Frequently Asked Questions
What can I expect?
You can expect to fill in the usual kinds of forms including registration forms and permission for consent to release information (where relevant). You may be able to complete this online prior to your appointment. If not, you can complete when you attend for your first appointment.
We suggest you arrive on time for your session with Rebecca Dallard, rather than early.
If you have a Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP) from your GP, please bring this along. We will need all your Medicare card details if you would like us to process your online Medicare rebate on the day.
You will be asked to make payment prior to the commencement of your counselling session. Payment options are different depending on which therapist you attend with, most can accept direct deposit, EFTPOS or Credit Card payments on the day.
Each therapist may take a slightly different approach on the initial session. However, in general you can expect to discuss your presenting issue, what you would like from each session and from therapy in general. The psychologist may also request that you complete an assessment or take a brief history. You will likely work together to determine what should be achievable for you out of therapy.
Most clients tend to experience therapy as a supportive experience and, sometimes, uncomfortable, and personally challenging. This is part of the reason we request that 48 hours’ notice is given for cancellation as it can encourage you to confront difficult issues you may otherwise seek to avoid.
The cost of a counselling session with Rebecca Dallard will depend on whether you are attending for the first time, or if you are attending as an existing client. First-time appointments are 75 minutes rather than 50 minutes to allow enough time to cover your history and to start the intervention process.
Initial session fees are $182 for 75 minutes.
Standard session fees are $162 for 50 Minutes.
Who typically goes to therapy?
Lots of different types of people go to therapy for a range of different reasons. People of all ages, socio-economic, ethnic and religious backgrounds attend for therapy. They may want psychological pain relief, or are dealing with a life crisis, they may be struggling with a relationship or being bullied at work. They may also be interested in personal development and growing their level of self-awareness or improving their communication skills.
Present Moment believes that taking the step to develop new skills and gain insight via therapy can be courageous. Particularly, if you happen to be around people of the “suck it up princess” or “just get over it” frame of thinking.
Therapy is not just for those with a mental illness or a major life challenge. Counselling can assist you uncover the ways you stop yourself get what you want in life… the things you do unconsciously and out of awareness. Many therapists attend for therapy themselves and find it an incredibly enriching and valuable experience.
How long do I have to be in therapy for?
Well, for however long you like really….
The number of sessions you require depends on what you are attending therapy for (your presenting issue) as well as other external and personal factors unique to you. For example, sessions with therapist taking a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy approach to treat depression can vary, but typically this is anywhere from 4 to 24 weekly sessions.
Some clients attend regular therapy (say once a month) over the course of many years as part of an ongoing commitment to self-awareness and personal growth. They also may attend to maintain gains made in therapy and as part of making their mental wellbeing a priority.
How many sessions before I feel better?
This is dependent on what you would like to achieve in therapy and your unique set of circumstances.
Everyone is different.
You may find that you need anywhere between 4 to 24 weekly sessions. Once they feel better clients may continue on a 2 weekly or monthly basis to maintain their psychological wellbeing and continue to develop their capacity for self-awareness and relationship over time. As part of an ongoing commitment to self-awareness and personal growth, some clients may attend for many years.
Other clients are interested in short-term solutions focused therapy. They may need support during a challenging time, assistance to cope with a crisis or across a significant life transition.
Ultimately, the number of sessions you require will depend on your individual circumstances, your goals for therapy and your presenting issue.
How long is a session?
Sessions typically go for 50 minutes for individual counselling work and 50 – 110 minutes for couples as agreed on the day. Ten minutes is allocated to taking payment, rebooking and other required administrative tasks.
Rebecca does have a bad habit of adding an extra 15 minutes to your session… so it is recommended that you allow for this or let her know if you are tight on time.
Do I need a referral?
You do not need a referral from your general practitioner to attend an appointment. However, please note the information given below regarding Medicare and Mental Health Care Plans.
What’s the deal with Medicare rebates anyway?
Medicare rebates are available for clients who have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder, such as anxiety, depression, adjustment disorder and so on. Clients will need to have a referral from their treating practitioner prior to the appointment to be able to claim money back from Medicare. You will need this MHCP when you attend with your psychologist for your first appointment.
The referral is called a Mental Health Care Plan and this plan entitles you to a rebate of $86.15.
You are eligible for a Medicare rebate where you need a structured approach to your mental health across several different disorders typically seen at this practice including (but not limited to):
• Panic disorder
• Bipolar disorder
• Adjustment disorder
• Sleep problems
• Bereavement disorders
• Unexplained somatic complaints
• Eating Disorder
• Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
• Mental disorder, not otherwise specified
The number of sessions you are entitled to is calculated per calendar year (Jan to Dec). For example, if your doctor refers you in August and you use all your sessions by November you are entitled to another 10 the following January. Be aware that any unused sessions not used in the calendar year will be forfeited.
All psychologists at the practice are all registered with Medicare. This means that you may be eligible for a partial rebate for the cost of your session from Medicare. Your medical practitioner will need to complete and prepare a Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP) before referring you to a psychologist. Your MHCP and referral letter will need to be provided to your psychologist when you attend at your first appointment. This will entitle you a set number of sessions as dictated by your doctor and noted on the plan. In most instances, this is an initial 6 sessions. After you have attended for 6 sessions your psychologist will provide a written update to your GP. To obtain further sessions you will need to be reviewed by your GP, who will determine your eligibility for a further 4 sessions. Without this review any claim made to Medicare will not be processed.
Private or self-referred clients do not need a referral from their GP to attend with a psychologist.
Can I use my existing Mental Health Care Plan with a different psychologist at Present Moment or at another practice?
Yes, if you still have sessions available for the calendar year. It is requested that you obtain a referral from your GP to accompany your existing plan. Please make sure that referral stipulates how many sessions you have had with your previous psychologist.
Private Health Rebates?
You may be able to claim a rebate from your private health fund if you attend with a psychologist at the practice and if you have extras cover. We recommend that you contact your fund to determine your eligibility and how much you will get back as the rebate varies depending on your level of cover.
Please ensure you ask your health fund provider if they provide cover for both registered psychologists and/or clinical psychologists.