Below you will find information on our fees. Then a comparison discussion on other services in the therapy sector. Many people say this information is extremely helpful. We recommend to “do your research.” Ask your GP for advice. Then make up your mind on how to proceed.
If you need bulk billing under the Medicare Rebate Scheme, at present we cannot help you. You need to see your GP, get a Mental Health Plan, and get a referral to a Clinical Psychologist who is registered under the Medicare Rebate Scheme. Be aware that many Psychologists have long waiting lists. We are not Psychologists and at present the politics of the Australian allied health sector do not provide our clients access to the Medicare Rebate Scheme. We suggest that people lobby to your Local or State Member to request they make access equitable for the many thousands of Counsellors and Psychotherapists in Australia.
Our Advantage and Fees
- People who see us may not pay much more than under the Medicare Rebate program when the Psychologist does not bulk bill. Out of pocket fees may be comparable.
- We generally do not have a waiting list for private clients.
- Certain private insurance programs cover Counselling. You may or may not have cover for a certain number of sessions. You may need to look at your plan and contact your insurance provider.
- Fees for psychometric and educational testing may be set at the relevant hourly fee and/or in some cases a quote may be given after an initial assessment of what tools and time are needed to complete the testing.
- Our Private Rate Schedule was adjusted 1 Sept 2019. Fees were adjusted to allow for GST on top (rather than the former GST inclusive). Rates are now $150.00 +GST regular, $225.00 +GST couples, $130.00 +GST concession 1, and $110.00 +GST concession 2 senior.
- To further help savings, budgeting, and for people who need more time with us we have created a “six pack” discount for each of the fee levels. This amounts to the price of a full hour and overall considerably reduces the hourly fee.
NDIS fees are paid by the Scheme. The fee schedule is taken from their policy and tends to be set at higher rates than our private rates. In our experience the amount of administration and costs to provide service to NDIS clients is at least 32% more. NDIS clients pay after a service is provided via the Scheme and depends on how your NDIS Plan is set up. Please see the NDIS pages on this site for more information and areas of service.
No referral is needed to access our service. You can book a session at any time. Many clients see this as a distinct advantage. To contact us please visit our Contact Page for information. The Email Form on the Contact Page is the best way to get in touch initially.
Get What You Pay For?
We are senior and doctoral qualified Counsellors and Psychotherapists. We are not Psychologists. Many people are surprised to learn there is a difference between Counsellors and Psychotherapists, and Psychologists. Our registration body is the Australian Counselling Association (ACA). Under the ACA Scope of Practice, Counsellors and Psychotherapists in Australia do much of the same work as Psychologists.
However, in distinct ways Counsellors are trained differently than Psychologists. Counsellor training is traditionally based in advanced graduate Person Centred clinical Counselling and communication skills. These skills are hands-on from day one. A Psychologist does not tend to practice clinical skills until after they graduate from a Clinical Masters degree.
Also most graduate trained Counsellors receive advanced psychotherapeutic skills that are tailored to help people with specific issues. Our list of services and our specialisations cover a wide range of areas. Please see each therapist’s page for their skills and experience, and the other pages of the site will provide insight about our work.
People often say ‘We think of Psychologists, and you are different!’ Well yes, we are different in some ways. Being Person Centred we truly believe that clients are their own best advocate – so we are collaborative, encouraging, and focus on your strengths and learning new skills. This being said, we often work with and refer cases to Clinical Psychologists. We all have something valuable to offer.
In the therapy field, people do not always ‘get what you pay for’ because therapists charge per hour regardless whether they are effective or not. We base our practice on effectiveness and client satisfaction.
Only people who are happy with our work decide to work with us again or to tell family or friends about our service. If you are happy with us you might refer your colleagues, friends, or family. Our work is ideally based on positive outcomes and finding solutions.
Due to Australian industry and governmental politics Counsellors and Psychotherapists are not covered under the Medicare Rebate or Better Access to Health Care Program released during 2005. This program gives mental health supports under a Mental Health Plan created by your GP.
Our fees are set knowing that if you see a Psychologist under the Medicare Rebate scheme, unless they bulk bill, you may face a gap payment something similar to our standard fees. However, the devil is in the detail.
As far as we know, the Australian Psychological Society 2018 fee schedule is $241.00 per hour. This appears to apply for all Psychologists including clinical levels. Certain Psychologists in Armidale and region are known to charge between $260 to $295 per hour. With a Rebate you may face a gap of around $120.00 or higher. Our 2019 “regular rate” is set at $150.00 per hour, and we have two levels of concession that include a rate for seniors. Therefore we suggest that you do your research, compare rates, look at the therapist’s qualifications, experience, and approach, and then see what you think.
Positives and Not so Positives
- Bulk billing is important for people who need this advantage.
- Not all Psychologists bulk bill. There are often additional gap or out of pocket expenses.
- Under the Medicare Rebate scheme you may find yourself limited to a certain number of sessions per year. This may not be enough.
- You may then need to continue therapy and you may end up paying considerable fees out of pocket. Always ask ahead to see a fee schedule from your therapist so you know what might be coming down the pike…
- Once you are paying out of pocket, you might start to look around for other therapists. It is a slightly different world when you are paying full fees and do not feel tied into the Medicare Rebate scheme.
- In this case there may be other options. Many therapists are not registered under the Allied Health and Medicare Rebate programs that are historically and politically limited to Psychologists.
- Something that many do not think about at first – people using the Medicare Rebate system need to decide if you want to lodge a Mental Health Plan. For many, the prospects of keeping this level of personal information in the health care system is daunting. Once you have lodged this information, it may stay on your file for long periods of time. You may want to consider that your Psychologist under the Rebate program is obligated to report back to your GP, and that reports and information may be exchanged. You may want to clarify what information is shared and to request a copy. In an age of information security, knowing what happens with this degree of personal mental health information is an important part of informed consent.
- We recommend talking through the pros and cons of the Medicare Rebate Scheme verses Private Consultation with your GP before making a decision.
Thank you for your time. We wish you every goodness and peace, in heart and life, to you and yours.