How does a psychologist help

How does a psychologist help?

How does a psychologist help? We will break down how an NDIS psychologist can help you on your journey to recovery. Here’s an overview of working with a registered psychologist in the context of core and capacity building through your NDIS funding.

Looking to begin your NDIS funded psychological services. Skip to the “NDIS Psychologist Services at Chat Clinic” section.

How does a psychologist help in your journey with the NDIS?

After obtaining funding in your NDIS plan for core and capacity-building support, as a participant, you can use your funding to engage a registered psychologist[1]. The NDIS supports participants with a range of disabilities including intellectual, physical, neurological, sensory, visual, auditory, cognitive and psychosocial[2]. The NDIS can also provide early intervention support for younger participants with the abovementioned disabilities[3]. This includes providing children with developmental delays through early intervention support programs[3].

If you are submitting an initial access request and require relevant evidence about your disability to be documented, your psychologist may be listed as a treating health professional[4] to provide an assessment and a diagnosis depending on the classification of your disability.

Eligible treating mental health professionals[4]

At Chat Clinic, we have psychologists who work in all of the above areas and are dedicated to finding you the right psychologist. To find out more call us at one of the numbers listed below.

How does a psychologist help NDIS participants with a disability to receive the appropriate support?

Your registered psychologist can provide you with core and capacity building support through your NDIS funding plan [1]. These core and capacity building supports are described in the NDIS pricing guide[1] and describe the scope of services provided by a registered psychologist. Core and capacity-building are part of the NDIS’s scope of funding which gives assurance to participants that they can obtain the necessary support within what the insurance scheme permits. For example, an adult recently diagnosed with a disability or, a child who from birth or thereafter obtained a permanent and significant disability, should be able to access NDIS funding as long as their condition falls within the NDIS criteria, namely a permanent impairment and lifelong disability [5].

How does a psychologist help support your goals if you have presented with a disability through the NDIS?

Your registered psychologist will help you by providing core and capacity building supports[1] which will enable you to develop adaptive skills, strategies and behaviours and, advise NDIS support staff to ensure that you get the support you need to achieve your desired goals within any occupational, educational, social or community settings[6]. While working with your psychologist, the achievement of autonomy, independence [7] and, building appropriate support systems and networks will be a major focus in how you plan and engage within your daily activities. Developing a sense of autonomy, independence and strong support systems and networks has a significant impact on improving your functional outcomes in social, occupational, educational, community or professional settings.

How does a psychologist help you get NDIS funding?

To obtain funding for NDIS services, you will need to obtain a report which outlines the diagnosis and assessment from a treating health professional, which may include your GP, psychiatrist or registered psychologist. [4]. Furthermore, the report from your treating health professional will need to be included along with other required disability evidence or functional assessments within your category of primary disability[4].

Disability evidence to support your NDIS application[4]

Please review your category of disability carefully. Each category specifies the type of treating mental health professional from which your report needs to be provided to be eligible for NDIS funding[4].

Eligible treating mental health professionals[4]

How does a psychologist help you through the funding pathways offered through the NDIS?

Your preference as to how your NDIS plan is managed affects your ability to select a registered psychologist.

  • If your NDIS funding plan is ‘self-managed’[8], you will have the freedom to access any registered psychologists that are registered with the Psychology Board of Australia[1]. The pricing of your services can be negotiated. The current NDIS rate for a psychologist’s services is $214.14[1]. It is important to take note that the APS recommended rate for a 40-60 minute session is $267[9].
  • If your NDIS funding plan is ‘NDIA-managed’ or ‘agency managed’[10], you cannot choose registered psychologists that are not NDIS registered[1]. This means you will not have access to all the registered psychologists that are registered with the Psychology Board of Australia. The pricing of your services would be dictated by the NDIA and fixed at the current rate is $214.14[10].
  • If your NDIS funding plan is ‘plan-managed’[11], you will have the freedom to access any registered psychologists that are registered with the Psychology Board of Australia[1]. The pricing of your services would be dictated by the NDIS and fixed at the current rate is $214.14.
  • The final option would be to have your services fall under multiple categories. This could involve any parts of your plan being managed separately under the self, NDIA or plan managed options [12][13].

Regardless of the option chosen, ensuring that your choice and control over ensuring and evaluating whether your services are working for you and fit in your budget, are yours. To find out more about funding pathways.

How does a psychologist help deliver the NDIS funded therapeutic services you need?

Each participant has a unique life history, circumstances, education, social support, education, professional and for that matter outlook on life and individual approach to recovery. Therefore the therapeutic services that one participant might need could be quite different to another, despite the similarities in the documented disability. When working with a registered psychologist, it’s important to remember what your intended goals are and the outcomes you wish to achieve.

