All the Answers You Seek, All In One Place
Do I need a referral?
No, you do not need a referral to access a private psychologist. We accept self-referrals from clients, as well as from medical professionals, schools, and legal services.
However, you may benefit from a Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP) under the Medicare Better Access Program. This funding program provides a Medicare rebate for up to 10 psychology sessions per calendar year. A MHCP requires a referral from a GP or from a specialist (e.g. psychiatrist or paediatrician).
We will need of copy of your MHCP referral at the time of your appointment for you to receive a Medicare rebate. In some circumstances, the GP or specialist will provide you with a copy of the MHCP at the time of your appointment with them. In other cases, they may require some additional time to write the plan. If additional time is needed, please ask your GP or specialist fax or email the plan so it is available in time for your appointment.
If you do not have a valid MHCP, you can also use your private health fund to claim part of the consultation fee. Each fund is different so it is important to speak directly with your fund to confirm what rebate you will receive.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about our fees (including Bulk Billing for clients on specific pensions or suffering significant financial hardship).
What will happen during my appointment?
During the first session we endeavour to understand your personal circumstances, difficulties and challenges prior to working out your unique treatment plan. We do this in a safe, relaxed and confidential environment. We advocate evidence-based principles within our consultations and treat you with compassion and respect in order to yield effective and positive change. There is really no “typical” therapy session as there are different methods of treatment for different problems.
Some of the therapy models we use are: Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT), and narrative/play based therapy. No matter which models we use, our goal is to approach sessions with flexibility, openness and authenticity.
My child has an appointment. Will I be in the room too?
Our clinicians will give you and your child the choice on who will be in the room during the session. They will also give you a chance to speak privately with them before your child joins the session if you feel that it would be useful.
How do I talk to my child about coming to an appointment?
If you are bringing a child to Happy Minds it can be difficult explaining what we do to help. For information about how to talk to your children about seeing a psychologist we have included a link to an excellent article written by colleague and psychologist, Tiffany Rochester. The article also addresses speaking with the GP about the Mental Health Care Plan when the child is present. You can access the link here.
What do I do when I arrive for my first appointment?
Please arrive about 5-10 minutes early for your first appointment. This will allow time to complete our contact information form.
We have an ‘open kitchen’ policy where you are welcome to help yourself to tea, coffee, and water. Our toilet facilities are at the rear of the building with signage.
For after hours and weekend appointments there may not be a receptionist on site. Please make yourself at home. You will find the contact information form on a clipboard at the reception desk. Your clinician may be with another client and will come to meet with you shortly.
What happens after my appointment?
Following your consultation and assessment your psychologist will have a good understanding of the difficulties you are experiencing and, based on this information, will collaborate with you to develop a flexible treatment plan. It is important that you understand the relevance of their treatment plan and raise any issues you may wish to clarify.
How long will my session be?
Initial appointments and follow up consultations are approximately 50 minutes in length.