Frequently Asked Questions
How do I choose a counsellor?
The most important factor in choosing a counsellor or psychologist is to find someone with whom you feel comfortable, safe and at ease. Research shows that the most important factor in promoting psychological change and growth is the relationship between you and your counsellor.
It is wise to choose a counsellor who is qualified, experienced and registered with the appropriate professional organisation. This ensures that specified standards of competence and ethical practice are adhered to. Jennifer is registered as a Psychologist with the Psychology Board of Australia.
What can I expect from my first session?
It can be a daunting prospect to talk personally and intimately with someone who you don’t know. Jennifer understands this, and works to create a warm, respectful and accepting environment in which you can begin to explore your concerns. The first session is primarily about getting to know each other, and beginning to describe your distress and unhappiness. You also will be asked a little about your background, so that Jennifer can gain a sense of your broader circumstances and some context for your immediate concerns.
How long does a session last?
Each counselling and psychology session with Jennifer lasts for one hour.
Sessions are usually once a week. After some time, sessions may be spaced out to suit you.
How many sessions will I need?
The number of psychology sessions will be different for each person, and will depend partly on the level of change that you wish to achieve. Occasionally, people find that one session gives them enough self-awareness to begin to make the changes that they desire. More commonly, people will attend between 4 and 10 sessions, while others will continue therapy for a number of months, or even years. It is important to understand that therapy is not a ‘quick fix’, in fact it can be very challenging. It is a very healing process that takes time and patience.
What if I wish to cancel my appointment?
You are welcome to cancel your counselling appointment at any time. Please be sure to give at least 24 hours notice of cancellation or to change your appointment time. This enables the time to be made available for someone else. The full fee may be charged for late cancellation and missed appointments.
How much will counselling cost?
The cost for a one hour session of counselling or psychology is $150. This must be paid at the time of the session, by cash or cheque only, as Jennifer does not have EFTPOS or credit card facilities. If you are unemployed, or on a low income, Jennifer can offer a discounted rate. Please contact her, prior to your first session, to discuss your situation.
Do I need a referral from a GP to see a psychologist or counsellor?
You are welcome to see a psychologist without a referral. If your GP has done a Mental Health Care Plan, you will be eligible for a rebate of about $85 per session from Medicare, for up to 10 sessions per calendar year. However, this rebate only applies to registered psychologists, such as Jennifer.
Will I get a rebate from my private health fund?
Most private health funds offer a rebate for Psychological Services if you have the appropriate level of ancillary cover. Please call your fund for exact details. You will not be able to claim from your private fund and from Medicare for the same session.
How are you dealing with Covid-19?
Sessions are now available remotely, by video conferencing (Skype or FaceTime) or telephone, with rebates available as normal from Medicare. Within the consulting room, care is taken to maintain social distance, surfaces are cleaned very regularly, and hand sanitiser is available.