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FAQs about Psychological Treatment in Melbourne

How can a psychologist help me?

A Mindview Psychologist can assist anyone interested in improving their emotional well-being, they can help you to improve relationships with others and can also help you find more satisfaction and alleviate stresses at work. Part of a Psychologist’s job is to diagnose mental disorders, but in many cases where no formal diagnosis is necessary, a psychologist is able to assist individuals and couples to understand the thoughts, beliefs, behaviours, dynamics and internal processes that may be negatively impacting their life. A Mindview Psychologist will work out with you exactly want you want to work on, and what you want to achieve from therapy. Once that is established, the therapist can formulate a course of treatment using evidence-based modalities to create meaningful and lasting change in your life.

Psychology suits a very wide variety of issues that arise in peoples lives from feeling stuck, managing work stress, trouble sleeping to serious but treatable conditions such as bipolar, chronic anxiety and depression. We encourage you to check out our psychologists to see how they specialise and what treatments they offer to figure out who might be best suited to you and if you have further questions we encourage you to get in touch.

Who is eligible for Medicare rebates?

You may be eligible for a Medicare rebate for your psychological treatment Melbourne wide if: you’re an Australian citizen/resident; and you’re experiencing mental health difficulties and problems including but not limited to anxiety, phobias, depression, anger, sleep problems, alcohol problems, work stress, problems unwinding, agitation, relationship problems, trauma, grief/loss, drug problems; etc. If in doubt, make an appointment to see your GP to discuss your eligibility. For more information on Medicare rebates click here.

How do clients get Medicare rebates?

We are able to process Medicare and most Health insurance claims on the spot so that your rebates can be paid into your nominated bank account with Medicare or via cheque.

Does your practice Bulk Bill?

Unfortunately not, consultation fees must be paid to Mindview in full and the rebate paid to you directly by Medicare. When you pay your account, the Medicare rebate is processed and the funds should show up in your nominate bank account, or via cheque, shortly after your appointment. While you pay the full amount on the day, you will be refunded by Medicare for the applicable rebate amount.

Do Mindview Psychologists set “homework”?

In general, yes. “Homework” is often an integral part of therapy. Homework isn’t meant in the traditional sense, such as studying for a test, or reading and writing. It is inviting clients to practice new skills and implement new strategies discussed during psychological treatment in your usual life. Homework matters because changes in behaviour/routines need to be implemented, old habits gradually phased out, and new habits built-up. It’s our job as the psychologist to support, encourage, troubleshoot, and guide you with making life adjustments that matter. In one week, there’s 1 hour in the therapy room and 167 hours outside it. That’s why homework is important.

Do you write court reports?

Yes we can write court reports for TAC, work cover claims, and other court proceedings. Court reports do incur a fee on top of the usual consultation, which we will discuss with you before proceeding. The fee must be paid in full before receiving the report.

What is a psychologist?

Psychologists are “scientists” (i.e., human behaviour researchers who work at universities or other academic institutions) and/or “practitioners” who provide psychotherapy. The fundamental aim of psychologists is to alleviate mental distress. Psychologists are trained in the following: to use psychometric testing and clinical interview to gather information, make diagnoses, and plan and implement treatment (or therapy). Psychologists do not, and cannot prescribe medications. In practice, they work with adults, adolescents, and/or children on an individual, couples, family, or group basis. At Mindview, we predominantly provide psychological treatment in Melbourne to adults (including couples), and adolescents, but not children.

What is the difference between a Psychologist, Counselling Psychologist and a Clinical Psychologist?

To obtain general registration as a Psychologist you must have completed a 4 year APAC accredited undergraduate level University degree, or 1 year Graduate Diploma in Psychology plus a 1-2 year  internship of supervised practice.

To obtain a registration as a clinical or counselling psychologist, the psychologist must have completed an APAC-accredited Masters or Doctorate in either Clinical or Counselling Psychology. The registered psychologist must then undertake a 2 year registrar program in order to be eligible for endorsement for the title of clinical or counselling psychologist.

Due to the type of study they have undertaken (Masters or Doctorate in Clinical Psychology) clinical psychologists are said to be specialists in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of psychological problems and mental illness where as counselling psychologists are said to specialise in the provision of a wide variety of evidence-based techniques and therapeutic approaches tailored to meet the specific needs and circumstances of the client.

In a private practice setting, generally speaking, there is often very little discernible difference between the way both clinical and a counselling psychologists work. Because private practice psychologists are often presented with a broad range of issues, most do both clinical and counselling psychology as part of their work.

What is the difference between psychologists and psychiatrists?

