Frequently asked questions
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What are your hours of operation?
Generally Monday to Friday — This may vary as some of our therapists work Saturdays, Sundays and after hours on weekdays. You can see their availability by clicking on their profile on our ABOUT page or make an online enquiry by contacting us via our website.
We always try and be as flexible as possible for our clients where able to fit in with their life circumstances and after-hours appointments will be made available at your therapist’s discretion. We will endeavour to return your call within 24 hours of receiving it unless it is later on a Friday or over the weekend.
Is this service available Australia wide?
Yes. We provide Telehealth Australia wide so that it is accessible for all Australians.
Contacting us, making bookings and what happens after your first booking
Your first point of contact will be our admin assistant.
Once you’ve made your first appointment, an information package will be sent to you which contains information about Nova Psychology, the services we offer along with other information and consent form for you to complete. We understand it can sometimes be unsettling filling out forms, so don’t be shy to ask for help if there is something you don’t understand.
What will a telehealth session be like?
We will give you information about participating in therapy via telehealth / videoconferencing and ask you to consent to receiving therapy via Video Call by reading and signing a consent form we will send to you at the time of your booking.
We run our telehealth therapy sessions in the same way as in-person therapy sessions are conducted. Your therapist will spend much of the first session getting to know you, ask you about what has brought you to therapy, and will encourage you to ask questions too.
What is telehealth therapy and is it as effective as face-to-face sessions?
Telehealth /video conferencing is a service offered by therapists at Nova Psychology. Telehealth or online counselling and therapy services have been proven to be as effective as face-to-face therapy. The ease of access and convenience, flexibility and cost-effectiveness of this service helps Australians overcome accessibility barriers such as wait times, geography, mobility and other life circumstances. This allows you to focus on getting help for your mental health needs, which is the priority of any good therapist.
If you’re looking to develop the tools required to build and strengthen your resilience and/or if you require a supportive caring and non-judgemental professional that is not biased to your circumstances, then this service is for you. Our therapists have a wide range of expertise and help treat individuals with varying levels of psychological distress.
We may not be able to offer the right solution for you if:
- you are in an urgent crisis or an emergency situation
- you have had suicidal thoughts or thoughts of hurting yourself or others
- you are a minor and under the care of a legal guardian
- you have been diagnosed with a severe mental illness
- you have been advised to be in psychological supervision or psychiatric care
- you were required to undergo therapy or counselling either by a court or by any other authority, or
- you do not have a device that can connect to the internet or you do not have a reliable internet connection.
Below are links to research done regarding the benefits of online counselling:
- Does online therapy actually work?
- Internet-based VS face-to-face cognitive behavioural intervention for depression
- A comprehensive review and a meta-analysis of the effectiveness of internet-based psychotherapeutic interventions
- The effectiveness of Web-based vs. non-Web-based interventions: a meta-analysis of behavioral change outcomes.
- Internet-versus group-administered cognitive behaviour therapy for panic disorder in a psychiatric setting: a randomised trial
- Home telemental health implementation and outcomes using electronic messaging
- Mobile Assessment and Treatment for Schizophrenia (MATS): a pilot trial of an interactive text-messaging intervention for medication adherence, socialization, and auditory hallucinations
- Distance Therapy Comes of Age
- Coviu – Peer reviewed evidence for Telehealth and people with Disabilities
What is Video Call?
Video Call is a secure video conferencing service purpose-built for health consultations. Accessed wholly via the web, it is available to use anywhere, on everyday devices with a good internet connection and there are no software or application downloads necessary.
Video Call is easy to use and you can connect with your therapist from your home, work, or wherever is most convenient, using everyday devices – a smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer. Clinicians, clients and any other callers/guests access Video Call via Google Chrome, or Safari on an iPhone or iPad.
You can attend appointments online in the therapists dedicated consulting room. Unlike traditional video conferencing no account, special software or dial-in details are needed, which reduces the need for extra resources or systems to support video consulting.
Ease of use and clinical setting: Clients using Video Call join a secure, private room as soon as they enter their name. No links or access numbers that could give a third-party access are involved, nor does the clinician have to remember to ‘lock’ a virtual meeting room to prevent access while they are in consultation. A Video Call ends as soon as the client or clinician leaves the consulting room – there is no electronic trail, record, or reference number that needs to be stored or deleted.
Security & Privacy: Video Call follows Australian privacy, security and data sovereignty guidelines described in the Australian Government’s Information Security Manual (ISM) for cyber security, so that health service providers and their clients have peace of mind around data security and privacy – before, during and after a call. No digital ‘trail’ or client digital footprints are left behind on the platform as all patient data is purged from the platform database after the call.
How will I access my Video Call telehealth session and how difficult is this?
