FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is a Psychologist?
Psychologists have specialist training in human behaviour and expertise in dealing with a wide range of personal issues. All psychologists are required to be registered with the Psychology Board of Australia. Psychologists complete a minimum of six years’ training in order to receive full registration, and complete ongoing professional development as a condition of registration.
What is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker?
Accredited Mental Health Social Workers are registered providers with Medicare Australia. They have been assessed on behalf of the Commonwealth Government by the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) as having specialist training and expertise in mental health. Like other allied health professionals such as Psychologists, they use a range of counselling interventions to assist people who are experiencing mental health issues.
What is a Counsellor/Psychotherapist?
The terms ‘Counsellor’ and ‘Psychotherapist’ are not regulated in Australia, so they can be used widely in the community by people with varying levels of training and skill. All of the Counsellor/Psychotherapists at Mindful Living have completed university training at a post-graduate level, are trained in EMDR Therapy, and bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience.
Will I need a referral?
You do not need a referral to attend Mindful Living for counselling. You can Contact Us directly to schedule an appointment. However, a GP referral letter and Mental Health Treatment Plan are required if you wish to claim a rebate through Medicare. You will need to email these documents to us prior to your first session or bring them with you to your first session.
You will also need a referral from your GP if you would like your counselling to be funded by the Traffic Accident Commission (TAC) or WorkCover.
What will happen in the first session?
You do not need to worry about coming prepared with what to say in the first session. Just come with an open mind and your therapist will guide you through the process.
We will explore what led you to seek counselling and what you hope to change in your life. Your therapist will ask you about your current concerns and past experiences, to enable us to get to know you and determine what counselling approach might be most helpful for you. We may also ask you to complete one or more questionnaires to help us better understand your issues. You have control over what information you choose to share, and the pace at which you share. Our priority is creating an environment in which you feel safe and empowered.
By the end of the first session we usually will have agreed on some counselling goals, and outlined a plan for achieving these. Your therapist will also give you one or more strategies to start practicing at home. We believe that it is very important for you to have something tangible to take away so that you can start making practical changes in your life right from the first session.
How long is each session?
Sessions are 50 minutes in duration unless otherwise agreed with your therapist.
How much do sessions cost?
Our fees vary depending on the service you are seeking and which therapist in our team that you see. For specific information about our fees, please see our Fees & Rebates page.
How many sessions will I need to attend?
This will depend on the nature and complexity of your circumstances. You will usually start to notice positive changes after one or two sessions. Some people only require short-term counselling (6-10 sessions) in order to achieve sustainable change in their lives. For people with more complex, long-standing issues, longer-term psychotherapy may be required. It is up to you. We will work together to achieve your goals and regularly review how things are going, so that you get the most benefit out of counselling. Sessions usually occur on a weekly or fortnightly basis to begin with, and then taper out over time.
Can I claim a rebate from Medicare?
You may be eligible to claim a Medicare rebate for up to 10 counselling sessions in a calendar year.
Can I claim a rebate from my private health fund?
Some of our therapists can provide private health insurance rebates. It is best to contact your private health provider and discuss the level of cover that you have.
Is counselling confidential?
All information discussed in counselling sessions is confidential, except in the following circumstances:
- There is risk to your safety, or the safety of another person
- Our counselling notes are subpoenaed by a Court
- You have provided us with permission to speak to another person or organisation about your circumstances
Please note that if you intend on claiming a rebate from Medicare or another organisation (eg. TAC or WorkCover) we are required to provide summary reports to your referring GP or the relevant funding organisation regarding your counselling treatment progress.
Where are you located?
Mindful Living is based in Croydon, making our services accessible for people who live and work in the inner and outer eastern and north-eastern suburbs of Melbourne. We also provide online and telephone counselling services so that you can access our services from the convenience of your own home.
What appointment times are available?
We recognise that it can be difficult to schedule counselling appointments around work, study and family commitments. We offer appointments between Monday and Friday during business hours and after hours (for existing clients only). You are welcome to Contact Us if you would like to discuss our availability or schedule an appointment.
Are you a registered NDIS provider?
Currently we are not registered with the NDIS. However, if you have self-managed or plan-managed funding through the NDIS you can utilise applicable services at Mindful Living.
Ready to get started?
Our friendly team are on hand now to take any enquiries you have. You are more than welcome to get in touch for an obligation-free chat, to ask any questions, or to schedule a face-to-face, online or telephone appointment.