FAQs

Seeing a psychologist can feel like stepping out of your comfort zone.

We get it and we’re here to give you the information you need.

Take a look through our FAQs.

Covid-19 Updates

What is Telehealth?

Telehealth includes telephone and online video technology such as Skype, Zoom and Coviu. Our preference is to use online video because this enables our therapists and clients to see one another. Given that an estimated 60-65%  of communication is non verbal, we feel that this is an important benefit. That said, sometimes because of technical glitches with software or issues with internet connection telephone is the best option.

How does Telehealth work?

If you have a video consultation booked in, you will be sent an email reminder which will include instructions on how to access your appointment. If you haven’t received this email by the time of your appointment, please check your junk / spam folder. If you still cannot locate the email, or if you have questions or concerns, you can get in touch with our Support Team, here.

If you have a phone session booked in, your therapist will call your mobile phone from a private number at the time of your appointment.

What do I need for Telehealth?

You’ll need either a smartphone, tablet or computer with an internet connection, camera and microphone (these are built into most modern devices). Headphones can also help with audio quality. We also encourage you to find a private room at home so you can speak freely and won’t be interrupted. A bedroom with a door you can close works well but you can even sit in your car if that feels more private! Please ensure your phone or computer is fully charged and has adequate internet speed.

Is Telehealth effective?

Research studies have found that online psychology is as effective as face to face treatment. A systematic review (Backhaus et al., 2012) of 42 studies found that online psychology was as effective as in person treatment for a range of different client groups (e.g. children/adults, gender and ethnic background) and a range of different issues (e.g. trauma, depression and anxiety). This review also found that clients reported high levels of satisfaction when seeing an online psychologist, comparable to satisfaction levels with face to face sessions.

Another study reviewed 23 research papers to see whether the connection between the client and the psychologist (sometimes called “the therapeutic alliance) was the same via online psychology (Simpson & Reid, 2014). Client ratings of the bond between themselves and their therapist was at least as high as face to face therapy. This study suggested that clients may feel safer to speak more openly with an online psychologist, with some reports of reduced shame and embarrassment when discussing challenging issues.

What if I’m not sure if Telehealth is for me?

We understand that the idea of Telehealth can be daunting. Your therapist will be more than happy to discuss any questions or concerns you may have. If you’re not sure if Telehealth is for you, we’d encourage you to give it a try and see what you think. Lots of people are surprised by how similar it is to face to face.

When will face to face sessions resume?

Each therapist is making their own decision about when to return to seeing clients in person. To minimise health risks for clients and our team, we will only be able to see clients face-to-face if they can provide proof that they are fully vaccinated. All of our therapists are also fully vaccinated. If you are an existing client, you will be notified when your therapist makes the decision to return to offering in person appointments.

How long are Telehealth sessions?

All individual sessions are 50 minutes. Couples sessions are also 50 minutes, unless you’ve booked a 90 minute first session.

How does Medicare work with Telehealth?

If you have a Mental Health Treatment Plan / GP referral your therapist will be able to process a rebate for you after each session, assuming you have provided us with all the necessary paperwork. This means that you will need to pay for your session in full and your therapist will arrange for Medicare to send a rebate to your bank account, reducing your out of pocket costs significantly. Please note, couples therapy does not attract a Medicare rebate.

What if I have difficulty accessing my video consultation?

If you have difficulty accessing your video consultation, please follow the below steps:

  1. Check that you’re using the latest update of your browser
  2. Check that the issues are not due to your internet. For example, can you access other websites?
  3. Try the link on another browser
  4. Clear your web browser’s cache, cookies and history. For steps on how to do this for each browser, please click here.

If you continue to have technical difficulties logging into your session after you tried the above suggestions, please get in touch with our Support Team, here.

While as a practice we have taken all reasonable steps to reduce the risks of COVID, by booking an appointment in person, you understand and accept that there is a risk that you may be exposed to COVID. You also understand and accept that at our Fitzroy North and CBD locations, we are not able to control the risk of COVID in the communal spaces (such as the waiting room and bathroom).

