Frequently Asked Questions
Listed below are some of the most frequent questions that get asked about seeing a Psychologist. If you have any questions that are not answered below please contact us on 08 6381 0071 or firstname.lastname@example.org or complete our general enquiry form. We would be happy to hear from you and to answer your questions.
What does a Psychologist do?
Practicing psychologists have the professional training and clinical skills to help people learn to cope more effectively with life issues and mental health problems
Psychologists can undertake advanced training in a specific area of psychology. Under the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Authority (AHPRA) Psychologists can apply to be endorsed in a specific area and use a different title such as Clinical Psychologist, Counselling Psychologist and Educational and Developmental Psychologist.
What is the difference between a Psychologist, Clinical Psychologist, Counselling Psychologist, Counsellor, Therapist and Psychiatrist?
In Australia all Psychologists must complete 4 years of undergraduate study in human behaviour at university.
All Psychologists must register with the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and adhere to strict ethical and professional standards and that they remain up to date with the most recent advances in the treatment of psychological conditions through ongoing training and professional development
Psychologists may then complete further specialised training at a postgraduate level (i.e., Masters or Doctorate degrees). Once completed they may apply for an Area of Practice Endorsement (AoPE) with AHPRA. AoPE identifies psychologists who have completed an approved postgraduate qualification and supervised training in an area of practice, and who can use a protected title associated with that area of practice. These titles include Clinical Psychology, Counselling Psychology and Educational and Developmental Psychology.
Clinical Psychology training is focused on the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of mental illnesses and complex psychological problems. Clinical Psychologists are therefore specialists in the application of psychological theories and scientific research to solve complex psychological problems and to develop individually tailored interventions for mental health disorders.
Counselling psychology addresses the emotional, social, work, school and physical health concerns people may have at different stages in their lives, focusing on typical life stresses and more severe issues with which people may struggle as individuals and as a part of families, groups and organisations. Counselling psychologists help people with physical, emotional and mental health issues improve their sense of well‐being, alleviate feelings of distress and resolve crises.
Educational and Developmental Psychologists work with people of all ages to understand and support their growth. They address issues related to development and conduct assessments to determine people are tracking developmentally.
Unlike psychologists, there is no requirement to be registered with any governing body in order to practice as a counsellor or therapist and there is no legislation which limits the use of these titles. This means that the practice of counsellors and therapists may not be monitored to ensure that it adheres to certain ethical and professional standards.
Psychologists and psychiatrists are both specialists in mental health but differ with regard to education and training as well as the services provided. Psychiatrists are medical professionals with general medical training who have specialised in mental health, in the same way that other medical professionals may specialise in various forms of surgery or in general practice. Psychiatrists therefore specialise in prescribing medication which can assist in managing mental illnesses. Psychologists and psychiatrists often work together to provide comprehensive management and support for complex mental health issues.
How do I know if I need to see a Psychologist?
There are many reasons that a person may benefit from seeing a psychologist. People may need to seek professional assistance when their psychological or emotional difficulties start to get in the way of them being able to take part in their daily activities. Psychologists can also help people to improve skills in a particular area such as being more assertive, managing conflict or public speaking. You do not have to have a serious or chronic mental health concern to see a psychologist and experience benefit from therapy.
Emotional difficulties can happen to anyone and may arise at any age. There is no such thing as being too old or too young to seek treatment. Our psychologists are trained to work with patients of all ages from young children through to older adults. It is never too late or too early to seek assistance in managing your difficulties more effectively and improving your wellbeing.
If you are unsure whether therapy can assist you and you would like to discuss this further please contact us on 08 6381 0071 or email@example.com or complete our general enquiry form. We would be happy to hear from you and discuss how we can work together to achieve your goals.
Will my information be kept private and confidential?
Yes. Psychologists are ethically bound to keep information about you private and confidential. We will not disclose to anyone details about your attendance at the practice. We also do not provide your contact details, personal information, or information pertaining to your treatment to anyone without your consent.
Psychologists also have an ethical and legal obligation to protect you and others from harm and may be required to disclose information to third parties in the following circumstances:
- If there is a risk of serious harm to you or another person, including a child
- If there is a legal obligation to do so (e.g., a subpoena, information about a serious crime)
In all other circumstances information about you is only shared with third parties with your consent.
Fee’s and Rebates
How much does it cost?
The Australian Psychological Society recommended rate for clinical psychology services is $267 for a 50 minute therapy session and $377 for a 90 minute therapy session.
Our fees vary depending on the psychologist that you see, the duration of your appointment and the funding you may be using.
Initial Appointments (50 minutes):
- Principal and Senior Clinical Psychologist ($273)
- Clinical Psychologist ($253)
- Clinical Psychologist Registrar ($213)
- Senior Registered Psychologist ($228)
- Registered Psychologist ($213)
- Provisional Psychologist ($95)
Standard Consultation (50 minutes):
- Principal and Senior Clinical Psychologist ($253)
- Clinical Psychologist ($233)
- Clinical Psychologist Registrar ($193)
- Senior Registered Psychologist ($208)
- Registered Psychologist ($193)
- Provisional Psychologist ($95)
Medicare rebates are available under a mental health care plan. The current rebate is $129.55 for clinical psychologists and $88.25 for Psychologists. At present 20 sessions are able to be claimed through Medicare. Please note that a surcharge may be added for after hours appointments (after 6pm and weekends).
Private Health Rebates are also available.
NDIS rates are set according to the NDIS price guide.
Other fee’s may be different dependant on the funding source.
*Prices current as of July 2021; Prices are update regularly and subject to change.
Is a referral required?
