Do I need a doctor's referral?
It is not necessary to have a doctors referral to see a psychologist, anyone may book an appointment. However, having a referral from a GP can be a good idea for two reasons:
- Medicare rebates are available if your GP writes a 'Care Plan' for a chronic condition requiring psychological help, and
- Keeping your GP informed about your psychological needs means they are better placed to give advice now andÂ to help you in the future.
Can I claim the fee back?
General practitioners, paediatricians and psychiatrists are able to refer clients to psychologists under a Mental Health Care Plan. This allows up to 12 sessions with a psychologist to be undertaken in one calendar year with a partial cost rebate. Joanna works with a Medicare system where the rebate can be processed immediately after payment.
What can I expect from my first session?
During our first session, there will be an initial questionnaire for you to complete whilst you relax with a tea or coffee. This questionnaire assists me with building a picture of what has brought you here and what may be the best direction for therapy to go in. There will also be a form that explains the privacy and confidentiality laws that are involved in psychology. This session is primarily about getting to know you and your current concerns, along with what is most important to you. We will discuss what has or has not worked in the past in coping with your current concerns and discuss the direction that therapy will take us.