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FAQs psychologist

General questions

Psychiatrists are medical doctors, who have advanced training in the assessment and management of significant mental illness or disability. A few provide psychotherapy (a form of psychological therapy). However, mostly Psychiatrists provide assessment of significant mental illness or disability. They also frequently provide guidance on the use of medication to manage mental illness and behaviour.

Psychologists are frequently trained in the assessment of mental illness and disability too. They are also the most highly trained professionals in providing psychological therapy to treat mental illness and improve disability.

The most important thing is for you to feel a good connection to your psychologist, and feel able to talk to them easily and openly. Read more here.
Speak to your psychologist if you don’t think your sessions are helpful or they aren’t the right fit for you. You can always change track in therapy or change psychologist – they won’t be offended. Psychologists know they can’t be a good fit for everyone. Also, each Psychologist has a different skill set, and you may want to explore a different type of therapy.

Before your first appointment

No, you can see one of our Psychologists without a referral. However, you will need to pay the full amount of your session.

There are a number of different rebates available for psychology therapy. You will need a referral for many of these.

No referral is needed for psychology assessments or NDIS funded sessions.

See below for more information on Medicare and Private Health rebates.

  1. Tania, our receptionist, will email consent and confidentiality forms. Please complete these and bring them to your first appointment. Alternatively, you can email your completed forms to Tania
  2. If you have a referral or Medicare MHTP, please email to Tania at admin@catalystpsychology.com.au prior to the appointment. Tania will also need your Medicare card details.
  3. If you are claiming the cost of sessions under TAC or VCAT, please email Tania your referral, and the TAC or VCAT claim number.
  4. If you are claiming the cost of sessions under NDIS Plan Managing, please email Tania the details of your NDIS Plan Manager so we can submit invoices for payment.
  5. NDIS clients should give Tania or their Psychologist a copy of their current NDIS plan.

Telehealth

Telehealth services at Catalyst Psychology will be provided over Zoom. This is secure and often used to provide Telehealth medical and psychological services. If you are using a laptop or computer, your Psychologist will email a meeting invitation with a meeting ID and password.
  • All you need to do is click on the link in the email and screen will pop up for you to proceed.
  • If you don’t already have the app on your computer, simply follow the prompts to install.
  • Then just “Join the meeting” by typing in the Meeting ID and Password which has been emailed and texted to you.
  • It will ask if you want to join Audio. Please select this so the Psychologist and can hear you and the session will begin as normal.
If you are using a smart phone or tablet (Apple or Android), your Psychologist will email a meeting invitation with a meeting ID and password.
  • You need to have already installed the Zoom App on your phone. This is a free app that is quick to install.
  • Choose “Join a meeting”
  • Type in Meeting ID and password
  • The meeting will then begin at your allotted time once your Psychologist is on the screen.
We will email you the invoice at the end of the session. You then pay by direct deposit and email or text a copy of the receipt to Tania, our receptionist. She will then process any Medicare claim on your behalf.

Payment, Medicare and health insurance

We have set fees for psychology therapy sessions and psychology assessments. There is usually an out-of-pocket expense if you are accessing Medicare or Private Health rebates. We ask that the full fee is paid at the time of the session. We can process Medicare claims on your behalf. Medicare will deposit the rebate into your nominated bank account the next business day. There is no out-of-pocket expense for NDIS Self-Funded or Plan-Managed sessions, TAC or VOCAT sessions. Please contact Tania, our receptionist, who can explain fees and rebates available.

Medicare

Medicare Mental Health Care Plans (MHCP)
These provide rebates for up to 10 sessions per calendar year. You will need a referral from a GP, Psychiatrist or Paediatrician and the MHCP. See this link explaining how Medicare ‘Better Access’ Mental Health Care Plans work.

Medicare Better Access Pandemic Support Measure
This provides rebates for an additional 10 sessions of psychology therapy until 31 March 2021 to people who have used up their 10 MHCP sessions. Anyone who has experienced Stage 3 or 4 restrictions, or been required to isolate or quarantine can access these rebates. You will need to see your GP, Paediatrician or Psychiatrist for a review of your original MHCP.

Medicare Bushfire Recovery Items
This plan provides rebates for up to 10 psychology sessions if you or your family were affected by the ‘black summer’ bushfires of 2019-2020. First responders, volunteers and emergency workers are also eligible. You do not need a referral to access these rebates, and you may be eligible for a MHCP too. These sessions can be face-to-face or telehealth. See this link for more information

Medicare Chronic Disease Management Plan (CDMP)
This provides rebates for up to 5 sessions per calendar year. You will need a referral from a GP and the EPCP.
See this link for more information

Transport Accident Commission (TAC)
TAC covers the full cost of 6 sessions if you have been involved in a traffic or road incident within the last 90 days. You do not need a referral for this. TAC may then agree to fund further sessions after a review.

Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal (VOCAT)
VOCAT may cover the full cost of sessions. This needs to be agreed by VOCAT in advance and you need to bring a VOCAT letter stating the agreed funding limit.

Private Health Insurance

Some people have psychological therapy covered under their Private Health Insurance. Contact your Insurance Fund to see if this is the case for you and if they need a referral to provide Private Health rebates.