Q: What happens in a counselling session?
A: In the first appointment, the psychologist will invite you to share what issues you wished to discuss and may ask some questions about your concerns. The psychologist listen to your issues without judgement and explore how you might find new ways to address or manage your issues.
Q: How often do I need to come to counselling?
A: This is an individual decision that will be addressed in the initial session with your psychologist as it can be dependant of a variety of factors. The frequency is usually once every week or fortnight depending on the issues discussed and the clients availability.
Q: How many counselling sessions should I have?
A: There is no required or minimum amount of sessions. The number of sessions is usually agreed upon in the initial session and can range between a "one-off" to ongoing support. Clients usually begin with 3 and reassess at that stage. Treatments under the Medicare Mental Health Care Scheme usually consist of 6 sessions and are limited to 10 sessions a calendar year.
Q: Do I need a referral?
A: No, referrals are not necessary to attend Shaw Psychology. However, if you are wishing to claim sessions under Medicare you will need a referral from your GP or Psychiatrist to be eligible for the rebate.
Q: Will counselling be confidential?
A: Yes, anything discussed within the counselling session will remain private and confidential. These confidentiality provisions, however, are limited where there is a need to:
Q: Does the psychologist take notes in the session?
A: Yes, the psychologist may take notes during the session to assist treatment and for reference in future sessions. These written notes are confidential and stored securely.
Q: Does the psychologist make notes after the session?
A: Yes, the psychologist is required to maintain an up-to-date record of each session. Similar to in-session notes, they are utilised to assist treatment and are confidential and stored securely.
Q: What does my session fee cover?
A: The session fee covers more than a single counselling appointment. The fee also covers record keeping, case notes from the session, room hire, communication with any involved health professionals (e.g., GPs, Psychiatrists, Social Workers, etc.), and, treatment planning. Shaw Psychology does not stop working on your mental health after you have left the room, we maintain the highest professional standards to ensure lasting and effective change.
Q: How do I pay for my session?
A: The following payment methods are accepted: Cash, Credit Card, Paypal, and Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). Credit Card is the preferred method of payment.
Q: What sort of topics or experiences are suitable for a counselling session?
A: Any issues or experiences are suitable for a counselling session, from everyday concerns to unique and provoking circumstances or matters of identity and purpose. Shaw Psychology conducts a holistic approach to assessment and treatment in order to ensure heightened treatment outcomes and effective management of concerns. It is important to note that Shaw Psychology does not provide legal or financial guidance, however we will support those who are experiencing distress from legal or financial issues.
Q: What if I want to bring someone along to my counselling session?
A: Other people are allowed to attend a counselling session with the permission of the psychologist. In such an event, a minimum of 24 hours notice is required to ensure appropriate arrangements are made. Please note that it is not recommended for parents to bring children to sessions for the purpose of childcare. Please discuss this with your psychologist if childcare is a potential barrier to seeking support.
Q: What if my partner does not want to come to counselling?
A: It is not unusual for those who are seeking couple's counselling to begin individually. By attending a couple's counselling session alone, you are demonstrating to your partner that you value the relationship and are willing to work on the issues at hand. Individual sessions may assist you to gain new insights as to the patterns in your relationship and provide new skills to improve communication and intimacy.
Q: What if my partner wants to come to counselling later?
A: Your partner is welcome to join counselling in the future. In some instances, it may be necessary to discuss whether this is still something you wish to happen. Furthermore, it may be necessary to discuss whether you continue couple's counselling with the same psychologist or a new psychologist. This will always be negotiated between you and the psychologist.
Q: Do I have to prepare beforehand for a counselling session?
A: No, although it can help the counselling process if you are able to think about what you want to discuss and the key goals or changes you wish to get out of counselling. Furthermore, you may find it helpful to complete some of the online questionnaires before your session to make more sense of your situation.
Q: What are the different counselling approaches used at Shaw Psychology?
A: Each psychologist will use a range of different counselling and therapeutic modalities to offer you assistance. That said, Shaw Psychology maintains a strong adherence to evidence-based approaches and psychologists will tend to utilise: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive-behavioural Therapy (CBT), Interpersonal Therapy (IPT), or Motivational Interviewing (MI). All psychologists will discuss their approach to your concerns in the initial session. We encourage all clients to ask psychologists about the approach used in their sessions and the scientific evidence that informs their intervention.
Q: How will I know if counselling has been successful?
A: Shaw Psychology believes that counselling is successful when you feel empowered to take constructive and meaningful action towards your goals while managing any negative symptoms, thoughts, or behaviours that may arise. At the end of counselling, you will be able to manage your personal circumstances without feeling overwhelmed and possess a greater sense of agency within your own life. We also identify specific and individualised goals for each client so that they can evaluate their progress and examine whether counselling has been effective for them thus far.