1Do I need a referral to make an appointment?
No,You do not need a referral to make and attend an appointment with a psychologist. However, without a Medicare Mental Health Care Plan referral, you will be responsible for paying the full fee for each consultation, without receiving a Medicare rebate. The exception to this is where your assessment or treatment is being funded by a third party such as an insurance company, WorkSafe or TAC.
2What will happen during my first session?
The first session with a new psychologist comprises two phases. The first involves providing you with information regarding privacy and confidentiality, as well as information regarding treatment provision, psychologist availability and ensuring your informed consent.
The second phase involves a 'clinical assessment', gathering a history & background information, completing screening questionnaire/s in order to understand the nature and history of your concerns. The client and psychologist will then develop a plan and treatment (outcome) goals.
3How do I obtain a GP Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP)?
You need to make an ‘extended’ or 'double' appointment with your GP, who will discuss your circumstances with you and assess you for a MHCP. If you qualify, the GP will prepare a MHCP for you. You will get a copy of this plan and you need to bring this copy to your first session with your psychologist.
4How long does a session last?
A typical session involves the ‘therapeutic’, or ‘consultation’ hour. The length of this face to face component of the session is approximately 50+ minutes. The psychologist will use the remaining time after you have left to plan your treatment and complete your clinical record.