New Client Information

Please complete an intake form before your first appointment

FAQs
Some information about your appointment

Reception hours are Monday to Thursday 8:30am - 5:15pm and Friday 8:30am - 4:00pm. We are closed 12:30pm – 1:30pm.
If you are booked to see your therapist out of hours, please ring the doorbell and wait. Your therapist will open the door for you.

Self-referrals
You do not need a referral to see a therapist at Macquarie Psychology. While this will affect your eligibility for Medicare rebates, you may still be eligible for rebates through your private health insurance fund if you are covered for therapy services. 

GP Referrals
A referral from your GP may allow you to claim a Medicare rebate for your therapy sessions. You will need to ask your GP to be assessed for a "Mental Health Treatment Plan". If you are eligible for a Mental Health Treatment Plan, your GP will then provide a referral to the practice or directly to your therapist. The Mental Health Treatment Plan must be completed, signed and dated by your GP and must state the number of sessions you are being referred for, up to a maximum of 6 sessions in any referral.

After seeing the therapist for six sessions, you will need to re-visit your GP and request a Mental Health Treatment Plan Review to determine whether you qualify for additional therapy sessions and Medicare rebates.

If you wish to claim the Medicare rebate, you must bring your Mental Health Treatment Plan with you on your first visit. If you do not bring your Mental Health Treatment Plan with you, we will not be able to invoice you with the Medicare Item Code and you will not be able to claim a rebate for that session. You may, however, be able to claim a rebate through your private health fund if you are covered for therapy services.

Please bring with you:

  • - Your Medicare Card and Mental Health Treatment Plan, if you wish to claim the Medicare rebate. If you do not bring your Mental Health Treatment Plan with you, we will not be able to invoice you with the Medicare Item Code and you will not be able to claim a rebate for that session. You may, however, be able to claim a rebate through your private health fund if you are covered for clinical psychology services.
  • - If self-referred, your Private Health Insurance Card
  • - EFTPOS Card (or credit card linked to savings or cheque account), if you wish to claim the Medicare rebate.

Free parking is available in Gore St, Ispahan St, Warneford St, Denison Lane, Molle St.
Free parking is available in Macquarie St (between Gore St and Molle St) from 9.30am - 3:00pm.

Couples Therapy
Please see our Couples Therapy page for a general overview.
Please read the important information below before attending your first appointment.

What to expect at the first appointment
The couples therapy process initially involves a thorough assessment of what brings you to therapy, an oral history is taken, identifying your relationship strengths and problem areas, as well as individual bio-psycho-social assessments. Couples will be required to complete an individual online questionnaire each (in their own time, which can take up to an hour to complete), known as the 'Gottman Relationship Check-up' in order for a full assessment and report to be generated.

Once the assessment phase is completed, verbal feedback and a full report and treatment planning will take place, where Renee Slym will collaborate with couples on the areas of difficulty and a plan of how you might proceed. After the assessment phase, it varies by couple as to how many therapy sessions might be required. However, we would recommend allowing for up to 6 sessions.

Schedule
Following is a breakdown of the schedule.

- SESSION 1: 90 minutes. Both individuals attend together for the initial assessment. Includes Gottman Relationship Check-up online questionnaire (subsequent report to be provided)
- SESSION 2: 50 minutes. One individual session and assessment for each partner.
- SESSION 3: 90 minutes. Both individuals attend a feedback session and treatment planning.
- Ongoing 90-minute therapy sessions as required.

Contraindications
During the assessment or feedback sessions, it may be recommended that couples do not progress with therapy (couples therapy may be contraindicated). Examples of circumstances where therapy is contraindicated include:
- if there is a history of or current characterological violence or coercive control within the relationship
- a current ongoing affair
- one member of the couple does not wish to work on strengthening the relationship or does not wish to pursue couples counselling
- one member of the couple or a close family member is currently engaged in individual therapy with me or has done so within the last two years
- the couple is involved in a polyamorous relationship (this requires a specialist relationship therapist)
- current family court or related legal proceedings are taking place

