Referrals

How do I arrange to see a psychologist?

You can make an appointment at your earliest convenience, and you do not need a referral. However, you might like to arrange a referral (called a Mental Healthcare Plan) through your GP, as this will allow you to receive a significant Medicare rebate on your psychology sessions.

Please either send through your referral via email at info@peacefulmind.com.au or ask your GP to fax this to us on (03) 8640 0675

How do I arrange a referral?

You don’t need a referral to see a psychologist. However, if you would like to receive a Medicare rebate on your psychology sessions you will need to arrange for your GP, Psychiatrist or Pediatrician to prepare a Mental Healthcare Plan or Eating Disorder Plan. When you book to see your doctor, make sure you let the reception know you would like a Mental Healthcare Plan, as usually a double appointment is required to complete these types of referrals.

What is a mental health care plan (MHCP)?

A MHCP or mental healthcare plan is a type of referral written by a doctor that entitles a patient to Medicare rebates on psychology sessions. A MHCP allows patients’ to access 6 psychological therapy sessions subsidised by Medicare. After a patient has used these sessions, they can then visit their GP to obtain a MHCP Review, allowing them to access an additional 4 subsidised sessions. After the patient has finished their 10th session, they can then visit their GP again to obtain an additional referral for a further 10 subsidised psychological therapy sessions. Patients are entitled to receive a total of up to 20 subsidised sessions in a calendar year.

What is an eating disorder plan?

Patients can get an EDP from their GP or Psychiatrist, which allows them to access up to 40 psychological treatment services with a Medicare rebate within a 12-month period. After 10 psychological sessions, the patient will need to visit their GP for an additional 10 sessions to be released.

After 20 psychological sessions the EDP plan requires independent reviews from a GP and a psychiatrist or pediatrician. Note, to allow for continuity of treatment, the psychiatrist or pediatrician can conduct this review prior to the 20th session with their psychologist. This review releases 10 more sessions. The GP then conducts another review at the 30th session mark to release the final 10 sessions for the year.

Cost and rebates

How do I pay?

In person appointments can be made via eftpos at the end of the session. If you are having a telehealth appointment, the psychologist will process your payment via credit card with our secure online payment system, Halaxy (read more about security here). It is a requirement when engaging our services to enter your credit card details into our secure online system when you complete your intake form.

How much does it cost to see a psychologist?

At Peaceful Mind Psychology our fees are reasonable and standard within private psychology practice. In fact, they sit below the Australian Psychological Society’s recommendation of $267 for a 40-60 minute session. The amount of money you are out-of-pocket when seeing a psychologist depends on a few factors.

Firstly, if you receive a rebate via a Mental Healthcare Plan, Medicare rebates a substantial portion of each psychology session for a total of 20 sessions each calendar year. The Medicare rebate for a psychologist is $84.80, while for a clinical psychologist it is $124.50.

Secondly, if you have private health insurance with ‘extras’ you may be entitled to a rebate. It is worth calling your private health insurance provider to enquire about your rebate entitlements. If you have ‘extras’ and your private health insurance does not cover psychology sessions, we suggest calling a health insurance comparison company to obtain a better quote (remember there is no wait time on existing ‘extras’ when you switch health insurance companies).

Finally, our fees range depending on the experience of your psychologist and whether the psychologist is a general psychologist or clinical psychologist.

For more details about our fees call us today on 1300 766 870 or send an enquiry.

How long does it take to receive a rebate?

We process the medicare rebate on behalf of you after the session has been paid for. You should receive the rebate within 1-3 business days on your nominated debit card with Medicare.

Claiming on health insurance?

Once you have paid for the session, you will shortly receive an email with the receipt so you can claim back a rebate from your private health insurer. Please note, some private health insurers use a different item code from the standard “200” item code that we provide on our invoices, so if the claim is rejected, you may need to check with your private health insurance what code they need on the invoice. If this is the case, please let our admin team know and we can amend this for you.

Do you accept Veteran’s affairs cards, TAC, healthcare or do bulk bill?

