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 set at $124.50 per 50-60 minute session for up to 10 sessions per calendar year.
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, an insurer, Police, Veterans Affairs, and other bodies. You might inquire for further information.
Clinical psychologists have a high level of training in mental health. We 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.
As postgraduate clinical psychology trainees we completed intensive supervised internships in hospitals, mental health clinics, and child development centres. Following this, we completed a further period of intensive supervision with an experienced Clinical Psychologist before qualifying. That is, two years of supervised practice for graduates who completed a Masters Degree, or one year of supervised practice for those who graduated 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 complete a four-year undergraduate degree followed by two years of supervision with another psychologist. Their undergraduate degree provides an introduction to mental health. They are not required to complete postgraduate intensive training. They are not required to receive any training or supervision in hospital or mental health clinics.
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.
…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.