What is counselling?

“The world is full of beautiful places. 

Let your heart be one of them”.

Counsellors use similar modalities to other medical health professionals and assist clients in usually less than 10 sessions. Counselling visits are not able to be claimed through Medicare but some are covered under Private Health Funds.
Eligible health fund members may be entitled to a benefit. The Upside of Me is linked with Bupa, AHM, Medibank Private and ARHG (Police Health Fund, Emergency Services Health, St Luke’s Health and Phoenix Health).
In Canberra, some psychologists and psychiatrists have waiting lists of up to 5 weeks with up to 2-3 weeks between appointments.  After obtaining a Mental Health Plan referral from your GP, your psychologist/psychiatrist visit can cost from $220 with a Medicare rebate of either $84.50 or $124.50 depending on the practitioner.
You will be out of pocket for a psychologist or psychiatrist visit FROM $94.50 per session UPWARDS plus the cost of your GP visit.

Please be advised a GP referral is not necessary to visit a counsellor. 

Being able to express your inner most private feelings in a GP visit of often 10 minutes is not comprehensive enough to allow you to feel heard. 
However, they may provide you with a prescription, undertake an assessment such as the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) or the K10 Anxiety Test.
The Upside of Me services are charges are noted HERE.

The Psychotherapy & Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) describes counselling as a professional, safe and confidential* collaboration between a qualified counsellor and client/s to promote mental health and wellbeing, enhance self-understanding, and resolve identified concerns. Clients are active participants in the counselling process at every stage.

Counselling is a profession with a strong evidence base. Counsellors use empirically supported interventions and specialised interpersonal skills to facilitate change and empower clients.

Counsellors are trained in a range of modalities to work with clients from diverse backgrounds. Australian Counselling Association (ACA) and PACFA registered counsellors have completed an undergraduate or postgraduate counselling qualification. They are expected to participate in ongoing professional development and supervision, including their own counselling, to stay current with developments in their profession and to ensure safe, ethical practice.

According to the psychological society, “most psychologists provide assessment and therapy to clients, help facilitate organisational or social change, conduct psychological research, or administer psychological tests to individuals or groups”.

The Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Psychiatrists note a psychiatrist is a specialist medical doctor who assesses and treats patients with mental health problems. Psychiatrists often work in collaboration with general practitioners and other health professionals to best meet the mental health and emotional needs of patients”.

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