top of page

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What's the difference between a psychologist, clinical psychologist, provisional psychologist, psychiatrist, counsellor and psychotherapist?
    Psychologists are trained in a wide variety of psychological theories that relate to understanding, managing and changing the behaviour of individuals and groups. A psychologist's training also involves expertise in administering and interpreting psychological tests, and in psychological research. Some psychologists have post-graduate training (Master’s and PhD degrees), and some do not hold post graduate qualifications. In order to practice as a psychologist in Australia, by law you need to be registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Authority. You can check out the Registration Board's website at Medicare make a distinction between generalist psychologist and clinical psychologists based on the pathway taken to obtain registration and / or endorsement. Clinical Psychologists complete a Master of Clinical Psychology and engage in a registrar program for endorsement as a Clinical Psychologist. Some general psychologists have also completed a Masters level degree and engaged in further training in their interest areas without undertaking the pathway to endorsement. All psychologists are subject to the same stringent criteria for registration, professional development, and ongoing training. If you see a psychologist with "MAPS" after their name, this means that they are a member of the Australian Psychological Society. If you see a psychologist with MAAPi after their name, this means that they are a member of the Australian Association of Psychologists. These are the two main professional associations for Psychologists in Australia. Provisional Psychologists are psychologists who are in their final stages to full registration. A provisional psychologist is supervised by Board Approved Supervisors and receives supervision for all aspects of their work. They are subject to the same high professional and ethical standards that registered psychologists are. They receive extensive supervision internally and externally and are a wonderful addition to our team. They demonstrate strong commitment and interest to our areas of passion and interest. Psychiatrists have trained as medical doctors and then train as specialists of psychological medicine. They can prescribe medication which can assist with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, as well as problems such as clinical depression. Psychiatrists are commonly consulted by other professionals who have concerns about their patient's mental health or safety. They assist in making decisions about treatment, admissions & discharges from hospital, as well as referral to other medical specialists. Psychiatrists are also often found working in the medico-legal field, preparing assessment reports and expert opinion. While some psychiatrists work exclusively through prescribing medication, some psychiatrists choose to work exclusively as therapists, and may not prescribe medication at all. If you are thinking of seeing a psychiatrist for therapy, it is a good idea to see if they provide mainly medication, or if they specialize in therapy as well. The terms Counsellor and psychotherapist have a broader meaning than psychologists or psychiatrists. Counselling usually addresses issues or concerns for an individual, couple, or family. The counsellor will focus with the client on dealing with the feelings and reactions experienced and will assist the client in developing their own resources to move forward. Psychotherapy is generally a long-term process that focuses on the conscious & unconscious self. Issues of personal meaning, relationship to self, and the impact of past trauma are dealt with. Training pathways to become a counsellor or psychotherapist are varied, including university degrees and private courses. Unlike psychologists, you don't need to be registered with any governing body in order to practice as a counsellor or psychotherapist, and there is no government legislation which governs the use of the title counsellor or psychotherapist. If you are looking for a counsellor or psychotherapist, it's a good idea to look for someone who is registered with an organization such as the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Association Australasia (PPAA) or the Counselling and Psychotherapy Association of Australia (CAPA). ​
  • Do I need a referral from my GP?
    No, you don't need a GP referral before coming to see a Psychologist at Treat Yourself Well Sydney. Just pick up the phone and make an appointment. However, if you wish to claim the Medicare rebate you will need a doctors referral and a Mental Health Care Plan (see our Fees for further information regarding Mental Health Care Plans). Should you have a referral letter and Mental Health Care Treatment Plan or Eating Disorder Treatment Plan from a GP, Psychiatrist or Paediatrician, please provide these to us before your initial appointment.
  • Do we see children?
    Yes, our psychologists have experience working with children from 8 years old, teenagers and young adults and the practice environment ensures they feel very welcome. We request an initial appointment with parent(s) / legal guardian for children. We may also ask for this for a young person (16-18years) pending the key areas of concern. By meeting with parents/legal guardians first, we are able to obtain a history of presenting concerns to help with determining the needs of the child and/or young person and to develop a plan for how best to move forward and establish a therapeutic / treatment focus. This appointment does not attract a medicare rebate. We do request consent from both parents and a copy of court orders if applicable. As of March 2023, up to 2 parent /carer sessions are medicare rebatable within the maximum number of medicare sessions per calendar year. Please read here for more information... In relation to Eating Disorders - the "gold standard" evidence based approach is Family Based Therapy. While we do work with families, are family oriented and family systems focused, we do not provide manualised FBT treatment to children at our service. In the event that there is a waitlist for such services, we are able to meet with parents / guardians in a separate consultation for intervention planning where we can determine whether we can appropriately "hold" the space and engage in some psychological intervention with your child and with the family while waiting for FBT. We are also aware that as our children grow older they are able to provide their own consent and this can occur from 16 years of age. We appreciate and encourage parent involvement where possible and practicable, and we also musty abide by our professional and ethical standards of consent and confidentiality. Supporting your child is our utmost priority and parent separations do occur. In the event that this does occur, please refer to our Separated Parents Policy.
  • How do the sessions work?
    Each individual session is 50-55 mins in duration. Couples sessions are also 50-55minutes in duration. If you are booking in for an EMDR session, the initial appointment will be 75-90 minutes in duration. Subsequent sessions will be 50 to 90 minutes in duration and to be discussed with your psychologist at the time of your initial appointment. During your initial appointment, your EMDR psychologist will obtain a history and assess suitability and readiness for engaging in EMDR treatment. It is important that you arrive on time for your appointment, as Treat Yourself Well Sydney is unable to extend sessions past the pre-booked time.
