The Australian Government has enabled the use of Medicare rebates for psychological therapy. This means that GPs can assess patients for aMental Health Treatment Plan and refer patients to see a Medicare registered Generalist or Clinical Psychologist for up to 10 sessions of therapy per calendar year. Medicare will refund a substantial amount of the psychologist’s fee.
The APS is currently in discussion with the govt MBS (Medicare Benefits Schedule), in the hopes that the number of sessions may be increased .
I bulk bill Mental Health Treatment Plan clients under 18, or who hold a Pension or Health Care Card.
Talk to your GP about the options open to you if you are feeling depressed, over-anxious, suicidal.
(You can of course make an appointment to see a psychologist privately, without a referral. The APS recommended professional fee is $228.00 per hour. My fee is $180.00 per hour, if you have private health insurance, dependent upon your Plan, you can claim some of that fee back.)
I work with children, usually over the age of 10 on their own, I work with the parents of children younger than 10, adolescents and adults of ALL ages. Perhaps my teaching years were the big clue to me that I feel some particular empathy with young people, and I believe, they with me.
BUT telling a young child that he is ‘going to see the psychologist’ is rarely helpful unless the child has asked to go and have a talk with an adult – Personally I think a relation or close family friend would be a better option. Mostly I find that it is the parent or parents that are going to be the most helpful, supportive and ‘useful’ in behaviour and thought change with their child – not a stranger. I prefer to work with the whole family in that way rather than one scared little boy or girl.
Diagnosis of mental health problems for your child/children is better done by a GP or paediatrician who can eliminate other organic or medical factors first.
Adolescents over the age of 15 have the right to complete confidentiality, I will always let the adolescent know that but also that the same rules apply for all clients:
Complete confidentiality is assured with the following exceptions:
- If I feel the client is a risk to him/herself or to others.
- If the information is subpoaened by a Court of Law.
- If the client gives written authority to disclose their information to another organisation (e.g. Insurance or Lawyers).
N.B.You are always protected by the National Privacy Principles (2000), which includes the Right to Your information. Let me, or any health practitioner, know in writing if and when you want to see the contents of your file, The practitioner will then explain those contents to you and answer any questions you may have