Length of Consultations and the “therapeutic hour”
Our standard consultations are 50 minutes in duration. We prefer to book an extended appointment of 80 minutes for initial consultations and some client issues may require longer consultations for subsequent appointments.
There are a number of considerations for how we schedule our time with clients to ensure they receive our best care.
We believe that everyone’s time is valuable and should be respected.
We book our appointments to allow the appropriate amount of time to devote a full 50 minutes in session (the “therapeutic hour”) to each client and to allow time for the associated administration for paying accounts, processing Medicare rebates and booking future appointments.
We use the shorthand terminology, “the session is one hour long”, to include the therapeutic time and the associated time with the client.
Your psychologist will aim to schedule time within a session to allow for appropriately ending, including wrapping up and making future plans, within the 50 minutes. We appreciate clients sharing the responsibility for this time keeping so that we may offer all clients the same dedicated service and not run over-time. Not finishing a session on time runs the risk of inconveniencing the next client, cutting short the time we can take to reflect upon each session or prepare for the next, or imposing on our other commitments for that day. We also value that clients may have commitments that they need to honour and therefore need to rely on the finish time.
If you feel that it would be important to have more time to cover issues to a satisfactory level on a given day, we encourage you to negotiate an extended session time with your psychologist if the time is available. Fees for extended sessions are charged in 15 minute units and are reduced from the first hour fee.
Please plan to arrive on time for your appointment as we are generally not able to extend you session to make up time if you are running late. Full session fees are applicable. We appreciate a courtesy phone call on 6232 4242 if you are delayed.
This need to keep to the scheduled times is respectfully balanced with a client’s needs and we acknowledge that sometimes extraordinary circumstances may require a longer session than scheduled. We do our best to let upcoming clients know if we are running late on any given day and we appreciate your understanding if this occurs.
If you and your psychologist feel that 50 minutes is not sufficient time to address your issues given their complexity or the frequency of your appointments, you can consider booking a longer appointment. Note that the Medicare rebate does not increase for longer sessions, unless you are over the safety net for the year (in which case you will receive the standard rebate plus 80% of the out-of-pocket fees).
Appointments are available during business hours or after hours, subject to the availability of the relevant psychologist