Here is what we are doing to minimise risks associated with COVID-19:

  • All therapists are fully vaccinated
  • Your therapist has completed the Australian Government Department of Health COVID-19 training
  • Our spaces are being cleaned regularly and frequently touched surfaces such as door handles will be cleaned with disinfectant wipes
  • We will provide hand sanitiser for you to use, although it’s important to note that thorough and frequent handwashing is the most effective way to reduce the spread of COVID-19
  • We have air ventilators in each of our consulting rooms
  • We will continue to process all payments through our online credit card system to minimise traffic in our reception areas. As always, we don’t accept cash payment
  • If your therapist is unwell or has been in contact with someone who is unwell, even if they’re not sure if the symptoms relate to COVID-19, they will move their sessions to Telehealth and will discontinue face to face sessions until they have confirmation of a clear COVID-19 test
  • Depending on restrictions imposed by the Government at the time of your appointment your therapist may need to wear a mask during your session

Here is what we need you to do if your session is face to face:

  • You must provide proof that you are fully vaccinated before we can book you in for a face-to-face session
  • If you are unwell or have been in contact with someone who is unwell, even if you’re not sure if the symptoms relate to COVID-19, please do not come into the clinic. We can arrange for your appointment to be via Telehealth instead. Please contact the Australian Government Coronavirus helpline on 1800 020 080 for advice about testing and treatment before coming into the clinic again for face to face appointments
  • Please do not arrive more than five minutes early to your appointment
  • Depending on restrictions imposed by the Government at the time of your appointment you may need to wear a mask during your session
  • When waiting in our reception areas, maintain a distance of 1.5 metres and follow signs related to density limits
  • We will continue to be paperless, so please do not bring in paper copies of your Medicare referral or other correspondence from your GP or other health professionals. Please instead email this to the Support Team before your appointment
  • Check-in using the QR code displayed in the waiting area. If your appointment is in the CBD or Fitzroy North please check-in using Stable Health’s QR code.
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Fees, Medicare and Private Health Insurance

Medicare

If you have a referral from a GP or a psychiatrist for a Mental Health Treatment Plan you will be eligible to receive a Medicare rebate of $131.65 (for a clinical psychologist) and $89.65 (for a general psychologist) per individual session for up to 10 sessions per calendar year.

After we have processed your payment we can process your rebate for you via our online system. Medicare advises us that these funds will appear in your bank account within 2-3 business days.

Private Health Insurance

If you have private health insurance that includes psychological counselling as extras cover you may be eligible for a partial rebate. It is recommended that you contact your individual insurance provider for further information about your individual coverage.

You will need to make an appointment with your GP who will assess whether you are eligible for a Mental Health Treatment Plan.

No, you do not need a referral. You can make an appointment with our psychologists without a referral from your GP or a psychiatrist. If you decide to do this you will need to pay the full amount for your sessions out of your own pocket.

If would like to see whether you are eligible for referral under a Mental Health Treatment Plan you will need to speak with your GP or a psychiatrist prior to making your first appointment.

No, we don’t see clients solely for the purposes of assessment and we also do not do court reports.

We’ve written a blog post about this question, which you can read here.

No. Unfortunately Medicare does not cover sessions for couples, only individuals. If you have private health insurance, it’s worth checking with your provider to see if they offer any form of rebate for couples therapy.

What to expect when seeing a psychologist

After making your first appointment you will be sent an introductory email confirming your appointment date and time. This will also outline information about fees and rebates, and details about the location of Inner Melbourne Clinical Psychology. If you have a Mental Health Treatment Plan you will need to bring along this paperwork to your first appointment.

At the beginning of your first session your psychologist will briefly run through important paperwork with you. This will include completing a form with basic personal information (such as your name, date of birth, address and contact details) and a consent form that cover issues such as confidentiality, fees and other important information about sessions. If you have been referred by a GP or psychiatrist, we will discuss the details of your Mental Health Treatment Plan at this point.

