We are open to bookings now. Please consider referral to your friends, family, colleagues, clients or network. First come first serve.
Your Consent Form is at the bottom of this page.
Contact us with the email-form at the bottom of this page or direct by email,
To book a consultation the first step is fill in the Contact Form below or email us.
Now Available: NDIS Funded Behaviour Support and Counselling Consultations. Private clients all ages welcome from children to seniors for Individual, couple, family services across a range of areas including Counselling, Life Coaching, Psychotherapy, Hypnotherapy and NLP, and assessments across a wide range of issues.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Who can see you? Anyone! All ages from early childhood through to senior years.
- Where are you? Armidale, New England New South Wales Australia. We consult online to anywhere in the known galaxy. When possible we visit Inverell NSW, and travel across the New England and beyond, as required.
- How much do you cost? Please see our Fees page for details. For private clients we use a Standard Fee, a Concession Fee 1, and a Concession Fee 2 (Seniors). For NDIS Participants, we use the NDIS recommended Fee Schedule.
- What is your catchment area? Our specialist service covers a large catchment, from west to Lightning Ridge, east to Coffs Harbour, north to Tenterfield and south to Scone. However, the NDIS environment and our experience sees us consulting with participants and providers across the state and interstate, where ever we can provide senior expertise. When we can’t travel to clients, we provide online video or other means to communicate with individuals, families, communities, providers, and other practitioners and specialists that need access to our help.
- Do you see clients from across Australia? And other countries? Yes! We consult in Australia, Canada, and other countries. For example, couples visit Armidale from as far away as Victoria, Sunshine Coast, or even Western Australia on intensive weekend retreats. They see us for several sessions over a long weekend. We have overseas clients on Skype from the USA and other countries who also enjoy the Australian currency exchange that is normally to their advantage!
- Who sees you via distance technologies? A large catchment of people see us and work with us online and over distance technologies. Anyone who wants to access therapy this way tends to get a great deal of satisfaction, confirmed by the research and our general experience.
- Where do we meet you? Online or via distance technologies. Home visits in Armidale and surrounds. Locally in town at a public venue of your choice. At our Therapy Studio in Armidale. At a central location in Inverell. We prefer to meet people with disability in everyday settings and traveling to meet us is certainly one of these settings.
- Is there an age limit? No. We work across the lifespan from early childhood through to senior years.
- Do you do couple and marriage counselling? Yes. We provide couple and marriage counselling. We also do family therapy.
- Do you work with straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and Two Spirited people? Yes we work with everyone. We also have extensive expertise in counselling within gender and sexual identity, sexual and gender minority issues, human sexuality, human development, and relationships.
- Do you do home visits? Yes in the Armidale area (including town), and for a fee within 30min drive to Guyra, Uralla, and surrounds with easy access).
- Do you do home visits in Tamworth, Inverell, Glen Innes, or Dorrigo? Yes we have visited when necessary and where funding allows. However, we generally find it best to attempt to book three or more clients per day, so travel costs can be shared and reduced for all concerned. The downside of the current NDIS travel model is that in reality our regional visits have reduced over time, so access to our service is more challenging for many to manage.
FAQs for NDIS Funded Behaviour Support and Counselling
- How long does behaviour support take? Funding tends to limit time involved. Basic assessments can be provided within a 10-20 hour window. More complex work takes between 30-60 hours.
- How much do you charge/how much will this cost? We use the NDIS suggested fee schedule per hour depending on the category.
- Do you provide a Service Agreement? Yes we do a draft for you to sign of our Service Agreement that is based on NDIS standards.
- Why do you charge the full NDIS fee rates? The NDIS fee schedule for clinical services represents standard rates for a professional service in this category. Per hour spent, NDIS work is more complex and demands at least 32% more of our time that is unpaid, leading to a much higher cost to maintain our service compared with private cases. This also considerably reduces the hourly rate of pay for our therapists. And to be honest, regarding the hourly fee rate, as a senior specialist service we are worth the cost and the investment. We believe we ultimately save people time and frustration by offering senior expertise and professional standards of service. If you disagree, please find another service provider and compare. Please let us know how to improve what we do. We are very open to feedback and appreciate your input.
- What are your qualifications? We are founded by two doctoral qualified senior clinical specialist Counsellors and Psychotherapists. We come with formal teaching qualifications, and combined we represent over 60+ years of disability and mental health experience, including many years of service in specialist behaviour support. We are also accomplished researchers, with combined over 200+ published works including numerous books and professional journal contributions. Dr Bowers is also a qualified senior clinical supervisor, educator and trainer of Counsellors and Psychotherapists for over twenty years, with several years as a specialist trainer and consultant in disability clinical behaviour support services. Dr Kennedy is also a specialist in early childhood, with extensive experience in special education and therapeutic tutoring for children with special needs. We both carry a wide range of other experience – please visit our individual web pages for details.