Furthermore, to achieve your goals, it’s crucial to have a psychologist who you have a therapeutic alliance with[14]. Clear communication about your NDIS goals, therapy goals and even personal goals can ensure everyone is on the same page. Take the time to ensure that your registered psychologist has the qualifications, experience and capacity to help you reach these goals. This also involves being upfront about the costs of engaging a registered psychologist, the number of capacity building sessions that are expected and, clarifying on matters relating to finances, administration and scheduling. These should be set out in your service agreement[15][16].

How many capacity building sessions are provided to participants by the NDIS?

The number of capacity building sessions a participant needs can vary quite significantly. However, it’s important to consider why you have sought out a psychologist for capacity building including what your goals are and intended outcomes[17].

An example of your goals could be[17]:

  • Learning how to develop specific skillsets
  • Understanding how to be more independent and autonomous
  • Being empowered through employment, further education or vocation
  • Participating in social, community and leisure activities
  • Being able to establish or improve relationships

Corresponding outcomes that you might work on with a registered psychologist would be[17]:

  • To guide you be able to focus on aspects in your life that bring you confidence, optimism, that are constructive, productive and hopeful
  • To utilise these aspects to your advantage
  • To retain your curiosity about new, different or evolving ideas
  • To be open to exploring to trying things differently
  • Understanding what independence and autonomy mean to you
  • Being able to build something specific, measurable, achievable, relevant to your life and that can be achieved in a finite timeframe

In the context of capacity building, this can be developing skills, strategies and growth in one of the key areas that the NDIS focuses on, which are[17]:

  • Communication
  • Social interaction
  • Confidence around mobility/ motor skills
  • Learning
  • Self-care
  • Self-management

Embedded in the above skills and strategy development would also include learning how to face challenging situations. This could include handling specific symptoms in an episode of a mental health presentation, an adverse life event or a stressor. Inculcating adaptive coping skills and strategies[19] can be accomplished through sessions with your psychologist, psychoeducation, role-play activities, simulations, etc. These coping skills and strategies can be learned and utilised to ensure protection from adverse events or in the context of mental health presentations, exacerbation of symptoms or relapse[19].

While some of the work with your registered psychologist could be based on a shorter number of sessions, there are other challenging areas where you might work with your psychologist over a greater number of sessions.

As an example, developing adaptive relationship-building skills with participants with long-held values and perspectives from prior relationships, early childhood experiences, prior relationship history, experiences of trauma from past relationships[20] and other factors that have had a significant influence, may result in a higher number of sessions with your psychologist. Building adaptive behaviours, interpersonal skills, ways of thinking about relationships, including assessing or re-assessing, approaching or maintaining old and new relationships takes a significant amount of work and time.

The number of sessions also depends on whether you have a therapeutic alliance with your psychologist[14]. Whether you have come to see your psychologist for a small number of sessions or to work through something that might take a much longer, it won’t take very long for you to ascertain if the psychologist you are working with places your growth and development as first and utmost and, has your best interests at heart.

What should I expect from my first NDIS session?

At Chat Clinic, all the required procedures including consent, intake forms and service agreements are completed before commencing any sessions with your psychologist.

The first session might involve your psychologist understanding your:

  • social background such as your family, friends and if there are people in your life that support you,
  • educational, vocational and employment history
  • medical and psychosocial history
  • what goals and outcomes you would like to work towards with a registered psychologist

It would be beneficial to be open with your psychologist and discuss any personal, social, educational, vocational and professional goals you would like to achieve within your NDIS plan.

Within the NDIS, what are the services a psychologist and a psychiatrist can provide?

Within the NDIS, the key difference that distinguishes psychologists and psychiatrists is that the NDIS funds services provided by psychologists[1]. Unfortunately, services by a psychiatrist are not included as billing items in the NDIS price schedule[1].

Both psychologists and psychiatrists are permitted to provide assessments and diagnoses as evidence as part of your NDIS funding application.

Review your required treating health professional[4].

Within the NDIS, what are the differences between a counsellor and a psychologist?

Within the NDIS, the key differences that distinguish counsellors and psychologists are the corresponding services that can be provided within your NDIS funding plan and the billing items that are associated with each profession.

The following are the services and billing items provided by psychologists under the NDIS.

  • Core supports in the context of Assistance with Daily Life [1]
  • Capacity building supports for Early Childhood Interventions[1]
  • Capacity building supports
  • Providing assessments, necessary recommendations, therapy and/or training. This does not confirm or otherwise, the use of Assistive Technology[1]
  • Specialist Support Coordination[1]

The services and billing items provided by counsellors are restricted to the following under the NDIS.

  • Employment Related Assessment And Counselling[1]
  • Counselling[1]
  • Therapy Assistant – Level 2[1]

Another key distinction is whether your psychologist or counsellor can provide assessments and diagnosis as evidence as part of your NDIS funding application to access NDIS funding.

