Information for the Public
Private Health Rebates
You may be able to get private health rebates if you have this included in your health insurance coverage. Private health rebates vary between health insurers and depend on the level of cover you have arranged.
To make use of Medicare rebates you first need to see your General Practitioner or a medical specialist for a referral.
Medicare rebates to see a Clinical Psychologist are currently $129.55 per 50-60 minute session for up to 20 sessions per calendar year.
Medicare rebates for a Registered Psychologist is currently $88.25.
Other forms of Medicare rebates are also available (e.g. for participation in group sessions). It is worthwhile inquiring if you think this might apply.
Services of a Clinical Psychologist may also be covered by your workplace, Veterans Affairs, an insurer, Police, NDIS and other bodies. You might inquire for further information.
Choosing a Therapist
Click on the subheadings below for tips on finding the best therapist for you
Clinical psychologists have specialist skills and capabilities in mental health and are trained to diagnose and treat a range of psychological problems.
To qualify as a Clinical Psychologist, current regulations require a minimum of 8 years training: a 4 year undergraduate psychology program, followed by at least 2 years of postgraduate university training focused on the diagnosis, assessment and treatment of mental health and psychological problems. Then, workplace experience under the supervision of an experienced, Board approved Clinical Psychologist is required. This involves 2 years of supervised practice for graduates with a Masters Degree, or 1 year of supervised practice for those with a Doctorate.
Registered psychologists (also called Generalist Psychologists) do not require the same level of accredited mental health training as Clinical Psychologists.
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 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.
…we use different approaches to therapy and have varying interpersonal styles. Some of us see only adults, some see only children, and some see families- some will provide services to all three.
The different types of approach to therapy will include work with groups, or with an individual or couple. There are also a variety of approaches a Clinical Psychologist might take to therapy such as mindfulness, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Person Centred therapy- to name just a few. The list is very long, and many experienced Clinical Psychologists are adept at a variety of different therapeutic approaches. It is important that the therapist you choose has expertise in the issues/s you wish to bring for therapy.