How can you help us Dr Alex?
I am a registered psychologist in Australia with a specialisation in mental and life problems. This includes depression, anxiety, stress, bad habits, relationship problems and general advice about life defining moments and decisions. Most of my clients are adults. I have a number of years experience treating, guiding and instructing individuals and couples with their problems, and prescribing solutions that often (but not always) work.
I can help you with counselling or coaching. There is a difference.
Counselling involves me assessing you and possibly your partner and working out the main problems you have at the moment. Often there are layers of factors that contribute to your issues. So, I work through these issues with you and try work out possible strategies and solutions that might take your life, relationships and situations from a state of pain into pleasure.
Coaching is a bit different. Individuals and couples sometimes see me to get guidance with making their life and relationships even better than what it is. This helps them prevent problems in the relationship. Counselling and coaching psychology is like the difference between a treatment that attempts to cure an ailment and a measure that prevents an ailment. In coaching, we are trying to help you avoid problems and make your life reach its full potential of happiness and harmony. I will try to help you make wise decisions in life and about your relationship.
Do I need a referral from my doctor?
No, you do not need a referral from your doctor. You can pay for it out of pocket, or use your private health policy. That’s up to you. But, no you don’t need a referral. We advise you to see your doctor if your situation is serious.
Do we just talk?
Yes we talk but in a systematic way. During the first session I will ask you questions to get to know you better, and develop a picture of your problems and life. This will help me map out your therapy so you can get the maximum possible results from seeing me. We will also engage in education and processes to help you update your mind, process emotional issues and problem solve difficult situations. Sometimes you will just need support, encouragement and guidance. I will provide all of these to you whenever I can. After all, I wouldn’t be living up to motto: You’re in safe, nurturing hands!
Is there a money-back guarantee?
No, as a psychologist I can’t make a money-back guarantee. The reason why is because it is considered unethical. It is sort of like me enticing you to use my service by offering a carrot, and I would rather eat carrots than give them away. Just kidding. Anyway, I can’t make promises that you will succeed with my service, or you will get those special outcomes or results you were hoping for if you saw me in a professional capacity. I don’t have a crystal ball and I don’t want to raise your hopes unnecessarily. What I do know is if you are committed to counselling or coaching, you increase your chances of being successful and getting those results you were looking for.
Why would I attend a program instead of counselling?
You would attend my program if you were interested in receiving quality, evidence-based education on issues such as anger management, stress management, pain management, relationships and information habits e.g. internet surfing addiction. This education is broad and other people would be present when you receive this education and training. This education will involve presentations, demonstrations and role plays. That is, you could be expected to do some exercises whilst you were attending my programs. You do these programs usually one-on-one, and not in a group environment.
What are the costs? Can I get a rebate from Medicare or private health?
The cost is $130 for a 50 to 60 minute appointment.
You can pay by cash, cheque, Paypal, Mastercard, Visa, or direct credit.
You can only get a Medicare rebate of $84.80 per session if you have a mental health care plan written by your GP or medical doctor. The referral should be to me and not another psychologist, otherwise we are breaching Medicare regulation. I can organise a rebate for you off my EFTPOS machine at the appointment, as long as you have a card with a savings or cheque account attached to it.In regards to private health, I don’t have HICAPS and so I will give you an invoice / receipt with everything you need to claim your rebates. Your rebate depends on your policy. Ring your health provider to learn more about what you can get back for each session before the first session.
Is it confidential?
Absolutely, our counselling sessions are completely confidential, unless of course you have a referral from your GP. I will have to communicate with your GP at some point and give them a diagnosis, prognosis and solutions for your situation.
I don’t even keep paper files. All my files are on a secure clinical management computer system. It makes it easier writing notes and accessing notes when we need them.
Do you prescribe medication?
No, I don’t prescribe medication. I am a mind doctor, not a medical doctor and do not have the authorisation for that.
Can I bring my partner or someone important to me to the sessions?
Yes, absolutely you can bring your partner or someone important to you to the sessions. I encourage you to bring someone along particularly if it makes it easier for you in describing or divulging information, and facing your problems.
Can I bring my children?
Yes you can bring children particularly if they are under 4 years of age. They probably won’t understand what is going on and won’t be affected by the content of our sessions, unless of course you have some very sensitive or distressing information you need to talk about. Anyway, call me to discuss this further. I am happy to evaluate this with you and we can decide what is best for you and your family. Just keep in mind that your children will get restless after 40-50 minutes and you probably won’t get your full 70 minutes of talk time.