Not difficult at all! Please ensure you have access to a device such as smartphone, laptop, iPad, computer, with a camera, microphone and speakers; and a reliable broadband internet connection.
Your therapist will send you a private link via email on the day. At the time of your appointment, simply click on the link and follow the prompts to join your session and you will be admitted to our secure Video Call virtual waiting room. Your therapist will join you there. Please check that you have a good internet connection and that your camera and microphone are working. We recommend testing these on your device prior to your session to make sure it all works.
I'm under 18 years old. Can I use your service?
Nova Psychology’s services are available to anyone aged 10 years and over. However, if you are aged under 16 years, by using our services you confirm that you have parental, guardian or GP consent.
How long can I use this service for?
Your treatment plan is something you will discuss with your therapist. The length of time that you seek help from a psychologist or social worker for will depend on your individual needs. Some may experience the greatest benefits of their sessions within a few weeks of regular sessions, while others may require support for a longer period of time.
Can I use this service for Child Custody Orders?
Generally no. We do not prepare reports for legal issues or around custody or access issues for children. Our work with clients is around cognitive and behavioural interventions, skill building, and evidence based therapy. If there are current orders in place for children, please provide us with a copy so we are aware of family circumstances.
What is the difference between a psychologist, clinical psychologist, psychiatrist, accredited mental health social worker, counsellor and life coach?
Psychiatrists are medical doctors who have specialised training in psychiatry and mental health. As medical doctors, they are able to prescribe medication and diagnose mental illness.
Psychologists have specialised knowledge in human behaviour. They study the brain, memory, learning, human development and are interested in how we think, feel, behave and react. Psychologists can help people to find ways of functioning better. For example, they can assist people to handle stress, communicate better, regulate feelings and resolve family problems. Psychological therapies are also widely used by groups and organisations. Some psychologists specialise in treating people with a mental illness or disorder or may work with specific populations including those who have experienced trauma. Psychologist’s study human behaviour before undertaking supervised experience and gaining registration. Psychologists do not have a medical degree, however many study for a similar number of years to specialise in various aspects of psychology. Psychologists do not prescribe medication.
Psychologists are registered by legislation with the Psychology Board of Australia and The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).
Social workers hold a minimum 4-year university degree and have between 800-1000 hours of supervised practical experience prior to graduating. Social Work is a diverse field with some social workers choosing to work in community development, social policy development, individual casework and case management, in mental health and in counselling and psychotherapy (often in private practice). Social Work is a holistic approach and has a dual focus of working with individuals (groups or organisations) as well as promoting greater social change (structural or ‘systemic’ change). Social workers have sound training in the applications of counselling and evidenced based therapies and have usually studied psychology and behavioural science in their undergraduate degrees. Social workers have a long and proud history of working with complexity including trauma and complex trauma presentations.
Accredited Mental Health Social Workers are members of the Australian Association of Social Workers.
What does a counsellor offer?
There are many different views as to what counselling is and there is much diversity within the counselling profession in terms of training. Some counsellors have studied for a relatively short period of time, where others may have university degrees and post graduate qualifications.
In life, events or situations can occur after which the need for counselling may arise. People may find themselves in situations where they need an objective and trained person with whom they can discuss a difficult or traumatic event, relationship or emotion.
There may be considerable overlap between what a psychologist, social worker and a counsellor do, however they may have different theoretical bases on which they apply their skills and knowledge. Many psychologists and social workers will refer to themselves as ‘counsellors’ in addition to their other qualifications as counselling techniques and theory are usually part of their undergraduate training.
Counsellors listen, provide feedback and assist a client to gather resources and formulate options to move forward from such circumstances. Contrary to popular belief, counselling is not giving advice to, pathologising or labelling a person. Good counsellors seek to help clients clarify issues, form perspectives and move forward.
As professionals, counsellors are expected to have suitable tertiary qualifications in counselling or the behavioural sciences and membership of a peak body such as the Australian Counselling Association, www.theaca.net.au.
Life Coaching is a process that is :
- task and future focussed, and
- about developing a mentoring relationship between client and coach that assists a client to move from their current to desired situation.
Coaching is about identifying client goals and aspirations and working with a client to ensure that these are achieved within a framework that empowers and inspires the client. Coaching identifies client resources, builds upon these and empowers a client to seek development and guidance in areas that need to be built upon. Once again you are best to check the training and experience of a Life Coach prior to seeing them.
Coaching can focus on:
- Career and workplace issues
Do rebates differ between general and clinical psychologists, accredited mental health social workers and counsellors?
Yes. Currently Medicare offers $79.05 for Mental Health Accredited Social Workers, $89.65 for General Psychologists, $131.65 for Clinical Psychologists. Art Therapists and Counsellors CANNOT provide services under Medicare and Rebates do not apply. Some counsellors can provide services under Private Health Funds.