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The best way to get things started is to phone us on 9906 5199 between 9:00am-5:00pm week days. We use a two step process whereby our receptionist takes basic information and then Simone, the Intake and Client Services Manager, phones you back briefly to get an understanding of what your situation is so that she can set up a time for an initial assessment with the most appropriate clinician.
If you have been referred to a specific clinician, then reception will take note of that and you can discuss this further with Simone. Occasionally the referral to a specific clinician is not appropriate; they may not see adolescents for instance, or they simply don’t work at the times you are available. Just discuss this with Simone and she can give you options either within our practice or elsewhere.
This will be something that is discussed in your first appointment and typically a regular time is reserved to ensure a spot is available if you need it. The frequency of your appointments will be based on a number of things such as the severity of your situation, the recommendations from your GP or Health Care Provider, your support network, your availability as well as various other factors.
Please note: If you are claiming these services through Medicare or you Private Health Fund, they will not give you a rebate for two consecutive consultants within a 24hr period.
Your Initial Assessment will go for one hour and ongoing consultations are for 50 mins with the clinician having 10 mins of note taking at the end of that appointment.
While our psychologists can help with many different areas of concern, we do not do family or “custody” assessments to make recommendations about living arrangements for children. We also do not provide diagnostic or formal reports or letters for court purposes or other third parties (eg insurance companies, Centrelink etc). We spend our day working directly with clients one on one, and given our generally long waiting lists, we don’t have the capacity to additionally write reports which would then increase waiting lists further. We also find that providing reports and letters has the potential to interfere with our ability to provide therapy services to young people.
If you are looking for assistance with reports or assessments, we are able to provide some recommendations of colleagues outside of CPC that may be able to assist.
All of our psychologist have completed a four-year bachelor or bachelor/honours degree followed by a two year Masters in Clinical Psychology Postgraduate Degree during which they completed intensive supervised practice. Some of our psychologists also have a Doctorate degree through completing additional independent research in psychology during their training.
All of our psychologists are registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and have a wide variety of experience working with children, teenagers, their families and support networks. As registered psychologists we have all met the high ethical and professional standards required by the Psychology Board of Australia and engage in initial and annual updates of education, training and professional development in the field of psychology.
All of our team are fully Registered Psychologists with most of our team also being fully endorsed Clinical Psychologists. This means they have completed their “clinical endorsement process” – this is 2 years of additional training and supervised practice in the area of Clinical Psychology (the area of psychology focussed on research based treatment of mental health problems).
All of our clinicians work on different days and at different times and depending on their current case load appointment availability varies considerably. Occasionally we have an appointment available quickly due to a cancellation or an unusually free week, but generally there is at least a two week wait for an initial appointment, and sometimes up to twelve weeks. We do have a waiting list which we can use to take people’s names in case we have cancellations and can fit you in sooner.
If you feel as though you or someone else is at risk and need help urgently you should go to your local hospital emergency room for help.
One of the most important factors that contribute to positive outcomes in therapy is the rapport you have with your psychologist. If, after a session or two, you do not feel that your therapist is the right match for you it is important to trust your instincts. Although it can be uncomfortable to have to discuss this, and a little daunting to start over with someone new, in the long term what is most important is getting the help you need.
If it is time for you to make a change of therapist, your options are:
1. Talk directly to your therapist about the mismatch you are experiencing. At CPC, we are genuinely committed to helping you make a connection that will support your therapy goals. We will not be upset or offended if you wish to try another clinician as we understand that the therapy relationship is very personal and individual and that these sorts of adjustments are an important part of the therapy journey. Furthermore, talking directly to your therapist can be helpful and they can assist you in figuring out what kind of therapist you are looking for and can use their knowledge of local psychologists to direct you to a new therapist who may be a better fit for you.
However, we also understand that talking to your therapist can feel uncomfortable or too confronting for some people. If you do not wish to discuss this with your clinician directly, you can also try either of the below:
2. Talk to Simone, our Intake and Client Services Manager. You may speak with her over the phone or via email if this feels most comfortable for you. Simone will be happy to assist in transferring you to another psychologist within our practice.
The Clinicians in the practice are either Clinical Psychologists or highly experienced Registered Psychologists. Their rates vary but are based on the Australian Psychological Society’s Recommended rate which is currently $251 per hour. If costs are an issue then either group programs or final year university interns are sometimes an option. Please raise this as a concern when you speak to the Intake and Client Services Manager, Simone, who can give you options to balance the cost of treatment with your particular needs.
We securely store encrypted credit card details within our system so that clients can attend ongoing appointments without needing to have the credit card with them. We also accept cash or cheque.
You do not need a referral to see a psychologist unless you want to claim Medicare rebates at which point you will need to speak to your GP to see if they feel you are eligible for a GP Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP). While a fair number of clients present with a Medicare referral it is not a requirement and sometimes patients do not meet the eligibility criteria to receive an MHCP; for instance you may not be suffering from a diagnosable mental disorder as described by Medicare.
