Frequently Asked Questions

What services do you provide?

We offer psychological counselling and support to

What therapies do you use?

We use a range of evidence –based therapies, which means they have been scientifically proven to be effective. These include:

  • intuitive eating / health at every size / and cognitive behavioural therapy for eating disorders (CBT-E)
  • Art and play therapy for children
  • Cognitive behavioural therapies including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Mindfulness based psychology
  • Gottman relationship therapy

Do I need a referral to see a Psychologist?

No, you don’t need a referral from your doctor, however you will only be able to claim a rebate from Medicare if your doctor gives you a specific referral, called a mental health care plan. It is entirely up to you whether you wish to use this system.

Will the psychologist understand my issue?

This is a common concern for many people. Laura has been a psychologist for over 20 years, so has helped clients overcome a wide range of issues. Her goal is to work collaboratively with you to help you achieve the best possible outcome, which may also include referring you to a different service if needed.

Isn’t counselling just talking?

Talking with a psychologist is not the same as talking with a friend. The role of counselling is to give you an opportunity to think deeply about your concerns, to learn specific strategies to better manage your situation, and / or to learn to see your situation from a new, more helpful perspective. Usually you will be taught skills to practice between sessions, so that you begin to make changes in your life outside of counselling.

Why does the GP suggest I see a Psychiatrist as well as a Psychologist?

A Psychiatrist is a medical doctor who has undertaken further specialist training in diagnosis and management of mental health disorders. Psychiatrists have specialist knowledge in prescribing medication for people with long term or complex mental health issues, or for people who have complex medical conditions.  Your GP  may suggest that you consult a Psychiatrist if you have had difficulty finding a medication which works for you with minimal side effects, or which is safe to use with other medications you need to take.

So, a Psychologist will help you develop the extra skills and strategies you need to manage your psychological health, the Psychiatrist can assist with medication support.

What’s the difference between a Psychologist and a counsellor, therapist or psychotherapist?

The term ‘Psychologist’ is a registered profession in Australia, which means that people wishing to use that title must be registered with  the Psychologists Board of Australia (PsyBA).  To register with the PsyBA, a Psychologist must complete a minimum of 6 years of study and supervised training. To maintain their registration, psychologists are required to work according to strict professional and ethical guidelines, and to participate in regular supervision and training (currently 30 hours per year).  This means that psychologists are mental health specialists.  The terms ‘counsellor’, ‘therapist’ and psychotherapist’ are not registered professions in Australia, which unfortunately means that anyone can use these titles, even if they have no training.

I live in a rural or remote area – can you do Skype sessions?

In late 2017 Medicare announced a new telepsychology rebate so that people living in certain rural and remote areas could access a rebate for 10 sessions per year with a  psychologist using videoconferencing, such as Skype.  Although we were very excited by this news, the actual program requirements are that 1 of the first 4 sessions must be a face to face meeting in the psychologist’s office, and that only 7 out of the 10 sessions can be via videoconferencing: the other 3 must be face to face. This means that you would have to travel to Perth at least 3 times over the course of 10 sessions of therapy, which for most people just isn’t possible. Medicare also does not allow the use of Skype due to privacy concerns so other, expensive software must be used by the psychologist and client.  For all these reasons, we are very sorry to say that we are  not currently offering the telepsychology service, but we hope that Medicare will review these restrictions.

What is a ‘child psychologist’ or a ‘specialist child psychologist’?

The Psychologists Board of Australia has strict guidelines covering what titles Psychologists can use to describe the work they do and the qualifications they have, and under the most recent changes (2011 – 2014)  these titles are no longer allowed to be used by any Psychologist in Australia.  If you are looking for a Psychologist to work with you and your child,  it is a good idea to ask them what training they have specifically in working with children, teens and families, and how many years’ experience they have specifically in working with children, teens and families.

My child won’t come to counselling, what do I do?

It is fine to encourage your child to attend, perhaps suggesting they ‘just go once to see what they think’. If, however, they still refuse to attend it is important not to force them. An alternative, which you may not have considered, is for you as parents to attend counselling yourselves. This can often be enormously helpful in giving you both support for your difficult role, as well as specific strategies you can try to improve things for your child.

My partner won’t attend counselling, what do I do?

Sometimes, your partner may not want to attend couples counselling. Perhaps they feel uncomfortable about talking about personal things, or feel you should be able to work things out by yourselves, or maybe they just don’t agree that there’s a problem. In these circumstances, you may find it helpful to seek individual counselling for yourself. Many people find they are able to make changes to their relationship when they are receiving individual support.

I need a report for court – can you help?

No, we don’t provide:

  • Psychological assessments or reports for family court, criminal court  or other legal matters
  • Educational assessments for school, TAFE or university
  • Counselling, assessment or medico-legal reports for workers compensation, motor vehicle accident  or any other claims via the Insurance Commission of Western Australia (ICWA)

Your solicitor will be able to recommend a psychologist who can do these assessments for you.