Fees & Medicare Rebates
Please Contact Paula to enquire about the fees for your specific needs. For individual counselling, you may want to consider visiting your GP to see whether you’re eligible for a Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP). If you have a mental health care plan from your GP, then you may be eligible for a Medicare rebate of approximately $86 per session for up to a total of 10-sessions per calender year, with a GP review required after your sixth and tenth session. Medicare does not cover Couple Counselling. However, please check with your Private Health Fund to assess your level of cover.
Frequently Asked Questions
Got questions? Have a look below for the answers. If your questions are still unanswered, please contact Paula for help.
How do I know if I need Counselling?
Pay attention to your experience. This will give you a clue as to whether it would be helpful to go and chat to someone about something you’re not comfortable sharing with family and friends. If you’re asking yourself whether you should be talking to someone ‘about this’, then chances are, that you need some support. Trust your experience. What’s the worst thing that could happen? You’ll be surprised at how helpful it can be, sharing your story in confidence with a professional who has a totally objective viewpoint.
How long is the appointment?
Appointments are 1-hour long. However, a session of 1.5 hours is recommended for a Couple’s first counselling session. Sessions of 1.5 – 2 hours long are also available to Couples and Individuals who have clear goals to achieve before a speific deadline, for example, an overseas trip or wedding.
Do I need a referral to see you?
No. You can make an appointment to see me without having a GP referral letter. However, if you wish to get a Medicare rebate, you will need to visit your GP first, to discuss obtaining Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP).
Can I get a Medicare rebate?
Yes. You first need to visit your GP so they can assess your suitability for a Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP). A MHCP is given to patients who present with a mental health issue that it impacting their daily functioning. For example, feeling so depressed that you can’t get out of bed to get to work, feeling so anxious that you’re avoiding going shopping and interacting with friends and family. If you obtain a MHCP from your GP, then you will be eligible for a rebate of approx. $85 for a total of ten-sessions per calendar year.
What is a GP Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP)?
A GP MHCP is part of the Medicare Better Access to Mental Health Care initiative. Medicare provides patients a rebate of approx. $85 (with a registered Medicare Psychologist), for a maximum of ten sessions per calendar year. Sessions are split into two phases. Phase 1:= 6-sessions. Phase 2: = 4 sessions. Upon completion of each phase, patients are required to visit their GP for a review of their care/treatment plan.
Can I continue to see you once I've used up all my ten Medicare sessions?
Absolutely. Many Clients continue to see me for ongoing support and maintenance sessions after they’ve used up their ten-Medicare sessions. At this point, session are usually spaced farther apart, e.g., fortnightly, monthly, quarterly. Clients often use their private health fund to obtain continued rebates or are happy to pay for ongoing maintenance and goal support.
Am I covered by my private health insurance?
Every person’s private health cover is different depending on level of coverage. Please check with your insurer to see if your session is covered. Over 40 private health insurance companies provide cover for counselling and psychological services.
Can I get concession rates?
If you have a Centrelink Health-Care Card or Pension card, you can request a concession rate to be negotiated upon your enquiry.
How and when do I pay?
Payment can be made by EFT or cash after the session had ended. Your Medicare rebate will also be processed using a HICAPS machine and your refund is expected to be credited into your bank account within 24-48 hours.
How many sessions will I need?
The average individual needs 4-6 sessions in order to benefit from Counselling. More complex issues may require up to 10 sessions or more, depending on the Client’s specific goals. For Marriage Counselling, the average number of session thats Couples attend is 6 sessions before reporting dramatic positive changes in their relationship.
Can I have a session for longer than 1-hour?
Yes. I offer 1.5 – 2 hour sessions for both Individuals and Couples, depending on the person’s needs at the time. I actually encourage a 1.5 hour slot for a Couple’s first Counselling session, given the hour can go very quickly with three-people in the room.
Longer sessions can also be helpful for people who are travelling a long distance to see me, or for those with specific goals they wish to achieve before a deadline date, such as an overseas trip or wedding.
We need Marriage Counselling but my partner is reluctant. What do I do?
When couples attend relationship counselling, it’s common that one partner is more motivated than the other. The reasons for this can vary, depending on the individual’s perceptions and the couple’s dynamics. One way around this, is to invite your partner to attend just one-session so they can experience the benefit for themselves and then decide whether they want to continue.
I'm worried about a loved-one. How can I help them and get them to counselling?
Watching a loved-one, struggle on a daily basis, is very difficult, frustrating and worrying. We are powerless as we witness their unwillingness to take action to get the support and treatment they need. Unfortunately, we can’t make anyone go to Counselling if they have already made up their mind that it’ll be of no help or that it’ll be too difficult or scary.
What we can do, however, is provide daily support and empathy by validating what your loved one may be experiencing. Offer to attend a GP appointment with them. Sometimes, getting an objective viewpoint can be enough to plant the seed that Counselling maybe an effective option. Whatever you do, don’t pressure your loved-one to attend Counselling. Don’t make phone calls or appointments on their behalf. They will only end up cancelling or attend one-session and not return. They will attend Counselling if and when they’re ready.
Meanwhile, try your best not to enable your loved-one. Do not do things that they are physically capable of doing themselves. They will not seek help if they don’t experience the logical consequences of their mental health issue/s (avoidance, procrastination, social isolation, despair etc). Often, the thing that triggers people seeking Counselling in the first place, is experiencing significant psychological distress. People usually don’t seek help when they’re feeling comfortable.
On the other hand, if you witness your loved-one experiencing a crisis and they’re thinking about suicide, DO NOT HESITATE TO CALL: 1800 011 511 which is The NSW Mental Health Access Line or call Lifeline on 13 11 14
IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY, call 000
What is Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT)?
Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) is one of the most effective and modern evidence-based CBT therapies available. ACT has been used to train Australian Olympians and athletes to enhance their performance. ACT comprises six core skills that can be applied to any issue by helping us to not be controlled by our automatic unhelpful thinking patterns. ACT can motivate behaviours consistent with our values and help us live life in the present moment, rather than operating mindlessly from our auto-pitot.