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What hours are your offices open?

Our Morningside reception is available the following hours:

  • Monday 9.00am – 5.00pm; Tuesday 9.00am – 5.00pm; Wednesday 9.00am – 6.00pm; Thursday 9.00am – 6.00pm; Friday 9.00am – 5.00pm; Saturday 8.00am – 1.00pm

Our Newmarket reception is available the following hours:

Monday 9.00am – 6.00pm; Tuesday 9.00am – 5.00pm; Wednesday 9.00am – 6.00pm; Thursday 9.00am – 6.00pm; Friday 9.00am – 5.00pm; Alternate Saturdays only 8.30am – 1.00pm

*Psychologists may see clients outside these hours by appointment.

Is psychology covered by Medicare?

From the 1st November 2006, the Better Access to Mental Health Care initiative has allowed people with a diagnosed mental disorder to access psychology services through Medicare. For information, download the Australian Psychological Society Medicare factsheet.

Patients will need to be referred by a GP in the context of a GP Mental Health Care Plan, or by a psychiatrist or paediatrician. When making an appointment with your GP for the Mental Health Care Plan assessment, it is recommended that patients ask for a longer consultation.

For patients to be eligible for rebates from Medicare, they must have a clinically diagnosable disorder that significantly affects their cognitive, emotional or social abilities. These can include:

Chronic and acute psychotic disorders

Schizophrenia

Bipolar disorder

Phobic disorders

Generalised anxiety disorder

Adjustment disorder

Unexplained somatic complaints

Depression

Sexual disorders

Conduct disorder

Bereavement disorders

Post-traumatic stress disorder

Eating disorders

Panic disorder

Alcohol use disorders

Drug use disorders

Mixed anxiety and depression

Dissociative (conversion) disorder

Neurasthenia

Sleep problems

Hyperkinetic (attention deficit) disorder

Enuresis (non-organic)

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Mental disorder, not otherwise specified (sourced from www.health.gov.au)

Medicare will rebate up to 10 sessions per calendar year (from 1 January to 31 December). After six sessions, clients are required to obtain a GP Mental Health Care Review from their GP to access the additional four sessions. The GP Mental Health Care Plan expires after 12 months from the date of referral.

For clinical psychologists, clients will receive a Medicare rebate of $124.50 for a one hour session. Clients seeing an approved registered psychologist will receive $84.80 from the Medicare rebate for a one hour session.

Clients are required to pay our full fee on the day of consultation. Clients can then either claim the Medicare rebate electronically on the spot using Medicare easyclaim, or take their invoice to Medicare to claim the rebate.

Will I need a referral?

You do not require a referral to see a psychologist. However, if you wish to claim rebates through Medicare you will need to see your GP, psychiatrist or paediatrician for a referral to a psychologist. Medicare will not accept your claim unless you have a GP Mental Health Care Plan or have the relevant referral information from a psychiatrist or paediatrician. See Medicare FAQ for further requirements http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/mental-ba-fact-pat.

Do you take Saturday appointments?

Yes we are open saturday by appointment only. Our Morningside reception is available 8:00am- 1:00pm on Saturday. Our Newmarket reception is available alternate Saturdays 8:30am-1:00pm.

Our Psychologists may see clients outside these hours by appointment only.

How will I know if therapy is working?

Therapy is aimed to decrease or alleviate symptoms and distress. Some clients may feel an improvement in symptoms after 3-4 sessions whereas other clients may have more complex needs and are better suited for longer term management. Your psychologist should be able to advise you on the expected outcomes and time frame of therapy.

Clients, during therapy, typically report that they are able to identify sources of their problems and patterns of their negative thoughts or habits and are able to correct this using what they have learned in sessions. Commonly clients often report that they feel they have an increased ability to cope more effectively with everyday stressors.

What is the difference between feeling worried and anxiety?

It is normal to feel worried or anxious at times, this is a normal part of life but when your level of worry takes over the ability to function normally you might be experiencing anxiety.  Symptoms of anxiety include intense fear, panic, sweaty hands, nausea, headache, dizziness, increased heart rate. When anxiety becomes overwhelming, interferes with sleep, appetite or things you normally find pleasurable then you may need to address the problem by speaking with a professional. Talking techniques, cognitive behavioural therapy and relaxation therapy can help managed the symptoms of anxiety.

How a Psychologist Can Help Manage Chronic Pain

Many clients avoid seeing a psychologist as they are worried others will think ‘Your pain is all in your head!’ but Cognitive strategies, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), mindfulness and relaxation can be just as important as pain medication or physiotherapy.

Pain is a subjective experience and thus whatever pain the client describes is the true experience for them. Pain is certainly not ‘all in a person’s head’ but the brain and body are closely linked and thus it is a great asset to learn how to access the brains natural medicine cabinet, i.e., how to assist the brain to relax and release helpful chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine.

