Ph: 02 9531 1513

©2017 by Authentic Psychology. 

Frequently asked questions

Are you wheelchair friendly?

Unfortunately, we are unable to cater for people who need wheelchair access. There are 8 stairs to an initial landing then another 8 stairs to Authentic Psychology. There is a handrail.

Why do you charge cancellation fees?

Cancellations made with less than 48 hours’ notice are almost impossible to fill. Even on the rare occasion when we are able to fill them, administrative costs are incurred ringing clients on a wait-list.  All our fixed costs such as rent, reception, business support services etc, still have to be paid. So inevitably late cancellations and no-shows negatively impact the financial viability of the business. This ultimately drives up the fees charged to all clients to ensure bills and staff can be paid.

Furthermore, other people who may have taken the appointment if they were given enough notice miss out on the opportunity to receive the mental health support they need.  

This is why cancellation fees are strictly adhered to.

Do you bulk bill?

No, we are a private practice. We do offer a lower fee service to a small number of people experiencing extreme financial hardship. There is usually at least an 8 week wait-list for these spaces. Alternatively, you may be able to seek support from a not-for-profit service.

Can I get a Medicare rebate?

If you have been diagnosed by your GP with a mental health disorder covered by Medicare, and your GP has referred you under a Mental Health Care Plan, you are eligible to a Medicare rebate of $86.15 for up to 10 sessions in a calendar year. If you have claimed any Medicare rebates on a mental health care plan in this calendar year you can only claim for remaining allowed rebates. For example, if you have claimed 3 rebates this calendar year, you are only eligible to claim for an additional 7 in the same calendar year.  

Clients referred by a psychiatrist or paediatrician may be eligible for the same number of Medicare rebates.

The number of rebates you can claim in a calendar yearmay be limited if your referrer . The maximum number that can be claimed on any one referral is six (6). Once completed, you must provide another referral.

Can I claim a rebate for my psychology sessions from my health fund?

You will need to check that your health cover includes psychology or counselling for individuals, couples, or family therapy. When seeing a psychologist, some health funds insist that you use all your Medicare rebates before you can claim from your health fund.

Can I claim a rebate for a cancellation fee?

No. Only sessions that are attended are eligible for Medicare and private health fund rebates.

Can I claim a Medicare rebate and private health fund rebate for the same session?

No. You can only claim one rebate for a session. Some private health funds require you to have claimed all eligible Medicare rebates before you can claim the health fund rebate.

Do you process the Medicare or private health fund rebate?

Yes for Medicare and yes for health funds who are on HICAPS. When the health fund is not on HICAPS, we can provide you with a receipt so that you can claim the rebate. Rebates are processed at the end of the session.

I have a Mental Health Care Plan from my GP. Does this mean the service is free?

A mental health plan does not mean the service is free, however, it does mean you may be eligible for a rebate of $86.15 for 10 sessions in any one calendar year.

What payment methods do you accept?

We do not accept cash for security reasons.

The initial appointment may be paid upfront by debit or credit card. These card details are stored in Stripe (a secure payment gateway). Cancellation fees are charged to this credit card.

If you do not want the card details stored, appointments must be paid upfront.

Where card details are stored, payments for subsequent sessions are made at the end of the session by debit, credit card (Visa or Mastercard) or eftpos. 

We understand that some people may not be able to be paid by card. In these instances, it may be agreed to pay upfront by direct bank transfer. We try to minimise this due to the difficulty in marrying payments with client appointments. 

Do you provide support letters? 

Support letters can be provided once you have attended at least 6 sessions. This is required to ensure we understand your situation and mental health diagnosis. A fee is charged for support letters.

What is the difference between a counsellor, psychotherapist, psychologist and psychiatrist?

All can work in very similar ways, however, within each profession, they may have different skills. For example, a psychiatrist may provide therapy or they may only diagnose mental health disorders and prescribe and monitor medication. The easiest way to differentiate them is that psychiatrists assess, diagnose and prescribe medications, psychologists assess and diagnose but do not medicate, counsellors and psychotherapists are generally not trained to diagnose. All psychologists are trained to provide therapy. Counsellors and psychotherapists who are registered with PACFA must have completed accredited training to provide therapy.

What is the difference between a registered psychologist and a clinical psychologist?

The difference sometimes depends on how they trained to be psychologists. All complete a 4-year degree. Some clinical psychologists have, in addition, completed another 2 year Masters program and a 2 year supervised practice. Registered psychologists and some psychologists using the title "clinical" have, in addition to the 4-year degree, completed a 2-year supervised program including extensive course work comparable with the masters program. In addition, they are employed as a provisional psychologist. Alternatively, they may have completed a 5th year at university and then a 1 year supervised program while working as a provisional psychologist.

 

What is important is that all psychologists are fully registered by the Psychology Board of Australia to work as psychologists without restriction. They are all trained to complete thorough diagnostic assessments, identify the best evidence-based therapy for the mental health problem, provide therapy, and write diagnostic reports. Psychologists may develop an area of interest. This usually occurs post-registration through ongoing professional development and experience. Many psychologists have completed additional mental health related degrees, masters programs or doctorates.