In some circumstances, it may be recommended that individual psychological assistance be sought prior to or instead of seeking couples therapy. This may include circumstances where:
- current problematic substance misuse or acute mental health issues are requiring more urgent individual psychological intervention
- one member of the couple does not wish to strengthen the relationship or to pursue couples counselling

Confidentiality
Our standard intake form includes information about our confidentiality policy. Your confidentiality as a couple will be upheld in alignment with our confidentiality policy. It is important to note, however, that when working with couples, Renee's philosophy is that she does not keep secrets from individuals within a couple. This enables full transparency, non-bias and an opportunity to explore any issues as they arise upon a foundation of trust, openness and mutual respect.

About Renee
Renee is a registered Clinical Psychologist who is trained to provide relationship counselling to LGBTQI+ and heterosexual couples. Information about her broader training and other areas of interest can be found in her bio. In her work with couples, she is trained and certified in utilising the Gottman Method. The Gottman Method is a research-based approach to couples therapy founded by Clinical Psychologists Drs John and Julie Gottman. Their method is designed to help teach specific tools to strengthen relationships, to productively manage conflict and utilise dialogue in situations where couples become 'gridlocked' by perpetual issues. More information can be found on their website here: https://www.gottman.com.

If you have booked a Video session: you will receive an email with information on how to access the video platform.

If you have booked a Phone session: Your therapist will call you at the time of your appointment.

Call Medicare Australia (phone: 132 150) to find out the number of rebates you have claimed since the beginning of this year, including the number of bulk-billed sessions. If it is more than 10, you will not be able to claim any more rebates this year, and full fee applies.

Call your previous therapist's practice and ask how many sessions you had with them since the Mental Health Care Plan Referral or Review date – even if it was dated last year. If it is six or more, you will need to see your GP for another referral if you wish to be eligible for the Medicare Rebate; otherwise full fee applies.

Bring this information with you if you wish to claim a rebate.

We understand if you have to look for someone else.
Sometimes, it's best to try to see someone for therapy support straight away rather than waiting. If this is the case, here are two links that can help you find a qualified therapist:

The Australian Clinical Psychology Association (ACPA)

The Australian Psychological Society (APS)

Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW)

Mood Gym: Online program building skills to deal with anxiety and depression.

This Way Up:  An extensive collection of online self-help courses on all types of anxiety, depression, stress, and pre and postnatal mental health.

My Compass: 14 interactive activities designed to help you improve stress, anxiety and depression. From key research institute Black Dog.

Happify: Mobile app and web-based program aimed at helping users reduce stress, anxiety and negative thinking, and improving emotional well-being.

Centre for Clinical Interventions: A range of self-help modules gives lots of detailed information and CBT techniques for overcoming depression, anxiety, stress, eating disorders and more for adults and late teens.

Mental Health Online: Free online programs for anxiety, depression, PTSD, OCD

Mind Spot: A range of online courses for wellbeing, stress, OCD, PTSD and Chronic Pain, run by Macquarie University.

OCD? Not Me!: An online program for teens with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

Brave program: An interactive online program for kids with Anxiety.

Mindshift App: Developed by Anxiety Canada, this app uses a CBT approach to help reduce anxiety.

Hey Sigmund: Created by Australian Psychologist Karen Young, this website is full of helpful info, blog posts, and books for kids and teens.

This Way Up: Help your teenager learn practical strategies for managing worry and low mood with our self-paced online course for teens and their parents.

Mental Health Services Helpline. This is a mental health phone line for advice, assessment and referral for all ages of people living in Tasmania. A good starting point to speak to someone about the right service and support for you in the public sector: 1800 332 388

