Frequently Asked Questions
How long will individual therapy take?
Individual therapy can continue for as little as a few weeks or as long as several years, depending on the issues being explored and the severity of the presentation.
For relatively simple clinical presentations of anxiety or depression, research suggests that about 75% of people will see complete remission of symptoms after 15-20 sessions of individual therapy. Moreover, around 50% of people will see some improvement in symptoms after around 8 sessions of individual therapy, while about 75% will see some improvement after about 13 sessions of individual therapy.
However, if individuals leave therapy after some improvement in symptoms, but before they have experienced full remission of symptoms, they are more likely to relapse.
As such, it is important to incorporate ongoing monitoring of relapse by scheduling follow-up appointments at 3, 6 and even 12 months after reaching full remission of symptoms.
More complex mental health problems or individuals with co-morbidity (i.e. more than one mental health disorder) will most likely take longer to see improvement and/or remission of symptoms than those outlined above.
How often are individual therapy appointments?
Only as often as you and your therapist decide. To start with, it is beneficial to meet weekly in order to build momentum, establish a strong rapport and gain some continuity in the process of therapy.
Depending on the severity of the problem and the progress you have been making, you may wish to extend the time between sessions to bi-weekly or even monthly in order to provide more time for personal reflection and to practice techniques and strategies outlined in previous appointments.
What should I expect at the first appointment?
At your first appointment, you will be asked to come in 10-15 minutes early, to Reception, to fill out some administrative forms including confidential questionairres.
In your appointment, the therapist will conduct an assessment in order to gather background information regarding various life events and experiences that contributed to you seeking therapy.
This process commonly takes longer than the first session to complete, and can take as long 3-4 sessions depending on the presenting issues. It might be helpful to think of specific goals that you wish to address in therapy and discuss these with your therapist at the first appointment.
Are all therapists the same?
Not all therapists have the same level of qualification and training.
For example, counsellors are not regulated by the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency (AHPRA), and do not have to follow the same standards of practice and training that psychologists do. Several years of tertiary study and a rigorous vetting and application process is required for therapists to register as a Psychologist with the Psychology Board of Australia.
There are many types of psychologists, including Sports & Exercise Psychologists, Organisational Psychologists, and Health Psychologists. Clinical Psychologists are the only psychologists who are specifically trained to diagnose and treat individuals who are suffering from mental health disorders, such as Generalised Anxiety Disorder, Major Depression Disorder or PTSD.
In order to become a Clinical Psychologist, a minimum of 6 years tertiary training plus a two year registrar program, must be undertaken. During this time Clinical Psychologists learn about evidence-based approaches to the diagnosis, formulation and treatment of psychological disorders.
If you have a diagnosable mental health disorder, Clinical Psychologists are the most qualified type of psychologist that can assist you in your recovery.
What do I need to bring to my first session?
Prior to your first appointment we send you some online forms to complete that will need to be completed prior to your first appointment. We also ask that you send through a copy of your referral and Mental Health Care Plan if not already received. On the day, please bring your Medicare card and copy of referral and Mental Health Care Plan if not already sent. Without this, we cannot process any eligible rebates for you on the day.
Do you provide Online Consultations?
Yes, we can provide online consultations. While we understand that online consultations may suit some individuals, our preference is to see clients face-to-face where possible.
What is EMDR and how does it work?
Please click here to learn more about EMDR and how it works.
What is Neurofeedback and how does it work?
Please click here to learn more about Neurofeedback and how it works.
FEES & REFERRALS
Do I need a referral to access Breathe Psychology services?
Yes, you do need a referral to access services at Breathe Psychology.
Why do I require a referral for this service?
We ask all potential clients to have a referral from a GP, Psychiatrist or Specialist to ensure you have the best possible allied health care support. While we may not need to contact a medical professional regarding your care, it is best practice that our Psychologists have a medical professional that they can liaise with if required. At Breathe Psychology we strive to provide a comprehensive service that aims to ensure the best possible care.
How do I get a GP referral?
In order to get a referral to a Psychologist at Breathe Psychology, you will need to make an appointment with a GP or Psychiatrist and ask them to refer you to our service. Even if you do not wish to claim sessions through Medicare you will still require a referral to access our service. If you do wish to claim sessions through Medicare, you will also need a Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP) along with your referral. We recommend checking with the GP’s administrative team if you need to book a longer appointment to obtain a MHCP, as they often require more time to do this assessment.
What are your fees? Do you bulk bill?
Can I claim a Psychology session through both Medicare and private health?
You may only claim from either Medicare or a Private health fund for each session. Private Heath will not contribute towards the ‘gap’ between the Medicare rebate and the consultation fees. Your receipt will have a code specific to either Medicare or Private Health depending on your requirements.
Some private health funds cover psychology sessions. The benefit payable to members of private health funds varies according to the level of ancillary or extras cover. It is best to contact your provider directly to check your eligibility and for the rebate information.
Do you accept NDIS funded sessions?
We currently only accept self-managed NDIS clients to out service.
If I have questions about Breathe Psychology services, or wish to make an appointment, what do I do next?
Is there a long wait time to see a Psychologist at Breathe Psychology?
Breathe Psychology is not a crisis service and as such there may be wait times to see one of our clinicians. We manage our client-to-psychologist numbers carefully to help those clients engaged in our service access to attend regular appointments (as research suggests that this ensures the best outcomes).
We also try to keep wait times to see a psychologist at a minimum where possible. If the wait time is longer than 6 weeks for you to engage in therapy, we can assist in offering an alternate option and we recommend you speak with your GP or try one on the larger clinics in Geelong. Our admin team can help with supplying a list of options should you require it.