Frequently Asked Questions
A psychologist is someone who specialises in human behaviour, having completed university training in the brain and how it works, how humans develop from conception to death, and how people think, feel and behave as individuals, couples, groups, or societies.
Psychologists use scientifically tested tools and methods of assessment and treatment to assist individuals, families and groups.
Psychologists must have successfully completed a minimum of six years of university education and supervised experience. They are also required to undertake a minimum amount of continued professional training and development each year.
Psychologists are regulated by the Psychology Board of Australia, which forms part of the Federal Government’s Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. All people who call themselves a Psychologist must be registered with the Psychology Board of Australia, and must uphold certain standards of practice and abide by the Australian Psychological Society’s Code of Ethics.
For some people the thought of seeing a psychologist may at first seem a little daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Psychologists are able to help you take good care of your psychological health, just as your Doctor helps you look after your physical health.
People seek the help of a psychologist for many different reasons, such as when:
- feeling stressed or overwhelmed
- concerned or worried about their relationship or family
- feeling worried more than usual but can’t explain why
- having difficulty coming to terms with things that may have happened in the past
- going through a significant life change
- unexpected change in employment occurs, or difficulties at work
- feeling more sad or down than usual, or for a long period
- concerned as a parent
Psychologists can assist with a variety of situations, helping you to build skills to manage better now and into the future. Research evidence indicates that psychological treatments are helpful in assisting people to more effectively manage day-to- day and longer term challenges.
Appointments can be made via our booking system on our Bookings & Fees page. Choose the format which best suits you (telephone, live text chat, video-conference), and click on the “Book now” button. This will take you directly to our secure appointment booking system where you will be asked to:
– choose your appointment type (GP Referral or Self-Referral),
– your treating psychologist, and the date and time that suits you,
– register if you are a new client, or log in if you have booked online previously,
– your appointment data and time will appear. If you wish to make payment at the time of booking your session, tick the “Pay Now” box and you will be guided to our Stripe secure online payment system. Alternatively, if you prefer to make payment at the time of your appointment, simply press ‘Book Now”. Your appointment is booked.
Once you have made your first appointment an information package will be forwarded to you. The package will contain information about Online Psychology and the services we offer, along with Information and Consent forms for you to complete.
If you have any questions when reading or completing the forms no matter how seemingly big or small, please ask us. We understand that it can sometimes be unsettling filling out forms, and are happy to answer any questions you may have.
The first session usually focuses on what has been happening for you that has brought you to see a psychologist. Your psychologist will invite you to discuss the difficulties you have been facing, and what you are hoping to get from the sessions. The first session will also explore background information that may be relevant to your current situation. A plan for reaching your therapy goals will then be developed together with your psychologist.
Following sessions will focus on identifying circumstances (events, thoughts, feelings, behaviours, reactions) that may be contributing to your current difficulties, and identifying skills to better manage current challenges and assist you to reach your goals.
Psychologists use treatment methods that focus on modifying thoughts, feelings, and behaviour generally without medication. These treatments are often as successful as medication (APS, 2016), and therefore medication is not required.
However, at times some people may need a combination of psychological treatment and medication. If it seems that medication may be of assistance for you, your medical professional (Doctor, Psychiatrist, Paediatrician) would discuss this option with you.
Although they all work in the area of health and wellbeing, there are significant differences between these professions.
- Psychologists – complete a minimum of six years of combined university study and supervised experience in the human mind and behaviour, resulting in specialist knowledge and skill. Some complete further university study to specialise in a particular field of psychology. Psychologists do not have a medical degree. They do not prescribe medication.
- Psychiatrists – are medical doctors (having completed six years university study of general medicine) who have undertaken further study to specialise in mental health. They can prescribe medication.
- Counsellors and Therapists – while some online psychologists provide counselling (talk-based treatment) and therapy as part of their work, not all people who use the title of counsellor or therapist are psychologists. Use of the title counsellor or therapist is not regulated in Australia, and therefore can be used by anyone regardless of their level of training and qualifications. Nonetheless, some counsellors and therapists have considerable experience and may belong to non-regulated professional organisations.
Consultation fees can be paid either on the day at the time of your appointment using Eftpos, or when booking your appointment online at our Bookings & Fees page. We use Stripe secure online payment system, and accept payment by Visa or MasterCard.
Confidentiality is the cornerstone of psychological therapy, and it is important for you to feel safe in being able to share your personal information. All of your personal information you share during the counselling sessions will remain confidential, and will not be shared unless required by law, there is a serious concern for your wellbeing, or if you ask for your information to be shared on your behalf. If there is an identified need to share your information with someone (such as your doctor), we will always endeavour to discuss it with you first and support you to be involved in and through the process.