Seeking counselling or psychotherapy is a big step and can be daunting if you are unfamiliar with the process. Below are some frequently asked questions (FAQ).

Are your counsellors qualified?

Yes. Counsellor’s operating out of the premises of YRC Group are required to be qualified and hold memberships with their appropriate regulatory organization. Visit our staff page for information on a specific staff member and their discipline. All counsellors are required to undergo regular supervision and professional development which is a requirement for them to maintain their registration to practice.

To be accredited for Medicare Eligibility Psychologists, eligible social workers and eligible occupational therapists must demonstrate that they have the knowledge, skills and experience to deliver approved Focused Psychological Strategies (FPS).

What does counselling cost?

This depends on the therapist, desired session frequency and individual circumstances Sessions are usually 50 minutes long. Refer to our Fees & Availability page for more information.

Are Medicare or Private Health rebates available?

Yes. Our core team of counsellors are Medicare accredited and Medicare rebates are available where clients have a Mental Health Care Plan from their GP.

To be accredited for Medicare Eligibility Psychologists, eligible social workers and eligible occupational therapists must demonstrate that they have the knowledge, skills and experience to deliver approved Focused Psychological Strategies (FPS).

Some private health rebates may be available depending on the level of health coverage you have and the professional you see. Ask your health insurer about your coverage and enquire about private health rebates from your counsellor.

Medicare and Private Health rebates are arranged via direct credit and available at time of payment. Enquire about Bulk Billing if you have a Health Care Card or are on a pension.

Do I have to have a referral from a GP or other health professional?

No. You do not have to have a referral however without a referral from a GP you will be required to pay the full fee and will not be entitled to a Medicare rebate. You may however able to claim through your private health insurer.

How do I arrange a GP referral and Mental health Care Plan?

To see if you are eligible to receive a Medicare rebate, you first need to arrange to see your GP and discuss if you are eligible for a mental health care plan. Your GP will ask you some questions to determine the type of treatment for you require and write a referral for you to see a counsellor/psychologist.

Under the Australian Government’s Better Access to Mental Health Care Initiative you will be able to access between 6 and 10 sessions in a calendar year with an approved Medicare accredited counsellor.

Do you charge for missed sessions?

Yes.  While we do understand that sometimes accidents, illness and other events may result in a need to reschedule, late cancellations and ‘no- shows’ limit the effectiveness of treatment, result in a cost to the therapist, and deprive other clients of availability.

Sessions times are set aside for you and your counsellor will have prepared for your visit. To develop a therapeutic relationship requires respect and commitment from both the client and therapist and this means treating appointments as you would an appointment with a Lawyer or Accountant. At least 24 hours notice is required for rescheduling of appointments. See our Cancellation & Late Policy

Are counselling sessions confidential?

Yes. Everything that you say in a counselling session is kept confidential. There are however a few exceptions to this rule. For example in the event that a counsellor at Yarra Ranges Counselling deems a person at risk of harming themselves or others, the counsellors have a duty of care to act upon that information. Regulations and Acts that support the disclosure of information that may have been given in confidence include, but are not limited to, The Children, Youth and Families Act (2005) and Mental Health Act (1983).

It is a requirement for Medicare that the counsellor communicates with your GP in relation to your Mental Health Care Plan. Other partially funded programs such as TAC or Workcover may also require information such as a treatment plan and progress. Such communication is undertaken with your consent. Details of the counselling sessions are not disclosed. Refer to our Privacy & Confidentiality page or contact us for further clarification.

What is the difference between a Psychologist and a Mental Health Social Worker?

Psychologists study human behaviour in their undergraduate and postgraduate degrees before undertaking supervised experience and gaining registration. Psychologists do not prescribe medication. Psychologists and Clinical Psychologists are registered providers under the ‘Medicare, Better Access to Mental Health Scheme’. This means that eligible clients can claim a Medicare rebate if they have a referral from a GP, psychiatrist or pediatrician.

Social workers have sound training in the applications of counselling and therapy. Mental Health Social Workers have specialised training and experience in working with mental illness. Mental Health Social Workers are registered providers under the ‘Medicare Better Access to Mental Health Scheme’ which means that eligible clients can claim a Medicare rebate with a referral from a GP, psychiatrist or pediatrician. To be eligible to register with Medicare Australia to provide Focused Psychological Strategies (FPS), a social worker must be a member of the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW), and been certified by the AASW as meeting the standards for mental health set out in the AASW’s Standards for Mental Health Social Workers 1999.

Both Psychologists and Mental Health Social Workers study counselling as part of their university training and some may undertake additional post graduate training in this discipline.

Do I have to be a Buddhist to benefit from the Buddhist Psychotherapy offered?

No. Buddhist psychotherapy is not faith based and so does not require a faith in a particular religion, spiritual practice or reverence to a god. People of different faiths and also those of no faith can make use of the tools and concepts presented in Buddhist psychotherapy without experiencing conflict with their own beliefs.

Buddhist influenced therapies are now common and include Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Core Process Psychotherapy and Hakomi.

I have chronic pain and have been referred for counselling. Does that imply its all in my head?

Absolutely Not! Your pain is real and you are believed. Chronic Pain (and illness) can cause emotional and psychological distress and conversely, distress and stress can exacerbate the perception of pain. Counselling can teach you skills to manage stress and reduce the impact that life events can have on your experience of pain. Counselling may not ‘cure’ chronic pain but it can help relieve it and provide you with the tools to live a rewarding life despite having pain.

Question not answered? Still unsure or would like to know more about our counselling services, please feel free to contact us.

Contact Us

Phone: 0405 971 958
Email: info@yrcgroup.com.au
Address: Belgrave
Victoria, 3160


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Graeme Richmond

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