Below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions and Answers that may assist you with your enquiry;
Is therapy right for me?
Seeking out therapy is an individual choice. There are many reasons why people come to therapy. Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing psychological issues, or problems with anxiety or depression. Other times it is in response to unexpected changes in one’s life such as a divorce or work transition. Many seek the advice of counsl as they pursue their own personal exploration and growth. Working with a therapist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges. Therapy can help address many types of issues including depression, anxiety, conflict, grief, stress management, body-image issues, and general life transitions. Therapy is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of their life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and working towards change in their lives.
Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you’ve faced, there’s nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you’re at in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.
How can therapy help me?
A number of benefits are available from participating in psychotherapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
- Developing skills for improving your relationships
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
- Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Improving communications and listening skills
- Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
- Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
What is therapy like?
Every therapy session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. It is standard for therapists to discuss the primary issues and concerns in your life during therapy sessions. It is common to schedule a series of weekly sessions, where each session lasts around fifty minutes. Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth. There may be times when you are asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviors. It is important process what has been discussed and integrate it into your life between sessions. For therapy to be most effective you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions. People seeking psychotherapy are willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change and create greater awareness in their lives. Here are some things you can expect out of therapy:
* Compassion, respect and understanding
* Perspectives to illuminate persistent patterns and negative feelings
* Real strategies for enacting positive change
* Effective and proven techniques along with practical guidance
Is medication a substitute for therapy?
In some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action. Working with your medical doctor you can determine what’s best for you. It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness.
Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work?
To determine if you have mental health coverage, the first thing you should do is check with your insurance carrier. Check your coverage carefully and find the answers to the following questions:
* What are my mental health benefits?
* What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
* How many therapy sessions does my plan cover?
* How much does my insurance pay for an out-of-network provider?
* Is approval required from my primary care physician?
Is therapy confidential?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and psychotherapist. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client.
However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule. Exceptions include:
- Suspected child abuse or dependant adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person. The therapist is required to notify the police.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken.
Fees for psychological treatment at Let’s Talk Psychology Practice are determined by the fee structure recommended by the Australian Psychological Society. Please contact us to discuss our fee structure in detail.
Rebates are available to clients receiving psychological services through Medicare or if they have a policy with a private health insurer. Clients are still able to make an appointment at Let’s Talk Psychology Service and pay the full fee if these options are not available to them or they have used their rebates for the year. You do not need a referral from your GP to see one of our psychologists if you do not wish to get the Medicare rebate.
Rebates are available through Medicare to clients receiving psychological services with a special referral from a GP, Psychiatrist or Pediatrician for up to 10 sessions per calendar year (January to December). To obtain a referral from your GP simply book an extended consultation with your GP and ask for an Assessment under the Better Access to Mental Health Care scheme. This usually takes between 30mins – 45mins. Your GP will provide a mental health care plan that you need to bring to your first session. You can claim up to 10 Medicare rebates for a psychological service in a calendar year, with a GP review required after 6 sessions. Most clients book an appointment with a psychologist through our booking number and visit their GP in the intervening period. Others pay the full costs associated with their first session, and subsequently see their GP to take advantage of the rebate scheme for future sessions. A Mental Health care plan must be in place before you can claim for a given session. Rebates vary from 30% to 70% of the sessional fee depending on the session format and length (usually between $75 and $119 for individual sessions and up to $28 for group sessions). Psychologists at Let’s Talk Psychology Practice are recognised providers with Medicare and various private healthcare bodies.
Private Health Insurance
If you are covered by private health insurance you can access rebates depending on your policy and type of cover. It is best to check your policy or contact them. You cannot use Medicare and private health rebates together. Some people chose to use their private health insurance rebates after they have used their 10 Medicare rebates for psychological services.
How do I claim my rebate?
From 1 July 2012, Medicare service centres began the transition to a cashless system and all Medicare benefits across Australia are now paid electronically. Clients are required to register their bank account details to receive their claim at a Medicare service centre by:
Using Credit EFTPOS where the client’s debit card is swiped and the claim is immediately credited to their account; OR
Through Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) where the Medicare benefit is credited to the client’s bank account the next working day.
You will need your receipt which your psychologist will give you following payment at the end of your session as well as your Medicare card.
Private Health Insurance
Claiming back rebates through your private health insurance will depend on your insurer. Many companies offer online, in person and postal options. You will need your receipt which your psychologist will give you following payment at the end of your session.
What If I Need To Cancel or Postpone My Appointment?
If, for some reason you need to cancel or postpone the appointment, please consider other clients and give at least 48 hours notice. Given the demand for appointment times, if less than 24 hours notice is given to cancel or reschedule your appointment or if you fail to show up for your scheduled appointment, you will be charged the full fee for the session. If you cancel your appointment with less than 48-hours notice a 50% cancellation fee for the session will be charged.