FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

The most frequently asked questions and answers to them..

If you can’t find an answer to your question please call us on (07) 3352 3577  or send an email to info@aheadpsych.com.au

Frequently asked questions:

Q:What kind of problems can you help me with?

At Ahead Psychology we provide counselling for children, adolescents, and adults with all sorts of problems including:

It may be that you have a serious, debilitating problem that you have struggled with for a long time and think that it is time to get help.

Or you may be generally successful and high functioning but are troubled by feelings, behaviours and thoughts that prevent you from functioning to your full capacity or from feeling happy and fulfilled.

Q:Do I need a Referral to make an appointment?

If you want to attend as a Private Patient you do not need a referral. Simply call (07) 3352 3577 to discuss any questions you may have and to organise a time that suits you. Alternatively, fill in our online bookings & enquiries form and we will call you.

If you wish to claim a Medicare rebate you will need an appropriate referral from a GP, psychiatrist or paediatrician. See below for more details.

Q:Can I get a Private Health Insurance Rebate for Psychology Services

Most private health insurers offer rebates on psychological services. To claim a rebate you will need to be covered by ancillary benefits insurance (extras cover). Some health funds also require a medical referral.

Rebates vary based on your level of cover. We recommend that you check with your health insurance fund first to find out if you are covered and how much your rebate will be.

Q:Can I get a Medicare Rebates for Psychology Services

Yes, Medicare rebates are available for psychological treatment by registered psychologists under the Better Access to Mental Health Care initiative.

The scheme provides considerable rebates allowing greater access to psychologists and more affordable mental health care

For more information read our Medicare Rebates for Psychology Services – Fact Sheet .

Q:How can I get a Medicare Referral?

To get a rebate under the Medicare Better Access initiative you need an appropriate referral from a GP, psychiatrist or paediatrician.

A referral from a GP must be accompanied by a Mental Health Care Plan. (Psychiatrists and paediatricians can directly refer patients and are not required to develop a specific mental health care plan)

If you plan on seeking a referral from your GP under the Medicare Better Access to Mental Healthcare program, it’s a good idea to:

  • When you make an appointment, advise that you are seeking a referral to a psychologist and would like to discuss a getting a Mental Health Care Plan
  • Book a longer consultation to allow time to talk about your issues and develop a Mental Health Care Plan
  • Print out a copy of our Medicare Rebates for Psychology Services – Fact Sheet and show your GP the details on making a Referral to Ahead Psychology on the back of it.

You are entitled to ask your doctor for a general referral to Ahead Psychology (addressed to ‘The Psychologist’ or ‘Dear Psychologist’) or to a specific psychologist at Ahead Psychology (see Psychologists’ Profiles here).

Q:Is what I say to a psychologist confidential?

It is normal to be concerned about your privacy and confidentiality when sharing intimate details about yourself.

At Ahead Psychology all psychologists uphold the Psychologists Board of Australia (PBA) endorsed Code of Ethics.

What you say to a psychologist is confidential and will not be passed on to anyone else (like a family member, friend or employer) without your consent except where: it is subpoenaed by a court; failure to disclose the information would place you or another person at serious and imminent risk; or if disclosure is otherwise required or authorised by law.

Q:How can I make an appointment?

To make an appointment simply call (07) 3352 3577 to discuss any questions you may have and to organise a time that suits you.

Alternatively, you can fill in our online bookings & enquiries form and we will call you.

We offer daytime and evening appointments from Monday to Saturday.

Q:How long does a session last for?

Sessions usual run for 50-55 minutes which is known as the ‘therapeutic hour’.

Q:How do I get to Ahead Psychology?

Click here for Location & Contact Details including a map, address, contact phone number, parking and public transport.

Q:What should I expect from the first session?

In the initial session, your psychologists will typically ask a number of questions to get an understanding of the particular matters that have brought you there. He or she will gather background information, discuss your expectations and establish objectives for the therapy in collaboration with you.

Q:How many sessions will I need?

The counselling process is different for everyone. The number of sessions you need depends on your unique circumstances. Some people resolve their issues in small number of sessions, whereas others require treatment over a longer term. This matter will be discussed with your Psychologist after the first session.

Q:What payment methods do you accept?

We accept cash and have EFTPOS facilities to process credit and debit card transactions. Payment is required at the time of the appointment.

Q:Do you have a Cancellation Policy?

Yes, due to the high demand for appointments, psychologists at Ahead Psychology have Cancellation Policies for short notice cancellations.
• If you cancel your appointment with less than 24 hours notice you will be charged 50% of the full fee. This notice period does not include non-business days when the practice is closed.
• If you fail to show up for your appointment you will be charged the full fee.
• Exceptions are not made to the application of the policy

You will be supplied with full details of your psychologist’s Cancellation Policy prior to your first appointment.

Q:Are psychological treatments effective? Is counselling worth the effort?

Psychological counselling is powerful, efficient, and cost-effective.

Current research shows that a range of evidence based psychological treatments:

  • are effective at treating the many common mental health conditions
  • are highly effective in treating most anxiety and depression disorders
  • are the treatment of choice for most childhood problems
  • can be more effective than medication alone over the long term, because people receiving medication only are more likely to relapse after they stop taking it.
  • are viable treatments, in terms of both their effectiveness and costs.
  • Psychologists at Ahead Psychology are outcomes-focused and only undertake evidence-based clinically proven treatments.

Whether it is support and understanding through a crisis or bringing about deep fundamental change, seeing a psychologist can definitely make a difference.

Counselling from a psychologist can help:

  • Build self confidence and self esteem
  • Manage anxiety
  • Improve the quality of relationships with partners and children
  • Promote general well being and balance in your life
  • Goal setting
  • Assisting in life transitions
  • Achieve a work-life balance
  • Manage daily stresses
  • Clarify direction in life and vocation
  • Overcome depression
Q:Is there something wrong with me that I can’t work it out for myself?

No – Getting help is the smart thing to do. Early Intervention can you help you avoid suffering unnecessarily and prevent more serious problems in the future

You may find asking for help from a psychologist is difficult. Many people feel weak or a failure when they seek help. The reality is that when you have a problem your mental health cannot be managed by telling yourself to “pull yourself together”, “pick yourself up and move on.” or to ‘just snap out of it’.

Seeking help is an act of courage and strength and in itself will help you move towards your potential. Ignoring or running away from your problems is easy but ultimately unsuccessful.

If you still feel you can manage it on your own and don’t believe you need professional help ask yourself this.. How long have you been doing it on your own? Why haven’t things changed? How much have you already lost? If it has been more than a few months then it is time to get help.

Q:What’s the difference between Psychologists and Counsellors / Psychotherapists

There are many different people who claim to treat mental health problems. Many are not properly trained, are unregistered and do not hold insurance.

To practice in Australia, Psychologists must be registered with the Psychology Board of Australia (PBA) and must:

  • Hold an appropriate qualification (most psychologists have a minimum of six years of tertiary training)
  • Undertake an-approved program of continuing professional development,
  • Hold appropriate Professional Indemnity Insurance
  • Demonstrate satisfactory evidence of recent practice

In Australia, counsellors and psychotherapists are not regulated by a specific government body – they are not required to have a license to practice.

Anyone can call themselves a counsellor or psychotherapist whether or not they have undertaken professional training in treating mental health issues. If you are planning to see a counsellor or psychotherapist, it is wise to enquire about their qualifications, the professional organisations to which they belong, and whether they practice according to a code of professional ethics..