We’re a full fee-paying practice, so unfortunately we do not bulk bill, or accept DVA, TAC or health care cards. We will suggest other low-cost options for you to consider.

I am on NDIS, what do I do?

Please see whether you are self-managed or able to become self-managed. We don’t deal with third party providers like NDIS, but if you are self-managed, you can claim back your payments from the NDIS after paying for your sessions privately with us.

All about psychologists

How do you know if a psychologist is a good fit for you?

Psychologists can vary greatly in their personality and style. You can read about our individual psychologists here. In busy times, however, many psychologists are booked up and cannot take on new clients, so please feel free to reach out to our support team to find out who has availability.

At Peaceful Mind Psychology, we match you with a psychologist who is most likely to be a good fit for you by asking you a few simple questions.

We believe a psychologist is best for you if they make you feel understood and cared for. It is also very important that your psychologist uses therapies and techniques that are proven by research. You also might like to ask about the experience of the psychologist and whether they have worked with your particular difficulties in the past. You can read more here on how to find a good psychologist for you.

What is the difference between a psychologist and clinical psychologist?

In terms of distinguishing between clinical psychologists and generalist psychologists in private practice, there is no difference in therapeutic quality; rather it is more up to the individual psychologist and their style and work experience that makes one psychologist better than another (regardless of title). During our selection process at Peaceful Mind Psychology, we select psychologists who value building rapport with their clients via the use of counselling skills, as these have been found through research to be the most fundamental recipe to good therapy. You can read more here on the difference between psychologists and clinical psychologists.

What do I expect when seeing a psychologist?

A psychologist will first try and understand the nature of your difficulties. While the psychologist will ask questions about you, they will also try to make you feel comfortable and at ease. The psychologist will reflect to you their understanding of your difficulties to seek clarification and ensure you agree with their interpretations. A psychologist will then suggest a plan for improving your wellbeing and life circumstances, which will include making some goals together about the outcomes of therapy.

When would I expect to see improvement in my difficulties?

This depends on the difficulty you are facing and your current life circumstances. However, most people say they start to notice a difference in themselves after the first few sessions, finding that talking to someone who understands, provides relief and comfort. Showing improvements in mood and coping with difficulties depends on several factors including: your motivation for change, how much insight and understanding you hold of yourself, the support around you, your belief and hope that therapy works, how willing you are to open up in therapy, and how regularly you commit to attending sessions.

Can I contact my psychologist outside of appointments?

Unfortunately, it is practice policy that psychologists do not take/make phone calls or receive messages, as therapy is best when there can be a two-way discussion. If you need to get in to see your psychologist sooner, call or email our admin team and your name can be added onto your psychologist’s cancellation lists and we will let you know if an earlier appointment becomes available.

Also remember, if you are feeling vulnerable and distressed, we urge you to contact your local GP and/or Lifeline 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636. If you feel you may harm yourself, you need to go to your local hospital’s emergency department or contact Emergency Services – 000.

Do you take children on as clients?

Unfortunately, we are currently only seeing clients from the age of 16 years and up, as most of our staff are not specialised in this area of mental health. However, do not hesitate to contact our admin who can refer you on to some of our recommended Child Psychologists.

How often should see my psychologist?

Initially, we recommend weekly attendance for at least the first 6 sessions, so you gain momentum in achieving change. From then on, your psychologist can assess how you are going and make a recommendation about the frequency in which you should attend therapy. Each person is unique, and your psychologist will discuss this with you in your sessions.

If I don’t feel like my psychologist is a good match, what are my options?

We understand that sometimes you might not find the right fit straight away, if this occurs, please don’t hesitate to let our admin staff know and they can do their best to rematch you with another one of our psychologists. They will listen to your concerns and use them to guide a rematch with another psychologist. You may also like to search the APS Find a Psychologist directory for a psychologist external to our practice.

What if I do not see results from therapy?

