FAQ’s

Do I need a referral?

No. Anyone can see a psychologist without a referral. A referral is only necessary if you wish to receive the Medicare rebate (with exception of those who qualify under bush fire program – then you don’t need a referral).
Please view this APS website to find out more information.

How do I obtain a referral?

Your GP will be able to determine whether you are eligible for a Mental Health Care Plan. If you are eligible, s/he will complete a Medicare referral form (2700, 2701, 2715 or 2717) and provide you a copy. Bring that referral to your first appointment along with your Medicare card to be eligible for Medicare rebate or bulk billing.

How do I qualify for the Medicare rebate?

Medicare will provide a rebate for up to 10 sessions – within in a 12 month period for psychological therapy.

 

To qualify for this Medicare rebate you will need a referral from a GP or Psychiatrist and have a valid mental health plan with Medicare.

 

If you have been affected by the current 2019/2020 bushfire crisis – then you are able to have 10 sessions without a GP referral. Normal concession and session fee’s apply (Medicare will give you back $128.40 for a standard office consultation, so you will only be $36.40 out of pocket per 50 min session).

 

Due to Covid Pandemic – you can now access 20 sessions with a MHCP if you GP approves it (6+4+10 sessions) until 2022.

Do you bulk-bill or provide concessions?

If you have a valid referral/current mental health plan and if you are a local Blue Mountains student or local Blue Mountains pensioner or local Blue Mountains DVA card holder then bulk billing can be organised. Otherwise normal session fee’s apply and you will receive back $128.40 from Medicare. Health Care Card holders are no longer being bulk billed and normal session fees/rebates apply.

If you do not have a referral or have already seen a psychologist for your maximum allowed sessions under a MHCP – then normal session fee’s apply and you will be unable to receive a Medicare Rebate (except for people who qualify for the additional 10 sessions under the bush fire program).

What happens at my first appointment?

Understandably, attending the first session may make you feel uncomfortable or even create feelings of anxiety. Meeting with someone you do not know and talking about difficult issues is generally the reason for this. However, the primary goal of the first session is to simply discuss with Cheree your current concerns and reasons for seeking help. You can expect Cheree to listen to your needs and goals for treatment and answer any questions you may have. She will do this in a non-judgmental and supportive manner. Demographic and consent forms will also be given at the first session for you to fill in

How many sessions will I need?

The number of sessions needed varies from one person to another and will largely depend on your individual needs and goals. Some people are helped within one to two sessions, whist others feel better supported by attending a greater number of appointments. This can be due to various reasons, such as longstanding difficulties, ongoing stressors, unresolved problems and so on. On average however, people attend between 6 and 12 sessions.

What is the difference between a Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist and a Counsellor/Psychotherapist?

A Clinical Psychologist has completed a minimum of six years study at university and has completed either a Masters or Doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology and have obtained at least two years clinical supervision. Clinical Psychologists have a Clinical endorsement by the psychology registration board of Australia on their registration.

Psychologists have completed a minimum of four years study at university and at least two years of supervised practice.

All Psychologists are registered with the Psychology board of Australia and they must abide by a strict Code of Conduct.

Clinical Psychologists are experts in the study of human behaviour and are able to assess, diagnose and treat people with a wide range of emotional and behavioural problems. Almost anyone can refer to themselves as a counsellor/psychotherapist because their profession is largely unregulated and their qualifications are less easily defined.

What is your approach to treatment?

Cheree is highly trained and experienced in Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT). This evidence-based approach seeks to change what you think (cognitive) and what you do (behaviour). Together, these changes work to improve the way you feel (often the main goal). CBT largely focuses on circumstances relevant to the ‘here and now’ and equips individuals to make meaningful and lasting changes by learning skills and strategies. CBT is evidence-based because it has been extensively studied and validated and can assist with many different types of problems.
As required, Cheree incorporates other evidence-based treatments, such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Solution Focused Therapy and strategies from Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT).

Is Cheree a local?

Yes. Cheree has been living in the mountains since 2010.

Does Cheree have children/What school do they attend?

