Frequently Asked Questions
What is confidentiality and when does it apply?
Everything discussed in a session is strictly confidential. This means your psychologist will protect your privacy and any information disclosed during sessions. Your psychologist will take clinical notes, which no one else will access. There are, however, certain rare circumstances under which psychologists are legally obligated to break confidentiality.
- If they are concerned about your immediate safety or that of others
- If your information is subpoenaed by a court of law
- If you disclose information regarding your involvement in or knowledge of criminal activity
Your psychologist will explain more about the parameters of confidentiality in your first session.
Do I need a referral?
You do not need a referral to book an appointment. However, if you would like to claim a rebate through Medicare you will need a Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP) from your GP. Once you have a MHCP, you may take it to any clinic of your choice. Medicare offers rebates for up to 10 sessions per calendar year.
How do I get a referral?
Request a Mental Health Care Plan from your general practitioner. A GP can prescribe a number of sessions at their discretion. The most common is six initial sessions, followed by an additional four if required. Most people can have up to ten sessions rebated by Medicare in a calendar year. Some clients may also be referred by a psychiatrist for psychotherapeutic treatment.
Other avenues through which people access psychological services include Transport Accident Commission (TAC), WorkSafe Victoria, Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal (VOCAT).
Psychological services may also be subsidised by private health insurance. Check with your insurance provider.
How can I get the most out of therapy?
- Be open and honest. Your psychologist welcomes feedback and it can help them to better understand your situation, goals and needs.
- Commit to the process. Therapy requires you to be active in sharing, contributing and trying new strategies. Try to minimise disruptions to your attendance of sessions, as this can slow progress.
- Keep a diary. Noting the important lessons and realisations you experience during therapy can be very helpful.
- Explore with your psychologist what are realistic expectations from treatment. Change can take time, and at times treatment can be very challenging.
- Talk with your psychologist about what is helping and what is problematic. This allows your psychologist to adjust therapy to best suit you. Therapy is collaborative and guiding your treatment is a shared responsibility.
- Practice new skills between sessions. Just like learning a musical instrument, significant and lasting improvements can only be made with consistent, dedicated effort.
What if I’m not connecting with my psychologist?
Almost anyone can benefit immensely from talk therapy – with the right psychologist. There is no need to persist with someone you’re not connecting with. It does take time to develop a strong therapeutic alliance, so it’s best not to move around too much. However, if you feel incompatible with one psychologist, try another. They will take no personal offence; it is simply a matter of preference. It’s important that you find someone you trust, and who you feel understands you.
At Seed Psychology, we have many psychologists with varying styles, skills and experiences. If one psychologist doesn’t feel like the right fit, please contact our admin staff to discuss booking a session with another psychologist. As you learn more about what you’re looking for, our admin team will be able to help you find a better fit.
How can I leave feedback?
Please complete our feedback survey at the link below. At Seed Psychology we strive to provide the highest quality psychological services. Your feedback helps us ensure we are moving in the right direction.
What happens to my feedback?
All responses are confidential and anonymous. Feedback is viewed only by Seed Psychology’s directors and/or the relevant psychologist. No identifying information is required.
If you wish to leave your contact details so that we can follow up with you, you will have the option to do so.
What is the difference between a clinical and general psychologist?
Guide to the roles of various mental health practitioners
There are many different types of mental health practitioners. Each has different skills, qualifications and strengths. We hope this guide can help clarify some of the differences.
A psychiatrist holds a medical degree with a specialisation in mental health. They are able to diagnose mental health disorders and prescribe pharmacological treatments. They generally treat the most severe of mental health issues with medical interventions. Some psychiatrists also do talk therapy.
Psychologists focus more on psychotherapeutic treatments. They use talk therapy to help clients understand their thoughts, emotions and behaviours, and the links between them.
A general psychologist has completed an undergraduate degree in psychology, followed by an Honours year, plus two years of supervised training in which they receive on-the-job training while working closely with a supervisor. A clinical psychologist has completed an undergraduate degree with Honours, as well as a Master of Clinical Psychology.
A counselling psychologist has completed a Master of Psychology (Counselling). They help people through life transitions, with a focus on interpersonal relationships and mediation.
Counsellors are well-suited to helping people who are struggling with life’s ups and downs. Most counsellors have completed a Master of Counselling. Those with more acute, long-lasting mental health issues will sometimes be better served by a psychologist or psychiatrist.
In Australia, all psychologists must be approved by the Psychology Board of Australia and registered with Australian Health Professional Regulation Agency (AHPRA). The term ‘counsellor’ is not protected or regulated in the same way.
Each of these fields is highly complex, working with numerous client populations. The qualifications and avenues through which each person comes to a field can vary somewhat.
Please note that this is intended to be a general guide. It is not comprehensive.
What is psychology?
Psychology is the study of human behaviour. Psychologists are experts in human behaviour, having studied the brain, memory, learning, human development and the processes that determine how you think, feel, behave and react. Psychologists apply their expertise using reliable and scientifically supported methods.
Psychological therapies are widely used to treat individuals, couples and families and can also be applied to groups and organisations.
What should I expect on my first visit?
During your initial consultation your psychologist will discuss your concerns with you, and help you identify treatment goals. As part of this process they will assess each area of difficulty and work with you to devise an optimal treatment plan based on empirical study. This means we only practice psychological treatments that are known to be beneficial.
Your psychologist will also estimate the number of sessions needed to increase your quality of life, vitality, and wellbeing. It might also be helpful for you to think about what you want to gain from therapy prior to your appointment, and raise any concerns that you have with your psychologist.
How long is a session?
Consultations with a psychologist last between 50 and 60 minutes.
How many sessions will I need?
At Seed Psychology we are committed to ensuring that the intervention provided is specifically tailored to your needs. You might want to improve your relationships, or overcome feelings of sadness related to depression. Perhaps you want to learn how to cope with worries, or more successfully adjust to the difficulties of life.
This means there are no “hard and fast” rules regarding the length of treatment, so it will largely be determined by the nature of your concerns. However, it is common for most people to attend between 6 and 18 sessions, with some people requiring less sessions and others more.
Your psychologist will discuss the estimated length of treatment with you following your initial assessment session.
Fees & Rebates
Medicare rebates to the value of $84.80 to 124.50 per session are available with a referral from a GP or psychiatrist. However, you can still access our services without a referral or rebate.
Medicare Rebates can be claimed directly following your appointment via Medicare’s EasyClaim. Please bring your Medicare and debit cards with you to your appointment to participate.
Private health insurance
Check with your health insurer for rebate details. In most cases, private health rebates can be claimed onsite via our HICAPS facility.
Report and assessment
Please contact us for further details – our psychologists can under some circumstances produce reports.
If an appointment is cancelled at late notice, it is unlikely this gap will be filled. Late cancellations result in a loss of income for our psychologists, and also mean that other clients have lost an appointment opportunity.
With this in mind, Seed Psychology has a strict cancellation policy. If you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment, you must provide us with at least two business days’ notice to avoid a fee of 50% of the full session fee, which is payable at your next session.
Please Note: No Medicare rebate is available for cancelled sessions.