The first appointment with a psychologist is typically referred to as an assessment. A psychological assessment involves a discussion covering a range of topics, including what your main current concerns are, how long you have had those difficulties, and an exploration of other factors which may contribute to the current issues.
An initial appointment is an opportunity for you to ascertain whether the psychologist is the right fit for you, and also for the two of you to begin to develop a plan for treatment including the type of psychological treatment they recommend as well as the frequency of appointments.
- Referral letter from your General Practitioner or referring Specialist
- Private Health Insurance Details (which may provide additional rebate for allied health appointments)
- Prior treatment records
- List of current medications
Due to the costs associated with running a private medical practice, our practice does not bulk bill. The cost of your appointment will vary depending on the length and nature of the session. ‘The gap’ refers to the monetary difference between what our Specialist may charge you and the Medicare rebate – this is also referred to as the ‘out-of-pocket cost’.
A significant Medicare rebate is available for all clinical appointments with our Psychiatrists, provided you have a current referral at the time of consultation. This is particularly helpful if longer-term therapy or management is required. A General Practitioner can provide a 12-month or an indefinite referral to a Psychiatrist, depending on your needs.
A significant Medicare Rebate is available for up to 10 Individual Therapy appointments per calendar year (January to December) with our Therapist’s Victoria Alexander, Glenn Munt, Sam Bagnall or our Psychologist Dr Christine Hyde. A monetary ‘gap’ will still be payable, and the gap amount depends on the practitioner.
In addition to 10 individual psychological sessions, you may be eligible for an additional 10 Group Therapy psychological appointments per calendar year (January to December) with an appropriate referral from your Psychiatrist or General Practitioner.
Combining Individual Therapy and Group Therapy treatment can be a cost-effective way of extending your treatment under Medicare.
Medicare Rebates are also available for up to 5 appointments with our Dietitian, Elsa Pearse. You will require a referral from your General Practitioner under a Chronic Disease Management Plan. This will be provided to you if your General Practitioner believes that you have Chronic Condition or Complex Care Needs. Most practitioners agree that patients struggling with disordered eating (including eating disorders), or suffering from nutritional consequences of mental health conditions, are eligible for this service. See this factsheet for more information.
In addition to all of the above, additional allied health consultations (applicable to appointments with our Therapist, Psychologist and Dietitian) may be eligible for a rebate from your Private Health Fund provided that you have qualifying Extras Cover. Please contact your Private Health Fund to check your eligibility.
- Contact Anxiety House Sunshine Coast: contact the clinic either via phone or email to arrange an appointment time, or discuss treatment options.
- Email Confirmation: once you have arranged an appointment, you will receive an email with information about the location of the clinic, fee’s, consent forms to complete etc
- Obtain a referral: you do not need to have a referral to engage in psychological treatment at Anxiety House Sunshine Coast. However, in order to receive rebates from Medicare you will need to have a current Mental Health Care Plan from your GP and a referral addressed to Anxiety House Sunshine Coast. If you have private health insurance, you may be entitled to a rebate from your health provider if you are not using a mental health care plan.
Each appointment with a psychologist costs $170. If you have a Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP) you will be eligible for a rebate of $124.50, for up to ten appointments within a calendar year.
50 minutes, unless otherwise agreed
The number of appointments an individual requires can vary widely, depending on whether they have had previous treatment, the nature and severity of their difficulties as well as previous response to treatment. Our psychologists work with the individual clients to tailor treatment to best work with their schedules and preferences.
The average number of appointments is around 3-16 sessions, typically starting with weekly appointments and then spacing these appointments further apart over the course of treatment. Often once the initial active phase of treatment has been complete, we arrange ‘booster’ sessions.
The information discussed within your assessment and therapy sessions are confidential, however, there are two exceptions to this. Psychologists are bound by laws and ethical codes to ensure the safety of others, therefore if a client is at risk of harm to themselves or to others, confidentiality may be jeopardised. Another exception to confidentiality is related to court subpoenas.
Establishing a connection with your psychologist is incredibly important, and research also supports this notion. It can be difficult to find the right “fit” in terms of a psychologist, this may relate to area of expertise, treatment approach but also the personality of both the psychologist and the client. It is important to be able to feel comfortable with your psychologist, and we endeavour to match clients to their psychologist based on these above criteria as well as other significant factors.
If the fit is not right with your psychologist, we encourage clients to speak directly with either their psychologist if they feel comfortable or the director to discuss other suggestions. We welcome these discussions, as we want what is best for the client.