  • Advocacy Tasmania Inc. 1800 005 131
  • Alcohol and Drug Service Tasmania 1300 139 641
  • Alcohol Drug Information Service [ADIS] (24 hr) 1800 250 015
  • Anglicare Tasmania 1800 243 232
  • Child Safety Service - Communities Tasmania (24 hr) 1800 000 123
  • Parent Line - Child Health & Parenting Services (24 hr) 1300 808 178
  • Family Violence Counselling and Support 1800 608 122
  • Lifeline (crisis counselling 24 hr) 13 11 14
  • Lifelink Samaritans (counselling) 1300 364 566
  • Mental Health Families & Friends Tasmania 03 6228 7448
  • Official Visitors Program 1800 001 170
  • Q Life (LGBTI support) 1800 184 527
  • Relationships Australia (Tasmania) 1300 364 277
  • Sexual Assault Support Service (24 hr) 1800 697 877
  • Suicide Call Back Service (24 hr) 1300 659 467
  • Wellways (peer-led mental health advice and support) 1300 111 500

10 tips for making the most of therapy

What is therapy? What do you talk about? Can you really be honest? How do you know if you’re getting better?

Before you even walk through the door, you may have certain preconceived notions that can stifle your progress; for example, being a “good client” means being polite and rarely asking questions or being a good client means never disagreeing with your therapist. 

(Adapted from https://psychcentral.com/lib/therapists-spill-10-tips-for-making-the-most-of-therapy/)

Choose carefully

You may be in a hurry to find answers to your problems, but it’s a good idea to take the time to choose your therapist carefully. If you’re not sure about your new therapist or the process overall, give it at least three sessions — unless it is evident after the first or second session that the therapist is not a good fit.

View therapy as a collaboration

Therapy is an interactive process. Express your needs, ask questions, read books, and do the “homework assignments”. For instance, this may involve telling your therapist what you’d like to discuss during a session, informing them that a certain appointment time doesn’t work for you or asking for clarification.

Schedule sessions at a good time

This means scheduling your appointments when you can give them full attention. For instance, avoid scheduling a session in the middle of a workday when you have to be back at work right afterwards. Give yourself time and space to process and reflect around the therapy hour.

Say anything in therapy

Some people censor themselves in therapy for fear of judgment or appearing impolite. We encourage clients to say whatever they want because doing so is what leads to progress. For instance, a client discloses that they didn’t want to come to therapy today; this opens the door to honestly discussing how they feel about therapy, making adjustments that’ll help or clarifying what makes today feel so difficult. Being a ‘good client’ doesn’t mean being on your very best behaviour; it means being the most authentic, unfiltered version of yourself.

Talk about therapy in therapy

The issues you have outside of therapy often show up in session; this is helpful since it allows you to practice healthy coping and relational skills in a safe environment with your clinician. For example, if you’re passive, you can practice being assertive. If you’re afraid of seeming “too needy” or you feel like you need to be strong for others, you can discuss just how tough your days have been.

Set markers for change

Establish markers with your therapist for positive change so that you’ll be better able to track your progress and stay motivated. These markers include anything behavioural, emotional or attitudinal which you can observe. For instance, this may include feeling happier or more energised, letting go of toxic people in your life, planning social dates or communicating to your boss about workplace issues. Markers are like signposts, positive or negative, telling you what direction you’re moving toward.

Have an order of operations

We suggest handling "business first" which includes payment, scheduling, and other logistics. This is much easier than trying to rush through it on your way out the door or after having a big emotional breakthrough. Next, talk about any issues you have with your therapist; this is vital because the problems you have with your therapist may impact any other work you want to do. For instance, maybe your therapist angered you last week. Perhaps you'd like to end therapy. Maybe you have a question about what you talked about last session. Raise these concerns at the beginning of your session so you have plenty of time to process them.

Do the work outside your sessions

A therapy session typically lasts 50 minutes; however, to get the most out of it, it’s important to think of therapy as 24/7. Keep a journal, reflect on your last session, prepare for your next one, and generally pay attention to your thoughts and feelings throughout the week. You’ll have much more material for your sessions and you’ll find that you are applying the work to your everyday life.

Set boundaries around therapy

Create boundaries around whom you talk to about your therapy; this might mean not sharing details of your sessions with people who gossip or give unsolicited advice. When setting boundaries, the key is to avoid creating social pressure or unhelpful spheres of influence which might undermine your own self-trust, and confuse you.

Savor the process

Therapy is like taking a course where you are the topic. Enjoy the journey and soak in every tidbit you can; you never know when it might come in handy.