Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need counselling?

What a good question! Only you can answer this. Clearly, I am bias however. I believe counselling is something that everyone deserves and should be accessible to all. In particular, if you are experiencing stress, relationship issues, health concerns or general family dynamics hiccups, I do believe counselling is something that would be beneficial. It doesn’t have to be formal or you lying on a couch while I take notes quietly. I promise, I am pretty funny; relaxed and honest. You’re in good hands.

If you’re still unsure, why not send me a quick email to discuss?

What's your availability?

At the moment, I am working in private practice on the following days/times:

  • Monday from 5pm to 930pm
  • Tuesday from 5 to 930pm ONLINE ONLY
  • Sunday from 2pm to 9.30pm

Will you open more days?

On some occasion, I may be available during the week, however this would be on a case by case basis due to other professional roles keeping me on my toes 🙂

What are your fees?

Fees are kept to a minimum, making it more accessible for all patients, clients and clinical supervisees. Fees change on whether you are eligible for a Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP) from your GP. When eligible, Medicare will cover $75 off your sessions, leaving you only a gap. See your GP or give me a ring for eligibility clarification.

Couple Therapy fees: $180 for an hour- $240 for 1.5 hours

Women’s or individual counselling: $180 for an hour

Clinical supervision: $170 for an hour

What kind of commitment am I making?

For a very long time, I wouldnt ask clients (individuals or couples) to commit to any frequency for their sessions as I was mindful of issues such as work, kids, or finances.

However, realistically, without a regular weekly or fortnightly commitment, therapy just doesnt work (unless the person/couple is in a maintenance phase or their issues are preventative).

Therefore, to ensure optimal results, I will not take on clients UNLESS they are agreeable to regular weekly or fortnightly sessions. That is to make sure that I can offer the best service they deserve.

So what should your commitment be to begin therapy?

1- An open mind

2- Attendance at weekly or fortnighly sessions

3- Being prepared to work hard in between sessions

🙂

Do you offer bulk prices or multi session discounts?

Yes. Though it might sound a little ‘funny’, this was requested by many couples last year so after sending a survey to all my clients which confirmed this was something people would like, I am now offering discounted fees for multiple sessions purchased at the one time.

Three session pack – $480 (normally $540. A saving of $20/session)

Five session pack – $800 (normally $900. A saving of $20/session)

Ten session pack – $1500 (normally $1800. A saving of $30/session)

Two hour intro gift pack (perfect for friends/relatives who need brief therapy or an assessment with recommendations before being ‘sold’) – $270 (normally $360)

For bigger packs, send me a message. Please note that packages are valid for 12 months.

Deposit, no shows, and general cancellation policy

Thanks to an increasing number of no shows, which are costly (rent, insurance, time wasted and a non necessary wait list) but most importantly a hindrance to genuine clients wanting to be seen asap to receive the support they deserve, there is now a $50 dollar non refundable deposit for new appointments.

All appointments need to give 24 hours notice to be reschedule or may attract a $50 cancellation fee.

Any further no shows will terminate the therapy altogether. Why? Because I am here to support YOU, and by eliminating the pranks, scams, and dodgy fake clients (yes, joys of being a sexologist), I will have more available times to do so.

 

Do you accept MHCP (Mental Health Care Plans)

Yes, I am an accredited Medicare provider and can accept MHCP for patients with a GP referral.

Please note that Medicare does not fund couple therapy, however it does fund therapy for sexual issues, and one on one therapy for issues that may include interpersonal difficulties etc.

With a MHCP, Medicare will cover $75 of your fees.

Can I have counselling by email, phone or online?

Thanks to the recent pandemic, I think we’ve all grown savvy with online technology! Due to this, I am offering new modalities for counselling which includes phone and online (via Zoom). It takes a little while to get used to it (for the new client), but has many benefits especially if you live far away, have childcare responsibilities or the likes. When you book for online counselling, you will receive an email with Zoom log in etc. Make sure to have earphones handy, a quiet space, and a positive attitude!

Counselling and confidentiality

Confidentiality is important and everyone wants to feel safe. So what are the boudaries of confidentiality?

Everything that gets discussed in counselling one on one remains private unless a very limited criteria apply. For instance, the notes are subpoenaed in a court of law, a client is a risk of harm, or someone else is at risk of harm because of the client.

Now, there has been times where I thought a client needed to be seen by a tertiary mental health service, but even in these instances, I have never just called a service without the patient’s permission. If this applied to you, I would speak to you about my concern, and TOGETHER, we would come up with a plan. For some, it might be involving a support person. For others, it might be me liaising with the local hospital to negotiate a smooth admission.

Either way, it would always be discussed transparently and a common decision would be made in the interest of the client in the room.

