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Frequently Asked Questions

What's the differences between a clinical psychologist and a psychiatrist?

In simple terms, the main difference between the two is that a clinical psychologist do not prescribe medications while a psychiatrist normally do.

Clinical psychologists are not medical practitioners. They have received a minimum of six years of university training, both at an undergraduate and postgraduate level. Although they do not prescribe medications, they usually have good general knowledge of pharmacological treatments. Clinical psychologists provide psychological therapy for a range of emotional, behavioural and cognitive problems. In many cases, clinical psychologists work with psychiatrist as a team to provide the best treatment to the patients.

To understand more about my therapy approaches, please click here.

Q1

Do I need to see a clinical psychologist?

Psychological treatment is proven to be effective with managing many psychological conditions.

It is certainly not true that only people who are “crazy” sees a psychologist. While clinical psychologists do see some individuals with more severe mental conditions (such as schizophrenia), most of their clients are everyday, “normal” people who would like to learn some skills to cope with their emotional problems, to learn to prevent it from happening again, and to function more effectively.

Q2

Am I covered by Medicare?

If you are a green Medicare card holder, you are entitled to claim rebates for up to 10 sessions per calendar year. For more detail on fees and rebates, please click here.

Q3

Do I need referral from my doctor? 

If you wish to claim rebates from Medicare for a mental health problem you will need a referral from your GP or psychiatrist.

If you are not entitled to Medicare benefits, or if you choose to pay for the consultations yourself, you do not require a referral to make an appointment. However it is often helpful if your regular doctor provides a short letter.

Q4

Privacy and Confidentiality

All registered psychologists are ethically bounded to honour your privacy. All information collected from you is confidential, and will not be disclosed to another person without your explicit permission.

However there are some exceptions to confidentiality:

  1. If your file is subpoenaed by a court

  2. Where professional ethics overrides confidentiality, such as when failure to disclose the information would place you or another person at risk

  3. If Child Protection legislation makes it compulsory to release information, eg. situations in which a child may be at risk of some form of harm or abuse

Please note that if you have been referred by your doctor under a Mental Health Care Plan, Medicare requires the treating clinical psychologist to write a letter to the referring doctor after each block of 6 sessions.

You may request to see your file or information about you at any stage. There may be a fee associated with complying with your request in some situations. Please discuss your requirements with your clinical psychologist.

Q5
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