Frequently Asked Questions.
During our first session, we may discuss:
Basic information such as identifiers such as name and age
How you were referred to our clinic
Undertaking a mental status examination or questionnaires that might accurately identify any potential risks or harm
The presenting issue, prior medical history, family history, any substance use history, and other relevant biopsychosocial history
Your history undertaking psychological tests before coming to our clinic
Being guided by this initial information helps our clinicians to develop a treatment plan targeting your specific needs.
Just yourself! It isn’t necessary (although it helps) to have all your details on hand. During the initial session, the primary focus is to actively listening to you, get a clear picture of your circumstances, the mental health outcomes you would like to achieve or the challenges you’re currently facing.
Please note that as we delve into your personal issues and symptoms, this may trigger certain thoughts or emotions. Acknowledging these emotions without reacting to them is particularly important.
Caveat: Quite often, in the course of these questions about your personal issues or symptoms, thoughts or feelings may arise. It’s important to be aware of them, but not react to them.
Together with you, we will examine any complex or negative emotions, ideas, or behaviours that surface.
The initial stage of treatment is analogous to creating a road map to improving your psychological health.
This “roadmap” is guided through the use of evidence-based psychological therapies and takes into consideration your unique circumstances and objectives.
Your psychologist will collaborate with you during the initial session to conduct a thorough analysis of your situation. This will enable you to identify the essential steps and critical planning required to progress. The first sessions are vital in comprehending the core problem. Evidence-based therapy and techniques will be used by your psychologist to guide you through resolving these issues. That being said, very often, the key cause for concern as to why you sought help may only become apparent later in the therapeutic process.
The preliminary evaluation process is crucial in gaining a better understanding of yourself and allowing us to comprehend you more effectively. While it is not unusual for an initial session to address the core issues swiftly, particularly in instances where a mental health condition has been accurately diagnosed or symptoms can be precisely identified, this is not always the case. If you are not ready to discuss your issues or symptoms or have a long-standing mental health issue where symptoms can be concealed, it may take time to establish trust and create an environment where the discussion of symptoms feels normal.
During or thereafter the initial session, you may gain some insight into the mental health issues you are facing and be able to identify the necessary or tangible steps to alleviate what you’re experiencing. Working with a psychologist gives you the confidence that you are working professional who has engaged many clients with identical mental health and life issues successfully. Any feedback in the therapeutic process provided to you is based on evidence-based therapy and clinical interventions that:
- Addresses difficult symptoms or potential issues that you may experience
- Helps you develop a solution or better manage your situation
- Enhance your understanding to remain committed and build resilience through the problem you are facing
- Enables you to take charge of your mental health and wellbeing.
- Develop effective coping strategies to help you navigate challenging situations.
At Chat Clinic, the therapeutic alliance is the cornerstone of a successful therapy session. Developing a strong therapeutic alliance is essential for clients to feel comfortable discussing sensitive or challenging topics in an open and honest manner. While having evidenced-based therapies and interventions including tools and techniques described as the ‘Gold Standard’ are crucial, more importantly it is essential to establish trust and confidence between the client and therapist. Without a solid therapeutic alliance, making progress may be difficult, regardless of the therapist’s qualifications, experience or toolkit of ‘Gold Standard’ therapies, interventions and techniques. In a nutshell, we prioritise the therapeutic alliance with our clients as first as foremost in therapy sessions. Everything else is secondary.
Yes, we offer Telehealth sessions to improve the accessibility of mental healthcare services and provide the option of engaging with a psychologist by phone or video from your home or a quiet area. This option is for individuals experiencing difficulties attending in-person sessions such as those, living in rural areas, travelling for work or, life and medical circumstances that prevent attendance at face-to-face clinics. Telehealth bookings are available round the clock.
Our psychologist may also offer audio-only services via telephone if video conferencing is not available. Applications for video calling and software such as Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, Duo, GoToMeeting, and others. Before commencing any therapy, assessment or intervention, a client must provide their consent to Telehealth services, which will be offered only when safe and clinically appropriate to do so.
If you are seeking a Medicare Australia rebate, please be reminded that the MBS Telehealth services are for non-admitted patients.
Upon deliberation, if it is determined that a face-to-face consultation may be more appropriate by our clinicians, we may refer to our local psychology partners on the ground.
Refundable Deposit Required
Chat Clinic requires a deposit of 55 AUD to secure your appointment, which will be returned when your therapy concludes or if you decide to discontinue therapy. Kindly note a non-refundable 2.08 AUD fee is charged in addition to the deposit, by our payment processor.
Cancellation Policy for Medicare and Full Fee clients
If you cancel or miss your appointment with less than two clear business days notice, you will be charged a full fee for the scheduled appointment, and the deposit of 55 AUD will be applied to the missed session. To reschedule a new therapy session after a missed appointment, you must pay the difference between the deposit and the session cost and deposit a new Refundable Deposit.
Cancellation Policy for NDIS clients
If you notify us of a cancellation less than two clear business days before a scheduled therapy appointment, you will be charged a cancellation fee of up to 100% of the agreed price, according to the NDIS Price Guide. Your provider can claim any number of short notice cancellations or no-shows by a participant.
The Medicare Card Number and Individual Reference Number (IRN) your provide to Chat Clinic must be accurate and up-to-date. This means that you may have to contact Medicare Australia to ensure your Medicare Card Number or IRN number are correct. By signing our consent forms and utilising our services, you accept that any incorrect or incomplete information provided from you may result in out of pocket expenses. We strongly advise that you contact Medicare Australia to confirm your details before your appointment.
It is essential for you to contact Medicare Australia to confirm the number of available sessions BEFORE beginning therapy.
This not only helps to prevent you from exceeding the number of sessions you have been allocated but also helps to ensure that your GP has processed your referral letter and mental health care plans correctly and, to make sure that it is not an invalid document.
If there is an error in the GP referral letter or mental health care plan or if your documents are processed incorrectly, you will be responsible for the full session cost. Once again, we strongly recommend clarifying if your referral letter and mental health care plan are valid with Medicare Australia before commencing therapy.
It is advisable to wait for your GP Review letter which has to indicate that you have been approved for additional sessions before scheduling them with your psychologist. If sessions are booked and your GP has not sent us the GP Review letter is sent by the date you are booked in with your psychologist, you will not be eligible for Medicare rebate. Without Medicare rebate, will have to pay for the session out of pocket.
None of the above applies if you are a Full Fee paying client or International client.
Yes, to ensure compliance with Medicare Australia’s requirements, your GP clinic must send the referral letter and mental health care plan to us. This allows us to advise your GP clinic of any necessary amendments or corrections required within your referral letter and mental health care plan.
Kindly note that if your referral letter or mental health care plan are invalid, this may result in your liability for out-of-pocket expenses for your therapy.
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