How do I decide which person to see?

You are likely to feel comfortable with ANY of our clinicians. We are all qualified and experienced in helping people with stress, anxiety, depression, grief, addiction, trauma, and relationships. The techniques and modalities we use are similar. Each of us is skilful, warm, and understanding. Charla, Danielle and Jeremy primarily work with couples. Everyone sees older adolescents. Zameer and Keri see kids 5 years and older. Sharna sees children from 7 years. Lachlan, Lianni and Anne-Marie see children from 10 years. Sharna, Aaron, Brendan, and James specialise in complex trauma.  Aaron also sees clients for Personality Disorders. You could take the next available appointment that suits you, or read our profiles and see if one stands out for you. Call us on 3726 5595 to find out more about who to book with.

I need an appointment now but you are booked up!

We are popular because we are good at what we do. But we have a dynamic waiting list! We suggest you contact your psychologist or our Reception (on 3726 5595) to be put on the wait list. We do get cancellations. You will receive an email when an earlier appointment becomes available. For more instructions, go to Book an Appointment.

How many appointments do you recommend booking?

We recommend booking 4 or 5 appointments in advance to secure the session times and frequency between sessions that best suit you.

Do you do couples counselling?

Yes. For couples therapy, book in with Charla, Danielle, Jeremy, Lianni, Jenny, David, Zameer or Brendan. Note that Medicare does not rebate for relationship counselling. 

Do you do family therapy?

Generally, we see two (sometimes three) family members at a time or work with an individual or couple to help them manage wider family problems. Only some of our rooms are large enough to accommodate families, therefore, to discuss options, call our Director Dr Rachel on 0478 789321.

Do you see children and adolescents?

Zameer and Keri see kids from 5 years. Zameer & Jennifer can assess for ASD and ADHD. Sharna sees children from 7 years and can help with eating disorders. Lianni, Lachlan and Anne-Marie see children from age 10. Many of our practitioners work with older adolescents 13+. All of us enjoy working with parents to support them in parenting their children.

Do you see NDIS, WorkCover, ComCare and DVA clients?

We see self-managed and plan-managed NDIS clients. If you are an NDIS client, please contact our reception on 3726 5595. For WorkCover and ComCare, we will need your claim number and contact details of your case advisor.  We take a very limited number of DVA clients. DVA clients need a referral for psychological services from a GP and to provide contact details of their case advisor.

Do you see adults wanting to deal with their childhood trauma?

Yes. As well as being skilled and experienced in helping to resolve childhood trauma, we enjoy doing this work and watching you blossom as you release unwanted emotional baggage. Sharna, Aaron and James can help with complex trauma and PTSD. Jennifer Langdon, Lianni Fulcher, Joel Mazkowiack, and Lynne Rodgers are trained to use EMDR for trauma treatment. Brendan Turner has extensive training in somatic psychotherapy and specialises in working with PTSD, attachment and relational trauma, as well as personality disorders.

Do you do clinical hypnosis or hypnotherapy?

Yes. Jeremy Gates does hypnotherapy for anxiety, stress, addiction and to help with sleep and performance. Jennifer Langdon is also trained in clinical hypnosis. Medicare does not rebate for clinical hypnosis, but private health insurance may.  A few of our psychs are trained to use EMDR for trauma treatment, which is rebatable.

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?

A standard session length is 50-55 minutes. You can book two sessions back-to-back if you need a longer appointment. Please note that Medicare & DVA do not rebate for more than one session per day, so your out of pocket will be higher. 

How many sessions will I need?

Most people have between 8 and 12 sessions. Some people have fewer. Some people go into long-term therapy with us over a period of years.

What do you pay for?

Our practitioners 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 $95 for a missed appointment or late cancellation (cancelling < 24 hours before your appointment, or <48 hours for weekend and Monday appointments). We always have a waiting list and if you miss an appointment, another client misses out on a spot. The late 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 want to cancel because it all feels too hard. If there is an emergency preventing your attendance at your appointment, and your appointment is outside our administration hours, please contact your practitioner directly. Their contact is in the appointment confirmation email you received and on our website.

Why does NBP bill for missed sessions?

NBP has a missed appointment policy. We bill you $95 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, having and implementing this policy can be therapeutic; it can encourage people to attend sessions even when they want to cancel because it all feels too hard. Additionally, when we set 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, like 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 seeing clients. The time we schedule with you is exclusively yours, not available for anyone else. With 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 Treatment Plan.

I already have a Mental Health Treatment 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. If you have seen another psychologist elsewhere, it is really helpful if they can provide a  handover letter including how many sessions you had with them.

How many sessions can I have with a GP Mental Health Plan and get the Medicare rebate?

You can now have a total of 20 Medicare rebates in a calendar year but you must go back to your doctor after the sixth and 10th sessions to obtain a continuing referral. 

Do you bulk bill?

