Appointments

Do I need a referral to make an appointment?
It is not necessary to have a referral to see a psychologist and you can phone and book an appointment to see a psychologist anytime. This is sometimes the case for couples seeking relationship counselling. However, it may be advisable to speak to your GP regarding your mental health as sometimes medical conditions can impact on your emotional well-being. A GP is able to provide a holistic assessment of your health for you.
How do I make an appointment?
To make an appointment, please call our clinic and reception can arrange an appointment for you. Our number is (07) 5551 0251. Alternatively you can click here and we’ll contact you.
What hours is the clinic open?

Reception are able to take your calls Monday to Friday from 9am to half an hour before close and Saturdays from 8am to half hour before close.

Our clinic practice hours are as follows:

Coomera Nerang
Monday 8:30am to 5pm 8:30am to 6:30pm
Tuesday 8am to 5pm 8am to 8pm
Wednesday 8am to 8pm 8:30am to 8pm
Thursday 8am to 8pm 9am to 5:30pm
Friday 8am to 5pm 8:30am to 5:30pm
Saturday 8am to 2:30pm 8am to 1:30pm

Costs

How much is the cost per session?

The cost for your session will depend on a number of variables. For full details of our Fee Schedule and to learn more about how to reduce your costs from $200 per session to just $70 per session, or maybe even for free, please click through to our Fees and Referrals page.

Fees are based on a 50 min hour with 10 min provided to your clinician for note taking and letter writing time. Fees are payable at the time of consultation. Cash, EFTPOS and Credit Card payments are accepted.

Please note if your appointment is cancelled within 36 hours of your scheduled appointment, we will do our best to replace your appointment. However, if we are unable to replace your appointment, a $100 cancellation fee will be charged to you. This fee will need to be paid directly by you and cannot be passed on to Medicare or any other third party.

Will my sessions be bulk-billed?

A Mental Health Care Plan enables your sessions to be subsidised under Medicare meaning you will receive a rebate each session, however, there will still be a modest out-of- pocket expense.

If you have a Health Care or Pension card, you may be eligible for a referral under the Gold Coast Primary Health Network’s Psychology Services Program. Under this government initiative, and if you identify with one of the targeted Hard to Reach groups, we are able to offer services to you for FREE [there is no out-of- pocket cost]. You will need to book a long consultation with your GP and your GP will assess if you meet eligibility criteria and will complete the necessary paperwork for your referral.

A CBT Professionals Fact Sheet can be downloaded here – it has all the information about different kinds of referrals and is an easy way to take all the details to your GP to discuss an appropriate referral.

Can I claim both Medicare and Private Health?
Unfortunately, Medicare and Private Health cannot be claimed concurrently. If you have been referred under Better Outcomes (Medicare) and you have Private Health, you will need to decide which scheme you wish to make a rebate claim with.
Will I be charged a cancellation fee if I can’t make it?

If your appointment is cancelled within 36 hours of your scheduled appointment, we will do our best to replace your appointment. However, if we are unable to replace your appointment, a $100 cancellation fee will be charged to you. This fee will need to be paid directly by you and cannot be passed on to Medicare or any other third party.

Rebates and Medicare

Can I claim a rebate from Medicare?

Medicare rebates are available for psychological treatment by registered psychologists under the Australian Government’s Better Access to Mental Health Care initiative. This scheme provides considerable assistance to people living with mental health problems, allowing them greater access to psychologists and providing more affordable mental healthcare. If your GP assesses you as having a mental health disorder and prepares a Mental Health Care Plan for you, rebates will apply for 10 sessions with a psychologist in a calendar year [January to December].

What is a Mental Health Care Plan and how do I get one?

A Mental Health Care Plan is a plan prepared by your GP to manage your mental health problems over time. Medicare have set eligibility criteria that a GP must follow in deciding if you are eligible for a Mental Health Care Plan. To be eligible for a Care Plan, you will need to meet criteria for a diagnosable mental health condition that is significantly impacting on your functioning. The benefits of having a Mental Health Care Plan include:

1) facilitating communication among treating professionals (e.g., GP, Psychologist, and Psychiatrist)

2) Assists in goal setting, monitoring progress, and achieving goals

and

3) assists towards the costs of your treatment.

