Katherine has answered some of her most commonly asked questions below. If the information you are after is not here, please contact her.
1. Do I need a referral?
No. Anyone can see a psychologist and a referral from a GP or Psychiatrist is not essential. A referral is only necessary if you wish to receive a Medicare rebate. Please view this APS website to find out more information.
2. How do I obtain a referral?
Your GP will be able to determine whether you are eligible for a Mental Health Care Plan. If you are eligible, s/he will complete a Medicare referral form (2700, 2701, 2715 or 2717) and provide you a copy.
3. I am eligible for a Medicare rebate, so how do I claim it?
After you have provided Katherine your Mental Health Care Plan and paid for your appointment, she will give you an invoice that you can take to Medicare and collect your rebate. The rebate amount is $124.50.
4. Do you bulk-bill or provide concessions?
Bulk-billing services are only available to Health Care Card holders. For people who do not have a Health Care Card fees are payable at the time of the appointment. Fees may only be discounted in special circumstances. Please contact Katherine if you wish to discuss this in more detail.
5. What happens at my first appointment?
Understandably, attending the first session may feel uncomfortable or even create feelings of anxiety. Meeting with someone you do not know and talking about difficult issues is generally the reason for this. However, the primary goal of the first session is to simply discuss with Katherine your current concerns and reasons for seeking help. You can expect Katherine to listen to your needs and goals for treatment and answer any questions you may have. She will do this in a non-judgmental and supportive manner. A brief questionnaire will also be administered to give Katherine an idea of how you are currently going and how best to focus treatment.
6. How many sessions will I need?
The number of sessions needed varies from one person to another and will largely depend on your individual needs and goals. Some people are helped within one to two sessions, whist others feel better supported by attending a greater number of appointments. This can be due to various reasons, such as longstanding difficulties, ongoing stressors, unresolved problems and so on. On average however, people attend between 6 and 12 sessions. Medicare will rebate up to 10 sessions per calendar year.
7. What is the difference between a Psychologist, Clinical Psychologist and Counsellor/Psychotherapist?
Psychologist are highly trained professionals, having completed a minimum of four years study at university and two years of supervised practice. Clinical Psychologists have a minimum of six years study at university and have completed either a Masters or Doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology. Psychologists are experts in the study of human behaviour and are able to assess, diagnose and treat people with a wide range of emotional and behavioural problems. Psychologists are highly regulated and must abide by a strict Code of Conduct.
Almost anyone can refer to themselves as a counsellor/psychotherapist because their profession is largely unregulated and their qualifications less easily defined.
8. What is your approach to treatment?
Katherine is highly trained and experienced in Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT). This evidence-based approach seeks to change what you think (cognitive) and what you do (behaviour). Together, these changes work to improve the way you feel (often the main goal). CBT largely focuses on circumstances relevant to the ‘here and now’ and equips individuals to make meaningful and lasting changes by learning skills and strategies. CBT is evidence-based because it has been extensively studied and validated and can assist with many different types of problems.
As required, Katherine incorporates other evidence-based treatments, such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and strategies from Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT). For further reading on the therapies, please see the Links page.