Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
What types of problems or clients can be treated at Denton Clinical Psychology?
- children, adolescents and adults.
- most types of problems relating to mental health
- clients with or without a Mental Health Care Plan (Better Access Scheme)
- Worker’s Compensation
- DVA clients
- clients at home if necessary (e.g. too anxious to leave home, or hoarding)
- marriage, relationship, and family counselling
We don’t see:
- children not yet of school age
- ATAPS scheme
- clients seeking personality testing
- assessments for ADHD/developmental problems/IQ tests
Do I need a referral?
No, you do not need a referral from a doctor to see a psychologist.
Can I claim some of the cost from Medicare or private health insurance?
You can claim most of the session fee back from your GP. You are eligible for this plan if you are experiencing symptoms of an emotional or psychological disorder or illness. Check with your GP for eligibility. Many health funds cover clinical psychology if you have Top Extras (any member is eligible). You cannot claim a rebate from both Medicare and private health insurance for the same session.
What will happen at my first appointment?
The day, time and location of your initial appointment will be confirmed over the phone when you call our rooms to schedule it. Three days prior to your appointment you will receive an automated SMS reminder. When you arrive for your appointment, please advise the receptionist of who you are there to see and take a seat. Our psychologists nearly always run on-time or near-to-time.
The first session will be an assessment; the clinical psychologist will ask you about your difficulty when it began, how it is affecting your life, and what you have tried so far to fix it. You will also be asked a little about your childhood, and other lifestyle factors such as your social life, alcohol use, general health and family/living arrangements. You will have the opportunity to ask any questions that you may have. Then the clinical psychologist will give you a brief idea of what they think the problem is (perhaps with a diagnosis), and how psychological therapy may be able to help you. Then if you would like to, some further appointments will be scheduled at a time convenient to you.
How long are the sessions and how many sessions will I need?
Each session is 55 minutes long (both assessment sessions and treatment sessions). THe average number of sessions a person might attend in order to address their problem is between 8 and 15. Of course, some people attend many more, and some only need a few.
How is a clinical psychologist different to a psychologist or psychiatrist?
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor, so their main role is to prescribe medication for mental illness.
Psychologists are not medical doctors, so they do not prescribe medication; they treat problems via strategies and therapy. There are many types of psychologists (eg educational or forensic), and all have at least 4 years of university training.
A clinical psychologist has completed further study through a Masters degree and/or Doctorate, specialising in the assessment and treatment of psychological disorders. This total 7 years of training provides an in-depth understanding of why disorders/symptoms develop and how to eliminate or alleviate them. Unless a psychologist calls themselves a “clinical psychologist”, you can assume they do not have this specialist training.
How does psychological treatment compare to medication?
For treating depression, research tells us that Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is equally as effective as anti-depressant medication in the short-term (months), but more effective in the longer term (years) because its effect does not wear off. The primary advantage of therapy over medication is that it teaches skills that you will have for the rest of your life. Another clear advantage is that therapy does not have any physical side-effects, which can occur with medication.
However, medication can be very useful for depression and anxiety in some cases, and for more severe mental illnesses (such as psychosis or Bipolar Disorder) it is nearly always necessary. Combining therapy and medication is often an effective option, and a clinical psychologist can work in conjunction with your GP or psychiatrist for this purpose.