Click on the subheadings below to find the answers to these FAQ.

Why should I choose an ICP member?

All ICP Members have a high level of dedicated training in mental health and are endorsed by the Psychology Board of Australia to practice as Clinical Psychologists. The Psychology Board of Australia regulates all psychologists within the country, and is supported by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), who regulate Australia’s health practitioners. Our members practice in accordance with the Code of Ethics prescribed by AHPRA.

All ICP Members have gained a minimum of 8 years of university training, including 4 or more years of advanced and dedicated post graduate training in mental health.

Most of our full members are senior clinicians who are highly regarded and recognised in their fields of practice. All of our members are committed to their ongoing professional development and training.

Our Full ICP Members give you access to the highest Medicare rebates, saving you money and ensuring you get the best possible care.

Our network of professionals are able to draw on each other’s experience and expertise, ensuring that you are in good hands, no matter which ICP Member you choose.

How do Medicare Rebates work?

The rebates for clinical psychology sessions are paid at a higher rate than for registered/generalist psychology sessions. 

Get a referral from a doctor

If you wish to claim a Medicare rebate for psychology services, you must be referred by a GP, Psychiatrist or Paediatrician. The doctor will make an assessment and determine if psychological input will be of benefit; You should book an extended appointment with your doctor to allow enough time for the assessment.

If your doctor finds that psychological services are required, they will develop Mental Health Care Plan and write a referral for you. The doctor may allow you to request a specific psychologist, or they refer you to one more suited to your needs.

Please note, you can self-refer to a Clinical Psychologist, but this does not attract Medicare rebates.

Follow up with your doctor after six visits

After 6 visits your referring doctor will follow up with you and assess your progress.

Should more sessions be required, your doctor can refer you for further sessions with the psychologist. 

Claim up to 20 rebated visits per calendar year

You can claim the rebate on a maximum of 20 visits to a psychologist in a calendar year (1st January – 31st December).

How do I get a Referral?


You do not need a referral to book an appointment with an ICP Clinical Psychologist, you can make a booking yourself directly with the practitioner. You can find information for Clinical Psychologists’ in our directory under the ‘Find a Psychologist’ button on our homepage.

If you wish to claim a Medicare rebate for psychology services, you must be referred by a GP, Psychiatrist or Paediatrician. See the section titled ‘Medicare Rebate Information’ below.

Referral Process

Many people can refer you to a Clinical Psychologist, including medical practitioners, psychiatrists, other medical specialists, legal practitioners, Drug and Alcohol Treatment Agencies, Family Law Court and related services, Veteran affairs agencies, and Justice Services.

You can visit any one of the above professionals and ask for a referral, but please remember that if you wish to claim a Medicare rebate for psychology services, you must be referred by either a GP, psychiatrist or paediatrician.

Which Therapeutic Approach is right for me?

Before you book an appointment with a Clinical Psychologist, it’s a good idea to research them and see if you can find out which types of therapy they commonly use. Do any of these appeal to you? At the end of the day, it’s really up to your Clinical Psychologist to decide which Therapeutic Approach they will use during your therapy sessions, and what they choose will depend on your specific issues or problems. Of course, this is usually done in consultation with you as the client .

Find out more about different Therapeutic Approaches here.

How should I choose a therapist?

Clinical Psychologists have the highest level of training in mental health within the discipline of psychology. They have a minimum of 8 years training: a 4 year undergraduate psychology program at university, followed by at least 2 years of postgraduate university training that is focused on the diagnosis, assessment and treatment of mental health. Postgraduate clinical psychology trainees complete intensive supervised internships in hospitals, mental health clinics, and child development centres. Following this, clinical psychologist trainees must complete a further period of intensive supervision with an experienced Clinical Psychologist before they qualify. Two years of supervised practice is required for graduates who have completed a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology, while one year of supervised practice is required for those who graduate with a Doctorate. This means, all Clinical Psychologists have a minimum of 8 years of training, with 4 years dedicated to postgraduate/ higher level intensive training in mental health.

Registered psychologists do not have the same level of dedicated mental health training as Clinical Psychologists. As such, Registered Psychologists/ Generalist Psychologists are not ‘endorsed’ by the Psychology Board of Australia as having the same level of training, skills and expertise in mental health as a Clinical Psychologist. Medicare and some other rebates are lower for a Registered Psychologist. 

Psychiatrists have completed a medical degree and further training and study related to the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. Psychiatrists specialise in the medical treatment of mental illness and can prescribe medication. Some psychiatrists combine medication with psychotherapy. Some work closely with clinical psychologists in treating the same person or group.

In Australia the term “counsellor” is not protected, so anyone with any background, can call themselves a counsellor. A “counsellor” may have no formal training at all. Some, but not all, have completed training in an educational setting and some have completed supervised practice though the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) which is attempting to establish standards and ethical training of counsellors.

The area of “coaching” is similar to “counsellors”. Life coaches may come from all walks of life, with “life experience” the guiding medium. Some may come from the field of psychology. It is important to check credentials since there is no formal health training required to become a life coach outside of a short period of supervision by another life coach.

Do you have more questions?

If we haven’t answered your questions here, please contact us and tell us how we can help.