Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is ISTDP?
  2. What is a Psychologist and a Clinical Psychologist?
  3. How do I know if counselling/psychotherapy treatment is right for me?
  4. What happens during the first session?
  5. How many sessions will I need?
  6. How much will it cost?
  7. Can I claim a rebate through Medicare or private health insurance?
  8. How long is each session?
  9. How often will I need to attend?
  10. Where are you located?
  11. What appointment times are available?

What is ISTDP?

Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP) is a unique form of psychodynamic treatment that facilitates the rapid resolution of a broad spectrum of emotional disorders. It is an evidence-based psychotherapy that is strongly supported by current clinical research studies. ISTDP interventions are specifically designed to resolve anxiety, depression, somatisation and personality disorders, as well as alleviate a variety of self-defeating behaviors, many of which derive from unstable or troubled early life attachments. For more information see our ISTDP page or the California Society for Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy or Dr Allan Abbass' websites.

What is a Psychologist and a Clinical Psychologist?

Psychologists study human behaviour in their undergraduate and postgraduate degrees before undertaking supervised experience and gaining registration. They do not have a medical degree; however, many have postgraduate qualifications or doctoral level qualifications in clinical psychology. Clinical psychologists have specialist training in psychological assessment and therapy with diagnosed psychiatric and/or mental disorders. Clinical psychologists and psychologists cannot prescribe medication. Their treatments are based on changing behaviour and emotional responses without medication. There is a considerable amount of evidence showing psychological treatments are effective on their own, as well as in combination with certain types of medication.

How do I know if counselling/psychotherapy treatment is right for me?

Many people are unsure if counselling/psychotherapy treatment will assist them. Please feel free to contact us to speak more about what you would like from counselling, and to determine whether we can assist you. Sometimes, it can be helpful to have an initial session to discuss what is going on for you and work out if you would like further counselling. You are under no obligation to continue counselling after this if you do not feel it will be helpful. If you are still unsure, you may want to make an agreement for a limited number of sessions, in order to see if counselling may be able to help.

What happens during the first session?

During the first session, your psychologist will need to gain a thorough understanding of your reasons for coming to counselling, meaning that may ask many questions about your issues. As part of getting a detailed understanding about your symptoms and the reasons for them, they will ask personal questions about you and your history. If you are uncomfortable at any time with these discussions, please let your psychologist know. By the end of the first session, you and your psychologist will generally have established some shared goals for therapy, and will start to develop a treatment plan.

How many sessions will I need?

The number of sessions that will benefit you is dependent on the nature and extent of the issues for which you are seeking assistance. This can be discussed further at your first session, where we can make plans to review your progress after a set number of sessions.

How much will it cost?

We aim to provide the services that you need, and we know that finances can be a concern when looking for a clinical psychologist. Our session fees vary depending on whether you come during or after business hours and are set by each psychologist individually themselves. Please note, our fees are substantially lower than the Australian Psychological Society's recommended fee of $241, reflecting our commitment to providing high-quality, affordable services for the community. In some instances, we can use a sliding fee scale upon request, taking into account your financial circumstances. Please contact us to discuss this further. Please speak with your psychologist about their Fees and Rebates, or contact us to discuss this prior to booking your first session.

Can I claim a rebate through Medicare or private health insurance?

Yes. Medicare and private health will typically cover a significant part of the cost of some sessions. For example, Medicare can cover up to 10 individual sessions per year and the current rebate for seeing a Clinical Psychologist is $124.50 per session. To be eligible for Medicare rebates you will need to:

  1. Make an extended appointment with your GP, and ask for a Mental Health Care Plan. During this appointment, speak with your GP about why you would like to consult a psychologist.
  2. Your GP will assess you and your current difficulties, determining whether you are eligible for a Mental Health Care Plan. If you are eligible, they will create a Mental Health Care Plan and provide you with a referral letter to the psychologist of your choice.
  3. Bring your referral letter to the first session, as this is required for you to obtain rebates.
If you have private health insurance that covers sessions with a psychologist, you may be entitled to certain rebates. Your health fund will be able to provide you with further information about this. We are registered with most major health funds.

How long is each session?

The initial session is 120 minutes and standard consultations are 55 minutes in duration. Block therapy is available for interstate patients or people who have to travel long distances or are unable to attned regular appointments due to work commitments. Block therapy consists of several extended treatment sessions (e.g., 2 x 2 hour sessions) for 1-2 days followed by a longer break between treatment blocks (e.g., 1-2 months)

How often will I need to attend?

Regular attendance at sessions is important in order to work towards goals and make progress in counselling. While sessions usually occur on a weekly basis at first, they may move to fortnightly or less often during the course of therapy. Please feel free to speak to your psychologist about this.

Where are you located?

In order to provide a convenient service for those living in the eastern and north-eastern suburbs of Melbourne, we are located at 24 High Street Glen Iris.

What appointment times are available?

As it can be difficult to make time to see a psychologist, we aim to be flexible. Each of our psychologists operates on a part-time basis at the clinic, due to other commitments such as delivering training and supervision or working in the public sector, and are therefore not available every day. Please contact us for further details about appointment times, or to request an appointment with your preferred psychologist.