Frequently Asked Questions
There are some significant differences between the qualifications and style of treatments used between a counsellor, a psychologist and a psychiatrist, but at the end of the day, all clinicians are people. The most important thing for you as a client when choosing who you’re going to work with, is how safe and comfortable you feel with them.
A counsellor will have a degree or postgraduate qualification in counselling. Counselling focuses on specific problems people are having, helping them develop more self-awareness and make positive changes in their lives. A good counsellor will connect with their client on an equal level, helping them to build insight and make real and lasting changes.
A psychologist has a degree in psychology and a postgraduate in counselling. Psychologists focus on the brain, human development and how people think, feel and behave. Most psychologists work from a diagnostic mentality and work to improve symptoms such as anxiety or depression. Psychologists cannot prescribe medication.
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specialises in mental health. They can diagnose and prescribe medication for illnesses. They focus both on the mental health of their patient as well as the physical effects that an emotional disturbance can have on the mind. Psychiatrists can offer management plans to patients but they don’t always do talk therapy.
All professions have registration boards with strict guidelines clinicians must adhere to. Make sure your professional is a member.
It really depends on what you’re hoping to achieve through therapy. In the first six to eight sessions, most people start to feel better about their circumstances and notice quite significant changes. Often, this can be enough. Other people go further in their journey of self-discovery, looking deeper at the causes of their problems, and experience a deep shift that ripples throughout their life.
At the end of our first session together, we will discuss the outcomes you would like from your time with me and how often you will come. Usually people come to see me on a weekly basis, slowly reducing it down, as they begin to feel more in control of their lives, to fortnightly or monthly sessions.
Currently only GPs, psychologists, psychiatrists, eligible social workers and occupational therapists can access the Federal Government’s Better Access Scheme. Unfortunately Private Health Insurance companies have chosen not to rebate on counselling so I am unable to provide you with these rebates.
That said, people who choose to pay full fees find many benefits including:
- Third parties do not have access to your attendance. Unlike mental health plans, which go on your health records.
- Medicare does not offer rebates for couple counselling and so you’re not guaranteed to get someone who specialises in relationships.
- Rebates are restricted to the amount of sessions you have with a clinician, once you’ve completed a number of sessions you will become a full fee paying client. My fees are less than the going rate for a psychologist.
Therapy can be life changing, but there are a few factors that contribute to achieving such a significant result.
Finding the right therapist is key. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to your therapist or you’re not confident in their ability to help you, then it’s absolutely ok to look for another therapist.
Another major factor in achieving life-changing results is how open and willing you are to self-discovery, facing challenges and making the long-term changes that need to be made.
Ultimately, what you put in to therapy is what you will get out of it. It’s important to trust the process and know that if you do the work, you will see real and lasting changes to your life.
Wanting to work on your relationship is a good thing and nothing to be afraid of. If you’ve tried to discuss your concerns with your partner, but find that you can’t move forward, then therapy could be a good option.
Coming in on your own can also work for you and your relationship. We can look at the dynamic between you and your partner, how you relate and why you relate this way. I can help you work on your responses to situations and discover new ways to move forward in your relationship.