At this stage unfortunately no. We are looking into electronic claiming and hope to be able to provide this service soon however for now we supply you with a copy of your receipt which should have all the relevant information for Medicare claiming and you can lodge this either via the Medicare app on your smart phone or by going into one of the Medicare offices.
A Mental Health Care Plan, otherwise known as a MHCP under items numbers 2700/2701 or 2715/2717, is a plan written by your GP and is generally for anyone who has a diagnosable mental health condition that is impacting significantly on their functioning. It is the GP’s decision after discussion with you to assess your eligibility in accordance with the Medicare Guidelines. The creation of an MHCP takes time, so please advise your GP’s receptionist that you require a ‘long consult’ so that they are able to allocate the necessary time (usually a 30mins).
Your GP may ask you a series of Questions and may even get you to fill out a Questionnaire. Your past medical history as well as your families medical history is taken into account, as well as your current disposition, when a Mental Health Care Plan is constructed. The aim of this Plan is to set goals and to agree on the best form of treatment.
We encourage you to be prompt and arrive at least 5 minutes prior to your appointments as clinicians will not typically be able to extend sessions if you arrive late.
Unfortunately, no. Medicare is very particular about this and we will therefore either issue receipts as Medicare claimable or not. If we receive a Medicare referral from your GP then we will create receipts using the Medicare format until your limit has been reached.
- It is your decision which clinician you would like to attend for treatment however changes to Medicare regulations now require MHCP’s to be updated by the referring GP with the new clinicians information. Once an initial MHCP is submitted to Medicare for a specific mental health condition, it is valid ‘life long’. However during the treatment process you are required to return to your GP for a review (item 2712) after the recommended number of sessions they have requested you attend (Maximum 6 sessions per referral).
As the maximum number of sessions per calendar year is 10, it is recommended you call Medicare on 13 21 50 or write to; Medicare, Release of Information, GPO Box 9822, Sydney 2001, to confirm how many sessions have been claimed to date so that your new clinician can be notified.
We, like many professional services, have a cancellation policy that reflects the time that a clinician sets aside for your appointment. We also generally run waiting lists, so if we are given reasonable notice then we can offer another client a time that is suitable, therefore a full fee is charged for sessions that are cancelled less than one business day (24 hours) prior to the scheduled appointment time.
To assist we send SMS reminders roughly 72 hours prior to each appointment and can equally remind adolescents or partners if they are attending as well.
The rebate amount varies depending on the clinician, format, location and duration as shown below. Most sessions are 50 minutes and with a Clinical Psychologist, the typical rebate is $126.50, $86.15 with a Registered Psychologist.
Strictly no, Medicare is only for individuals. However if one of the individuals in the couple or family is suffering from a condition that meets the criteria of being a diagnosable disorder and is severe enough etc then that individual can seek a care plan from their doctor.
If in our opinion the best treatment for the individual involves undertaking therapy that only includes their partner or other family members without that individual being present, then that is what we will do. Finally any sessions where the identified patient is not present will not be claimable. Sadly there are often very good reasons not to have the them in the room.
A Medicare referral is submitted from your GP for the individual needing treatment and this name will be documented on the referral. Therefore a claim can only be made when this particular individual is present for the whole or part of the session.
Example: The Medicare referral has been submitted under a child ‘Jane Smith’.
1) If the parents are required to attend for a session on their own then this receipt is not claimable from Medicare but can be taken to your health fund depending on your health cover.
2) If the session is for ‘Jane Smith’ and the parents, then you may take this receipt to Medicare for claiming.
If you have health cover for psychological services then you are entitled to claim. The claimable amount and number of sessions per calendar year depends on your plan.
HCF is the only health fund that has different regulations. If you are a member of HCF and you do have psychology cover, they will only rebate you for sessions once you have claimed your maximum number of sessions for the calendar year through Medicare under the Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP). A form will then need to be filled in and signed by your clinician to confirm that you have reached your maximum 10 claimable sessions for Medicare.
Medicare has recently allowed Telehealth (phone and video sessions) for rural clients to now be claimable under a MHCP. Rural is defined as a person living in an area classified as a Modified Monash Model (MMM) classification of 4 or greater, which includes Colo Height, Lithgow, Mudgee etc. The DoctorConnect website has an address search and classification layer overlay as shown below. There are further restrictions that more or less require that your psychologist isn’t in the same town, the initial assessment be face to face and that there is a limit of 7 video sessions per annum.
Crows Nest Community Centre (on Holtermann St) has a multistorey car park and there is also on street parking available throughout the Crows Nest area. Please check the map on the Contact Us page of our website or on the front of you Confirmation Letter that was sent to you.
We are about 10 mins walking distance from St Leonards train station and about 5 mins walking distance to the Pacific Highway where buses run frequently.
If you are still having trouble locating us, please call our reception between 9.30am to 4pm and someone will be able to direct you.
Accepted Health Funds
Health Funds that we accept
Level 1, 59-61
Crows Nest NSW 2065
Mon-Fri: 9:00 – 17:00
Reception (02) 9906 5199
Fax (02) 9906 5188