Yes – in senior high school. Given the Mountains is a small community, if you are a teacher and would like to know more information before making an appointment, please call and ask the reception staff and they will tell you.
However, please be aware that all clients, sessions and content (including files and appointment books) are kept in the strictest of confidence and Cheree takes confidentiality very seriously, and would never disclose your confidential information to anyone.

Are there limits to your confidentiality?

Yes. If you disclose that you are going to harm yourself, harm someone else or if you are harming children, then Cheree needs to disclose this information and seek assistance/report this to authorities. In addition, if Cheree’s file notes are subpoenaed by a court, then she needs to comply.

Do you have a fax number?

No. Please email any correspondence that you wish to send. Due to too much spam being received I deleted my email address from this website. Please call and speak with my receptionist to obtain my email address for any correspondence that you would like to send. Sorry for any inconvenience caused.

How do I make an appointment?

You can phone or send a message through the ‘contact me’ page. You can use whichever method you are most comfortable with and Cheree or her reception staff will get back to you.

Can I walk in and make an appointment?

No. All appointments are by prior arrangement only.

Do you do reports for Court/ Insurance Purposes/ NDIS/ Disability Pension/ Section 32 etc

No. No reports will be provided for these purposes, no exceptions will apply.

Are you a registered NDIS provider or provide sessions under Victims of crime?

No. Please contact NDIS or Victims of crime counselling services for a list of their providers.

How do I pay for my session?

You can pay using either debit/credit cards, NFC cards, Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay at the time of the appointment.

 

Telehealth session payments that do not qualify for the rural rebate need to be paid prior to the session taking place, either at the time that the appointment is made or at the beginning of the session via a credit card.

Can I claim the cost of the session back under Private Health Insurance?

Many funds provide rebates for clients with “Extras” cover. Please check with your insurer as to what you are entitled to claim.

What age group does Cheree see?

Anyone from the age of 12ys old upwards and who are in high school (I do not not see children who are still in primary school).

How much does a session cost?

1. A standard 50 min session in the office or via telehealth/telephone is $165.
If you have a GP referral you will get back $128.40 from Medicare (people who qualify for 10 bush fire sessions do not need a referral to obtain a Medicare rebate).

2. Home visit is $185 – (if you have a GP referral you will get back $148 from Medicare).

3. NDIS self managed clients – 50 min standard office session fee is $214.40

4. DVA clients will be bulk billed if you have a valid DVA referral from your GP.

Please Note – Due to the current Covid-19 Health crisis – no home visits will be carried out until further notice.

Bush Fire Crisis Sessions

Medicare have announced that anyone affected by the 2019/2020 bushfire crisis is eligible to receive up to 10 sessions per year without a GP referral until Dec 2021. Normal session fees and Medicare Rebates apply.

Corona Virus (COVID-19) Medicare Update for Telehealth/Telephone sessions

I am open for face to face consultations. However, if you prefer a video or phone appointment – these options are still available.

The Gov’t announced in Sept 2020 that due to the Pandemic – under a MHCP if necessary you can now receive up to 20 sessions per year until 2022 – if approved by your GP (6 +4 +10 sessions)

Covid-19 Safety Measures:

Please be assured I am taking every precaution that I can at the office to keep it safe for you to attend, including:

  • Temperature screening if you appear unwell. If your temperature is over 37.5 you will be asked to visit your doctor or wear a mask.
  • Lounge chairs, EFTPOS machine and water cooler tap will be wiped down between sessions.
  • Lounge cushions sanitised and rotated after each client.
  • Regular and thorough cleaning of the waiting room chairs and general office environment.
  • If you have cold or flu symptoms please either cancel your appointment or request a video or phone call session.
  • Please sanitise your hands upon entry (available in the waiting room).
  • I have masks available and am happy to provide one/wear one if you would like me to.
What is your email address?

I deleted my email address from my website due to too much spam mail. But if you need to email me, please call and ask my reception staff for it and they will be happy to give it to you.

Do you do see couples for Relationship counselling or for Family therapy?

No, I do not specialise in relationship or family therapy. My speciality is in individual counselling. However, as a part of that process it is not uncommon to have a family member join you at times for support in your sessions, or as a one off to assist with the therapeutic process as required.