Clinical Psychologists can help chronic pain sufferers work through the daily struggles that present, offering strategies that will help the individual manage their pain, improve their mood and sleep, as well as recognise how unhelpful thoughts feed into the pain cycle. This in turn leads to an increased quality of life and reduced risk of associated depression and anxiety.

Is psychology covered by private health insurers?

Yes, psychology is covered by most private health insurers, provided you have appropriate ancillary cover. We have HICAPS available at our practice so that you can claim your private health rebate on the spot and only pay the gap amount between our fee and your private health fund rebate.

As various private health insurers rebate different amounts for psychology, please call your private health insurer if you would like to know the exact rebate amount you will receive for consultations.

What Is Towards Better Sleep?

Towards Better Sleep is a cognitive behavioural treatment programme that uses evidenced based techniques that focus on sleep education and behavioural techniques, correcting faulty thinking and relaxation strategies. The group is held in 4 x 1 hour sessions at Psychology Consultant’s Morningside practice. A group setting offers many benefits including reducing the cost of treatment and giving clients the opportunity to share and learn from each others insomnia experiences. Visit towardsbettersleep.com.au for more information.

 

What is insomnia?

According to Sleep Health Foundation “Insomnia is said to be present when you regularly find it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep. It has several patterns. You may have trouble getting to sleep initially. Or even if you can fall asleep, you might not be able to stay asleep for as long as you would like. Also you may wake up during the night and not be able to go back to sleep for a long time.

Without treatment insomnia can lead to serious health problems including anxiety, depression and impairment in daytime functioning, involvement in fatigue-related error-making or accidents, increased use of sick leave, greater irritability and depression, and prolonged use of minor tranquillisers. All of our Clinical Psychologist are trained to help with sleep problems or insomnia and can help improve your sleep through cognitive behavioural therapy and relaxation techniques, designed to re-educate and change behavioural around sleep.

 

 

What is Post Natal Depression?

Post Natal Depression or PND affects 1 in 7 women in Australia. Post Natal Depression and Anxiety typically presents with a combination of symptoms but is different for every women. Typically symptoms can include:

  • Extreme concern or worry about the baby’s health
  • Panic attacks
  • Hypersensitive to noise and being touched
  • Changes in appetite or eating habits
  • Feeling extremely tired and lacking in energy
  • Insomnia or trouble sleeping even when baby is sleeping
  • Sometimes obsessive compulsive behaviours can present
  • Feeling sad or crying a lot
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs
  • Total lack of sex drive or interest in being intimate
  • General feeling of worthlessness or that you have lost yourself.

If you are experiencing any of these feelings, talking to a professional can help. Psychology Consultants have a number of female Psychologists who are trained in treating PNDA. Visit our Brisbane Psychologists page to see our full team of Clinical Psychologists and their fields of specialisation.

 

What is Interpersonal Psychotherapy?

Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) is a supportive approach that aims to clarify and resolve interpersonal difficulties (eg, role disputes, social isolation, prolonged grief reaction, role transition, etc.). Therefore, the underlying assumption with interpersonal therapy is that the presenting issue (eg: depression) and interpersonal problems are interrelated.

Your psychologist works with you to identify specific live events and interpersonal issues related to the onset and continuation of their problems in order to demonstrate the connection between your mood and current situation.

What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based therapy which focuses mostly on the way people think about things (including their attitudes and beliefs) and the way they behave. CBT is based on the understanding that thinking negatively is a habit, and, like any other bad habit, it can be modified. It helps people identify where their thoughts and actions are negative, and then to replace these “bad habits” with more helpful thoughts and responses.

CBT utilises both cognitive therapy and behaviour therapy. Cognitive therapy aims to identify and evaluate the unhelpful thoughts (or cognitions) that lead to negative feelings (e.g. depression, anxiety) and behaviours (e.g. avoiding friends). The treatment focuses on questioning thoughts and restructuring these with positive ways to think about difficult situations. Behaviour therapy is goal-oriented and aims to help people change unhealthy or unhelpful behaviours that cause them to suffer or lower their quality and enjoyment of life. For example, people who are depressed often enjoy fewer pleasurable activities and so your psychologist would work with you to identify pleasurable activities and develop a plan to increase your participation in them.

Finally, CBT not only helps you to understand, manage and challenge thought and behaviour patterns, but can also provide you with a range of useful and practical strategies to enhance your productivity, well-being and your ability to cope with various situations in everyday life.

What is panic disorder?

Panic Disorder is characterised by unexpected and repeated panic attacks, defined as episodes of intense fear accompanied by physical symptoms that may include chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness or abdominal distress. Many people with panic disorder develop intense anxiety between episodes. In fact, a key feature of panic disorder is the development of a general fear of the next panic attack occurring. This is often referred to as fear of fear.

