Frequently asked questions
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What are your hours of operation?
What are your fees?
Since COVID-19 we have adapted a hybrid approach to the business with regards to the way payments are made. All payments are made online. Please ensure that you have funds readily available at the time of booking. Your therapist will take payment over the phone at the initial time of booking with you to secure your place and then again at the end of each session to reserve any future scheduled sessions.
The Australian Association of Psychologists Inc. recommended fee for a 45-60 minute session with a psychologist is currently $265. To make our services more accessible our current therapists’ fees range between $120- $210 per 50-60 minute consultation. The consult fee will depend on which therapist you see.
Discuss with your GP to see if you are eligible. Without a Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP) you cannot claim a Medicare rebate. A treatment plan is a support plan written by a GP and it is available to anyone who feels they would benefit from psychological support for mental health concerns. A treatment plan is usually accompanied by a referral from your GP to see a therapist, typically a psychologist or social worker.
Medicare rebates are available for up to 10 individual and 10 group mental health therapy services per calendar year (1 January – 31 December) to patients with a treatment plan who are referred for mental health therapy services.
With a treatment plan you can now access up to 20 sessions per calendar year and obtain a Medicare rebate (increased from 10 sessions as of 9 October 2020). After your 10th session, your therapist will require a treatment plan review from your GP, so you can access the remaining 10 psychology sessions and claim a Medicare rebate.
If you have a referral from your GP under a treatment plan you will be able to claim a Medicare rebate of up to $88.25 for 10 sessions per calendar year and can access an additional ten sessions due to COVID-19 with further approval and documentation from your GP. Medicare invoices will be emailed to you once you have attended your session. You can then claim your rebate for these from a Medicare office, your mygov account, or the Medicare App. Please note that not all of our practitioners work within the Medicare framework though their fees reflect this so that their expertise is still affordable for you.
Eligible patients in rural and remote locations with a treatment plan can claim rebates for video consultations through the Medicare Benefits Schedule ‘Better Access to Psychiatrists, Psychologists and General Practitioners’ (Better Access) initiative. Eligible locations Telehealth mental health items will be available to people living in Monash Modified Model (MMM) regions four to seven. The MMM is a classification system that categorises metropolitan, regional, rural and remote areas according to both geographical remoteness and town size. More information about the Modified Monash Model is available at: http://www.doctorconnect.gov.au/internet/otd/publishing.nsf/Content/MMM_locator
Private health insurance
Private health insurers may also rebate part of the cost of psychological consultations. Firstly, please discuss with your therapist and then contact your health insurance provider for further information. Please be aware that you would only be able to claim either a rebate from Medicare or a rebate from your private health insurer, though not from both.
Workers Compensation and CTP/Motor injury claims
If you are approved for psychological assistance via Workers Compensation or are referred via a CTP/motor injury claim, there will be no fee as your insurer will cover the cost of any approved treatment. You will need to provide us with the claim number and a referral from your doctor. Your therapist will work collaboratively with your treating specialists, solicitors and the claims manager/consultant so you can concentrate on improving your mental health and wellbeing.
What about NDIS funding?
Our therapists are happy to work with you, your support workers, case managers, support coordinators or plan managers to ensure you are easily able to access our service. If you have NDIS funding you are welcome to book by contacting Tania on our mobile number or ask your plan manager to contact us to arrange an appointment.
Fees will be covered by the allocated funding within your NDIS plan. The plan will need to include an Improved Daily Living component (CB Daily Activity) for you to be able to access psychological supports. Consultations will typically be set under the NDIS subcategory of:
- Psychology assessment, recommendation, therapy or training
Provision to a participant of assessment, recommendation, therapy or training (including in assistive technology) support.
- Self-managed clients
If you would like to see one of our Psychologist’s, please either contact us by phone or send through a copy of your NDIS plan via email. After we have received a copy of your plan, we will send you a service agreement which you can review and sign. Once you have returned this to us, we will contact you to book an appointment.
- Plan managed clients
If you would like your Plan Manager to make a referral to Nova Psychology, we need them to send us a copy of your NDIS plan. After we have received a copy of your plan, we will send a service agreement to you, your plan manager or support co-ordinator which needs to be reviewed and signed. Once we have a signed copy of your service agreement, we will contact you to book in an appointment.
- NDIS managed clients
We are currently unable to accept NDIS managed clients.
We are happy to discuss your assessment needs with you. Our psychologists do complete assessments to provide evidence for psychosocial disability and can provide reports for NDIS.
If you have any questions you are welcome to contact us, we are happy to assist.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) can provide all people with disability with information and connections to services in their communities such as doctors, sporting clubs, support groups, libraries and schools, as well as information about what support is provided by each state and territory government. Visit ndis.gov.au or phone NDIS at 1800 800 110 for more info.
EAP (Employee Assistance Program)
If you are referred via an Employee Assistance Program there will be no cost for the total sum of any approved sessions.
If there is provision for specific funding from non-government or government organisations there may be the opportunity for certain individuals to access sessions without incurring a fee.
Private / Full-fee paying
Clients are welcome to self-refer without seeing a GP. Sessions will be set at the individual therapists standard fee ranging between $115-$200 with no rebate obtainable.
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. Our admin assistant manages all new client referrals and will allocate the appropriate therapist to you depending on availability and your needs. Our admin assistant will provide therapists’ contact details for you to call and book directly with them if therapists manage their own schedules. If your therapist does not manage his/her own diary, our admin. team will schedule your appointments and take payment for consultation. Thereafter, you will only deal with your specific therapist.
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 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
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 Zoom 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 Zoom?
Zoom is the technology that powers secure and private telehealth sessions between you and your therapist. This will allow you to access your therapist from any modern device, avoid traffic and waiting rooms and participate in convenient consultations from wherever you may be. We use the professional version of Zoom as it provides higher security and privacy standards and end-to-end encryption, which means it’s harder to hack.
How will I access my Zoom 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 Zoom 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.
What is the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist?
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).
What is a social worker?
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.
What is life coaching?
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
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.
Reports and other documentation
Fees for production of letters and reports (excluding progress reports to GPs for clients referred under a Mental Health Care Plan) will be typically charged at the Australian Association of Psychologists Inc. recommended rate of $265 per hour plus GST based on the time taken to produce the letter/report. Please don’t hesitate to contact us should you have any queries around this.
Fees for any specific psychometric assessments will be at the discretion of the psychologist who is best suited to conduct this for you. The time it might take to administer, score, interpret and report test results can vary and sometimes may take many hours. We welcome you to get in touch with us to discuss your needs so we can determine what assessment is required.