No. If financial struggles mean you are unable to continue therapy, please discuss with your treating psychologist, as they may be able to offer a reduced rate. We will do what we can to ensure you receive support and we make a living.

How much is the Medicare rebate?

As of 01/07/21 the Medicare rebate for Psychologists is approx. $89 or $129 for Clinical Psychologists. However, the gap fee is approximately $106 for all Psychologists (general and clinical).

Can I just pay the difference (the Medicare out of pocket amount)?

No. With Medicare rebates, you pay the full amount ($195 or $235 for the clinical psychologist) and then Medicare refunds the rebate directly into your debit account.

Can I pay the out of pocket amount with my health fund card?

No. You can usually only access one type of rebate for a consultation: Medicare rebate OR Health Fund Rebate. Check with your fund. 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 20 Medicare rebates in a calendar year, if your doctor agrees.

Can I use my Private Health fund and Medicare rebate for the same session?

No. It is usually only one or the other.

Can I use my Private Health and Medicare rebates in the same calendar year?

Yes. For different sessions. For example, you can get a Medicare Rebate (if you have a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan referral) for a session and for another session you can use your Health fund card.

How do I get a private health rebate?

You don’t need a referral. Check with your Health Fund to make sure you are covered for Psychology, or counselling if you are seeing one of our counsellors. 

Can I get the private health rebate on the spot?

Yes. We have both 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?

No. Not a standard one. We may be able to offer a discounted rate by negotiation during business hours for clients who have a concession card. Please contact your preferred Psychologist to discuss. If your financial struggles mean you are unable to continue therapy, please discuss this with your treating psychologist, as they may be able to offer sessions at a reduced rate, close to the Medicare fee.

Are you clinical psychologists?

Our psychologists all work within a clinical setting. We have endorsements in various specialties, such as Clinical Psychology, Counselling Psychology, Health Psychology, and Occupational Psychology. We all work with the same client issues.  As of 01/07/21 the Medicare rebate for general Psychologists is approx. $89 or $129 for Clinical Psychologists. Some agencies, such as Centrelink, may only accept reports from endorsed Clinical Psychologists. Lianni Fulcher is a fully endorsed Clinical Psychologist. Call 3726 5595 to discuss. 

Do you do psychological assessments?

Zameer Esmail and Jennifer Langdon do child and adult assessments for ADHD and ASD. Jennifer can also do behavioural and cognitive assessments. We are all trained to administer and interpret a number of tests and assessments that can help diagnose a condition or tell us more about how a person thinks, feels or behaves.  These tests evaluate personality types and issues, cognitive strengths and weaknesses, vocational aptitude and preferences, and other characteristics. For a more comprehensive psychological or cognitive assessment, you are best to see a psychologist who specialises in psychometric assessments and report-writing.

How long will my report take?

Sometimes our Psychologists write reports for NDIS, insurers, educational institutions, or other third parties. These reports can take up to four weeks to be completed if your practitioner is busy. Please contact your Psychologist directly via email to check on the progress of your report.

What will happen at my first session?

The truth is that different therapists handle their first therapy sessions differently. They may even encourage you to ask them questions about their training or experiences in the first session. One thing is for certain: your therapist will spend some time getting to know you and the issues that brought you into counselling. They may use a more structured approach or it may just feel like a more free-flowing conversation. The therapist will ask questions about your presenting concerns, as well as your history and background. Most likely, you’ll find yourself talking about your current struggles, as well saying a bit about your relationships, your interests, your strengths, and your goals. Most importantly, in that first session, you will begin making a connection with your therapist. You should feel safe, accepted, respected, and relatively comfortable. Not all therapists are right for every person, so use your first session to assess whether or not the therapist you chose feels like a good match for your personality.

What if I don’t feel comfortable with my Psychologist?

Safety and trust are essential to establishing a good rapport with your therapist. Without trust, your therapy will not be as effective as you hope. If you do not click with him/her straight away, you should remember that it is possible your therapist might not be someone you immediately like, but may be just the right person to help you achieve your goals. If there are good reasons you chose this person and it wasn’t just because they were the first name you found, we encourage you to hang in for a couple of sessions before you change to someone else. However, if you have given it a go and you feel strongly this person is not a good match for you, definitely try another therapist before giving up on therapy entirely. There is no shame in letting your Psychologist or our Director (Rachel) or the Practice Manager know that you would like to try another Psychologist. It happens. You are the client and what is most important is that you feel you have the right fit. Contact us via info@northbrisbanepsychologists.com.au if you wish to receive a call from our Director about your experiences or about changing Psychologists.

Do you have any Christian Psychologists?

Yes, we have Psychologists with Christian faith who appreciate that sometimes clients like to speak to someone who understands their faith and the importance it plays in their lives. These Psychologists are Sharna Giammichele, Joel Maczkowiack, Dora Abbondanza, and Anne-Marie Van Duin.

I am having trouble with the new client intake forms. Help!?