There are several factors thought to contribute to the development of panic disorder. Heredity and other biological factors have been found to predict the onset of the disorder. There may be a genetic predisposition to panic disorders; some sufferers report that a family member has or had a panic disorder or some other emotional disorder such as depression. Studies with twins have confirmed the possibility of ‘genetic inheritance’ of the disorder.

Stressful life events and thinking in a way that exaggerates them and the relatively normal bodily reactions they invoke are also believed to play a role in the onset of panic disorder. For example, catastrophic misinterpretations of physical symptoms are thought to lead to increase those physical symptoms and this can then continue to escalate into panic.

Avoidance, or agoraphobia in its extreme form, is thought to maintain panic disorder. The more a person avoids a feared situation, the more anxiety they feel towards that situation and the harder it becomes to confront it.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a term which describes the feelings people experience when faced with threat or danger or when stressed. Often people will feel upset, uncomfortable or tense. Anxiety can sometimes be triggered by experiences such as job loss, relationship breakdown, illness, accidents or the death of someone close. In these situations, anxiety is usually experienced for a limited time.

An anxiety disorder is defined when anxiety is persistent, out of proportion to reality and significantly interferes with a person’s daily life. An anxiety disorder can be typically accompanied by intense uncontrollable worry, avoidance of real or perceived anxiety provoking situations and panic attacks.

Anxiety can be heredity, or as a result of an anxiety provoking event, or a combination of both.

Symptoms of Anxiety:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Perspiration
  • Increased muscle tension
  • Nausea
  • Faintness
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Insomnia
  • Change in appetite
  • Tremors
  • Headaches
What is depression?

The term depression describes an illness characterised by intense depressed mood that generally persists for two weeks or longer and significantly affects a person’s life. It is often accompanied by feelings of sadness, helplessness, and a loss of enjoyment and satisfaction. Depression can be caused by many different factors, including heredity, biochemical imbalances in the brain, personal and work-related stress, bereavement, trauma or long term personality traits. Not all people who feel sad are necessarily depressed.

 Symptoms of Depression: The severity and frequency of symptoms will vary from one individual to the next. The symptoms may consist of:

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex
  • Decreased energy, fatigue, being “slowed down”
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
  • Insomnia, early-morning wakening, or oversleeping
  • Appetite and/or weight loss or overeating and weight gain
  • Thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts
  • Restlessness, irritability
  • Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders and chronic pain.
What is the difference between feeling blue and feeling depressed?

Depression is a serious clinical condition that is more than feeling blue for a few days but feeling completely hopeless and worthless for weeks at a time. Feelings of complete sadness, hopelessness or emptiness, persistent insomnia, lack of appetite, low motivation and loss of interest in things that normally bring pleasure are signs of depression. In some cases thoughts of death and suicide are where depression can lead you. If you have these feeling or think you might be suffering from depression, speak to you GP immediately. There are many effective treatments available for depression including cognitive behavioural therapy.

Do you have a practice in Brisbane’s South?

We have two practice locations, one in Morningside in Brisbane’s south and another practice in Newmarket, in Brisbane’s north. Some of our Clinical Psychologists works across both practices while others work exclusively at Newmarket or Morningside. To find out the location of each Psychologist, visit our team page here.

How can I make the best use of therapy?

Your psychologist will often discuss your individual therapy needs and the frequency of appointments. Typically at the start of therapy, regular and frequent appointments will be scheduled and gradually this will be tapered off as indicated by therapeutic progress. Attending scheduled appointments will assist in your treatment progress and prevent relapse.

Therapy is effective when you utilise what you learn in the sessions by integrating it into your everyday life. Typically, most therapy sessions will end with a homework assignment and review the progress with this at the start of the following session. It is also recommended to take notes at the end of each session to help you remember things or to write questions down that you would like to discuss at the next session. Please ensure you complete any handouts or questionnaires your psychologist has given you as these can greatly enhance therapy.

Psychology sessions can also be enhanced with psychological readings, workbooks, brochures and CDs. Your psychologist can recommend appropriate choices. Some reference books are available for sale at reception.

Where can I view your privacy policy?

Our privacy policy can be downloaded here.

What about confidentiality?

It is important to note that your privacy is protected at all times. Psychologists are bound by the legal requirements of the National Privacy Principles from the Privacy Amendment Act 2000 and follow strict guidelines for professional conduct that include confidentiality.

Your client file, which includes your personal information and session notes, are kept in a secure filing cabinet which is locked in a storage room. You can ask to see the information about you kept on file at any time.

Any information disclosed to your psychologist in sessions also remains confidential, unless it is subpoenaed by a court, you give us permission to disclose information, or our failure to disclose the information places you or another person at risk.

Note that if you see a psychologist and you have a GP Mental Health Care Plan, our psychologists are required by Medicare to provide brief reports on your progress to your referring GP throughout your treatment.

