Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is psychology?

Psychology is the scientific study of human behaviour and mental processes. Psychologists are trained professionals who use their knowledge and expertise to help people better understand and cope with their emotions, thoughts, and behaviours. Psychological treatment (i.e., psychotherapy) that involves talking with a Psychologist to help improve mental health and well-being.

In psychotherapy, patients work with a Psychologist to explore their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. The Psychologist helps the patient gain insight into the underlying causes of their problems and develop strategies to address them. Psychological treatment can be helpful for a wide range of mental health concerns, including anxiety, depression, relationship issues, trauma, and substance abuse.

New patients can expect to participate in an initial assessment to help their Psychologist understand their concerns and develop a treatment plan. Therapy sessions typically last about 60 minutes and occur on a regular basis (typically every 2 to 3 weeks). Patients should keep in mind that therapy is a collaborative process, and it may take time to see results. It is essential to approach therapy with an open mind and be willing to engage in the process actively.

It is also essential to remember that therapy is confidential, and patients can share their concerns without fear of judgment or repercussion. Patients should feel comfortable discussing any issues that are impacting their mental health, even if they feel embarrassed or ashamed. The Psychologist’s role is to provide a safe and supportive environment to help patients achieve their therapeutic goals.

Why see a Psychologist?

Almost half of the Australian population will experience a mental health disorder at some point in their lifetime. Although some people recover in time, without formal help, many people benefit from medical and psychological support.

All of us will experience at least one significant and challenging experience within our lifetime, such as childhood or adult trauma, the loss of a significant other, relationship or family breakdown, serious acute or chronic illness, or occupational dissatisfaction or loss. While most of the time we can manage such experiences independently or with the help of family and friends, some events require professional support to cope through the experience, and adjust to life after the event.

Psychological support has been found to be very beneficial for people experiencing mild, moderate or severe mental health issues, challenging life experiences and/or relationship difficulties. 

Depending on the mental health issue and its severity, medication alone may be warranted or simply preferred. Psychotherapy, however, is often more helpful in reducing experiences of psychological distress and promoting long-term recovery. This is due to the increased understanding that clients gain about themselves and their problems, as well as the skills that are developed during the course of therapy. Moreover, research studies have reliably demonstrated that the combination of psychotherapy and medication is more effective in alleviating mental health issues than medication alone.

What’s the difference between a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist?

Psychologists and Psychiatrists are often confused. While both study the brain, emotions, feelings, and thoughts, there are considerable differences between them. Psychologists focus extensively on psychotherapy and treating emotional and mental health issues. They help people develop skills to cope with difficulties, including stress and relationship difficulties, as well as mental health issues. It takes a minimum of six years of study to become a registered Psychologist. In contrast, Psychiatrists are medical doctors and can prescribe medications. Because of this, Psychiatrists tend to look after people with severe mental illness and spend much of their time with patients on medication management.

How do I know if I am eligible for a Medicare rebate?

You will need to make an appointment with your GP who will assess whether you are eligible for a Mental Health Treatment Plan. In order to claim a Medicare rebate for your session you will need to bring a copy of your Mental Health Treatment Plan and referral letter to your first appointment at MindTree Psychology.

Click here for a step-by-step guide that will assist you to access Psychological services under Medicare.

Do I need a referral to see a Psychologist?

You do not need a referral. You can make an appointment with our Psychologists without a referral from your GP or a Psychiatrist. Please be aware that Medicare rebates do not apply for self-referred sessions.

We recommend speaking to your GP about your eligibility to be referred under Medicare’s Better Access to Mental Health Care Initiative. If you are eligible, your GP will complete a Mental Health Care Plan and referral, which will enable you to receive a partial rebate on the cost of an initial six sessions.

Do you have after-hours appointments?

Our Gold Coast Psychologists offer appointments from 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday.

What should I expect from my first session with a Psychologist?

After making your first appointment, you will receive an introductory email confirming your appointment date and time. This will also include information about our fees and rebates. If you have a referral or Mental Health Treatment Plan you will need to bring this paperwork along to your first appointment. We encourage clients to arrive at least 15 minutes early to their first appointment, which will allow time to complete some initial paperwork. This will include completing a form with basic personal information (such as your name, date of birth, address, and contact details) and a consent form that covers issues such as confidentiality, fees and other important information about our services.

At the start of your first session, your Psychologist will step you through some important information, including your rights to confidentiality. If you have been referred to us by a GP or psychiatrist, we will also discuss the details of your Mental Health Treatment Plan. The remainder of the session is dedicated to discussing the issues that have brought you to therapy and determining how we can best tailor our services to meet your needs.

Your Psychologist will start to develop an understanding of your concerns by exploring relevant background history. This will most likely include information about your family, social relationships, work history, and any past counselling that you have done. Based on this information, we will begin to help you to understand more about what might be triggering and maintaining your current issues. We will also work with you to develop a collaborative and flexible plan for future therapy sessions.

How long are sessions with a Psychologist?

Initial sessions at MindTree Psychology are between 60 and 90 minutes in length. Subsequent sessions are 60 minutes. We also offer extended appointments upon request.

How many sessions will I need?

While severe and complex mental health issues may require long-term therapeutic support to achieve lasting gains, many people will begin to experience noticeable improvements within 3 to 6 sessions, and most people will feel better within themselves and their lives within 10 to 20 sessions. Your Psychologist can discuss treatment options with you, including the number of recommended sessions during your first appointment.

Is what I talk about with my Psychologist confidential?

All information that you disclose during your sessions with a Psychologist is confidential. There are two exceptions to this rule. The first exception is if you are at risk of harm to yourself or someone else. The second exception is in relation to court orders (i.e., subpoena). If either of these situations become relevant your Psychologist will discuss this with you.

Does MindTree Psychology have a cancellation policy?

MindTree Psychology has a strict 24-hour cancellation and rescheduling policy. To help us ensure that we can continue to provide our service and supports to as many people as possible it is important for our Psychologists to be able to utilise all of their appointment availabilities. If you need to change or cancel your appointment, please notify us no later than 24 hours prior to your scheduled appointment time. This gives us enough time to offer your appointment to other clients.

If you do not attend your scheduled session or provide less than 24 hours-notice to cancel or reschedule, 100% of the appointment fee applies. Cancellation fees are payable at the time of cancellation. note that Medicare and private health funds do not provide rebates for cancelled or unattended appointments.