Frequently Asked Questions
The counselling process requires a getting to know you period just like any new relationship so in the first session we will get to know each other. We will go over any counselling agreements and confirm the details of the Client Intake Form that you would have received. We will cover the reasons for your counselling and look at setting some goals to get your counselling plan going. It seems like a lot but it’s all positive steps towards a better life.
My first appointment?
How many sessions do I need?
It is reasonable to ask the counsellor at the end of the first session for an estimate of how many sessions they think you will need however, remember this is only an estimate. Some problems can be successfully resolved in a few sessions. In other cases, talking about the particular problem with the counsellor may bring up deeper, unresolved issues that need further exploration.
How do I pay?
Payment is accepted at the end of each session, you can pay by direct deposit, credit card and EFTPOS. Face to face appointments can also be paid by cash.
No Amex or cheques will be accepted.
Medicare rebate and private health insurance?
Fees vary depending on the counsellor and the number of sessions you need. Medicare does not cover counselling unless it is carried out by an allied health practitioner such as a psychologist under a mental health care plan, or undertaken by a doctor such as a GP or psychologist. Some private health funds may cover a portion of the fees of seeing counsellors.
Communication between appointments?
Email or telephone contact will be limited to practical arrangements only.
We can be contacted by email or phone with any queries or questions to do with the service that is offered once counselling has commenced as per our agreement.
We will not enter into telephone or email counselling except by prior arrangement.
If you are faced with an emergency between sessions, please contact the appropriate emergency service. In a life-threatening situation, call 000 without delay.
How is my privacy protected?
Notes are taken for the benefit of the counsellor and the client to enable continuation from where we left off at each session.
As members of the Australian Counselling Association (ACA) our counsellors are required to adhere to the ACA Code of Ethics which among other things states:
Client identity records are to be kept separately from any case notes
Secure arrangements are in place for the safe disposal of client records especially in the event of a counsellor's incapacity or death.
Informed client consent is required if or when material is used for case studies, reports or publications and their identity must be effectively disguised.
Any discussion of counselling work with other professionals should be purposeful and not trivialising.
Counsellors must pay particular attention to protecting the identity of clients.
For the ACA Code of Ethics go to www.theaca.net.au/documents and click on Code of Ethics or click the link below
Do I need a referral?
No referrals are needed to access any of our counselling services. You just contact us by phone or email and we can get started straight away depending on your service preference online, phone or face to face appointments.
Why use online and phone counselling?
Samantha was inspired by a friend who suffered severe anxiety and needed help but found it really hard to leave the house. She wished someone could just come to her on those days when she needed the most help. A video chat or a phone call appointment could have made that all-important difference. That’s why Samantha wanted to offer online and phone counselling for those people like her, who are constrained by geography or time poor, can’t get time off work, can’t get baby sitters or just can’t leave the house to access counselling. Online counselling offers help when you need it the most and from the comfort of your own home or office. Samantha wanted to create something that everyone can access, is affordable and available no matter what situation you are in.
Everyone should be able to get the help they need, when they need it.
Some more advantages to online counselling:
No car / parking problems
No traffic problems
No worrying about how to get there and who’s taking care of the kids.
No excuses to why you can’t source help
The ability to access an appointment in your lunch hour, in the car, in the office, on your phone and even on holiday.
The list goes on …..
Our preferred online platform is Zoom, it is a free service. We will send you an invite link at your scheduled consultation time or you can download the software at www.zoom.us
Another free alternative is Skype, to download go to www.skype.com/en
Can online counselling substitute for traditional face-face therapy?
Zoom, Skype and other online video platforms are a visual medium that enable the counsellor and you to connect via video chat and see each other like you’re in the actual room together. This helps to build trust and the therapeutic relationship as it would in any other office session, the principles are exactly the same.
Accessing our online counselling service is easy, all you need is a computer, lap top, tablet, or a smart phone with a camera and a microphone, internet access and a free Zoom or Skype account it’s that easy. See the links above.
Online counselling is effective and confidential while providing extra convenience to those who need it.
What is a counsellor?
A counsellor is trained to give guidance on personal or psychological problems, an objective professional with whom you can build a healing and trusting relationship with. A counsellor is not a medical doctor and cannot prescribe medication of any kind, they are trained to offer talk-based therapy.
What is a psychiatrist?
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who has additional training as a specialist in mental health. People can get confused between a psychiatrist and a psychologist, both are health professionals who can care for people with mental health problems and both have had years of education and training. The main difference is a psychiatrist has trained as a medical doctor and can prescribe medication whereas a psychologist is not a medical doctor and can't prescribe medication. Both can look after people with mild and moderate problems however psychiatrists often treat people with the most serious mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia while a psychologist would have a smaller role in their care. Psychiatrists work in hospitals, clinics and with community mental health services, as well as in private practice.
What is a psychologist?
Psychologists are experts in human behaviour having studied how the mind works and how people think, react and behave. Psychologists usually have a 4-year university degree in arts or science with an emphasis on psychology. After university, they typically complete a further 2 years of education and training to obtain 'general registration'.
General registration as a psychologist enables someone to work in areas of psychology in which they are competent and use the title 'Psychologist'. Some psychologists choose to complete further training to become endorsed in specific areas of psychology, such as clinical psychology. Unlike psychiatrists, psychologists cannot prescribe medication.