Sometimes, I am asked by partners in couple therapy whether they can share something ‘confidential’ behind their partner’s back.  What I tell them is that if there are ‘secrets’ in couples counselling, it’s probably a very bad start! There is an agreement that in couples work, everything is transparent and therefore, the therapist will not hold ‘secrets’ for one partner at the expense of another one. However, there are times where I will use my judgement. For example, a partner may wish to share about past experiences, trauma, history etc. that do not directly concern the couples therapy, or clients may decide they no longer want to engage in couples counselling, have decided to break up, or are moving on. 

In this case, I see my role as a couple therapist as terminating and confidentiality boundaries are renegotiated (for instance, I would have no business telling a client that the partner they are separating from has found someone else) so in short, while partners are engaging in couples therapy, anything to do with the couples should be discussed openly, but once partners are in the process of separation, one on one confidentiality rules would re-apply.

Any specific questions or concerns, send an email 🙂

 

 

 

Differences between a counsellor, psychologist and clinical social worker?

A good question. A simple way to look at it might be around the qualifications needed, the clinical experience behind each discipline and what you hope to get out of therapy.

Counsellors generally are not required to have tertiary qualifications and may have quals starting from a cert IV. They generally deal with day to day issues without a diagnosis of any psychopathology. They are not eligible for Medicare rebates but should be registered with ACA, PACFA etc.

A psychologist has less training than a clinical psychologist and both are trained to explore people’s minds, to investigate “faulty” thinking and treat clinical issues. They must be registered with AHPRA and are eligible for Medicare registration and rebates.

A clinical and/or mental health social worker has more training than a social worker. A mental health social worker is required to have a 4 year qual, plus 2 year post graduate training/clinical experience. They are trained to explore systems, environments, values etc. before making any assumptions or treatment recommendations. They must be registered with AASW and are eligible for Medicare registration and rebates.

I would always advise to check your therapist’s discipline, training, qualifications, registration and whether they are eligible for Medicare. While Medicare does not guarantee a good clinician, it definitely guarantees that a stringent process occured to recognise them.

Personally, I say “GO Social Work!” Why? Because I’d like to think that a competent therapist would understand how trauma, upbringing, financial stress and the likes would impact on someone’s mental health before attempting to teach them positive psychology 😉

What does sex therapy involve?

Sex therapy is a type of talk therapy (talk = no contact!) that is designed to help individuals and couples address medical, psychological, personal, or interpersonal factors impacting sexual satisfaction. The goal of sex therapy is to help people move past physical and emotional challenges to have a satisfying relationship and pleasurable sex life. In fact, 43 percent of women and 31 percent of men report experiencing some type of sexual dysfunction during their lifetimes. The issues that I work with are:

– Erectile dysfunction

– Low libido and lack of interest

– Premature ejaculation

– Low confidence

– Excessive libido

– Distressing sexual thoughts

– Managing sexual fetishes/behaviours etc.

– Adjusting to lifestyles and sexual identity

A fulfilling sex life is healthy and natural. Physical and emotional intimacy are essential parts of our well-being. When sexual issues occur, having that fulfilling sex life can be difficult. Please note that I do not see men for sexual issues without a GP referral.

What is EMDR therapy?

Dr Stephanie Azri is now a qualified EMDR practitioner. What does EMDR address?

In short, EMDR reprograms painful and traumatic memories until these no longer impact on your present and/or future. 

Rather than me butchering the info, here is a great overview of how it works 🙂

EMDR Therapy: What It Is, Procedure & Effectiveness (clevelandclinic.org)

It does require a commitment of preferably weekly sessions, but no more than fortnighly meetings (to provide support during any emotional disturbances that may come up).

It can attract Medicare rebates too 🙂

 

 

 

 

Should I buy your book before my first appt?

Unlock Your Resilience has been designed as a companion workbook for individual counselling while The REAL guide to like as a Couple has been designed as its relationship therapy counterparts.

While I wont refuse to see patients unless they are working on their workbook, I would like to ask that you consider getting the book relevant to your type of therapy for multiple reasons:

  • Firstly, it will save you time and money. There are 10 modules per book, equivalent to 10 sessions. If you undertake these at home, you and I can focus on the important stuff while together.
  • It assists with practicing. We all know that not everyone does their “homework” at home, and without practice, the skills taught wont stick as much as they will if you commit to practicing them through the exercises and “truths and dares” from these books.
  • You can buy them from me at author price of $30 per book. Just let me know before your session and I will order it/them for you.
  • They’re fun! They’re good practice, and they’re everything that a therapist will teach you minus the reflective/challenging work we will still do together.
Where to from here?

Once you have read the FAQ, if you have a question that did not get answered, let me know and I will do my best to answer it embarassed.

If you’re ready to book a time, just send me a text or an email with your email/phone number, brief goals for therapy, as well as preferred availability and we will take it from there!

Congrats on this big first step!

Couple counselling, couples therapy, sexology

Don't leave yet!

Let me support you

Subscribe to my newsletter for free resources, book chapters, and general positive psychology news. I promise not to spam you!

You have Successfully Subscribed!