The Practice: About Your Consultation
What to Expect
At Deep Blue your personal experience is respected. Your information and your story is treated with absolute regard. The service is client focused and therapy is tailored to be a best fit for you. As such, your active and open voice is important.
Appointments are generally spaced at hourly intervals, and each session takes approximately 50 minutes. The remaining time is devoted to making case notes, finalising your account and other administrative matters. If the Psychologist is running late, you will still receive full time, or some similar arrangement will be made, to be fair to you.
What to Consider Beforehand
Before you attend your first appointment, it is worth asking yourself:
What brings me to counselling at this time?
What are the thoughts and/ or feelings that I most struggle with?
What do I hope to get out of counselling?
What do I want my life to look like?
Making an Appointment
To make an appointment telephone 0418 872 283. As our Psychologists are often busy with clients, and we do not have a full-time Administrative Assistant, you may need to leave your name and contact details so that one of our team can return your call as soon as possible during business hours. There are a limited number of after school, evening, and Saturday morning appointments available, so please be aware that these may be booked for a couple of weeks in advance for your preferred time.
The Initial Consultation
When you arrive, please see Reception and take a seat in the second waiting room. Your Psychologist will give you a form to fill out with your contact details, before taking you through to one of our counselling rooms.
The initial consultation will begin with introductions, a brief outline of the service, discussion of confidentiality, and obtaining a brief history including:
Whether you’ve seen a Psychologist/ Counsellor before
Developmental/ Family history details, and
Medical history, and current medications.
You will then be asked to describe what brings you to counselling at this time. You are encouraged to provide as much or as little information as you feel comfortable to provide. The Psychologist will have a number of questions relevant to your presenting issue. Questions will usually focus on aspects of your behaviour, thinking, emotions, and relationships. We are also interested in what has and has not worked for you in the past.
All information and records regarding you are kept strictly confidential. We will not release any information about you to anyone except with your authority to do so. However, there are some important exceptions to note in this regard.
If it is the assessment of your Psychologist that you are at risk of harm to yourself or another person, the Psychologist will act out of a duty of care to keep you or another person safe.
If you were referred by a Medical Practitioner, we will usually send them an initial report, and provide regular reports of your progress. Exchanging information with your GP assists with your shared care. Similarly, with your permission, we will liaise with anyone else that can support you, such as your psychiatrist/ paeditrician where applicable, family/ close friends, and school/ workplace as appropriate.
When the cost of your consultation is covered by an insurance company, regular reports are required by them. You are welcome to a copy of any report that is written concerning you and the content of the report will be discussed with you prior to the report being written.
If you are involved in legal proceedings where a lawyer requests your psychological notes, your Psychologist is required to provide relevant notes by law.
You will likely be asked to complete a questionnaire or other pscyhological assessment, most of which are very brief. Any assessment used will be scored and then discussed with you. Assessments are often a helpful way to highlight symptoms and help form a plan for therapy.
Occasionally more comprehensive assessment is required to assess what is going on for someone. Mark Bivens is our resident cognitive and psychoeducation assessment Psychologist. Where a different form of comprehensive assessment is required, referral contact details will be provided.
You can expect that some initial treatment planning will be discussed with you, along with an estimate of the number of sessions and the type of therapy that is likely to lead to a helpful outcome for you. It is important that you understand the relevance of your treatment plan, so you are encouraged to ask questions and raise any points that you wish to clarify. Your first appointment is also an opportunity to get a sense of whether your Psychologist and the service will be a good fit for you.
Occasionally a single session will be sufficient to provide clients with appropriate and useful information. Typically, clients are seen for four to ten sessions at Deep Blue Psychological Services. In some situations clients require longer-term therapy. Where this type of support cannot be accommodated, referral options can be discussed.
Between Session Work
Our therapy has an emphasis on the short term resolution of problems, and your therapist will encourage you to make use of home practice between sessions. This work will involve such things as reading, listening to an audio recording or watching a DVD, doing structured exercises to identify and change the patterns of behaviour, thinking, or feeling, keeping a record of events which trigger off the problematic reactions, and the like. This work is a vital part of your therapy programme. One of the aims of therapy is to teach you skills you have not had the chance to learn before, so that you can overcome your problems by using new information and skills in your life.
The current fee recommended by the Australian Psychological Society is $251 per hour. The current fee scheduled for a standard 50 minute session for an individual, couple or family counselling is $150. The current fee scheduled for a standard 50 minute session for aged pensioners and other agreed concession holders is $120. We do not offer bulk billing, but we do accommodate special financial circimstances - if you believe your cirmcustances would fit this category, please speak to our team about it prior to booking.
No charge is made for telephone time to clear up queries regarding between session work.
Medicare rebates of approximately $85 are available for up to 10 sessions per calendar year if your GP has prepared a Mental Health Care Plan (item 2710).
Fees are current to 01 January 2019.
Many private health insurance funds provide a rebate for psychological sessions. Prior to booking, contact your health insurance fund to find out whether your fund covers services provided by a Registered Psychologist.
Please note that you cannot use private health cover when you claim the Medicare benefit for sessions.
If you have a Workers’ Compensation claim, please notify the team prior to booking. We will require written confirmation that the insurance fund for your claim will cover psychological sessions, prio to booking, otherwise you will be liable for the standard fee.
Please note that insurance funds require reports to be written about therapeutic progress.
Payment may be made by direct transfer, cash, cheque, or Eftpos. Unless a prior arrangement has been made, clients need to settle the account for each session at the conclusion of the appointment.
24 hours notice is required when rescheduling or cancelling an appointment. Failure to keep an appointment without giving any notice, will result in a fee of $65. This charge is your personal responsibility and is not covered by Medicare, private health funds, or organisations.
Should you need to change or cancel an appointment, call and leave a message for Judy on 0418 872 283 or for Bethany on 0418 872 283, and the Psychologist or Assistant will attend to the message as soon as possible.
Occasionally people are prevented from keeping an appointment because of sudden illness or unexpected emergencies. If this happens to you, please contact the office as soon as possible, and the fee will be waived.