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 a Clinical Social Worker?
Clinical 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.
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 bring these documents 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), WorkCover or the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA).
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 for each therapist. A reduced fee may be available on request to clients with a Low Income Health Care Card or Pensioner Concession Card. For specific information about our fees, please Contact Us.
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?
This will depend on which therapist you see for counselling. You may be eligible to claim a Medicare rebate for up to 10 counselling sessions in a calendar year. This applies to individual counselling only, not couple counselling. The current Medicare rebate begins at approximately $75 for a 50-minute appointment. We charge a reduced fee for the services of our therapists who do not offer Medicare rebates.
Please refer to Fees and Rebates and Referral Options for further information.
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.