After completing paperwork the remainder of the session is usually spent discussing the issues that have brought you into therapy. As well as developing a thorough understanding of your concerns, your psychologist will explore relevant background history, for example, information about your family, social relationships, work history and any past counselling that you have done. Based on this information we will begin to help you to understand more about what might be triggering and maintaining your current issues. If time allows we will also work with you to develop a collaborative and flexible plan for future therapy sessions.

Sessions at Inner Melbourne Clinical Psychology are approximately 50 minutes.

Every person has a different journey through therapy. This is largely dependent on the nature of why they are coming in and what it is that they are hoping to get out of sessions.

At Inner Melbourne Clinical Psychology we tailor therapy to suit each of our client’s needs and preferences.

Some people come to therapy to develop coping strategies to reduce or manage symptoms of mental illness. This type of work can be short to medium term, but might also involve checking in less frequently over the longer-term to deal with setbacks or prevent relapse.

Other people come to therapy to understand long-standing patterns (such as relationship issues) that stem from experiences during their childhood, or to receive ongoing support. This type of work tends to happen over an extended period of time, although again, this is dependent on client preferences.

Sometimes people come to therapy for a one off session or just a handful of sessions to speak about a specific issue in their life or to talk through a particular concern.

All information that you disclose in your session with a psychologist is confidential. There are three exceptions to this rule. The first exception is if you are at risk of harm to yourself or someone else. The second exception is if we learn about harm to a child or an older person. The third exception is in relation to court orders. If any of these situations become relevant your psychologist will discuss this with you.

You can book an appointment via phone or our online booking form here.

Whichever way you book, our friendly Support Team will ask you briefly about:

  • Some brief information about what’s bringing you in. This helps us to ensure we’re matching you with a psychologist who is experienced in the area you’re seeking assistance with. If there is nobody on our team who is suitable we will provide you with some external recommendations.
  • Details like your date of birth and contact information.
  • Whether you have a Medicare referral and the details of your GP.
  • Any preferences you have around a specific psychologist on our team, location, days or times you’d like to be seen

Once we have found a psychologist who seems like a good fit for you, we will send you a welcome email. This email outlines your appointment time, date and location, as well as a few other useful bits and pieces, like how to find us and what to bring to your first appointment. You will also be sent an SMS reminder 72 hours before your first appointment.

Finding the right psychologist

Trust your instincts. If it doesn’t feel like the right match after a few sessions, as frustrating as this can be, don’t give up. We each have unique personalities, so we can’t possibly gel with everyone we meet. Although it can be a pain to have to tell your story again to another psychologist, in the long-run it’s better to find someone who you feel comfortable with than stick with someone who doesn’t feel right.

At Inner Melbourne Clinical Psychology each of our psychologists understands and genuinely values the importance of finding someone you click with. We won’t be offended or defensive if you decide that you would like to try another psychologist. We think these discussions are important and pride ourselves on being open to feedback about the way we work.

If it doesn’t feel like the right match you can speak directly with the psychologist about how you feel and they can make suggestions in terms of who might be a better match (within our practice or at an external practice).

We also understand that sometimes those discussions feel confronting or uncomfortable, so if you don’t want to speak with the psychologist you’ve seen you can instead chat with our Director, Dr Jacqueline Baulch. Jacqueline is a clinical psychologist herself and makes it a priority to ensure that all clients find a psychologist they feel comfortable and confident with.

To read more about how to find the right psychologist for you visit our blog post by clicking here.

Our highly skilled Support Team has an in-depth knowledge of our Melbourne psychologists and couples counsellors’ strengths and therapeutic approaches. They have been trained to make sure that you are paired with a psychologist or couples counsellor that suits your needs.

When matching you with a psychologist or couples counsellor, they take into account:

  • Your preferred location, times and days of the week
  • Key areas you’re wanting help with
  • Our team’s experience, training and treatment modalities

We know that seeking help isn’t always easy and we’re happy to guide you through the process to make it as smooth as possible.