Psychologists and psychiatrists have the same fundamental aim: to alleviate mental distress and restore human health and functioning. Both psychologists and psychiatrists are trained in diagnostic evaluation, and both can conduct psychotherapy. Generally speaking, the differences between psychologists and psychiatrists are that:

  • Clinical and Counselling Psychologists generally have more extensive training in administering psychotherapy as a part their Post-Graduate study than psychiatrists do in their tertiary training.
  • Generally speaking, psychologists provide ongoing weekly psychological treatment, whereas psychiatrists provide assessment/diagnostic services, and prescribe and manage psychiatric medication.
  • Psychiatrists are physicians (medical doctors) whereas psychologists are not. As well as prescribing psychiatric medications, Psychiatrists can conduct physical examinations, order/interpret brain assessments (e.g., EEGs, CAT scans, MRIs), and administer Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), whereas a psychologist cannot do these things.

Are appointments confidential?

Yes. Every session is private and confidential. That means all information discussed during psychological treatment in Melbourne stays between you and I, unless you provide us with written consent saying otherwise. Psychologists are bound to a Code of Ethics (set by the Australian Psychological Society), holding us accountable in terms of keeping things confidential. Breaches of confidentiality can lead to a psychologist registration being suspended, or even revoked. Therefore, this is something we take very seriously. All information gathered from the session is synthesised into client case notes and kept in a client file. Each client file is stored both electronically with a high level of encryption (similar to internet banking security), and as a physical file kept securely on premises.

How do you know if change has occurred during therapy?

Change is usually measured by using psychometric testing, that is you complete paper and pen questionnaires which are then scored. Typically, the types of things we measure are psychological symptoms (e.g., depression, anxiety, stress), levels of quality of life or meaningful life, and measuring the quality and frequency of specific activities or behaviours. These “measures” are often taken at the beginning of therapy, in the middle, and at the end. By doing this, we can be sure that the right type and amount of change has occurred.

What happens if there is no change during therapy?

If there is no change during psychological treatment, it is usually due to one or more of the following reasons:

1) Firstly, there needs to be a strong client-therapist relationship (sometimes called the “therapeutic alliance”). A healthy therapeutic alliance means you as the client feels safe, secure, not judged, and validated by the therapist. Also, you as the client needs to perceive the therapist as being professional and optimistic of change, even when there are rough patches in your life or in therapy.

2) A second reason for no change in therapy is if the client is unmotivated for change or not willing to make meaningful change in their situation. This is known as the “Pre-contemplative Stage of Change”, when the client is aware there may be issues to work on, but for one reason or another, they are not ready to commit to real change in their lives.

3) A third reason for no change during psychological treatment is if there’s a problem with the formulation (or mini-theory explaining what led to the problem arising, and what maintains it). This can happen as a result of a number of things: the client was not forthcoming about their life situation or background or kept key parts hidden; or the psychologist has missed something.

If there is no change in therapy, we’ll work with you on exploring the above possibilities. Once the reason(s) is identified, we work together on rectifying it. This could mean, going back to the drawing board and tinkering with the formulation, or it could mean there is a client-therapist mismatch and we’d work together on exploring options for referring you onto a more suitably matched therapist.

Selection of psychological treatment in Melbourne: Which type of treatment will you choose in therapy?

Generally speaking, we use treatment modalities that are backed up by scientific research (i.e., evidence-based treatments). This is because such treatments have been demonstrated to be effective in the long-term while ruling out placebo effects (as well as other things). Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is the psychological treatment that has the best evidence to date, for a wide range of disorders (e.g., clinical depression, anxiety disorders, substance use disorder, PTSD, and psychotic disorders). In addition to CBT, Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) is an evidence-based treatment for depression and Bipolar. An evidence-based treatment called Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) is used for treating Borderline Personality Disorder.

During therapy, we also like to use other treatment modalities, such as Schema Therapy (identifying your “life traps” which often develop during childhood), Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT, to help you process previously unresolved emotions), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT, which works on your unique Values, and overcoming barriers in your life).

Although some treatment modalities (e.g., CBT and DBT) are structured and sometimes ‘manualised’ therapies, we don’t use a “one-size fits all” approach to psychological treatment. Melbourne clients are treated as the individuals they are with each requiring a different approach. Generally speaking, there is scope for us to use our therapeutic skills and creativity in adapting aspects of treatment to best suit a client’s personality and situation.

It’s important to keep in mind that the therapeutic alliance (i.e., the client-therapist relationship) is the most important thing, not the type of therapy modality used, which is backed up by research. It is also important for the therapist to be flexible with different therapy modalities, rather than to be rigid in one type.

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