About Psychological Therapy, or Counselling, at Enhance Life Psychology

What exactly is Counselling?

Counselling is when a client and a therapist, or psychologist, develop a working relationship. It is a two-way process. A psychologist does not ‘fix’ or ‘cure’ the client. The client and the psychologist work together to find a more effective or helpful way of negotiating the specific problem being presented.

Counselling is a process where a psychologist might ask lots of questions. This helps to build up a profile of an issue or problem. The questions help the therapist to learn about strategies that have worked and not in the past. The psychologist will develop a working hypothesis (or theory) about what might be going on for the client. This hypothesis often guides the direction of therapy. However, as new information is added to the psychologist’s understanding of their client the hypothesis can change. Counselling is a dynamic process that draws on theoretical knowledge and experience as well information, history and experience individual to each client.

Do I need a referral from my GP?

No, you don’t need a referral from your GP to see a psychologist.

However, if you would like to seek a referral from your GP you can. Sometimes your GP might consider that you are eligible for Mental Health Treatment Plan (MHTP). You might be eligible for a MHTP if you are struggling with a mental health issue such as anxiety or depression. A MHTP will mean that you can be eligible for a Medicare rebate. Medicare rebates for psychological services are about financially supporting people to seek help for specific mental health issues.

Do you bulk bill?

No, Enhance Life Psychology is a private billing practice.

Investing financially in your therapy often means that you are more likely to invest in the therapeutic process from an emotional and cognitive perspective as well.

Psychologists invest in our training, ongoing professional development and confidential consultations with experienced psychologists, or supervisors. In order to maintain our professional registration, we are required to complete a specific number of hours in professional development and supervision every year. This enables us to keep up-to-date with new research, to expand and improve our skills, and helps us to remain accountable for the treatment of our clients

Keep in mind that the fee you pay is used also to pay for the standard costs of running a business. This includes room rental, phone and internet costs, bank and merchant fees, tax, superannuation as well as holiday and sick leave.

Please note – It is understood that it can sometimes be difficult to afford the gap. When there is significant financial difficulty it is possible to discuss reducing the gap.

If you would like to discuss fees please contact us.

What are your hours?

Enhance Life Psychology is available for consultations on Mondays and Tuesdays. On these days consultations are held at the primary practice location at Crawley House at 328 Montague Street, Albert Park.

If a suitable time is not available in the online booking portal please contact the practice to discuss making a time that works best for you. After hours appointments can only be made after a conversation or at the end of a session; this means that after hours times are not available for online booking.

More information about location and hours and how to contact us can be found here.

We advertise holiday hours and closures on the blog, various social media platforms as well as Google MyBusiness.

Can I bring someone?

Yes, you can bring a support person to your appointments. Sometimes it can be helpful to have your support person to attend part of your first appointment. However, most of the time a support person will wait and not attend your counselling session.

Do you see adolescents? And can their parents attend?

Yes, adolescents are welcome to attend Enhance Life for therapy. Parents can attend as a support person and can be involved in part of the first session. But it is important for parents to be aware that the counselling session is for their adolescent child and is not about them.

Engaging with parents of adolescents is important and can be therapeutic. Disclosure of therapy content is with the consent of the adolescent attending therapy. Please see the FAQ below about confidentiality.

Parental consent for therapy is generally expected and this needs to be provided in written form on the intake form. It is difficult to provide therapy to adolescents without parental consent due to the fact that sometimes adolescents might need someone to take responsibility for their care outside of counselling sessions.

Do you charge late notice and non-attendance fees?

A 50-minute time slot has been reserved especially for you. Late notice of cancelled appointments is a loss to three people:

  • The client who is delaying their therapy progress;
  • Another client who has been sitting on the waiting list to see the psychologist urgently;
  • The psychologist who spent time preparing for the session.

If you contact us to let us know you can’t attend and we are able to allocate your appointment to someone from the wait list, no matter when you cancel, you won’t be charged a late notice fee.

If you contact us 48 hours before your appointment there is no late notice fee payable. Failure to give a minimum of 24 hours notice of a cancellation will result in a late notice fee equivalent to the cost of your session being charged. This fee is not covered by Medicare / TAC / WorkCover / Third Parties and applies to all clients.

Enhance Life Psychology automatically sends courtesy reminders about appointments 3 days prior to your appointment. This gives you enough time to consider if you absolutely cannot attend and then to cancel or reschedule your appointment to avoid the late notice fee. 

Please contact us as soon as possible if for some reason, you need to reschedule or cancel your appointment. It is preferred that cancellations be made by phone, though other methods are accepted. 

You will be notified about late notice and non-attendance fees and they will be processed within 24 hours of your appointment using the credit card details supplied.

What is confidentiality? And what cannot be kept confidential?

All personal information gathered by Enhance Life Psychology during the provision of the psychological service will remain confidential and secure except where:

  1. It is subpoenaed by a court, or
  2. Failure to disclose the information would place you or another person at serious and imminent risk; or
  3. Your prior approval has been obtained to:
    1. provide a written report to another professional or agency. e.g. a lawyer; or
    2. discuss the material with another person, eg. a parent or employer.

This is in accordance with the APS Code of Ethics. If you have questions about this please don’t hesitate to ask.

Do you offer online counselling?

It is possible to engage in psychological therapy via telehealth. Telehealth can be a convenient way of accessing therapy. It is especially useful for those who might live in more remote areas and for those whom access to therapist can be difficult. Telehealth has become a more common way of accessing mental health support throughout 2020.

Telehealth is very similar to face-to-face counselling. At Enhance Life Psychology we use video to enhance online counselling; video allows us, client and therapist, to engage in a way that is close to face-to-face therapy that occurs in the same room.

PowerDiary is the Practice Management System used by Enhance Life Psychology. PowerDiary has an inbuilt telehealth platform that meets all Australian confidentiality and privacy requirements. At times we might use Zoom instead. Zoom meets the encryption requirements to ensure confidentiality. Both the PowerDiary and Zoom telehealth platforms can be accessed on a computer, a tablet or mobile phone.

It is possible to receive a rebate from Medicare for telehealth consultations if a referral and Mental Health Care Plan has been put in place by your GP. Prior to the CoVID-19 pandemic rebates for telehealth consultations were only available to those living in rural and remote communities. This has been relaxed and telehealth consultations are available to all until March 31 2021.

If you are interested in engaging in therapy via online video conferencing please contact us by phone or email.

How do you accept referrals?

Referrals can be sent in a number of ways:

  • By fax – 03 8679 0504
  • By email – nonie@enhancelife.com.au
  • By hand – it is common for clients to bring their referral with them to their first appointment

Bushfire Recovery Access Program

If you are in need of assistance as a result of suffering adverse changes to your mental health as a result of the 2019-2020 bushfires. Please review the attached document or contact us to explore your options.

Bushfire Recovery Access Program