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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a Registered Psychologist and a Provisional Psychologist?

There are different pathways to becoming a registered psychologist in Australia. All psychologists must complete an accredited 4-year degree in psychology as the minimum entry requirement into the profession.

Once they have completed this degree, they can undertake a 2-year internship or complete a 1-year post-graduate Master of Professional Psychology and then a 1 year internship. A university supervised placement is also a part of training for those who undertake the Master of Professional Psychology.

Some psychologists choose to complete a 2-year Masters Degree or a 3-year Doctorate in an applied area of psychology and complete their internship through university supervised placements in their applied field.

You can rest assured that you are in good hands when seeing a provisionally registered psychologist due to the rigorous requirements they must undertake in their internship. To complete the 2 year or 1 year internship, provisional psychologists must have an internship plan approved by the Psychology Board of Australia which is supervised with an experienced psychologist who is approved as a supervisor by the Psychology Board of Australia. During their internship, 6 monthly reports are provided to the Psychology Board of Australia to a provisional psychologist is meeting the required competencies that all psychologists must meet.

Once a psychologist completes their internship, they then become a registered psychologist and are eligible for a Medicare provider number. As you are not eligible for a Medicare rebate for services provided by provisional psychologists, the fee is reduced to match the out-of-pocket gap fee you would pay when seeing a registered psychologist.

What does seeing a psychologist involve?

In my experience, people are often very nervous when they attend a psychologist for the first time as there are many misconceptions about what seeing a psychologist involves.

People don’t know what to expect and often fear others will think they are mad or weak.

Sometimes it’s not so much about what others think, but self-criticism about what it means to seek out support. People are often very relieved after the first session to find it’s not what they expected.

You won’t have to lay down on a couch. In fact, I don’t even have a couch in my office! During the session, you will be provided an opportunity to increase insight into your concerns, understand yourself and your needs more fully, identify and challenge old patterns of thinking and behaving that may be self-limiting, help you realize your strengths, and learn strategies and skills so you can manage any challenges and move your life forward in the direction you want.

You may also be asked to fill out questionnaires. These are used to provide information on your mood, feelings, thinking styles, and behaviours which can be helpful in and increasing awareness and tracking changes.

What are the benefits of seeing a psychologist?

Psychologists have a minimum of six years of university and supervised workplace training and they are required to be registered with AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency).

Psychologists also practice according to a Code of Ethics which sets out standards of professional conduct.

Psychologists have a broad range of training. Understanding and treating mental health conditions is only one part of psychology training. People from all walks of life see psychologists for many different reasons, however, they have one thing in common, they all want to live a more fulfilling life.

Seeing a psychologist can help you:

  • Understand yourself and others better
  • Feel more positive
  • Boost your motivation so you can to achieve your goals
  • Believe in yourself and what you are capable of
  • Increase your confidence so you can go after the things you want in life
  • Build your resilience so you can bounce back and grow from setbacks and challenges in life
Do I need a referral to see a psychologist?

No, you don’t need a referral to see a psychologist.

However, Medicare benefits are available for a range of specified psychological services.

You may be eligible for up to 10 sessions per calendar year. Speak to your GP and obtain a referral prior to your first appointment so you can claim the rebate.

How long are the sessions?

Sessions last for 60 minutes and they are usually scheduled at weekly or fortnightly intervals.

Some sessions for trauma treatment and skills training will need to be 90 minutes.

This will be discussed with you in advance.

Please ensure you have sufficient parking to cover the session, arranging payment and organising follow-up appointments.

How many sessions will be required?

The number of sessions required will vary depending on your personal circumstances, needs and goals.

People generally attend for between 6 and 10 sessions, however, complex and long-standing issues will usually require more sessions over a longer period of time.

Sessions typically occur on a weekly or fortnightly basis initially. Many people then attend monthly. This depends on the issue you are seeking support for and your goals.

Some people book in every few months to touch base as way to support their on-going wellbeing.

The frequency of sessions is flexible and we will review this on a regular basis.

What is the cost of sessions?

The cost of a 50-55 minute session varies depending on the practitioner.

Principal Psychologist: $240-$260.00

Psychologist: $220.00

Provisional Psychologist: $120.00

Payment is required at the time of the appointment.

If you book a Telehealth session, you will be required to pay 24 hours prior to the session.

If you use the online booking function on the website, payment will be required at the time of booking.

Please let us know as soon as possible if you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment as we have a strict cancellation policy.

We require at least 48 hours’ notice if you are unable to attend your appointment as the time has been allocated for you. Psychology services are in high demand across Australia at present and late cancellations disadvantage others who are awaiting an appointment. A reminder SMS is sent 1 week prior to your appointment, with a second reminder 3 days prior. It is important that you respond to this text to let us know if you will be attending. Please ring us on 0428 481 252 to re-schedule.  

If you are unable to attend your appointment, you will be offered a Telehealth appointment. You can respond with Telehealth when you receive your SMS reminder and a link will be sent prior to your appointment. If you are unable to attend a Telehealth appointment, cancellation fees may be charged.

Can I claim a rebate for sessions?

Medicare offers rebates for up to 10 sessions per calendar year with a GP referral. Please talk to your GP to see if you are eligible for a Mental Health Care plan.

The current rebate is$89.65 per session. Rebates are also available for private health funds but this is dependant upon your policy. Please check with your health fund to see if you are covered.

Have other questions? Call us at 0428 481 252 or email us at admin@wbpsych.com.au

We would love to help!