Review your required treating health professional[4].

Do you receive NDIS funding to see a psychologist?

Yes, as long as your NDIS funding plan has been approved for NDIS psychological services such as core or capacity building services under the NDIS[1]. It’s important to be aware of the differences in how you will pay for your services between NDIA[10], Plan[11] and self-managed[8] funding plans.

We have a page dedicated to Medicare Australia services or if you are seeking a Medicare rebate for psychological services or a bulk billed psychologist.

Note: Funding for services under Medicare Australia cannot be used for NDIS services and vice-versa.

Am I eligible for NDIS funding?

You must meet the following criteria for NDIS funding:

  1. Be 7 and 65 years old. [2]
  2. Residency requirements:
    1. Australian citizen[2]
    2. Permanent resident[2]
    3. Protected special category visa. [2]
  3. Provide evidence that you need require support from another person due to an ongoing, permanent and significant disability. [2]
  4. Evidence of disability-related equipment utilised due to an ongoing, permanent and significant disability, if relevant to your circumstances. [2]
  5. To provide evidence that you require current support which may have implications on your future needs and outcomes[2].

Your disability has to be categorised as a:

  1. A permanent disability – means your disability is likely to be lifelong[5]
  2. A significant disability – a substantial impact on your ability to complete everyday activities[5]

Do I need a referral to see a psychologist through the NDIS?

A referral is not required from another health professional if you have already been approved for NDIS funded psychology under core or capacity building.

If you do not wish to apply for NDIS services, we have options where you can self-fund the services you require.

What is the length of a session with a psychologist if I have NDIS funding?

Each session is an hour long.

How does confidentiality work with a psychologist within the NDIS?

Confidentiality and privacy are the key tenets of working with your psychologist. There are specific exceptions where confidentiality has to be broken.

This includes:

  • When a court subpoena has been presented; or
  • When a failure to disclose the information would place you or another person at serious and imminent risk; or
  • When you have consent and provided prior approval to:
    • Forward written reports to professionals such as, GPs or lawyers; or
    • Discuss the material with another person e.g. parent or employer; or
  • Scenarios where the law requires or authorises disclosure.

Chat Clinic works with NDIS participants to ensure quality psychological services and assessments are delivered to participants living with a disability. Chat Clinic’s registered psychologists can provide individualised therapy and assessment services through your NDIS funding plan. Our registered psychologists who are experienced in working with participants living with disabilities can help you get started on core and capacity building.

We take into account your situation and circumstances. We respect that each individual with a disability is different and have been trained to be sensitive to the unique needs of our clients.

The clients we work with are happy to work with us for the following reasons.

Get Help Now From Our Registered Psychologists.

Click the chat icon and we will answer any of your queries about our service.

Note: If this is an emergency please contact, dial 000 immediately.

We acknowledge the traditional owners of the land that we live and work on and we are committed to closing the gap.


  1. ^National Disability Insurance Scheme. (2021, August 11). What is an Access Request Form?
  2. ^ National Disability Insurance Scheme. (2020, August 27). Applying to access the NDIS.
  3. ^ National Disability Insurance Scheme. (2021b, November 24). Plan budget and rules.
  4. National Disability Insurance Scheme. (2021c, November 24). Supports funded by the NDIS.
  5. National Disability Insurance Scheme. (2021d, November 29). Mental health and psychosocial disability.
  6. National Disability Insurance Scheme. (2022, March 1). Consent forms.
  7. National Disability Insurance Scheme. (2021a, June 15). Planning Operational Guideline – Is the support most appropriately funded or provided through the NDIS?
  8. Ardito, R. B., & Rabellino, D. (2011). Therapeutic alliance and outcome of psychotherapy: historical excursus, measurements, and prospects for research. Frontiers in psychology, 2, 270.
  9. National Disability Insurance Scheme. (2021e, December 16). Mental health and the NDIS.
  10. Psychology Board of Australia. (2020, October 12). General registration.
  11. National Disability Insurance Scheme. (2020, August 27). Applying to access the NDIS.
  12. National Disability Insurance Scheme. (2019, August 2). Types of disability evidence.
  13. National Disability Insurance Scheme. (2021c, August 11). What is an Access Request Form?
  14. National Disability Insurance Scheme. (2022b, March 1). Pricing arrangements.
  15. National Disability Insurance Scheme. (2017, August). Accessing the NDIS: A Guide for Mental Health Professionals.
  16. National Disability Insurance Scheme. (2021d, November 3). Early childhood approach.
  17. National Disability Insurance Scheme. (2020a, May 12). How to review a planning decision.
  18. National Disability Insurance Scheme. (2021a, April 20). How we think about an ordinary life when deciding on supports to include.