Counselling provides you with a confidential and supportive space to discover solutions to your problems (we all have those!), reduce the struggle with your emotions, or explore repeated patterns in your life. You may be seeking a deeper sense of meaning and purpose, positive change, or personal growth.
A counsellor is a trained empathic listener, skilled at listening for key things and asking pertinent questions that will help you to discover more about yourself and what you want from life. Unlike your friends or family, I see your story entirely from your perspective, without judgement, and with complete confidentiality. I won't ever tell you what to do; I will empower you to recognise and achieve what you want and need to do.
You might choose to:
Learn some new skills
Work out a solution to a problem
Develop insight into patterns in your life
Discover new coping tools
And so much more!
I can't get to hawthorn or malvern, can I still see you?
Yes! Many of my clients are in distant suburbs of Melbourne, Regional Victoria, interstate, or overseas. We can work via telephone if you are in Australia, or via Skype or Zoom if you are in Australia or overseas.
Will you tell anyone about what I say in sessions?
Counselling is strictly confidential, and as a registered counsellor I am bound by my code of ethics to keep your identity, records, and content of our sessions private. The only exceptions are if I am ordered by a court of law to share your records, if you are at risk of harm, if you disclose that you have an intention to harm others, or if there is a child at risk. You might choose to give me permission to discuss your care with your GP or allied health practitioners, but I will not discuss your care without your express permission to do so.
What if?... EEK I'm worried about...
It is completely normal and understandable to be nervous - especially if counselling is new to you and you're not sure what to expect. I am known for my warm, approachable nature, and I will be making an effort to increase your comfort in session. You do not have to talk about anything you don't want to. Crying is completely ok and welcomed. If you're not sure what to say, that's completely ok too. You will never be judged by me; that's the wonderful thing about counselling, it's a safe, judgement-free zone for you.
How much is it for a session?
$120 per 45 minute session
$79 per 45 minute session for Health Care Card holders
how many sessions will i need to achieve my goal/s?
It's different for everyone, and depends on what you are wanting to achieve with counselling. If you are wanting to nut out a solution to a specific problem or question, or to make a decision about something, you'll generally need fewer sessions than if your goal is longer term such as improving your body image or self-worth. You can pause or stop counselling at any time and you are not locked into any sessions.
How often will I need to see you?
We can discuss the best fit for you according to your needs, your schedule, your preference, and your budget. Once per week is very common, whilst others choose fortnightly. In the beginning it's beneficial to not leave too much of a gap between sessions or you can lose momentum and the 'thread'. Many clients move to monthly sessions later in the therapy process.
can i claim counselling on private health insurance?
More and more health insurers are adding counselling to their list of extras. Please check with your insurer and let me know if you need information from me.
is there a medicare rebate?
Counsellors are not included in Medicare, so there are no rebates.
There are quite a few benefits of not using Medicare or Private Health insurance that it’s worth being aware of.
1) In order to access Medicare you would need a psychological diagnosis of a mental disorder to receive a ‘Mental Health Care Plan’. Most people come to counselling for everyday concerns and struggles, not because they have a diagnosable mental illness. As a counsellor I don’t view you as a sick person needing to be ‘fixed’, but as a human with very human struggles that we can work through together.
2) If you receive psychological treatment through Medicare and the Mental Health Care Plan then your number of sessions are limited, and the type of therapy (modality) is limited too. You will most likely be restricted to 10 or fewer sessions of CBT, even if that approach doesn’t resonate for you. As a counsellor I use a range of modalities according to your particular concern and your personal preference. CBT is only a small percentage of the work I do.
3) If you receive psychological treatment through Medicare and the Mental Health Care Plan then your diagnosis (remember a mental disorder needs to be diagnosed to receive the Medicare rebates) is recorded in your My Health Record. Currently in Australia insurance companies unjustly discriminate against people with a history of mental health issues. Premiums may be higher and there may be difficulty accessing life insurance or income protection insurance. As your counsellor I do not have access to your My Health Record, so I do not make a record your sessions there. They remain completely private and confidential.