Frequently Asked Questions
Referrals, fees, Medicare and private health insurance?
Question: What happens if I have reached the maximum number of allowable sessions (20 individual sessions) for the calendar year under the Better Access Initiative (BAI)?
Unfortunately, you will no longer be eligible for any further Medicare rebates until the new calendar year.
Question: I saw a psychologist for a couple of sessions but I would like to see you now. Do I need a new referral?
You do not need a new referral. You are entitled for your set amount of sessions that your GP initially recommended. However, it is polite to inform your GP about your plans for change. The treating psychologist will write a progress report to your GP at the end of the sixth or fourth session.
Question: Can I claim Private Health Fund?
Yes, you can. However, most people would utilise the BAI as it provides a better rebate. It would be recommended that you speak to your insurance provider first and notify the treating clinician before you start the session.
Question: Can I claim both BAI and Private Health Fund?
No as this would violate the BAI policy.
Question: What is the Medicare Safety Net and how does the Medicare Safety Net apply?
If you regularly attend an appointment, you could end up with a high medical cost. The Medicare Safety Net helps lower your out of pocket cost for out of hospital service. However, you will need to spend a certain amount of out of pocket cost in a calendar year. The current 2020 threshold according to Medicare for individuals is $2169.20. You will be provided 80% of out of pocket cost as long as it is within the calendar year. Please visit Medicare Safety Net for more details.
Question: How do I make an appointment?
Most individuals would typically ring the service during office hours (9am to 5pm).
We allow individuals to contact us by email, however, feedback about time availability may be challenging, especially if there are limited time slots.
If this is an initial appointment booking, the treating psychologist may request for more information to ensure that you can be provided the most appropriate time slot to meet your circumstances.
Question: Will I be charged a cancellation fee if I cannot make it?
In short, yes. However, we understand that emergencies may occur and will take these into consideration. Please speak to your treating psychologist as soon as possible if you need to cancel an appointment.
A full fee will be charged for your session if you do not cancel the appointment within 24 hours prior or give an adequate reason without any rebates.
Finding the right professional
Question: What is the difference between a counsellor, psychotherapist, psychologist (general, clinical & counselling) and psychiatrist?
All four professions provide a supportive and listening ear in helping an individual make sense of their issues. They would all vary in their skills based on their training, school of thought, experience and length of practice. However from an academic and professional perspective, there are differences between them. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specialises in mental health and is thus capable of providing medication whereas the other professions are legally unable to do so. A general psychologist would have completed a minimum of 6 years trainings (4 years degree and 2 years supervision or 2 years Masters) while a Clinical Psychologist and Counselling Psychologist would have completed a 4 year degree, 2 year Masters and 2 years of supervision. A counsellor and psychotherapist would have completed training ranging between a short course to a Masters level and they would focus on helping people understand and how to change their lives. In Australia, all psychologists must be registered through the Australian Health Professional Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and be approved by the Psychology Board of Australia (PBA).
Question: What is the difference between the terms "counselling", "therapy" and "psychotherapy"?
Believe it or not, these terms pretty much mean the same thing! Traditionally, counselling was suggested to mean a shorter-term but focused approach on specific issues while psychotherapy was used to describe longer-term treatment. The term "therapy" is just an abbreviated version of the term "psychotherapy". At AURE we used these terms inter-changeably.
Question: How long is an average treatment? How long before I get better?
There is no average treatment length. Each clinician and each client is unique. However, the treatment process is quicker when the client is ready, willing and open towards therapy.
Question: How long do sessions go?
A typical session runs for about 50 minutes with the clinician having 10 minutes of note taking. Sometimes the clinician may suggest an extra 30 minutes as it may be useful in certain circumstances. You will be notified in advance if this is required.
Question: How often do I need to see you?
The frequency of the appointments vary and will be based on several factors such as severity of the situation, support networks, your availability, GP recommendations, and etc. It is important to discuss this with your treating clinician. We will attempt to ensure that you are provided a regular time if there is availability.
Question: What should I expect on my first visit?
You will be invited into a calm and private environment. It is recommended that you arrive 10 minutes before the session to give yourself sufficient time to complete and/or hand in the administrative paperwork and the screening questionnaire. These are the same documentation that will be emailed to you upon confirmation of your first appointment.
The majority of the first sessions will be spent getting to know each other and having as many of your questions about the therapeutic process answered. We will also attempt to develop a treatment plan based on the things discussed. Generally, a good first session is the sensation of feeling a connection with your clinician and that the treating clinician has a greater understanding of how he or she can work alongside with you.
Question: How can I get the most out of my therapy?
Be open and honest with your clinician. It is important to remember that your psychologist is there to help you and being open about your fears, worries, expectations and hopes helps the both of you create better goals and outcomes in the treatment.
Writing & reflection – Sometimes there are thoughts that pop up out of sessions, do not hesitate to write these thoughts or questions down and explore them with your clinician. There are times that certain “insights” may occur outside of sessions as well and it can be helpful to write them down and explore them with your psychologist.
Being realistic about expectations. Change often takes time and it is important that you talk to your psychologist about your capacity (emotional, physical, financial, etc.)
Practice, practice and practice. Therapeutic change does not happen at home but in life. It is important that you practice the things set out by your psychologist. Just like riding a bicycle for the first time – rarely do people get it straight away and most will require practice.
Question: Do you provide after-hour services?
Yes, however, there are limited sessions. Please speak to the clinician if you are interested.
Question: What is confidentiality and how does it apply?
Everything that is discussed in sessions is strictly confidential. This means your psychologist will not disclose any information unless consent is provided by you. All clinical notes, assessment data and reports will only be accessible by your psychologist.
However, there are certain circumstances whereby a psychologist is legally obligated to break confidentiality:
If there are concerns about your immediate safety or safety of others
If your information is subpoenaed by the court of law
If you disclose information regarding your involvement in or knowledge of criminal activity.
We also work from a Shared Care Model meaning that your treating doctor will be notified of your progress. Thus general and reasonable information will be disclosed to your GP or other professionals/agencies as per your given consent. You can always request for a review of your progress report before one is being sent to your GP.
Question: Do you provide clinical supervision?
Yes - 4+2 and 5+1 Provisional Psychologist Training Programmes.
Question: Where do I park and public transport?
There are multiple public parking lots around the property with a convenience of a public bus stand directly outside & opposite the clinic.
Question: Do you have a wait-list?
Yes, we do. The wait-list is based on a first come first basis while factoring in the regularity of needed sessions. Those on the wait-list will be provided updates.