WHAT IS COUNSELLING LIKE?
Seeing a counsellor is not like a medical doctor visit. Instead, it calls for a very active effort on your part. In order for the therapy to be most successful, you will have to work on things we talk about both during our sessions and at home.
DOES COUNSELLING HELP?
People tend to come into counselling when their life and relationships are in crisis. Hence, therapy often involves discussing unpleasant aspects of your life, and this may bring up uncomfortable feelings like sadness, guilt, anger, shame, frustration, loneliness, and helplessness. On the other hand, therapy often leads to better relationships, solutions to specific problems, and significant reductions in feelings of distress.
HOW MANY SESSIONS ARE NEEDED?
The number of sessions required to ‘do the therapeutic work’ is hard to define and may depend on the time it takes to establish trust and rapport between us, the severity and duration of presenting problems, and the treatment approach taken. For individual counselling, I will usually schedule one 60-minute session per week, at a time we agree on. For couples counselling, I will usually schedule one 60-minute session per week, although some sessions may be longer or less frequent as therapy progresses.
DO YOU OFFER ONLINE COUNSELLING SERVICES?
Typically, I see clients face-to-face for counselling sessions in private consulting rooms located in the Melbourne suburbs of Hawthorn, Footscray, and Balaclava. However, I do offer counselling sessions via video call for clients who live remotely (e.g., interstate, in rural areas, or overseas), and for clients who feel that privacy is an issue. For instance, some people living in rural communities prefer to access counselling services with someone who is not part of their community.
WHAT ARE YOUR CREDENTIALS?
I have a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) (Honours) Degree, and a PhD in Psychology (Social and Mental Health) awarded in 2015 at Deakin University. I am also trained in suicide first aid. I am currently undertaking a Master of Counselling (Couples Specialisation) at Swinburne University in conjunction with Relationships Australia whereby upon completion, I will be eligible for associate membership with the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA). I am also undertaking PACFA accredited training in action and group work processes with Psychodrama Australia, and internationally accredited training in trauma and emotion-focused therapy for individuals and couples with the Australian Institute for Emotion-Focused Therapy (AIEFT) and the Australian Centre for Emotion-Focused Therapy (ACEFT).
…“When it comes to caring for the wellbeing of my clients, the learning never stops!"
WHAT ARE YOUR PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS?
I am a member of the Australian Psychological Society (MAPS), a member of the International Centre for Excellence in Emotion Focused Therapy (ICEEFT), a member of the Australian Centre for Emotion focused Therapy (ACEFT), a member of the Melbourne Community for Emotionally Focused Therapy (MCEFT), and an associate member of the Australian and Aeroterean New Zealand Psychodrama Association (AANZPA).
WHAT TREATMENT APPROACH DO YOU USE?
I utilise various treatment approaches in my counselling practice, and tailor therapy to the needs of my clients. You may or may not be familiar with some of these treatments, which include: Interpersonal Psychotherapy, Emotion-Focused Therapy, Internal Family Systems Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Behavioural Activation, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Positive Psychology.
HOW MUCH DOES COUNSELLING COST?
For individual counselling sessions, my professional fee is $200.00 per 60-minute session. For couples counselling sessions, my fee is $220.00 per 60-minute session.
WHAT IF I/WE NEED TO CANCEL AN APPOINTMENT?
Once an appointment is scheduled, you will be expected to pay for it unless you provide 48 hours (2 days) advance notice of cancellation. If it is possible, I will try to find another time to re-schedule the appointment.
ARE THERE MEDICARE REBATES FOR COUNSELLING SERVICES?
Medicare does not cover counselling and psychotherapy services or psychology services for couples. If you have private health insurance, you may be eligible to claim some counselling services depending on your insurance provider.
WHY PAYING PRIVATELY FOR YOUR THERAPY IS OFTEN A GOOD THING
Many people seek counselling help but are naturally concerned about the cost, so obtaining a mental health care plan to get a Medicare rebate or seeking Employee Assistance Program help initially seems attractive. However, for some people the advantages are outweighed by the disadvantages.
- Working with a counsellor means you are able to access your therapist directly. You don’t need a GP referral as you do for psychiatrists or some psychological treatments, so you don’t need to discuss intimate or distressing matters with your doctor and then go through it all again with your therapist.
- Mental health care plans referring you to a psychologist require a formal mental health diagnosis, for example, for anxiety or depression. You may later find that this has damaged your ability to insure yourself or your income. In some cases, it has been used against people in claims for workers’ compensation, employment and similar.
- You can access the therapist and therapy type that best suits your needs. Psychologists may be required by the conditions of the treatment to limit their therapy approaches, often to a medical model such as cognitive behavioural therapy. While CBT and other similar therapies are excellent, they may not be the best one for you at the time.
- EAP sessions are usually limited. Though they can be helpful for straightforward issues, they are often not enough for affecting long-lasting change.