Success of therapy depends on a few things: 1) the relationship you share with your therapist, 2) the nature and severity of your difficulties, 3) the trust and hope you hold in the therapy process, 4) the skill and experience of your therapist, 5) how many sessions you have had, and 6) how understood you feel in therapy.

If you wish for further progress in therapy, we recommend first discussing this with your therapist, where you can both identify potential obstacles to change. However, if you feel your issues with your psychologist are not fixable, we recommend trying a different psychologist.

Sessions and practicalities

Do you offer after-hours appointments?

Yes, we offer appointments on most evenings, as well as on Saturdays.

How long does a psychology session go for?

A standard consultation is just over 50 minutes, which is for all sessions including the first session.

Telehealth or face to face? Can I do a phone call?

Due to the current government recommendations, we are currently running all sessions via Telehealth (Zoom).

Once restrictions have eased, we will return to face-to-face appointments, however, facemasks are required to be worn during sessions. You will still have the option available to do telehealth appointments, as we know this can be more convenient for some people. Phone calls can also be an option if you prefer, just let our support team know and this can be arranged for your appointment.

What is your cancellation policy?

We have a 24-hour cancellation policy (in Business hours/days) for cancelling an appointment. We require this notice to allow us enough time to book other clients who are on waiting lists. If less than 24 hours’ notice is provided, clients’ stored credit cards will be charged at 50% of the standard consultation fee.

How does the cancellation list work?

Current clients may request they be placed on a cancellation list to see their psychologist. In the instance another client cancels their appointment, our admin staff will contact you via text or phone call to offer you the time slot. Please try to respond as quickly as possible, as we can’t hold the spot for too long.

Can I bring a partner or family member into a session?

We understand that your initial sessions can be intimidating for some, so you are more than welcome to bring along support to wait outside or in the room with you. However, if you are looking for family-based therapy, unfortunately we don’t offer this type of service. We are happy to provide you with recommendations.

Do you do couples therapy?

Yes, some of our psychologists do offer couples counselling sessions.

What is the parking like?

Hawthorn: There is 2-hour parking directly next to the practice on Riversdale Rd. Be aware of the tow-away zones on the south side of the road in the morning and on the Northside in afternoon.

Armadale: There is a 2 hr parking lot located opposite the entrance to malvern central.

Prahran: Unlimited parking available either side of high st, with tow-away restrictions from 7-9am on the south side and 4:30pm-6:30pm on the north side. All day parking can also be found down Highbury Grove, which is the closest corner (same side) to the practice. Only restrictions are 9–10am Monday on the east side and 9-10am Friday on the west side of Street.

Reports, notes and certificates

Do we provide cognitive and personality assessments (e.g., WISC, WAIS, ADOS, PAI etc.) at Peaceful Mind Psychology?

No, at present we don’t provide cognitive or personality assessments.

How do I transfer my notes from my previous psychologist to you?

You will need to ask your previous psychologist for a medical release form, so you can consent to them releasing your information to your new psychologist. Normally psychologists prefer a verbal handover to receiving your notes, as it allows them to have a two-way helpful discussion. We recommend you ask your previous psychologist to provide a verbal handover to your new psychologist.

Do you provide legal assessments/reports?

No, we don’t provide legal assessments or reports. Providing these types of reports requires specialised competency in assessment and report-writing. Our psychologists at Peaceful Mind Psychology are not trained in this field and will not be able to provide you a report. When you engage our services, we ask that you disclose any upcoming or current legal proceedings. Our psychologist’s reserve the right to discontinue therapy with you if you have purposely held back sharing this information.

Can my psychologist provide a supportive document for special consideration or similar purposes?

Some psychologists will provide you with this type of documentation, but it is up to the individual psychologist. Please discuss with your psychologist this request. You can also obtain supportive documentation from your GP. If your psychologist does provide you documentation, there is a fee of $4 per minute for any report that takes longer than 5 minutes.

Can I get a doctor’s certificate for work?

Of course, simply ask your psychologist within your session or contact our admin team and we can follow this up for you.

Peaceful Mind Psychology

Australia