Frequently Asked Questions

What happens in a counselling session?


In the first appointment, the psychologist will invite you to share what issues you wished to discuss and will ask some questions about your concerns and what you want to achieve. The psychologist will listen to your issues without judgement and explore how the problem developed and what things you have already tried to overcome the problem. They will then introduce strategies and skills that have been researched and found effective in the treatment of the problem you've raised.




How often do I need to come to counselling?


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 (e.g., severity, urgency, finances, availability). Usually clients choose a frequency of once a week or fortnight for the first couple of appointments to establish a foundation of skills and strategies.




How many counselling sessions should I have?


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 sessions and we frequently reassess whether our work is leading to the goals set at the initial appointment. Treatments under the Medicare Better Access Scheme usually consist of a referral for 6 sessions and a subsequent 4 sessions should additional sessions be needed. The Better Access Scheme is currently limited to 10 sessions a calendar year.




Do a need a referral to see a psychologist or other health professional?


No, referrals are not necessary to have an appointment with the health professionals at Shaw Psychology. We do encourage clients to seek a referral as many people are eligable for rebates. For instance, many clients are able to receive a rebate from Medicare after getting a referral from a GP or Psychiatrist.




Will counselling be confidential?


Yes, anything discussed within the counselling session will remain private and confidential. These confidentiality provisions, however, are limited where there is a need to: - Protect a child or children. - Prevent or lessen a serious or imminent threat to life, health or property. - Prevent the commission or likely commission of a crime. - Prevent violence or a threat of violence to a person or property. Any issue that you raise that may lead to disclosure to another party will be discussed with you before action is taken. Any action taken is designed to protect you and the public.




Does the psychologist take notes in the session?


Yes, your psychologist will often take notes during the session to assist treatment planning and provide you a record of the strategies or skills practised in a session. Many clients find having a copy of the strategies and skills helpful as they can refer to the notes inbetween appointments. All written notes are confidential and stored securely by our staff.




Does the psychologist make notes after the session?


Yes, psychologists are 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. In order to deliver better outcomes, our psychologists will often review and reflect on your sessions.




What does my session fee cover?


The session fee covers a single counselling appointment in addition to several "behind the scene" activities. For instance, the fee also covers record keeping, case notes from the session, 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.




How do I pay for my session?


We accept the following payment methods for counselling services: Cash and Credit Card. Our reception staff will collect your card payment details when you book your initial appointment. We find that payment through credit card is easier for both clients and our staff, but we accept cash payments on the day of the appointment should you prefer. We accept payments through other methods for reports, workshops and consultationn projects. These services can be paid through the above methods plus Paypal and Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT).




Are Medicare rebates available for psychological services?


Yes. The majority of our psychological services are eligable for rebates from Medicare. In order to be eligable, you will need a referral from your GP before having your appointment.




What is the rebate from Medicare?


Rebates varying depending on your referral type and the psychologist you see. Mental Health Treatment Plan (MHTP) Usually, the rebate is between $86.15 and $124.50 under a under the Better Access initiative. We've structured our rates so that the out of pocket cost for individual appointments is only $83.85 regardless of which psychologist you see. Chronic Disease Management (CDM) Usually, the rebate is $53.80 under the initiative. We've structured our rates so that the out of pocket cost for individual appointments is only $116.20 regardless of which psychologist you see. Eating Disorder Psychological Treatment (EDPT) Usually, the rebate is between $86.15 and $124.50 under a under the Better Access initiative. We've structured our rates so that the out of pocket cost for individual appointments is only $83.85 regardless of which psychologist you see. Other Referrals There are other referrals available through Medicare that provide rebates, however these are not commonly used and tend to provide lower rebates. Should you have another referral that is not mentioned here, please contact us and we will examine the relevant rebate for your circumstances.




Are other rebates available for psychological services?


Yes. We are registered with a range of third-party groups that provide rebates for counselling services provided by a psychologist. Traffic Accident Commission (TAC) A rebate of $166.12 is available should you have approval for psychological treatment from TAC and a referral from your GP. We do not charge a gap for these services. WorkSafe Victoria A rebate of $170.76 is available should you have approval for psychological treatment from your WorkSafe case manager and a referral from your GP. We do not charge a gap for these services. Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal (VOCAT) A rebate of $165.00 is available should you have approval for psychological treatment from your VOCAT claim. We are also able to write reports to support your application. We do not charge a gap for these services. National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) A rebate of $179.26 is available should you have approval for psychological treatment in your plan. We are also able to write reports to support your application. We do not charge a gap for these services.




How do I get a referral?


  1. Book an appointment with your GP: You will need to book an appointment with your GP to get a referral. Many GP clinics require a double appointment so that they can allocate time to create the plan. As part of the referral process, you will need to inform your GP of the psychological issues that you are experiencing. Please note that you only need to describe your symptoms, you do not need to share your history or what has triggered the symptoms should you not wish to do so. After learning about your symptoms, the GP will develop either a Mental Health Treatment Plan (MHTP), Eating Disorder Psychological Treatment (EDPT) plan, or a Chronic Disease Management (CDM) plan which enables you to claim rebates from treatment at Shaw Psychology.
  2. Bring your referral to your initial appointment: It does not matter whether the referral is addressed to us or not, you are able to claim the rebate from any Medicare registered psychologist. We must receive a copy of the signed plan in order to process the rebate for your appointment. You can bring it in person however we recommend that the GP fax or email it to us.
  3. We process your rebate: Once payment has been made, we will process your claim and you will receive the rebate into your nominated bank account within 2 business days.





Phone: 03 9005 7819  |  Fax: 03 8692 6701  |  Location: Suite 502, 365 Little Collins Street, Melbourne Victoria

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