Frequently Asked Questions
Here you will find answers to common questions.
How do I know which Psychologist I should see?
Optimal Health & Performance has a range of Psychologists with varying educational backgrounds, clinical experience and personal style. We will endeavour to match you with the Psychologist who is best equipped to address your needs and who can provide an appointment at a time suitable to you.
You may have been referred specifically to one of our Psychologists or after reading our website information on each Psychologist, you may feel that one is more suited to you than another. Please let us know your preferences when you contact us.
Therapeutic services are a personal experience and we encourage our clients to be active in choosing a Psychologist who they feel they can work well with. Following your initial appointment you are encouraged to make an active decision in how you wish to proceed and we are happy to support your needs, including recommending another psychologist within Optimal Health & Performance or at another service, if needed.
What do I need to bring to my first session?
You should bring a copy of your Mental Health Treatment Plan from your GP if you have one, as well as any referral letter from your referring practitioner. If you wish to claim a rebate at the session, you should bring your Medicare card and an Eftpos card or your Private Health Fund card. You should bring the form of payment you wish to use to pay for your session (cash or card).
How much will I actually need to pay?
The standard fee for a single consultation varies between our Psychologists because they have a range of experience and training. You will be given a quote for your psychologist when you book the initial appointment.
The fees are fully payable by you at the end of the consultation and you can claim a rebate at this time if you are eligible. If you have a referral from your GP and a Mental Health Treatment Plan you will receive a Medicare rebate of $119.80 for a Clinical Psychologist and $81.20 for a Generalist Psychologist. There will be a gap payment of between $40 and $70 for a standard consultation.
Initial appointments are longer and the fee is approximately $50-70 higher. Some private health funds pay a higher rebate for initial sessions whereas the Medicare rebate is a set amount for consultations over 50 minutes.
Your out-of-pocket fees for Medicare eligible sessions contributes to your Medicare safety net.
How do I pay for my sessions?
The practice has a HICAPS terminal to process client payments. This means that you can easily and conveniently pay for your consultations using your EFTPOS or credit card, cash or cheque. If you have private health fund coverage, you can also claim your eligible rebate (from participating health funds only) ‘on the spot’ through the HICAPS terminal – you’ll need your health fund card for this. We are also able to process your Medicare rebate on the spot.
How do I get a GP Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP)?
You need to make an ‘extended’ appointment with your GP, who will discuss your circumstances with you and conduct an assessment. The list of presenting problems that are covered by this Medicare initiative are listed here Medicare Fact Sheet.
If you qualify, your GP will prepare a Mental Health Treatment Plan and give you a copy. You need to bring this with you to your first appointment.
Can I use bulk-billing?
Some of our Psychologists are able to offer bulk-billing to a limited number of clients with genuine financial hardship. You should raise your need for bulk-billing when making your initial appointment. If we do not have any bulk-billing places available, we may be able to offer a reduced fee, so your out-of-pocket fees are lower.
How do I get my rebate?
Our EFTPOS terminal is registered with HICAPS to enable you to claim a Medicare or private health fund rebate in our office.
Step 1: After you pay your account (using cash, credit card or EFTPOS), your Medicare card is swiped through the EFTPOS (HICAPS) terminal.
Step 2: We enter the claim details through the EFTPOS keypad and send your claim electronically to Medicare Australia for verification. The claim is checked and an approval is sent back to the terminal in a few seconds.
Step 3: You then swipe your EFTPOS card through the terminal, enter your PIN and your rebate is paid into your nominated cheque or savings account almost immediately.
Step 4: We give you an EFTPOS receipt to confirm your rebate has been paid—keep this receipt for your records.
What can I expect at my first session?
At your initial appointment session you will be asked to complete a client information form and your psychologist will discuss the nature of our services and fees and ask you to sign a consent form. You may be asked to complete some brief questionnaires to assist with a comprehensive assessment.
Initial appointments are scheduled for 90 minutes to allow enough time to conduct an initial assessment and provide you with a plan for how things might proceed from that point.
How many appointments will I need?
Therapy is a process which is unique for each individual. Depending on what issues a client is dealing with and the rate of progress, the duration of therapy can vary widely. Some clients resolve their issues in a small number of sessions (4-10) while other clients prefer to work on their emotional development on a long-term basis. More complex problems generally require more therapeutic sessions. After the initial assessment session our Psychologist can provide some indication of the number of sessions that may be required to achieve your goals.
How often will I need to attend sessions?
Initially it is useful to have sessions on a weekly basis to maximise efficiency of assessment and initial therapeutic change. Over time, in consultation with your Psychologist, sessions may become less frequent depending on your needs. This will depend on the type of issues you are addressing and the type of therapy or stage of therapy.