Getting started in treatment for the first time can be a bit overwhelming, so we’ve prepared a list of common questions to help.
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Seeing a Psychologist at The Redleaf Practice
The Psychologists at The Redleaf Practice have experience treating a range of psychological issues. The Redleaf Practice is well-known for outpatient treatment for patients with eating disorders, including Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, and Binge Eating Disorder. Additionally, there are Psychologists at the practice who specialise in psychological difficulties such as anxiety, depression, and trauma.
We understand that an individual’s experiences and situations are diverse. Psychologists at The Redleaf Practice are trained to work with clients of all ages, ranging from children to older adults. Emotional issues can happen to anyone and arise at any point in one’s life. These issues may arise suddenly from specific life events or be ongoing. It is never too late, or too early, to seek help in managing your difficulties or improving your mental wellbeing.
All of our Psychologists are highly trained and dedicated to the best possible treatment. The Psychologist you see will be determined by both shared availability and any background information you provide. If you have been recommended or referred to a particular clinician, we will endeavour to accommodate this, although this is not always possible and can result in extended waiting periods for appointments. You can learn more about the Redleaf Psychologists by visiting their profile pages.
The specific components of treatment will depend on your current situation, and what treatment plan you and your Psychologist decide to undertake. Generally, treatment involves face-to-face sessions with a client and therapist present. For some clients, particularly those undertaking Family Based Treatment, other family members will also attend sessions. Appointments typically start on a weekly schedule. Where therapy is offered on an ongoing basis, it is important for you to attend regularly for treatment to be effective.
The length of treatment varies greatly from person to person and is influenced by factors such as your unique needs, the goals of treatment and chosen therapy style. For some people, progress occurs quickly, but for others it can take more time. However, it is important to recognise that few issues can be resolved immediately, and progress requires commitment and regular attendance. Your Psychologist will discuss a treatment plan and timeline with you following your first session, which will be re-visited throughout treatment.
First sessions range between 90 to 120 minutes. During the appointment, your Psychologist will introduce themselves, explain concepts such as confidentiality, and discuss any administrative information. Your first session will explore your background history, current situation, and main concerns, in order to allow the Psychologist to gain an understanding of your needs. Following this, your Psychologist will discuss treatment options available and make recommendations for the best course of treatment.
The initial appointment is also an opportunity for you to ask your Psychologist any questions you have about treatment or otherwise. The first session is more accurately thought of as a chance for the Psychologist and yourself to get to know each other, rather than the start of any particular treatment. If the client is under 18, the Psychologist will likely spend time talking to both the client and their parents, together and individually.
We recognise that speaking to someone for the first time can be an unfamiliar experience and it is normal to feel a bit nervous before your appointment. Deciding to talk to a Psychologist is a positive step forward. Your Psychologist will work with you to help you feel comfortable in discussing your concerns, which often becomes easier over time.
Fees & Rebates
The cost of a consultation at The Redleaf practice varies depending on which Psychologist you see and the length of appointment required. We are not a bulk billing practice and there is an out-of-pocket cost for consultations. Our reception team can discuss the cost of consultations with you, and once an appointment is booked in, we will email you details of the different fees for your Psychologist.
To make things as convenient as possible and allow you to focus on your appointment, we keep your card details on file in an encrypted secure format. After your card details are entered into our system, they are stored and ‘tokenised’, meaning they are not visible to anyone in the practice. Payments are powered by Braintree Paypal, one of the world’ largest online payment providers, with stringent data and security protocols.
After your session, we will process payment automatically and email you a receipt. Note that payment at time of consultation is required, so please ensure there are adequate funds available in your account.
A referral is not a requirement to see a Psychologist at Redleaf, however it is required to claim any rebates from Medicare. Referrals need to be prepared prior to your appointment. Your GP can fax/email us a copy ahead of time, or you can bring along a copy to your appointment.
There are 2 types of Medicare referrals to see a Psychologist.
- Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP)
- Your GP will need to complete a mental health care plan and write a referral letter. It is important that the referral letter indicates that a MHCP has been prepared and specifies the number of sessions that the referral covers. A copy of the MHCP alone is not sufficient, so please ensure you also have a referral letter.
- A mental health care plan allows a maximum of 10 sessions per calendar year. After your 6th session, you must return to your referring GP for a mental health care plan review, in order to claim the remaining 4 sessions.
- Eating Disorder Plan (EDP)
- Your GP will need to complete an Eating Disorder Plan and list a Psychologist as part of your treatment team.
- Treatment under an EDP allows up to 40 sessions per 12 month period. This is allocated in 10 session increments. After each 10 sessions, you will need to return to your GP for review.
- Please note that to access more than 20 sessions under an EDP, specialist referral with a Psychiatrist or Paediatrician is required at some point between session 1-20. Given the long wait times for specialists, we would recommend contacting a specialist to book an appointment as soon as an EDP is activated.
- Eating Disorder Plans expire 12 months after preparation of the initial plan.
While we endeavour to remind clients regarding the need for referrals, we take no responsibility for eligibility to claim sessions from Medicare. We recommend keeping track of your session number and plan expiry, which is listed on your receipt. If you are unsure, please contact us.
We have Medicare claiming facilities at the practice. Once payment is received in full, we can submit your Medicare claim on your behalf. Rebates are usually received overnight into the bank account you have linked to your Medicare card number.
Yes, Medicare allows us to accept referrals addressed to other Psychologists. Once you have attended your first session, your Psychologist will notify your GP that you have commenced treatment with us.
Some private health funds allow individuals to claim a rebate for psychology services. However, this varies from fund to fund, so you need to check with your insurer to be sure. Please note that you cannot claim a rebate from both Medicare and a private health fund for the same session.
To ensure that we can offer appointments to those on our waitlist in a timely manner, we have the following cancellation policy.
- Appointments cancelled with 24-48 hours’ notice will incur 50% of the consultation fee.
- Appointments cancelled with 0-24 hours’ notice will incur 100% of the consultation fee.
This fee cannot be claimed from Medicare or private health funds.
We send out reminder texts that include the date and time of your session to help you keep track of appointments. Please check these texts carefully and contact reception as soon as possible to reschedule appointments to avoid the inconvenience of a cancellation fee.
We currently have an extensive list of people waiting for their initial appointment. There is limited time in the diary for initial assessments due to the duration of the appointment. To ensure that we can offer assessments in a timely manner to individuals on the waitlist, we require a 50% deposit to secure an initial appointment. If an initial assessment is cancelled or rescheduled with less than 7 days’ notice, the deposit is forfeited. Please note that if you decide to cancel your appointment time, we cannot guarantee that we will have the capacity to offer a rescheduled initial assessment.
Support Services Available 24/7
If you need support now, we recommend contacting one of the below services that are available 24/7. Always remember, if there is an immediate risk of harm, call 000 or present to the nearest emergency department.
Lifeline – 131 114
Mental health line – 1800 011 511
Suicide Call Back Service – 1300 659 467
Beyond Blue – 1300 22 46 36
Kids Helpline – 1800 55 1800
Interested to know more?
We create a safe space for individuals with eating disorders to understand the processes that may be negatively impacting their mental and physical health, and support them in their individual goals of therapy.
If you have any questions or queries, we encourage you to reach out.