To obtain a Mental Health Care Plan, you will need to make an extended consultation (20 to 30 minutes duration) with your GP. At your appointment, your GP will ask questions regarding your mental health and your circumstances, and will ask you to fill in a brief questionnaire to assess the level of your symptoms. Your GP will discuss options for treatment and will provide the necessary referrals to see allied health professionals such as a psychologist.

How many rebateable sessions do I get under Medicare?

In a calendar year (the time between January and December), you are eligible to claim a Medicare rebate for up to 10 sessions with your psychologist. The 10 sessions are referred in two sets – the first block of treatment is for six sessions. After six sessions with your psychologist you will need to complete a progress review with your GP, and then a subsequent referral is made for the second block of treatment consisting of the final four sessions.

When will I receive my rebate?
We have on-the-spot Medicare claiming (EzyClaim). The fee for your session is required to be paid in full on the day of your appointment. If you have a Mental Health Care Plan, then a rebate can be processed back to your Savings or Cheque account through our EFTPOS terminal. This is the only method to receive your rebate at our clinic – with an EFTPOS card linked to your Savings or Cheque account.

Referral

Do I need a referral to make an appointment?
It is not necessary to have a referral to see a psychologist and you can phone and book an appointment to see a psychologist anytime. This is sometimes the case for couples seeking relationship counselling. However, it may be advisable to speak to your GP regarding your mental health as sometimes medical conditions can impact on your emotional well-being. A GP is able to provide a holistic assessment of your health for you.
What is a Mental Health Care Plan and how do I get one?

A Mental Health Care Plan is a plan prepared by your GP to manage your mental health problems over time. Medicare have set eligibility criteria that a GP must follow in deciding if you are eligible for a Mental Health Care Plan. To be eligible for a Care Plan, you will need to meet criteria for a diagnosable mental health condition that is significantly impacting on your functioning. The benefits of having a Mental Health Care Plan include:
1) facilitating communication among treating professionals (e.g., GP, Psychologist, and Psychiatrist)
2) Assists in goal setting, monitoring progress, and achieving goals, and
3) assists towards the costs of your treatment.

To obtain a Mental Health Care Plan, you will need to make an extended consultation (20 to 30 minutes duration) with your GP. At your appointment, your GP will ask questions regarding your mental health and your circumstances, and will ask you to fill in a brief questionnaire to assess the level of your symptoms. Your GP will discuss options for treatment and will provide the necessary referrals to see allied health professionals such as a psychologist.

What is a Chronic Disease Management Plan (CDM)?

A Chronic Disease Management (CDM) plan enables GPs to plan and coordinate the health care of patients with chronic or terminal medical conditions, including patients with these conditions who require multidisciplinary, team-based care from a GP and at least two other health or care providers (e.g., physiotherapist)

A ‘chronic medical condition’ is one that has been or is likely to be present for at least six months, including but not limited to asthma, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, musculoskeletal conditions and stroke.

Whether a patient is eligible for CDM services is a clinical judgement for the GP, taking into account the patient’s medical condition and care needs, as well as the general guidance set out in the MBS.

GP Mental Health Treatment Plans apply to patients with mental disorders.

Patients who have a chronic medical condition and complex care needs and are being managed by their GP under a GP Management Plan (item 721) and Team Care Arrangements (item 723) are eligible for Medicare rebates for certain allied health services on referral from their GP.

What do I tell my Doctor when seeking a referral?
When seeing your GP, let them know that you wish to see a Psychologist. Your GP will want to understand your reason for seeking a referral and will conduct an assessment. This may involve questions regarding your mental health and your circumstances, and they may get you to fill in a questionnaire to assess your level of symptoms.
What is a PHN PSP referral and how do I get this FREE service?

