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FAQ’s.

You are not alone in the questions you ask. Browse the many common questions we are asked below.

“What’s the difference between a counsellor and a psychologist?”

Counsellors and psychologists are both licensed professionals who offer people mental health support. These two healthcare professions are often confused with each other as they overlap in terms of the help they can provide.

Counselling generally refers to short-term treatment while psychologists typically refers to longer-term treatment such as mental health disorders. Counselling can help a person process powerful emotions such as grief or anger, deal with immediate causes of stress and anxiety, clarify values and identify options when making important personal or professional decisions, manage conflicts within relationships, develop better interpersonal and communication skills, or intentionally change unproductive thoughts and behaviours.

What types of issues can a counsellor assist a person with?

Counsellors can confidentially listen to, empathise and talk with you about the following issues and problems;

  • Relationship Conflicts
  • Life transitions such as the Birth of a New Baby, Separation, Divorce
  • Parenting
  • Anger Management
  • Domestic Violence
  • Battling Addictions
  • Dealing with Loss and Bereavement
  • Resolving Work-related Issues
  • Overcoming Depression, Stress and Anxiety
  • Eating Concerns / Self-Esteem / Body Image
  • Resolving Family and Relationship Issues
  • Increasing Self-confidence and Self-esteem
  • Recovering from Trauma
  • Spirituality
  • Suicidality
Why do I have to pay online and is it safe?

We want you to get the most out of your session, so we ask for payment in advance so that we don’t have to waste valuable counseling time processing payments.

Our mission is to make counselling affordable for all people, so we use Acuity and Stripe to keep costs low for you. Data that passes through Acuity is encrypted. All connections from the browser to the Acuity platform are encrypted in transit with TLS SHA-256 and RSA Encryption. Stripe also has the most stringent level of certification in the payments industry. Stripe maintains a high level of security by utilising best-in-class security tools and practices.

Do people often feel nervous about coming to see a counsellor?

If you are considering therapy, or if you are about to have your first therapy session, you may be nervous, skeptical, or downright frightened about starting. Most people have a natural fear of the unknown, which may be contributing to your feelings. It is completely normal to be nervous about beginning therapy, especially if you have never engaged in therapy before. After all, anything new and unknown can be a bit anxiety-provoking.

My Practice always endeavours to provide a warm and understanding environment in which to help people feel more comfortable. After your session, we even give you a free coffee at our local cafe.

How often will I need to come?

Generally, counselling typically involves a few weeks of relatively intensive treatment (usually 1 appointment per week), followed by as many maintenance sessions as you and your counsellor feel is appropriate (usually fortnightly or monthly).

How do I prepare for my first counselling session?

There is no need to prepare anything specific prior to your initial appointment. It can however be helpful to think about what you might want to talk about in the sessions. If you have areas you would like to target, think about describing these. If you have goals for improvement (in your relationships, work, or self-esteem, for example), bring them to your first session, as well as any obvious obstacles or barriers you are aware of.

What should I expect from my first session?

After making your first appointment you will be sent an introductory email confirming your appointment date and time. At the beginning of your first session your practitioner will briefly run through important paperwork with you. This will include completing a form with basic personal information (such as your name, date of birth, address and contact details) and a consent form that cover issues such as confidentiality, fees and other important information about sessions.

After completing paperwork, the remainder of the session is usually spent discussing the issues that have brought you into therapy. As well as developing a thorough understanding of your concerns, your practitioner will explore relevant background history, for example, information about your family, social relationships, work history and any past counselling that you have done. Based on this information we will begin to help you to understand more about what might be triggering and maintaining your current issues. If time allows, we will also work with you to develop a collaborative and flexible plan for future therapy sessions.

How do you handle my private information?

My Practice is bound by the legal requirements of the Australian Privacy Principles set out in the Privacy Act (1988), and by the Psychology Board of Australia’s Code of Ethics (2007). Client records are stored in a secure Australian cloud-based practice management system (electronic files) and/or a secure storage facility, which is accessible only by your counsellor.

Your contact information, referral letters, session notes, assessment results, reports, correspondence, and other personal information collected as part of providing the counselling service are examples of the types of information we may keep on file. We do not collect or retain credit card details.

What if I cancel my appointment?

It’s OK we know life can get busy so we ask that you give us at least 24 hours notice of any cancellations so that we can refund you as soon as possible. Any cancellations made with less than 24 hours’ notice will be charged the full session fee.

My Practice is flexible, and we want to help you in any way we can, so speak with your counsellor; they may be able to schedule another appointment without charging you any fees.

Are you open on weekends or evenings?

Yes, some of our counsellors are available for evening and weekend appointments.

What is your counselling approach?

My Practice offers confidential, nonjudgmental support by developing a collaborative relationship with you, helping you to identify and define issues, and providing counselling and coaching support to help you gain insights, explore options, set goals, make decisions and take action. The counselling process is focussed on you, and so each session is tailored around what has brought you to counselling, and what you hope to get from it.

How can I get the most out of therapy?
  1. Be open and honest. Your practitioner welcomes feedback, and it can help them to better understand your situation, goals and needs.
  2. Commit to the process. Therapy requires you to be active in sharing, contributing and trying new strategies. Try to minimise disruptions to your attendance of sessions, as this can slow progress.
  3. Keep a diary. Noting the important lessons and realisations you experience during therapy can be very helpful.
  4. Explore with your practitioner what are realistic expectations from treatment. Change can take time, and at times treatment can be very challenging.
  5. Talk with your practitioner about what is helping and what is problematic. This allows your practitioner to adjust therapy to best suit you. Therapy is collaborative and guiding your treatment is a shared responsibility.
  6. Practice new skills between sessions. Just like learning a musical instrument, significant and lasting improvements can only be made with consistent, dedicated effort.

In-Person Sessions

Do you prefer to attend your counselling session in person? You can book any one of our services to be delivered in person within the comfort and privacy of our office in West Melbourne.

To book your in-person session, simply click the ‘Book a Session’ below.

Phone Sessions

Can’t get to our office or would rather receive your counselling session within the comfort of your own home? You can book any one of our services to be delivered over the phone.

To book your phone session, simply click the ‘Book a Session’ button below.

Online Sessions

Would you feel more comfortable talking with one of our counsellors online? You can book any one of our services to be delivered through an online medium, both privately and in a group setting.

To book your online session, simply click the ‘Book a Session’ button below.