What is a clinical psychologist?

Clinical psychologists are experts in mental health. They have undertaken highly specialised training in the diagnosis and psychological treatment of mental, behavioural and emotional disorders.  Clinical psychology is a science-based profession which integrates theory and clinical practice to understand, prevent, and relieve psychologically based distress or dysfunction.

A clinical psychologist is able to assess your symptoms of psychological distress. Central to practice are psychological assessment, clinical formulation and psychotherapy.  A clinical psychologist is able to make a diagnosis and work with you to develop a management plan for your treatment and recovery. Clinical psychologists do not prescribe medication, rather they use psychological techniques, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and psychodynamic therapy to treat you.

Is therapy right for me?

Seeking out therapy is an individual choice. There are many reasons why people come to therapy.

Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing psychological issues, or problems with anxiety or depression. Other times it is in response to unexpected changes in one’s life such as a divorce or work transition. Many seek the advice of a psychologist as they pursue their own personal exploration and growth.

Working with a psychologist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges. Therapy is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of their life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and working towards change in their lives.

Is therapy confidential?

Any information that identifies you or that you give to your therapist will be treated with utmost privacy and respect. Information about you is kept confidential and is only disclosed to additional parties with your prior consent.

The only time a psychologist is required to disclose information about you is if it is demanded by law or if there is reasonable evidence to believe that someone is at risk of harm if we do not divulge the information to the appropriate authorities.

What can I expect in a therapy session?

Every therapy session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. During therapy sessions it is standard to talk about the primary issues and concerns in your life. It is common to schedule a series of weekly sessions, where each session lasts around 50 minutes.

Sometimes individuals who are going through a particularly difficult challenge may request more time per session or more than one session per week. Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth.

There may be times when you are asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviors. Between sessions it is important to process what has been discussed and integrate it into your life. For therapy to be most effective you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions.

What benefits can I expect from working with a clinical psychologist?

Therapy can provide insight and new perspectives into life’s challenges and can help create solutions to difficult problems. Many people find that working with a psychologist can enhance personal development, improve relationships and family dynamics, and can ease the challenges of daily life. Sometimes, just having someone there to listen is helpful.

Some of the benefits available from therapy include:

  • Modifying unhealthy behavior and long-standing patterns
  • Attaining insight into personal patterns and behavior
  • Increasing confidence, peace, vitality, and well-being
  • Discovering new ways to solve problems
  • Navigating life’s obstacles more effectively
  • Improving listening and communication skills
  • Enhancing the overall quality of life

What is the fee? Am I covered by Medicare?

 Medicare rebates are available for a range of specified psychology services for people with certain conditions. To receive psychological services under Medicare, a person must be referred by his/her GP or in some instances by a psychiatrist or a paediatrician.

Standard consultation (50 minutes) – $195.00. The Medicare rebate is $128.40 ($66.60 gap)
We are able to offer the Medicare rebate at the end of your consultation, courtesy of our online claiming system. Your Medicare rebate is transferred into the bank account you have registered with Medicare after payment.

Do you accept private health insurance?

To determine if you have mental health coverage, the first thing you should do is check with your private health fund. Check your coverage carefully and find the answers to the following questions:

  • Do I have mental health benefits?
  • How many sessions per calendar year does my plan cover?
  • What is the coverage amount per therapy session


What is a clinical neuropsychologist?

Clinical neuropsychologists assess and treat people with brain disorders that affect memory, learning, attention, language, reading, problem-solving and decision-making.

Clinical neuropsychologists have advanced skills in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment planning of disorders and contexts across the lifespan. Clinical neuropsychologists are trained to understand the cognitive, emotional and behavioural effects of a wide range of brain conditions. Clinical neuropsychologists’ understand brain structure, function and dysfunction, and the effects of multiple factors on cognitive, behavioural and emotional functions.

What is neuropsychology?

Neuropsychology is a specialised field of psychology concerned with the examination of brain behaviour relationships.  Neuropsychologists use detailed interviewing, standardised psychometric assessments and other relevant data (such as brain imaging, pathology etc) to assess, diagnose and treat conditions that affect the brain.

What does a neuropsychological assessment involve?

Neuropsychological assessments examine many aspects of cognition (thinking) including attention, language and verbal abilities, visuospatial processing, speed of thinking, memory, reasoning and problem solving.  The assessment gives the neuropsychologist a cognitive profile of strengths and weaknesses which they then combine with relevant history and other information in order to determine the presence (or absence) of atypical cognitive functioning.

Why are neuropsychological assessments helpful?

For a number of reasons!

Neuropsychological assessment can provide diagnostic clarification for many conditions that are difficult (or impossible) to detect on neuroimaging alone (especially in the early stages of a disease).

Neuropsychological assessment can also help with differential diagnosis.  That is, it can help to determine whether behavioural and/or cognitive decline is more likely due to an emerging neurodegenerative process (such as Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia) or a reversible factor such as mood (depression and anxiety), illness or medication.  It can also help to determine the presence and severity of an acquired brain injury (i.e. following a motor vehicle accident, workplace accident or assault).

Neuropsychological assessment is helpful to diagnose and characterise cognitive impairment due to:

  • progressive neurodegenerative conditions (i.e Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease)
  • traumatic brain injuries (i.e. motor vehicle or workplace accident, assault, fall)
  • neurological conditions (i.e. MS, stroke, brain tumours, epilepsy)
  • psychiatric conditions (i.e. anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, PTSD)
  • developmental disorders (ADHD and learning disorders)
  • intellectual disabilities and other conditions such as hypoxia, overdose or long term alcohol and drug abuse.

How long do neuropsychological assessments take and what do I need to bring?

Most assessments typically take 3 – 4 hours to complete with breaks offered as required.  If you require glasses or hearing aides, you should bring them with you.  It can also be helpful if a family member or friend who knows you well accompanies you for the first part of the assessment (interview and history taking), though they will not be able to stay once the standardised assessment begins.

How much does an assessment cost and does Medicare or private health provide any assistance?

The cost of the assessment is based on the Australian Psychological Society’s National Schedule of Recommended Fees for the current financial year.  Most assessments typically cost between $1200-$1500 and are not currently available under Medicare.  Private insurers usually cover some of the cost, though the amount depends on the insurer and level of cover.

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Phone: 03 6224 8448

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Dr Bruno Cayoun
Dr Sigrid Denehey
Mr Michael Guy
Dr Dallas Hope
Dr Denise Kirby
Dr Jason Little
Ms Jessica McCallum
Ms Renee Slym

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