PHN PSP referrals [Primary Health Network Psychology Services Program] is a Commonwealth Government funded program supporting the provision of short term psychological intervention to patients with non-acute, non-chronic common mental disorders of mild to moderate severity, and who are unable to afford mainstream mental health services, such as Better Access, as a result of being financially disadvantaged. This is a free service and there is no out-of- pocket expense for you to pay.

To qualify for a referral, you will need

a Health Care card or Pension card or be significantly financially disadvantaged

will have a diagnosable mental health issue as assessed by your GP and

will identify with one of seven Hard to Reach groups: Children aged 0 to 12 years, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse, Aboriginal & Torres Straight Islanders, Perinatal Depression, LGBTI, Suicide Prevention, People at risk of or are homeless.

To explore your eligibility for a PHN PSP referral, book a long consultation with your GP and take this CBT Professionals Referral Factsheet with you:

http://cbtprofessionals.com.au/referral-fact-sheet/

Therapy

What does seeing a psychologist involve?

Your first appointment with your psychologist will involve an assessment of the problems you are experiencing. This involves asking questions regarding the presenting problems, the history of your problems, and questions about you, to assist with arriving at a shared understanding of the issue. This understanding is then used to set your goals for therapy. All aspects of the process are collaborative, meaning that you participate and make active decisions about what goals you would like to achieve how you would like to participate.

In the treatment phase, you will be working collaboratively with your psychologist to learn new ways of dealing with old defeating patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving. Treatment may involve monitoring of your thoughts, questioning thoughts, encouraging you to engage in pleasant activities, learning new ways to relax, and with these new skills, confronting fears in small manageable steps.

The length of an individual session is 50 minutes and the length of time taken to complete the ‘therapy process’ is different depending upon the type of problem. An indication of how many sessions you will require will be given at your first appointment. Attending therapy once per week over several weeks provides for great continuity of your treatment.

What is the difference between a psychologist and psychiatrist?

Psychologists and psychiatrists both work in the area of mental health, and often work together. However, there are some significant differences between the two professions in the following areas.

 

1. Education and qualifications

Psychologists study human behaviour in their undergraduate and postgraduate degrees before undertaking supervised practice and gaining registration. They do not have a medical degree; however, many have postgraduate qualifications to specialise in various aspects of psychology, including mental illness. Psychiatrists have a medical degree, which involves six years of studying general medicine, followed by further study to specialise in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness and emotional problems.

2. Services provided

Psychologists assist people with everyday problems such as stress and relationship difficulties, and some specialise in treating people with a mental illness. They help people to develop the skills needed to function better and to prevent ongoing problems. Psychiatrists treat the effects of emotional disturbances on the body and the effects of physical conditions on the mind.

3. Prescribing medication

Psychologists cannot prescribe medication. Their treatments are based on changing behaviour and emotional responses without medication. There is a considerable amount of evidence showing psychological treatments are effective. Psychiatrists can prescribe medication. Some combine medication with other forms of therapy.

What kinds of therapies will be offered?

There are a number of evidenced-based psychological therapies that your Psychologist may have been trained in and is able to offer. However, common to all therapies is first conducting a thorough assessment to gain an understanding of your problem, setting goals for your treatment, then teaching you new and effective ways to manage the problems through skills training and new learning.

Your psychologist will provide you information on the therapy modality they will be using to treat your problem. If at anytime you feel that the treatment is not right for you, please discuss this with your psychologist as there may be a better suited treatment to your problem, values, or personality.

What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?

Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that helps people to change unhelpful or unhealthy thinking habits, feelings and behaviours. There is strong research evidence that CBT is an effective treatment for many psychological conditions, including but not limited to anxiety, depression, stress, eating disorders, insomnia, behavioural problems, stress, addictions, and low self-esteem. Because of this, CBT is a therapy of practice recommended by Medicare.

