professional partners. Health professionals are often under enormous strain due to the demands of their training, jobs and the carer role. The impact of these demands and stress on health care workers, of course, will have a flow-on effect to their partners. Looking after health professionals, means also ensuring the wellbeing of their primary support, their partners.

Given our work with health professionals, we are knowledgeable about the pressures and challenges individuals face when having a partner who is a health professional. Considering this, in April 2020 we opened our service to the spouses of health professionals. This action was always a plan for the future of our service, but we felt that this was a critical time where spouses are likely to need support for their mental health owing to the challenges faced by health professionals and their families as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As with our health professional clients, partners can seek assistance for the range of mental health difficulties people face in their everyday lives such as depression, anxiety, stress management, difficulties adjusting to life changes and stressors, confidence and self-esteem issues and coping with traumatic experiences. Spouses can access individual therapy via the same avenues as health professionals – privately, under a Mental Health Care Plan or Chronic Disease Management Plan, or under Work Cover/Third Party.

MINDCHECK HP will continue to remain dedicated to our mission of delivering accessible, confidential and high-quality services to our health professionals.

Do I need a referral to see a psychologist?

No, you do not need a referral to see a psychologist.

Do I have to attend appointments in person?

No. We understand that you often lead a busy life and are not always able to attend appointments in person for various reasons. At MINDCHECK HP, we offer psychological services in person, by phone, or via video conferencing. This provides you with flexible options for accessing treatment. Many health professionals work in rural or remote areas that are unable to access quality psychological services due to their location. The availability of phone and videoconference consultations greatly improves access to psychological care for these individuals. Furthermore, it enables MINDCHECK HP to provide services to individuals nationwide.

  • Medicare Telehealth
    Under the current COVID-19 pandemic, we are committed to making sessions accessible to all our clients. Medicare’s new COVID-19-specific item codes allow our Clinicians to provide rebated sessions under a standard Mental Health Care Plan via Telehealth. Standard Medicare Telehealth has specific regions permitted to utilise the service. Please enquire with our staff regarding your circumstances to see if you meet the criteria. Alternatively, to find out if you live in an eligible area, please enter your post code into this interactive website: doctorconnect.gov.au/internet/otd/publishing.nsf/Content/MMM_locator
  • Advantages of Telehealth
    As mentioned above, telehealth services can make an otherwise inaccessible service available to clients across Australia and the World. Research on the clinical effectiveness of telehealth services has demonstrated that home-based telehealth treatments are, generally, of equal calibre as that delivered in conventional face-to-face office settings (Luxton, Osenbach & Pruitt, 2014).
  • Limitations of Telehealth
    Telehealth sessions may not be appropriate for every client. The person-to-person component of therapy may be an intrinsic in one’s therapy. In such cases, your Clinician will speak with you about how telehealth may limit your experience in the therapy process and together you can strategise on what plan will best suit your personal wants and needs.

What is your cancellation policy?

A cancellation fee of 50% of the full scheduled fee will apply if you cancel within 48 hours or do not attend a scheduled appointment, including the initial consultation. This fee will need to be paid before scheduling a further appointment.

Book an appointment with one of our psychologists today!