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  • Do I need a referral?
    A referral is not required to be able to see one of our psychologists. However, if you have a referral addressed to our practice and your GP has prepared a Mental Health Plan for you, you will be able to access rebates from Medicare. The rebates are processed promptly by our admin team on the day of your appointment and are paid into the bank account you've provided to Medicare. A Medicare rebate will also apply where the client has a referral letter to our practice from a specialist i.e. either a paediatrician or psychiatrist. Up to 10 Medicare rebates may apply per calendar year.
  • Are your psychologists qualified in Australia?
    Our psychologists are fully registered in Australia with the national government register - the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), which requires them to adhere to a code of ethics.
  • I've never been to therapy before. What can I expect?
    Well... you won't be asked any intrusive questions and you don't have to share anything you don't feel comfortable sharing. You don't have to worry about what to say - the psychologist will facilitate the session and before you know it you will be having an easy conversation. An appointment with a psychologist is a bit like an appointment with your GP, only we have more time to spend with you in helping you through your difficulties. Our psychologists are non-judgmental, caring and empathic. They want to help you get to a better place and they value the therapist-client relationship. The psychologist will work with you to establish what you want to get out of the therapy sessions. And as our psychologists are trained and experienced in dealing with anxiety, they can help you manage your anxiety in the session.
  • How much will a consultation cost?
    The cost of consultations is $220. All appointments last 50 minutes and the Medicare rebate is $93.35. Alternatively, if you have private health insurance extras cover, you may be able to claim a rebate for your psychology sessions. Just check with your insurer. However, you can only claim one or the other - Medicare or private health insurance - for each consultation.
  • I have been experiencing thoughts about harming myself or someone else - what should I do?
    BIG Changes Psychology isn't a crisis service. Therefore, if you are in immediate danger to yourself or others, you should visit your local hospital emergency department or call 000. You may also contact a service such as Lifeline 13 11 14 (and other crisis support services listed on our contacts page). We recommend seeing your GP to arrange a referral to a psychologist who can provide in-person therapy in your area.
  • How many consultations will be required?
    This depends on your individual presentation and can be explored with your psychologist during the initial consultation. The psychologist who works with you in therapy will also be able to more accurately estimate the time in therapy that will be required once they get to know you and the goals for therapy have been clarified. You will have regular discussions with your psychologist about progress once you've commenced your therapy. And remember the decision to participate in therapy is entirely up to you! You are free to end therapy at any time, although big changes usually happen when clients commit to the change process.
  • How frequent will my consultations be?
    This is worked out collaboratively with your psychologist but it is usual for clients to begin their therapy weekly or fortnightly. Therapy may become less frequent as changes are implemented.
  • Where are you located?
    Our psychologists consult via telehealth (video and telephone) across Australia.
  • What if I have to cancel an appointment?
    It is never a problem to cancel or reschedule an appointment. We just ask that you give at least 24hrs notice as BIG Changes has a policy of charging a fee for late notice. This is not designed to punish but to encourage clients to attend their therapy appointments or to reschedule/cancel with adequate notice so that the appointment time can be offered to someone on the waiting list who is eager to commence their therapy. Our cancellation policy is to charge 50% of the consultation fee (i.e. 50% of $220 or $110).
  • What are the requirements that have to be met for a Medicare rebate to apply?
    To obtain a Medicare rebate, you simply need a referral letter from your GP made out to BIG Changes Psychology and the GP needs to have created a Mental Health Plan for you, which is a simple document outlining what the GP thinks should be addressed in therapy. The goals for therapy can be fine-tuned by speaking with your psychologist in the early stages of therapy and can be further refined as you progress through the therapy process.
  • How do telehealth consultations work?
    Consultations conducted via telehealth (phone or video) are available from wherever you are. If you choose a video consultation you will be sent a link which you click on (so there's no need to download Skype or Zoom etc...) For video consultations it's ideal if you have a reliable internet connection and a quiet private space.
  • I have a referral from my doctor but it's addressed to another practice - can I use this with BIG Changes?
    Yes, as long as the Mental Health Plan referral from your GP is made out to a psychologist, you can use this referral to access Medicare rebates with BIG Changes Psychology.
  • Do you offer after hours appointments?
    Yes, dependent on availability of our psychologists at the time. We offer evening appointments on weeknights and appointments during the day on Saturdays. There is no extra charge for an after hours or Saturday appointment. If you require an after hours or Saturday appointment it's important to clarify this when you first make contact so that you will be matched with a psychologist that works the hours you would like to attend.
  • Are my consultations confidential?
    Yes. However, there are exceptions to this. If your psychologist forms the opinion (based on the information you provide) that your safety or the safety of someone you speak about in your appointments is at significant risk, then they may have an ethical obligation to report this to protect you or the person you've mentioned. Your psychologist may also be required by law to disclose information provided by you when subpoenaed by a court. Additionally, under Medicare reporting requirements, your psychologist is required to provide periodical updates on the outcome of your treatment to the referring medical practitioner (GP, psychiatrist or paediatrician). Psychologists treat the release of information very seriously as they are trained to protect your confidentiality as a priority.
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