What is a psychologist?
A psychologist is someone who has completed 4-8 years of university training and a minimum of 2 years supervised practice in human emotion and behaviour. Psychology courses have breadth and depth given how complex we are! In short, if you’re human, psychology can help. The training goes well beyond academia and requires periods of applied work (i.e. practicums) under supervision. As such, by the time they are a Registered Psychologist (and even more so if they are endorsed in Clinical, Counselling or Forensic Psychology) they are effective clinicians.
This intense journey, ensures psychologists can effectively support people to increase their personal wellbeing and relationships using models of positive psychology through to helping them overcome mental health difficulties such as depression, anxiety and trauma (to name only a few). Like those in the medical profession, psychology is regulated by the Australian Health Practitioners Regulatory Authority and because of this, there are significant minimum standards for registration and ongoing practice. It’s important to know that we don’t prescribe medication but we work closely with GP’s and psychiatrists when this benefits our clients.
What are the qualifications of the practitioners at Perth Psychology Collective?
Our practitioners come from diverse backgrounds and as such, possess a range of qualifications.
As a minimum, our practitioners are Registered Psychologists. With the exception of our Interns, all have a Masters of Psychology degree in areas of clinical, counselling and/or forensic psychology.
Some have more recently completed their Masters and are undergoing formal supervision with a senior practitioner to (eventually). During this period of time, they use the term ‘Registrar’ next to their title. i.e. Clinical Psychologist Registrar.
As such, our team are made up of Psychologists, Counselling Psychologists, Clinical Psychologist Registrars, Clinical Psychologists and Forensic Psychologists.
As mentioned, Perth Psychology Collective provides Internships to graduates. These practitioners are registered with AHPRA as Provisionally Registered Psychologists.
All psychologists have to engage in a minimum number of hours of professional development every year to maintain their registration with AHPRA. This includes peer supervision and participation in further training.
Does seeing a psychologist help?
There is a significant evidence base that clearly indicates seeing a psychologist is beneficial for those who are experiencing difficulties in their lives. Psychologists work with a diverse range of clients presenting with a wide range of issues. Some are in crisis, others have been experiencing difficulties for a long period of time and still others would say they are coping find but describe themselves as ‘unsatisfied’ with their lives.
What happens with child clients?
Psychologists who work with children have specific training and experience engaging with them at their level. As such, the counselling process for children (particularly the younger they are) is very different from counselling with adults. In particular, psychologists use a range of verbal and non-verbal creative forms of expression that match their level of development. These typically include talk therapy as well as art and play therapy.
If your child is under the age of 14 years, we always ask you to attend a parent intake session. The child is not present for this as it allows both the parent/s and therapist to obtain a full history of the child’s development and the difficulties they are experiencing in an open and frank manner. Subsequent sessions occur with the child and at times, with the parent present as well.
Children have rights to confidentiality regarding what they express in their sessions and in fact, if children believe that every discussion is shared with parents this discourages them from speaking up in session.
However the therapist will keep parents/caregivers updated on the counselling process and will notify them if they become aware of any concerns or risk issues.
Do you need a referral to see a psychologist?
While we receive referrals from a wide range of sources, it is not necessary to be referred by anyone. You can arrange to see us without a referral.
However, if you would like to receive a Medicare rebate for your session then you would need to see your GP and discuss this with him/her first. If they believe this is the appropriate pathway for you, they will prepare a Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP). You’ll need to bring this, along with your Medicare card, to your first appointment. If you have a MHCP you are eligible to receive a Medicare rebate for up to 10 sessions in a calendar year.
Some clients attend their first session and then meet with their GP to discuss a MHCP. That is completely fine but the only sessions that can be rebated are those that occur AFTER the date of the MHCP.
An alternative is your private health fund. It’s worthwhile enquiring whether your policy covers you for psychology sessions and if so, what is the rebate per session. You do NOT require a referral or a MHCP from your GP for this.
What are the fees and rebates?
The Australian Psychological Society (APS) Guidelines
The 2022-2023 fee recommended by the Australian Psychological Society is $280.00 for a 46-60 minute consultation. As at 1 January 2023, the initial standard consultation fee is $415.00 for a 50-minute consultation.
Psychological Counselling Fees
Firstly, payment for the full fee is required on the day of service
Our fees vary depending on the qualifications of the practitioner you are seeing and whether you are attending during our peak times.
Our session fees range from $120 - $270 per hour.
Unfortunately we do not offer bulk billed or concessions rates.
If you have a Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP), your out-of-pocket expense range from $120 - $200.
The rebates from private health funds are vastly different and can range from $40 - $120. You’ll need to enquire with your health fund to determine your exact rebate.
Medico-legal Assessment Fees
Medico-legal fees are determined by the complexity of the case and the hours of work involved. Please contact us to discuss your needs so we can provide an estimation of the cost. Please note that you cannot use a MHCP for an assessment.
Our fees for preparation, waiting and appearance in Court are $381 + GST per hour.
Medico-legal therapy and reports
We have vast experience in undertaking assessment and therapy services for the following matters;
Criminal Injuries Compensation
Motor Vehicle Accident Compensation
Care and Protection Proceedings
Family Court matters
Criminal Court matters
It is always most efficient if your lawyer contacts us on your behalf to identify the purpose of either treatment and assessment. From there, they typically write to us with a series of questions that they would like us to address. Once we have that, we are able to quote in terms of the cost and timeframe.
Our cancellations fees are clearly set out in our Client Registration Form which all clients receive, read and must agree to, in order to proceed with their first (and subsequent) sessions.
Should you need to cancel your appointment, we advise you do so as soon as you realise.
Notice of need to cancel/reschedule
25 hours or more - is at the discretion of your clinician to charge
24 hours or less - full fee
No notice (i.e. failing to attend) – full fee
Are my sessions confidential?
Yes. All your information (contact details, session dates and session content) remain confidential except where;
- You have a MHCP in which case we are required to provide a brief letter to your GP outlining the general focus of therapy. The detail of sessions is NOT provided,
- Your information is subpoenaed by a Court or required by law,
- Failure to disclose the information would place your or another person at serious and imminent risk or
- You have provided approval to
- Provide a report to another person or professional agency i.e. a GP or lawyer or
- Discuss your session with another person i.e. an employer
Over the many years we’ve been in practice, clients have often offered to provide a ‘testimonial’ in relation to the service we’ve provided and the benefits they’ve experienced. The profession of psychology is regulated by AHPRA and as such, all testimonials (even those that are volunteered) are prohibited.