When chatting to or emailing with our Support Team some things you might like to discuss with us include:

  • A run-down of which team members have expertise in the areas you are wanting help with
  • If there any particular therapeutic approaches, such as Mindfulness or Dialectical Behaviour Therapy that you want your therapist to be experienced with
  • If there any therapeutic approaches that don’t resonate with you and you would like to stay away from in sessions
  • Gender preferences
  • If you’ve seen a psychologist or counsellor before we can help you to nut out what worked well, and what didn’t work so well, so we can use this information to help with matching
  • Whether you find particular personality types clash with your personality. For example, you might feel you gel best with people who are gentle, or perhaps you find it helpful to have someone be more direct with you
  • Your general availability (days and times) and preference for location
  • Any general questions you have about seeing a psychologist, such as what to expect in the first session, fees and Medicare rebates

All of our psychologists are LGBTQIA+ affirmative, but if you would like to work with someone who also has specific training and experience in working with these communities, please let us know and we will make sure you’re matched with someone suitable. When a psychologist has specific training and experience with LGBTQIA+ clients this will also be noted in their bio.

Yes, we have psychologists who speak Serbian and Croatian. If a psychologists speaks a language other than English this will be noted in their bio.

Information about our clinic operations

Yes, we offer appointments from 8am – 8pm Monday to Friday. On Saturdays we offer appointments until mid afternoon.
Inner Melbourne Clinical Psychology has a 48-hour cancellation and rescheduling policy. This means that if you need to change or cancel your appointment you must arrange this no later than 48 hours prior to your scheduled appointment time. This gives us enough time to offer your appointment to other clients. If you cancel or change your appointment within 48 hours and it is not an emergency, you will be charged the full fee for this session (Medicare and private health insurance do not provide rebates for cancelled or unattended appointments).

Our Kensington clinic is not wheelchair accessible. There are 4-5 steps at our entrance and 2-3 steps to access our toilet. We have a gender neutral toilet, which is not wheelchair accessible.

Our CBD clinic is not wheelchair accessible. Our waiting room is on the ground floor and our consulting rooms are accessed via a flight of stairs. We have a gender neutral toilet, which is not wheelchair accessible.

At our Fitzroy North location the consulting rooms are on the second level and only accessible by stairs. We have a gender neutral toilet, which is not wheelchair accessible.

We have detailed information about directions, public transport and parking for each of our locations here.

General questions about psychologists

Psychologists are health professionals who work in a range of areas including clinical, health, neuropsychology, sports, forensic, organisational and community settings. To become a fully registered psychologist you must undertake an undergraduate degree, an Honours degree and and at least two years of practical, supervised experience as a provisional psychologist which may also include postgraduate university education in the field of psychology (either a Masters, Doctorate or PhD degree). All psychologists at Inner Melbourne Clinical Psychology are fully registered psychologists. To check the registrations status of any of our team members visit the Australian Health Practitioner Website here.

Psychologists assist people with everyday concerns such as stress and relationship difficulties, as well as mental health issues. Psychologists use “talk therapies” to help people to develop skills to cope with difficulties and to prevent on-going issues. There are a large number of research studies supporting the effectiveness of psychological therapy.

Psychiatrists have completed a medical degree and further training and study related to the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. Psychiatrists specialise in the medical treatment of mental illness and can prescribe medication. Some psychiatrists combine medication with therapy.

To become a fully registered psychologist you must undertake an undergraduate degree, an Honours degree and and at least two years of practical, supervised experience as a provisional psychologist which may also include postgraduate university education in the field of psychology (either a Masters, Doctorate or PhD degree). All psychologists at Inner Melbourne Clinical Psychology are fully registered psychologists. To check the registrations status of any of our team members visit the Australian Health Practitioner Website here. You can also read more about each of our psychologist’s university qualifications and workplace experience on our Meet the Team page here.

Accredited mental health social workers have completed a masters degree in social work, followed by at least two years of supervised clinical experience in a mental health specific social work role. They then go on to complete a thorough accreditation process. Only after successful completion of this accreditation process, can a social worker be known as an accredited mental health social worker (AMHSW) and be able to register to provide services through Medicare. Like psychologists, accredited mental health social workers have ongoing professional development requirements, to ensure their skills are up-to-date.

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