Appointments are normally of one hour duration, although cognitive assessments may be structured differently. Couple therapy may also require slightly longer appointments. The number of appointments required by each person varies considerably depending on the nature of the consultation. This is usually talked about at the initial session when assessment and treatment options are discussed.
Clinical psychologists are bound by ethical and legal guidelines that prevent them from sharing with any third party what you have said to them without obtaining your consent first. There are exceptions to this however, if the Clinical Psychologist you are seeing thinks that you or another person may be at imminent risk of harm. Privacy and confidentiality are clearly discussed in the first session. If the person being referred is under fourteen years of age different rules of confidentiality apply.
Clinical Psychologists and Psychiatrists are both trained to diagnose and treat psychological disorders and difficulties. Psychiatrists have a general medical degree and advanced training in psychiatry and can therefore prescribe medication for people with serious mental illness. A Clinical Psychologist has an MA, MSC or PhD in Psychology and advanced Postgraduate training in Clinical Psychology. As well as assessment and therapy, Clinical Psychologists can provide psychological testing with well-researched tests.
Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapeutic (talking) treatment that focuses on your thoughts, images, beliefs and underlying attitudes (essentially your cognitive processes) and how they impact on your feelings, your behaviour and how you deal with emotional difficulties.
The therapist and the client work together collaboratively to identify the problem areas, and look at how you can change any negative or unhelpful patterns of thinking or behaviour which will in turn positively influence the way you feel heading into the future.
CBT is one of the few forms of therapy that has been scientifically tested and found to be effective for many different disorders including anxiety and depression. It is set apart from other forms of therapy, in that it is focussed on the present, is time-limited, and skills are learnt that are useful in the long term.
Clinical Psychologists do not currently prescribe medications but will have a solid understanding of the relevant medications and can identify when you should consult with your GP.
No you do not need to be referred. It is as simple as emailing or ringing and talking with our receptionist Chris, and she will organise an appointment with the appropriate clinician. Specialists do refer to us directly, and often GP's will recommend us, but a formal referral is not necessary.
Adult Assessment and Therapy:The standard rate for an hour long session is $180 inclusive of GST. If a session is longer than an hour, part charges will occur in 15 minute blocks. Some of the speciality work such as couple therapy does have a higher rate which can be explained when you ring through to the practice.
Child Assessment and Therapy: An initial consultation with the Child Psychologist is $225. At the completion of the consultation the clinician will make recommendations and advise whether more specialist formal assessment (such as cognitive testing) is indicated and outline additional time and costs associated wtih this. The hourly rate thereafter is charged at $180. Additional charges may include the administration of formal testing, time taken to observe a child in the school setting, liaison with teachers, marking, scoring and interpreting test data, formulation and report writing (if required). The clinician will discuss this with you in detail after the initial consultation.
Yes some of the currently available health plans do reimburse for specialist fees up to a certain threshold, including Clinical Psychology. It is best to check with your insurer in the first instance.