A referral is not required to make an appointment with a psychologist. However should you be eligible and wish to claim a rebate from Medicare, a referral letter and GP mental health care plan from your general practitioner must be provided.
What methods of payment are accepted?
Our preferred method of payment is via debit card or cash.
Credit Card payments will incur a surcharge of 1%. Rather than adding this fee into our costs and passing it on to all consumers, we would prefer to keep our fees lower but add a surcharge for clients who choose to pay by credit card. We encourage our clients to pay by debit card or cash to avoid having to pay this surcharge.
How does Mental Health Care Plan and Medicare rebate work?
With a referral from your GP and the completion of a mental health care plan you are bale to access a rebate for Psychology Services. Please take note of the following important points regarding mental health care plans:
- You must have seen your GP (or psychiatrist or paediatrician) get a mental health care plan (MHCP)
- You must have a diagnosable mental health concern, unfortunately other problems (e.g. couple counselling) are not covered by Medicare
- You can access up to 20 sessions in a calendar year;
- Typically these 20 sessions are broken into 6 sessions followed by a re-referral from your GP for 4 sessions and then a final re-refferal for the remaining 10 sessions
- There is often a gap to pay above the Medicare rebate, the sessions are not free
- Rebates are $128.40 for Clinical Psychology and $87.45 for Psychology per session
- You may require more than 10 sessions to overcome your particular difficulty
- On the first of January each year you are eligible for a further 20 sessions with a current referral from your doctor (and assuming you still meet the criteria for a MHCP)
A video recorded by our Principal Clinical Psychologist Kellie Cassidy gives an overview of this information. Click here to watch it.
Do you provide services under HCWA and BSCD?
Yes. Clients with access to Helping Children with Autism and Better Start for Children with a Disability funding may also be eligible to use their funding at Prosper Health Collective. Initial consultation are $440 (inclusive of a 90 minute appointment and service planning charge). Subsequent consultation are charged at $200 (50 minute duration).
Do you provide services under NDIS or WA NDIS?
Services can be provided in instances where families are self managing their funds. Prosper Health Collective is not a registered provider through NDIS or WA NDIS. Please contact us to discuss this further. Clinical Psychologists at Prosper Health Collective are well trained in assisting people with disabilities.
Treatment and Appointments
Do you have HICAPS and Medicare Rebates available on the day of the appointment?
Yes. If claiming via Medicare we are able to complete your rebate online via our practice management software. A HICAPS machine is available for private health rebates.
What if I need to cancel an appointment?
When appointments are booked, the psychologist reserves the whole hour especially for you, therefore the following cancellation policy is in place.
We require 48 hours’ notice to reschedule or cancel a session without occurring any extra fees. This policy is in place to allow us to offer the allocated time to another client who may be on a cancellation or waiting list for an appointment.
Cancellations will be charged as follows:
- 0–24 hours notice: Full fee
- 24–48 hours notice: 50% of fee
If we are able to reallocate your time to another client, you will not be charged for the cancellation.
You may call our office at anytime, even after hours, as we do have an answering service that allows you to leave a message. We will return your call as soon as possible.
Please note that a late cancelled appointment is a loss to three people:
- The client who is delaying their therapy progress
- Another client who has been sitting on the waiting list to see the psychologist
- The psychologist who spent time preparing for the session
How long will I need to attend appointments?
This is a difficult question to answer as it varies greatly between individuals and is influenced by a number of factors including the nature and complexity of the issue, goals of treatment, motivation to change and external factors separate from treatment. Some simple issues may be addressed within a short time frame of 2-3 sessions while other more complex difficulties can take much longer. Few difficulties can be resolved immediately and change requires a commitment to regular attendance as well as to implementing skills outside of the sessions. Your psychologist will be able to give you some guidance on the likely number of sessions needed after a treatment plan has been established (usually at the initial appointment). This recommendation will be reviewed over the course of treatment.
What happens in the appointments?
We recognise that seeing a psychologist for the first time can be daunting and that it is difficult to share personal information with someone you have just met. Most people feel nervous before attending their first session. Your psychologist understands the range of emotions people face at their first appointment and will assist you to feel comfortable so that you can share your concerns in a safe and supportive environment. Making the decision to see a psychologist is a brave first step towards making the change you want to see in your life.
The first appointment is an opportunity for the psychologist to meet you and to develop an understanding of the history and nature of your current difficulties so that they can make recommendations about what treatment approach might be right for you. This often involves the psychologist asking a number of questions about your concerns and background. Your psychologist will also ask about your goals for treatment to ensure that the plan they propose will assist you to get the most out of coming and they may ask you to complete some questionnaires.
The first appointment is also an opportunity for you to ask the psychologist any questions you may have. The psychologist will then discuss any treatment options that are available and will make recommendations on the best course of treatment to address your current difficulties. Although your psychologist may occasionally give you guidance on some simple strategies straight away, the first appointment is best thought of as an opportunity to get to know each other rather than the start of treatment.
What happens in subsequent sessions is somewhat dependent on the specific difficulties you are facing and the treatment model that you are working in (for more information about treatment approaches please click here). In most cases sessions will involve you working together with your therapist to develop practical strategies that will allow you to cope with your current difficulties more effectively. Treatment will also most likely involve you working on tasks in between sessions to assist you to develop effective skills that you can continue to apply in the long term after you have finished treatment. In this way therapy equips you to become like your own therapist!
Treatment often starts with regular weekly or fortnightly sessions but may progress over time to less frequent sessions (e.g. monthly) to allow you more time to implement skills in between sessions. Your therapist will discuss the recommended frequency of sessions with you at the initial appointment based on the treatment plan that you have developed together.