Frequently Asked Questions
How do I decide which psychologist to see?
You are likely to feel comfortable with ANY of our psychologists. We are all experienced and qualified. The techniques we use are similar. Each of us is highly skilled, warm, understanding and accepting. We all see couples. Jenny, Lynne, and Pia see adolescents. Pia sees children from age 10+. You could take the next available appointment that suits you or you could read our profiles on our webpage and see if one stands out for you. The match between your schedule and our psychologists’ schedules may be a deciding factor for you also, so please click on our Appointments page to see what days and hours our psychologists work.
I need an appointment now but you are booked up.
We are popular and that is because we are good at what we do. We suggest you go online and book the next available appointment and contact your psychologist or our Reception on 0481204818 to be put on the wait list. We always have cancellations. You will receive an SMS (or email) when an appointment becomes available. For more instructions, go to Book an Appointment.
Do you do couples counselling?
Yes. We all love to see couples.
Do you do family therapy?
Generally we see couples or family members individually. Sometimes we will see clients with other family members.
Do you see children?
Pia sees children from 10 years and over. Lynne and Ingrid will see children from the age of 12. Jenny works with slightly older adolescents. All of us enjoy working with parents to help them with their children.
Do you see adolescents?
Ingrid, Pia and Lynne see adolescents.
Do you see WorkCover and ComCare clients?
Yes. We need a referral for psychological services from your doctor and/or case manager and we need your claim number.
Do you see adults wanting to deal with their childhood trauma?
Yes. We do. As well as being skilled and experienced in resolving childhood trauma, we enjoy doing this work and watching you blossom as you release your unwanted emotional baggage.
What about confidentiality?
All personal information gathered by the psychologist during the provision of the psychological service will remain confidential and secure except when: 1. It is subpoenaed by a court, or 2. Failure to disclose information would place you or another person at risk of harm or 3. Your prior and explicit approval has been obtained to provide a written report to another professional agency (e.g. GP or Lawyer); or discuss relevant material with another person (e.g., a parent, spouse or employer); or to send your files onto another health professional.
How long does a session last?
55 minutes. You can book two sessions together if you want a longer appointment.
How many sessions will I need?
Most people have 6 to 10 sessions. A few have less. Some choose to go into long-term therapy with us.
What do I pay for?
Our psychologists all bring years of training, knowledge, skills and experience. However, we realise strong emotions can come up for some people around paying for psychological support. We think Martha Crawford discusses this very clearly, so we will simply link to her blog post about it.
Do I have to pay if I miss an appointment?
Yes. We charge 45% of our fee for a missed appointment or late cancellation (within 24 hours before the appointment). We usually have a waiting list and if you miss an appointment, another client misses out on that opportunity. The cancellation fee covers our admin costs and overheads. Furthermore, having and implementing a cancellation policy can be therapeutic as it can encourage people to attend sessions even when they might want to cancel because it feels too hard.
Why does NBP bill for missed sessions?
NBP has a missed appointment policy. We bill you 45% of the session cost if you do not turn up or cancel late (<24 hours before the appointment). Why do we do this? Most therapists do and the reason is simple. First of all, having and implementing a cancellation policy can be therapeutic as it can encourage people to attend sessions even when they might want to cancel because it all feels too hard. Additionally, when we set up an appointment with you, we are giving you access to that hour. This is not how most other professionals work. For example, GPs often work with a full waiting room, so if one person is late they see the next person. Other professionals, such as lawyers or accountants, can fill the time with other billable work, such as work on briefs or tax returns.
The only billable work therapists do with their time is see clients. The time we schedule with you is exclusively yours, not available for anyone else. With enough advance notice, we either fill the spot or do something productive with the time created by a cancellation, but with little or no notice, we literally sit in our office waiting for you. We do our best to be fair by giving you advanced notice of our policy to bill you for missed appointments or late cancellations.
How do I get the Medicare Rebate?
You need a referral from your doctor called a GP Mental Health Care Plan.
I already have a Mental Health Care Plan but I want to see a different psychologist to the one on the plan. Is that possible?
Yes. You can see any psychologist on your plan. Just bring it along with you.
How many Medicare rebates can I get with a GP Mental Health Care Plan?
You can have a total of 10 in a calendar year but you must go back to your doctor after the sixth session and obtain a continuing referral.
Do you bulk bill?
No. You may qualify for the Brisbane Mind program if you are disadvantaged and live on the north side of Brisbane, which means no gap fee. Ask your GP. In our practice, only Jenny Laing is registered with Brisbane Mind. If your financial struggles mean you are unable to have or continue therapy, please contact us or discuss with your treating psychologist, as she may be able to offer sessions at a reduced rate, close to the Medicare rebate. We will do what we can to ensure you get support and that we still make a living.
How much is the Medicare Rebate?
Can I just pay the difference (the gap)?
No. With Medicare rebates, you pay the full amount ($165) and then Medicare refunds the rebate ($84.80) into your debit account.
Can I pay the gap with my health fund card?
No. You can usually only use one type of rebate for a consultation: Medicare rebate OR Health Fund Rebate. If you have a Bonus on your package, ask your Health Fund if the Bonus covers Medicare gap fees.
Can I get the Medicare Rebate on the spot?
Yes. You can have it refunded into your savings or cheque account if you have a debit card with you after you have paid the full amount of the consultation to us.
How many sessions can I have with Medicare?
Up to 10 in a calendar year if your doctor agrees.
Can I use my Heath fund care and Medicare Rebate for the same session?
No. It is one or the other.
Can I use my Heath fund care and Medicare Rebate in the same calendar year?
Yes. For different sessions. For example you can get a Medicare Rebate (if you have a GP Mental Health Plan referral) for a session and for another session you can use your Health fund card.
How do I get the health fund rebate?
You don’t need a referral. You check with your Health Fund to make sure you are covered for psychologists.
Can I get the health fund rebate on the spot?
Yes. We have HiCaps and most Health funds are covered by HiCaps. Bring your Private Health Fund card and you just pay the gap.
Do I need a doctor’s referral to come to a psychologist?
No. Not unless you want a Medicare Rebate.
Do you have a concession rate?
Not as a rule. Pia Jones will often offer a discounted rate for clients holding a concession card. Please contact us to discuss. You might also qualify for the Brisbane Mind program if you are disadvantaged and live on the north side of Brisbane, which means no gap fee. Ask your GP. In our practice, only Jenny Laing is registered with Brisbane Mind. If your financial struggles mean you are unable to continue therapy, please discuss this with your treating psychologist, as she may be able to offer sessions at a reduced rate, close to the Medicare fee. We will do what we can to ensure you get the support you need.
Are you clinical psychologists?
No. Our psychologists are general practitioners in psychology.
Do you do psychological assessments?
We are trained to administer and interpret a number of tests and assessments that can help diagnose a condition or tell more about how a person thinks, feels and behaves. These tests may evaluate intellectual skills, cognitive strengths and weaknesses, vocational aptitude and preferences, and personality characteristics. For all other kinds of psychological and cognitive assessments, you are best to see a clinical psychologist who specialises in using assessment instruments.