FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COUNSELLING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY?
While there are some differences, the terms ‘counselling’ and ‘psychotherapy’ are often used interchangeably to refer to talk therapy. The ultimate goal of counselling or psychotherapy is to help improve your mental, emotional, and physical health.
The Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) provides a good explanation:
“Although Counselling and Psychotherapy overlap considerably, there are also recognized differences. While the work of Counsellors and Psychotherapists with clients may be of considerable depth, the focus of Counselling is more likely to be on specific problems, changes in life adjustments and fostering clients’ wellbeing. Psychotherapy is more concerned with the restructuring of the personality or self and the development of insight.”
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A COUNSELLOR, A PSYCHOLOGIST AND A PSYCHIATRIST?
In Australia, psychology is a regulated profession, which means that those who wish to call themselves psychologists must undergo a minimum of 6 years training and receive registration with the appropriate body.
Psychiatrists, meanwhile, are medical doctors (MD) who have specialised in psychiatry. They are permitted to perform assessments and prescribe medication.
Counselling is a self-regulated profession. While counsellors can become members of organisations that require completion of an accredited course of study, such membership is not obligatory.
ARE SESSIONS CONFIDENTIAL?
The content of your sessions is confidential and will not be communicated to external parties without your verbal and written consent. There are some exceptions to this due to legal reasons:
When there is imminent risk of you harming yourself or others
When there is suspicion and/or disclosure of abuse/neglect of a child
When client records are subpoenaed by court order.
All efforts will be taken to discuss these circumstances with you prior to the involvement of other professionals.
DO YOU OFFER MEDICARE REBATES?
I do not currently offer medicare rebates, as the services provided by counsellors and psychotherapists are not currently covered under the Better Access scheme. You can find more information about the cost of my services by visiting the fees page.
HOW LONG SHOULD I EXPECT TO BE IN THERAPY?
The short answer is that there is no easy way to tell how long a term of therapy will last.
Part of my approach with clients is to formulate goals and have a clear understanding of what a successful term of therapy will look like. Ultimately, I wish for every client to terminate therapy having developed a clear sense of who they are, being able to manage the challenges of every day life, and having developed adequate resources and support through friends and family. With that said, every individual comes to me with different circumstances and challenges. If you are concerned about having to commit to therapy long term, or your financial situation limits how long you can attend therapy for, I am more than happy to discuss how we can make the best use of our time together. I am also happy to offer on-going support for those who feel they need it.
DO YOU CONDUCT PSYCHOLOGICAL REPORTS AND/OR ASSESSMENTS FOR WORK COVER, TAC, NDIS, LEGAL OR MEDICAL REASONS?
At this stage, I do not provide psychological assessments or reports. If you are seeking a psychological report or assessment, I advise that you consult the organisation or institute which has asked you to provide this documentation, as they will likely have a list of suitable practitioners on hand.
I'VE HAD THERAPY BEFORE BUT IT DIDN'T HELP. CAN YOU GUARANTEE IT WILL WORK THIS TIME?
I understand that having an unpleasant or unsuccessful experience in therapy can be discouraging. While I cannot guarantee success, I will do all I can to ensure I understand why you didn't find your previous experience of therapy helpful and do my best to make sure a more suitable approach is utilized this time. I recognise that therapy is an investment of your time, energy and resources, and your success and healing in therapy is my top priority. If you're unsure about therapy, you can always book in a free 15 minute consultation with me to assess if I'm a good fit for you by clicking HERE.