  • What is telehealth?
    Telehealth is your therapy being provided either via phone or videoconferencing in an online format. At Treat Yourself Well Sydney, we have been providing tele and video health for quite some time pre COVID-19. We have found that it can be highly beneficial and successful. How does it work? Well while you don’t need anything overly fancy you do need a space that is quiet and free from interruptions. You also need a computer with a microphone and camera if you are doing videoconferencing. When you schedule your appointment, your psychologist will set up an online meeting and email you a link with a password When it is time for you appointment - click on the link and follow the prompts Make sure you unmute your microphone and have your camera on. Your psychologist will be there for your appointment! Prior to your Telehealth appointment In addition to our general confidentiality and consent form, we will send you a specific Telehealth Informed Consent Form. We ask that you read, sign and return your informed consent via email to us. This forms outlines the benefits of telehealth, security, privacy and personal safety.
  • What happens in the first appointment?
    During your initial appointment, we will obtain some of your personal history and talk with you about your reasons for seeking therapy. Our psychologists will work with you in identifying the key presenting concerns and developing a plan of support with you. We take a number of different approaches and our psychologists tailor the therapeutic approach to your needs. We are emphatic about creating and developing relational safety in the context of therapy. If there is a trauma history, we recognise that this can take time and our aim is to create safety and connection to be able to engage in therapeutic interventions and supports with you. Sometimes therapy can be uncomfortable and our aim is to support you through that process while holding a safe/ relational space to learn, grow, heal and recover.
  • How do the psychology sessions work?
    Initially, a Treat Yourself Well Sydney your psychologist or provisional psychologist will conduct an assessment with you. The assessment phase usually goes for one session but can sometimes extend to three. During this time, your therapist will ask you what has brought you to the practice and will ask about what symptoms you are experiencing. The assessment phase is an opportunity to gain overall picture of the types of things you have been experiencing. In return, your Treat Yourself Well Sydney psychologist or provisional psychologist will talk to you about their training, background, and experience, and about their treatment plan and approach to ensure it is right for you. We are happy to answer any questions you may have. If you don't think it's right for you, that's fine! Treat Yourself Well Sydney will help you to continue your journey to finding the right type of therapy for you. If you are coming as a couple, it's usual that Treat Yourself Well Sydney will conduct an initial interview with both of you, and then have an individual session with each of you alone. This is done in order to gain an understanding of you both as individuals, to gain a comprehensive relationship history, and to address any issues or concerns that the partner may not feel comfortable discussing in front of their partner. Towards the end of the assessment, you will be asked about your goals. What do you want to gain from psychology sessions? This helps your therapist to understand how best to target the intervention so that you are getting what you want out of treatment. After goals have been set, the intervention phase will begin. Exactly what happens here will vary according to what the presenting issues were and what you hope to achieve . Your therapist will give you an estimation of how many sessions may be required for you to reach your goal. Most cognitive behavioural interventions are quite brief, with an average of somewhere between 6-12 sessions. Sometimes change can take longer - it is a very unique process, and we take care to tailor our approaches to your needs. For Eating Disorders and Trauma based work, psychology intervention can be longer with 40 sessions available under an Eating Disorder Treatment Plan through your GP. Whatever issue you are working on, expect homework! Working on tasks in between sessions is a fundamental aspect of our approaches. It helps to bring the work you do in sessions into your day to day life. In the first stages of treatment, people usually come on a weekly basis. As you progress, sessions are spaced further apart, so that you may come in each fortnight. This is because a lot of therapy is based on you applying the skills you are learning in your everyday life. So, having more time in between sessions allows you enough time to practice your new skills and get a handle on how well they fit you.
  • Appointment Times
    Appointments are available from Monday to Fridays, from 8am to 7pm. Saturday appointments are also available with a few of our practitioners.
  • Consent and Confidentiality
    Professional Responsibility - Treat Yourself Well Sydney psychologists are registered or provisionally registered with Australian Health Practitioner Agency (AHPRA). We are required to abide by the guidelines of ethical conduct, as recommended by the Board. ​ Treat Yourself Well Sydney are committed to maintaining the highest possible standard of psychological services. In line with that, with your written consent, it is part of your psychologist's professional responsibility to provide short written communication with your treating physician and/or general practitioner, that includes: The nature of the difficulty that lead to your contact with the psychologist The services being provided by your psychologist Please remember that if you do not provide written consent to release information to your treating physician and/or General Practitioner, no correspondence will be entered into. Release of Client Information - All psychological sessions are confidential, and all client records are confidential. Client files remain the property of Treat Yourself Well Sydney and are always kept in a locked filing cabinet for test results and a secure web based client management system. Should it be necessary to discuss your case with another professional, family member or other person, Treat Yourself Well Sydney will ask you to complete a Client Release of Information form. Under no circumstances is information released to any individual without having first obtained written authority from you. Legitimate Breach of Confidence - There are at least 3 exceptions in which Treat Yourself Well Sydney can breach confidentiality without your permission. These are: Any disclosure which suggests that a child is at risk Any disclosure indicating that an individual is at risk of physical and/or criminal harm A notarised subpoena from a Court to supply information In the event of any of these issues arising, Treat Yourself Well Sydney will contact you before acting with the relevant authority.
  • Cancellation Policy
    Whilst we understand that there are unforeseen and unplanned circumstances, we request you contact us as soon as possible and let us know. If you need to cancel or re-schedule an appointment, Treat Yourself Well Sydney asks that you do so with more than 48 hours before the appointment to provide an opportunity to provide that time to individuals, couples or families on our waitlist. A 100% cancellation fee will apply is less than 48 hours is provided.
bottom of page