The main focus of CBT is that thoughts, feelings and behaviours combine to influence a person’s quality of life. For example, severe shyness in social situations (social phobia) may come from the person thinking that other people will always find them boring or stupid. This belief causes the person to feel extremely anxious in social situations.

Their behaviour may include stammering, sweating and other uncomfortable symptoms. The person then feels overwhelmed with negative emotions (such as shame) and negative self-talk (‘I’m such an idiot’). Their fear of social situations may become worse with every bad experience.

CBT aims to teach people that it is possible to have control over their thoughts, feelings and behaviours. CBT helps the person to challenge and overcome automatic beliefs, and use practical strategies to change or modify their behaviour. The result is more positive feelings, which in turn lead to more positive thoughts and behaviours.

How long will I need to come for treatment?
The length of your treatment will depend on the complexity and severity of your problem. An indication of how many sessions you will require will be given at your first appointment. On average, between 8 and 12 sessions may be necessary, however, for long-standing problems, therapy may take longer. Attending therapy once per week over several weeks provides for great continuity of your treatment. Your therapist may suggest monthly follow-up appointments until such time that your new way of dealing with problems has been consolidated.
How long do sessions run for?
The therapy hour is 50 minutes. 10 minutes of the hour is used by your therapist to write notes and letters to your GP.
What training does a psychologist have?

This will depend if your psychologist is a Clinical Psychologist or a Registered Psychologist.

A Registered Psychologist has completed a four year undergraduate program in Psychology (the study of human behaviour), followed by a 2-year Masters degree in Psychology. Registered psychologists are typically on their pathway to becoming a Clinical Psychologist and discuss their cases with a supervisor on a regular basis.

A Clinical Psychologist has completed a four year undergraduate study in psychology, a 2-year Masters degree or other relevant Post-graduate degree in psychology (e.g,. Clinical Phd), and have finished a further two years of supervised clinical practice. This is a total 8 years minimum training.

To maintain their registration as a psychologist, a psychologist completes additional professional development training every year. This involves attending workshops and training often specific to their areas of interest and practice

What is the difference between a clinical psychologist and registered psychologist?
Whilst the practice of therapy is often the same for both clinical and registered psychologists, the main difference is that a clinical psychologist has completed a further two years of supervised practice than a registered psychologist. For clients with a mental health careplan, a Registered Psychologist will provide focused strategies to help with managing your problem. A Clinical Psychologist may also provide these strategies, however, under Medicare they are able to practice psychotherapy – at type of therapy typically known as a “talking therapy” to assist with psychological and emotional change.
What is Confidentiality and what are its limits?

The information that you share with your psychologist is confidential i.e., it will not be provided to anyone else. Your psychologist will write notes on your session and these notes form part of your patient records. There are limits to confidentiality:

1. If you tell your psychologist that you are thinking of harming yourself or someone else, your psychologist as a duty of care to keep you and others safe. This may mean breaking confidentiality to notify the relevant people to ensure your safety.

2. If a court subpoenas your records, your psychologist must comply.

3. If your therapist seeks supervision on your case – in this instance, identifying information (e.g., your name), will remain confidential.

4. If you have been referred by your GP with a Mental Health Care Plan, your psychologist is required by Medicare to report back to your GP on your treatment progress.

What do group sessions involve?

At CBT Professionals we conduct a number of groups. These groups are conducted by a psychologist and typically involve 6 to 10 people. These groups are focused on providing additional skills training to your individual sessions, or, can be the single treatment of choice. There is an opportunity to share your experiences and between-session homework with the group, however, pre-dominantly the groups are aimed at teaching new skills and ways of dealing with particular problems. Sharing is not compulsory and many members may like to attend purely for learning.

For more information on the groups and the dates of the next groups, please check out our groups page.

TWO CONVENIENT LOCATIONS

COOMERA

Fortune Place
Shop 1, 2 Fortune Street
Coomera QLD 4209

(07) 5551 0251

NERANG

Prana Centre
Suite 3,7027 Southport-Nerang Road
Nerang QLD 4211

(07) 5668 3490