- Why is independent counselling and/or behaviour support better compared to “in house” disability organisation-based therapists? We do not say we are “better” per se. Everyone has heaps to offer. We are more interested to hear your evaluation and point of view to help us improve our service. This being said, the industry model for professional services is historically based on an independent professional assessment. Just look at medicine, psychology, social work, counselling, psychotherapy, occupational therapy, or physiotherapy. Generally, independence provides a greater degree of objectivity and the capacity to speak to issues with a greater degree of freedom. Independent practitioners tend to provide higher levels of senior expertise. Independent private practice tends to attract senior experienced professionals with well defined specialisations. This model generally provides more in depth and timely analysis, suggests wider options for treatment and practical solution-focused outcomes, and may achieve results faster and with greater ease. Also, independent support can address issues that in-house systems overlook because of in-house bias, policies, cultures, and perspectives. We observe that most agencies both non-government and government tend to hire younger staff who do not have experience and need to be trained and supervised, preferably by seniors in independent practice, though this rarely happens because agencies cannot afford adequate training and supervision. Qualified and experienced clinicians generally prefer to work independently if that option is available.
- What is a Behaviour Support Plan – BSP? A BSP is a “road map” or a personal support plan aimed to help not only the person at the centre, but also family or staff who work and live alongside everyday. Holistic support planning can cover all of life, lifestyle, and specific concerns. This planning is based on understanding underlying needs and supporting people in positive person centred and safe ways.
- How long is a behaviour support plan? Nowadays generally four to six pages. You may be surprised how much can fit into the 4 to 6 page model when the plan is well written and to the point.
- What is a functional assessment of behaviour? The functional assessment is essential, and is conducted either informally as part of clinical assessment or with formal interviews. As the heart of behavioural assessments, this includes a series of questions detailing the how, what, when, where, how much, and how often of behaviours of concern. Our standard advanced clinical assessment includes contextual sensory system and communication observation, and review of a wide range of developmental, physical, environmental, and social factors.
- Why bother with behaviour support assessment? Assessment provides understanding of underlying reasons for behaviour, its contexts, and the relationships that support behaviours. All behaviour is contextual or ecological. When we know better how behaviour works, we know better how to support people more effectively.
- How does an assessment differ from a support plan? In NDIS behaviour support terms, assessment can be captured in a brief 2-3 page report or letter that families can use for NDIS Plan and funding reviews, for future planning, or to discuss issues with other agencies, school, and/or support staff. Letters of this kind are a traditional highly effective communication tool. A behaviour support plan is more focused on objectives to help support positive outcomes and/or to reduce behaviours of concern. Many people seek us out to do an assessment, which has helped them to gain NDIS funding. Assessments may lead to more funding to accomplish behaviour support planning. Or assessments may lead to eligibility, or to getting funding assistance in many other areas that are important to the person. In this sense, the NDIS appears to need assessments that provide evidenced-based measures to make funding decisions under the NDIS Act, which is the legislation that governs eligibility and that guides levels of access to funding. Assessments can also help children in schools gain access to special education or supports.
- Do we need to get our doctor or nurse or planner to fill in the Referral form? No. Self-referral is sufficient.
- Who fills in the paperwork when clients have a guardian and no family to help them? Where individuals have state appointed guardians and do not have capacity for self-referral, we ask the guardian to ensure that whoever is most appropriate fill out the referral and consent information. This might be a case planner, key worker, or client advocate.
- We find the paperwork challenging – can we get help? Yes. Just ask!
- Where will I find reports, clinical assessments, or case history materials for your consent form? You do not have to give us these materials. They are helpful for us and your case, but not essential. We take you where you are at now. If you do not have access to any of these, we can still work with you! If parts of the form are not possible to complete, just write a line through that part or talk to us about this when you meet with us.
- I can’t fill in the Consent Form. Can you help me? Yes. Just ask!
Use our contact form below or email directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Consent to our Disclosure, Terms and Conditions is necessary for service provision. Thank you.
Contact Us By Email
We are now open to referrals. Please let your friends, family, and networks know. Thank you for your support and kindness. We very much appreciate your assistance. We often build relationships with our clients over many years and welcome you to our circles.
Your Consent Form
If you need help doing these forms we can help fill them in during our first appointment, no problem at all.
Your consent form can save you several hours and hundreds of dollars because the form asks you to gather information and give this information to us when we start the service.
If you or the person we are helping has previous diagnosis, medical or psychological history, and prior reports or assessments we likely need to know… Copies of these may be helpful for us to provide a comprehensive service. Citing these appropriately in our case history and/or reports or assessments may help toward funding or accessing programs.
Clients can fill in the forms personally. No need for your doctor to refer to us. However, we often need to know who is your GP with contact details, and who are other practitioners you are seeing with contact details.
Clients sign the forms yourself please. For people with guardianship or under aged individuals, parent or guardian or appointed person signs the forms.
People who see us face-to-face in Armidale, or people who see us in Inverell or across our region can also get these forms from us directly. Please bring the form completed or with questions to discuss at our meeting.
Your consent form must be filled in as much as humanly possible… We cannot stress how important this is to save you time and money.
Especially for clients who have complex disabilities, mental illness, or other diagnosis, we urge you, your family or guardian, to hold a file on this information and retain reports and assessments. These are now often necessary to cite in current reviews or annual assessments – often necessary for funding or accessing programs or help.
We only provide the PDF version of our Consent form at this stage, because people were changing the form when we provided a Word version. Sorry if this causes any inconvenience. The PDF requires you to write in pen. Please use black ink. Please write very clearly.
Please note, this one form replaces the prior referral and consent forms.
Last update 12-4-19ATS-Consent-1-2-19