Here are some of the questions most commonly asked of Kaye Barr regarding psychology Perth by those seeking to commence counselling.
All are trained extensively and professionally. Whilst there is some overlap in the functions of all three, there are important differences.
Broadly, Psychology is the science of addressing behaviour and mental health through thinking, reflection and changing behaviour. Psychotherapy is the process concerned with interaction, focusing upon a felt condition, or behaviour, in order to explore the underlying feelings, experience and thoughts which drive that condition, in past and present settings. A Psychiatrist has trained in medicine, followed by specialisation in the area of mental health. The Psychiatrist is likely to use drugs as therapy to deal with behaviour and mental conditions. Psychologists and Psychotherapists do not prescribe drugs, and instead are trained to enlist the thinking and reflective processes to address behaviour and mental conditions.
It is difficult to say, since people’s situations differ. Some people are looking to make a one-off decision about a specific issue, and may require one or two sessions, whereas another person may require ongoing therapy to unwrap something that has been troubling them for many years. My training as a psychologist and psychotherapist gives me skills in maintaining focus and moving towards a resolution, at a realistic pace.
The base fee is $220 per session. This is a little under the currently recommended fee of the Australian Psychological Society (APS) Ltd, which is $251 per session.
With the advent of Medicare and the large variability of circumstances within the community, I operate to some degree with a sliding fee scale. I may vary the fee in accordance with many factors – holders of Health Care Cards, students, Medicare Mental Health Care Plan cover, and so on. If you come under these or similar situations, please request further details regarding fees.
It is usually possible to access a cheap phone technology. You may have Skype or something similar, such as an international phone card, or a capped mobile phone contract, which enables you to make cheap calls. However, if you do not, I will be able to make the call to you, using a low cost phone option. In the overwhelming majority of situations this will not add to your counselling fee.
The Medicare option, known as the Mental Health Care Plan or the Better Access Plan, was introduced in November 2006, and was updated in November 2011. In consultation with a GP, one may obtain a referral to a Psychologist, for a series of up to 6 sessions of psychological counselling. At present, it is desirable to have the name of the Psychologist one wishes to see placed on the Plan by the referring GP. For these, Medicare rebates are available, which cover a portion of the fee charged, leaving an out-of-pocket component.
In some cases, the number of sessions may be increased by a further 4 sessions following a Review, so that up to 10 sessions in total may become available in the period of a single calendar year. Information on this is available through Medicare, your General Practitioner or myself.
There are many private health funds. Levels of cover, types of cover and costs of cover vary, so it is up to each individual to clarify with their Fund whether they are covered for Psychological services, and to what extent.
Some Funds provide a different of cover for Clinical Psychology, than for other Psychology endorsements. My endorsements are with Counselling, and Educational & Developmental. While some Funds do not differentiate, others do and one may wish to consult one’s Fund.
It is more rare, but possible under some cover programs in some Funds, to be covered specifically for Psychotherapy. You may wish to check with your Fund.
It is not possible to use a combination of Medicare and Private Health Fund cover for the same session. However, it is possible, for example, to commence a series under Medicare and eventually extend the number of sessions using Private Health Fund cover.
Some Health Funds have special rates for Participating or Members’ Choice providers. However this does not appear to be the case within Psychology. All providers are treated the same. The rebate structure of your Health Fund will be the same across all Psychology providers.
As Funds change their policies from time to time, you could also check this with your Health Fund.
Private health cover varies depending upon the type and level of cover with a given Fund. Please check with your Health Fund.