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:
- Friday from 5pm to 930pm
- Saturday from 730am to 930pm
- Sunday from 730am to 4pm
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: $170 for an hour- $220 for 1.5 hours
Women’s or individual counselling: $170 for an hour
Clinical supervision: $120 for an hour
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, with or without a support person, 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 😉
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 .
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!
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.
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.