Frequently asked questions
A psychologist is a health care professional who focuses on human behaviour and mental processes. To be registered as a psychologist with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, a person must complete a four year psychology degree, then complete a further two years of post-graduate study or supervised practice (similar to an internship).
A psychologist applies their knowledge in assessment and counselling by using research based therapeutic models. Psychologists help people to function better, and can assist with a range of every day life issues, from stress to mental illness, from communication skills to dealing with abuse.
Seeing a psychologist does not mean that you are crazy. Each and every one of us, at some stage, will struggle to move through some form of difficulty. A consultation with a psychologist can provide you with unbiased, evidence-based information and strategies to help you to cope, get through it and move forward with life.
No, it's not necessary for you to have a referral to see a psychologist at Narthanya Psychology. You are welcome to just give us a call and book yourself in.
However if you would like to receive a Medicare rebate for your sessions we do recommend getting a referral from your GP. The process for this is outlined on our fees and rebates page.
One of our psychologists, Brenton or Jess, will answer your call. We are able to answer questions you might have about what we do, discuss how we might be able to help, or to book you in for a psychology appointment.
If you are calling to book an appointment, we will ask if you are an existing client, and if so, which psychologist you usually see. If you are a new client, we will ask you which psychologist you would prefer: Brenton or Jess.
We can then help you to identify an available appointment time that works for you.
To book you in for your first appointment, we will need to collect your first name, last name, and contact number. We will ask if it's okay to text your number and to leave voicemail messages.
We may ask for a brief description as to why you're seeking our services, just to make sure that it is something with which we can help. Please feel free to say as much or as little as you are comfortable with. You can summarise in one or two words, such as 'anxiety,' 'relationship difficulties,' 'grief,' or 'children's counselling.' If you prefer, you can simply say, "I'll talk about that in the session."
The first session is for you and your psychologist to get to know each other, and also for your psychologist to learn about you and what has prompted you to seek some support. Your psychologist will tell you a bit about their practice and how they work, and give you opportunities to ask any questions you might have about counselling.
You will be asked questions about your experience, what is working for you and what is not, and what you would like to be different. Together we will explore your situation to get a clear understanding of what is going on for you. By the end of the first (sometimes the second) session, we will have set some clear and achievable goals for counselling, and formulated a plan for how to achieve them.
We know how hard it can be to come in for that initial appointment, so our aim is build a safe relationship, and to move forward at a pace that's comfortable for you.
You are able to give us a call Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 6:30 pm.
Our psychologists each have their own hours of operation. Their service schedules are detailed on our appointments page.
We take the privacy of our clients extremely seriously. Any information that you provide to us or that identifies you will be kept confidential and secure. Everything discussed in session with your psychologist is strictly confidential unless we receive your prior written consent.
The only time a psychologist may otherwise release information is if they are certain there is an immediate risk of harm to your life or to someone else's life. Psychologists are also mandated to report the abuse of children under the age of sixteen. Finally, we must relinquish information that is legally subpoenaed from a court of law.
More information about this is on our practice principles page under the heading Your rights as a client.
The number of sessions you have with a psychologist, and how frequently they occur, depends on your particular needs. Sessions go from 50-60 minutes, and the average number of sessions can vary from 6 to 15.
Some of our clients come in for 1 to 5 sessions if they are seeking support or strategies around a specific issue. Others come in over long periods of time for in-depth therapy to learn more about themselves.
Your psychologist will provide guidance around the frequency of your sessions, and will develop a flexible treatment plan according to your specific needs and circumstances. However ultimately the number and frequency of appointments is up to you.
One of our psychologists is experienced in performing assessments and preparing reports for a variety of purposes, including WorkCover, TAC, court proceedings, childhood development assessments, and other purposes as required.
Please note that extra costs are applicable for the preparation of such reports in addition to the regular consultation fee. You will be quoted a fee before the report is prepared.
Our session fees are competitively priced, and discounts are applicable for concession and pension card holders.
We can provide the standard rebates to private health members, and a Medicare rebate to those with referrals from a general practitioner.
More information is available on our fees and rebates page.
If you have been referred to one of our psychologists under a Mental Health Care Plan you can claim your Medicare refund on the spot. All you will need is your Medicare card and it will be deposited immediately into your bank account. No more visits to a Medicare branch!
We also offer HICAPS claims so you can also get your private health rebate on the day. Bring your health fund membership card to get your rebate deducted automatically.
We have two psychologists at Narthanya Psychology: Brenton and Jess. Which you choose to see depends on a few factors.
In a nutshell, both Brenton and Jess can help with most general issues, including mental health and individual counselling. We each also have our specific specialties; for example, Brenton sees couples, while Jess sees children and adolescents, and does psychological assessments and reports.
To help make your decision, you can read detailed professional biographies of both our psychologists by visiting our About us page.
Have a question not answered here? Please do not hesitate to head to our contact page and send us a message or give us a call.