If you would like further information about your rights as a client of a psychologist, please refer to our Charter for Clients of Psychologists displayed in reception or talk to your psychologist.

 

 

What should I expect when I see a psychologist?

Appointments with your clinical psychologist or psychologist generally last one hour. During your first appointment, you will have an opportunity to explain your current concerns from your perspective.

Where couples, families, and parents with children attend, each person will be given the opportunity to speak with your psychologist individually. It is advisable that where couples are attending therapy together, they do not make individual appointments without the others knowledge as this may impact upon treatment and outcomes.

During your first session or two, your psychologist will further develop an understanding of your concerns by exploring your thoughts, emotions and behaviour, asking about the background of the problem, and asking you to fill out questionnaires where appropriate. Your psychologist will discuss your treatment plan and proposed number of sessions with you.

The aim of treatment will be to help you understand your problems, to develop effective ways of managing and coping with difficulties, and to make changes that improve your well-being.

Throughout this process you will always be treated with respect and can be ensured that sessions are confidential.

What is the difference between a psychologist, clinical psychologist, psychiatrist, and counsellor?

Psychologists study human behaviour in their undergraduate and postgraduate degrees before undertaking supervised experience and gaining registration. They do not have a medical degree; however, many have postgraduate qualifications or doctoral level qualifications in clinical psychology. Clinical psychologists have specialist training in psychological assessment and therapy with diagnosed psychiatric and/or mental disorders.

Psychologists generally assist people with a range of everyday problems such as stress and relationship difficulties. They also provide counselling and therapy for people with diagnosed mental disorders, such as anxiety disorders or depression. They help people to develop the skills needed to cope and function better, and to prevent ongoing problems.

Clinical psychologists and psychologists cannot prescribe medication. Their treatments are based on changing behaviour and emotional responses without medication. There is a considerable amount of evidence showing psychological treatments are effective on their own, as well as in combination with certain types of medication.

Psychiatrists have a medical degree, which involved six years of studying general medicine, followed by further study to specialise in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness and emotional problems. Psychiatrists treat the effects of emotional disturbances on the body and the effects of physical conditions on the mind. Psychiatrists can prescribe medication. Some combine medication with other forms of therapy.

Source: Australian Psychological Society http://www.psychology.org.au 

A Counsellor assists people to “develop understanding about themselves and to make changes in their lives.” According to the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) http://www.pacfa.org.au it is expected that they “work within a clearly contracted principled relationship that enables individuals to explore and resolve issues of an interpersonal, intrapsychic or personal nature”.

There are different types of counsellors such as rehabilitation counsellors, marriage and/or family counsellors, school counsellors and others. Each may have very different qualifications and experience levels, which can be enquired about by potential clients. In Australia there is no mandated minimum training and qualification framework in place yet, though many counsellors are voluntary members of professional counselling associations, and are working towards this through PACFA, their peak body.

PACFA maintains a national voluntary register of counsellors and psychotherapists who have satisfied its minimum training standard. Also refer to http://www.theaca.net.au for more information on counselling.

 

What is a neuropsychologist?

A neuropsychologist is a psychologist who specializes in understanding the relationship between the physical brain and behavior. The brain is complex. Disorders within the brain and nervous system can alter behavior and cognitive function.According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, the role of a neuropsychologist is to understand how brain structures and systems relate to behavior and thinking. Neuropsychologists have a doctorate in psychology and training in neuropsychology. They often work in research or clinical settings.

What is Psychology?

Psychology is the scientific study of behaviour, mind and thought. Psychology is commonly defined as: “the science of behaviour and mental processes”. Psychological science comes along with an enormous body of research and literature, and this work has helped in the development of psychological therapies to help enhance people’s personal well-being and mental health.

A psychologist, drawing on this research and these developed therapies, can help people of all ages facing a range of emotional or behavioural problems, such as various life transitions or changes, or personal or work-related stresses, as well as those suffering from diagnosed mental disorders.

Psychological treatment can also assist individuals, couples, groups and organisations to enhance motivation, productivity, interpersonal relationships and cope with everyday situations more effectively.

Why choose Psychology Consultants?

Psychology Consultants employs highly trained and experienced male and female clinical psychologists and psychologists, each of whom have extensive experience in various clinical settings. Our focus on using evidence-based approaches, coupled with client-centred principles, helps us assist clients to achieve positive outcomes.

Our clinical psychologists and psychologists work with clients using a combination of different therapy approaches, depending on the situation and what will be most effective for the individual. Each psychologist also has specific areas of interest and expertise and are continually enhancing their knowledge and professional development via conferences and research to ensure up-to-date treatment practices and information.

Appointments are available at both our Morningside and Newmarket practices and we have psychologists that are available Monday – Saturday for daytime appointments, with evening appointments also available during weekdays

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