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Frequently Asked Questions

Getting started in treatment can feel daunting. Here is a list of common questions that may help.

Can’t see your question listed below? Contact us – we’re happy to answer. 

Seeing a Psychologist

What should I expect at my first appointment?

The first session starts you on your journey to ‘becoming known’. That is, it is a session where your psychologist will start to get to know you, starting with understanding what is going for you currently. Because people seek therapy for all kinds of reasons, your psychologist will want to understand why you’ve decided to come to therapy at this particular point in your life. From there, your psychologist will ask further details about the difficulties you may be experiencing (e.g., low mood, anxiety, or stress), as well as how these difficulties are impacting your day-to-day life. 

To get to know you better, as well as the context to your difficulties, your psychologist will also ask about current life stressors, background information about you and your family, or difficult events that have happened in your life. You may already have ideas about how you would like therapy to help you – you might want to feel less anxious for example, or to be better able to connect with others. Your psychologist will want to know this too. 

The first session is also a chance for you to get to know your psychologist! It’s also an opportunity for you to ask any questions that you may have about therapy. If you feel that it would be beneficial for you to know some details about your psychologist (e.g., the training they have had, whether they have worked with the difficulties you are experiencing), it is more than okay to ask these questions.

You may find that your first session is emotionally draining, even if you didn’t expect it to be. You might like to take some time after session to pause, have a break, and to reflect on what you spoke about.

How many sessions will I need?

The answer to this tends to vary from client to client. Some therapies are longer-term, some clients have more severe and enduring symptoms, and sometimes new issues arise during therapy. All these factors can impact the length of therapy. It’s also important to have realistic expectations in general. Just as it takes time for difficulties to develop and to impact your life, it takes time to understand and work through those challenges.

Your psychologist will discuss a potential plan and timeline with you more thoroughly in your appointment, as well as any constraints that might prevent you attending as often as you may like (e.g., financial, work-related reasons). By the end of the first appointment, your psychologist should be able to suggest some broad ideas that may help you with some of your difficulties. It is important to note that these ideas will be refined collaboratively as therapy progresses.

Generally speaking, most clients find they benefit the most when they are attending regularly, starting with weekly or fortnightly sessions, and decreasing in frequency once they feel like they have gained the skills they need. The sessions following initial assessment will generally be 50-minutes.

What if my psychologist is not a good fit?

Some clients will need a few sessions to develop rapport with their psychologist. You are welcome (and encouraged!) to discuss any concerns or needs you have with your psychologist, particularly if you feel that this is impacting your relationship with your psychologist. However, just as in normal life, where we all have preferences in terms of who we connect best with, sometimes clients may decide that their psychologist is not a good fit for them. Know that it is more than okay to switch psychologists. Ultimately, the most important factor is that you are getting the support you need, and we are happy to suggest other options if you would like this support. 

Do I have to share information I am not comfortable with?

For therapy to be effective, it is important to be open about your difficulties. However, it is also normal to need some time to build a trusting relationship with your psychologist to feel comfortable ‘being known’. If there are details about your life that you do not feel comfortable sharing in the first session, it is important to know that this is okay. It is also okay to let your psychologist know your hesitations, so that they can work with you to find a pace that feels acceptable for you.

Reach support services available 24/7

I need help now - who should I contact?

If you need support now, the services below are available 24/7. If there is an immediate risk of harm, call 000 or present to the nearest emergency department. 

Lifeline – 131 114

Mental health line – 1800 011 511

Suicide Call Back Service – 1300 659 467

Beyond Blue – 1300 22 46 36

Kids Helpline  – 1800 55 1800

Please note that Beknown Psychology is not a crisis service and cannot provide crisis support. This is because the Practice is not available 24/7. As the safety of our clients will always be a priority, it is important to know where your needs for immediate support will be best met. 

Fees, Rebates & Cancellation Policy

Current Fees

Current fees for a 55-minute session:

Within business hours: $250

Outside business hours (after 5pm, weekends): $265

The recommended rate set by the Australian Psychology Society for 2023-2024 for a 46 to 60-minute session is $300. 

Do I need a referral?

You do not need a referral to see a psychologist. However, if you have a referral from a GP or psychiatrist, you will be eligible to receive Medicare rebates of $137.05 for up to 10 sessions per calendar year. To access these sessions, a GP can arrange for a Mental Health Treatment Plan, along with a signed and dated referral letter. A signed and dated referral letter from a psychiatrist is an alternative way of accessing these sessions.

How do I pay for sessions?

Credit card and EFTPOS facilities are available for in-person appointments. For telehealth sessions, and to pay for any cancellation fees (see ‘Cancellation Policy’) we keep your card details on file in an encrypted secure format. After your card details are entered into our system, they are stored and ‘tokenised’, meaning they are not visible to anyone in the practice. Payments are powered by Braintree Paypal, one of the world’ largest online payment providers, with stringent data and security protocols.

Payment at time of consultation is required.

What is your cancellation policy?

To ensure that we can offer appointments to those on our waitlist in a timely manner, we have a cancellation policy. Appointments cancelled with less than 24 hours’ notice will incur 50% of the consultation fee.

This fee cannot be claimed from Medicare or private health funds.

We send out reminder emails that include the date and time of your session to help you keep track of appointments. Please check these emails carefully and contact reception as soon as possible to reschedule appointments to avoid the inconvenience of a cancellation fee.