FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Below is some information about what you can expect prior to your first counselling or coaching session with EHC:
Q? Is it normal to feel overwhelmed?
People may feel overwhelmed when they attend their first session with a psychologist, social worker, life coach or trainer. This is normal, though it is EHC’s job to ease any concerns you may have.
At EHC making people feel comfortable is our priority and many people we work with return to discuss and review issues that come up throughout their lives. We look forward to creating the same opportunities for you.
Q? Why come for counselling?
EHC’s counselling service caters for a number of people issues ranging from personal development, grief and loss, relationship hardship or times of change.
EHC can help people to navigate through their issues and improve their emotional and personal development.
- want to talk through a problem?
- have a relationship concern they can’t shake off?
- want to get on top of stress, anxiety, depression or anger?
- need help in making and handling an important decision such as career choice or ending a relationship?
If you, a friend, colleague or loved one said YES to any of the above points, then counselling can be invaluable.
Some individuals are enduring unbearable personal trauma, others may want to understand the place certain incidents have played in life or identifying the origins of strong feelings such as anger can be an important first step to the future or just want an opportunity to feel listened to.
Q? Why is it important to create a safe and healthy workplace?
Workplace occupational health and safety (OH&S) obligations extend to people with mental illness.
Recognising and promoting mental health is an essential part of creating a safe and healthy workplace. EHC can help workplaces to promote awareness and manage health issues, through group training, lunch and learn sessions, wellbeing assessments and individual coaching sessions.
All employers and managers have a duty of care to take appropriate steps to eliminate and minimise health and safety risks in the workplace. In terms of mental illness, as an employer or manager it is important to identify possible work practises, actions or incidents, which may cause or contribute to the mental illness of workers. EHC can provide strategies and support to improve their understanding and support of stress and mental illness in the workplace.
Q? How many sessions is enough?
In numerous cases, 4 to 6 sessions will provide insight and rewarding changes. However, this is not the rule. An individual may find clarification and direction during the first session. You’ve possibly heard the term: “a light-bulb went on!” For this individual, it was the first time that the obstacle in his life was recognised. There are other individuals who wish to keep on exploring and gaining insight and they look forward to regular sessions for a period of time and according to their priorities, time, and budget. At the EHC we like to think that the door is left open and that no one feels abandoned – the centre is a back up for you at different points in your life. Some people prefer and benefit from ‘R’ boost sessions, which are often used to: Reflect, Review Resilience and Revise.
Q? Is Your Practice Child and Disability friendly environment?
At our Cheltenham site, we have designated play therapy activities/ resources, including sand play, creative play, social stories, break away area, whiteboards and other sensory stimuli to assist children and individuals with disabilities to easily express prevalent anxieties and fears using symbolic play.
Typically we meet with parents/carers first as this gives us a good idea of the background of certain behaviours. Following a session with your child/ client, we are usually in a good position to advise of the central problem and recommend an approach. With your permission, we can involve teachers and other therapists. In order to adequately work through issues, sand-therapy or puppet-play is recommended.
All children who come to use our facilities do not find the experience daunting and want to return. This is a good foundation for a positive approach to seeking support in the future.
Parents sometimes take up the opportunity to observe their child working with the therapist. They typically feel that it is extremely valuable – through direct observation they have gained more insight to their child’s emotional world.
Q? What are focussed psychological services?
Under Medicare, people with a mental health care plan are eligible for focussed psychological services. These are one-on-one sessions which utilises a range of evidence based techniques approved for use by the FPS Medicare items, which focuses on dealing with mental health issues such as:
Anxiety, depression, phobias, post-traumatic stress, sexual disorders, adjustment disorders, conduct disorder, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, eating disorders, sleep problems, co-occurring anxiety and depression
- Psycho-education (including motivational interviewing)
- Cognitive-behavioural therapy
- Relaxation strategies
- Skills training
- Problem solving skills and training
- Anger management
- Social skills training
- Communication training
- Stress management
- Parent management training
Q? What is a Psychologist?
A psychologist is an allied health professional, who is who has undertaken the necessary training to be registered to practice as a psychologist in Australia and continues to meet annual registration personal development requirements by AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Registration Agency ). They use evidence based methods and approaches to enhance healthy human behaviour and to guide people to overcome any challenges they may be facing. They are experienced in understanding the way people think, feel and behave. At EHC our psychologist specialise in working with adults, personal and work related issues, and with clients with disabilities.
Q? What is a Wellness Coach?
A Wellness Coach primarily focuses on helping the client understand what is going on within themselves, their relationships and their lives. Through developing a collaborative relationship, both the coach and client will work together and discuss ways to: identify goals, identify ways to achieve them, understand what is currently working and areas of improvement and to develop a plan of action. Wellness Coaching is mainly concerned with the present moment and present issues and looks at how to change these for the better and enhance overall future wellness. It has a strong emphasis on identifying client strengths and empowerment. It also utilises a Solution-focussed framework and can be a short term process that concentrates on raising the performance of individuals to achieve their full potential.
Q? Who is likely to seeking counselling and coaching therapies?
People from all walks of life seek counselling and coaching: men, woman and children. Everyone can benefit from counselling and coaching at different points of their life to address: sudden life chances, injuries, career transitions, setting and achieve goals, coming to terms with loss and grief around relationship, work, family member and friends. It may be that you have lost your direction and need support to improve your wellbeing and purpose in life. Whatever your concerns or support needs, counselling and coaching can be an effective, supportive and focussed way to move forward in your life. Often people are surprised how good they feel after talking to a professional who is objective and able to actively listen and provide genuine care and guidance.
Q? What are some of the benefits of counselling and coaching?
Benefits of seeking help from a professional can include:
- Developing a better understanding about the way you think and behave
- Improving confidence and self esteem
- Learning new ways to cope with stress, anxiety, grief and loss and other emotional issues
- Learning how to communicate effectively
- Increase motivation and goal setting abilities
- Skills training and development
- Learning more about yourself and what you want in life
Q? Are my sessions kept confidential?
Yes, every session is private and completely confidential. Anything discussed during the session is kept private between the client and therapist, unless written permission is given stating otherwise.
Q? Do I need a referral?
No, referrals are not necessary before commencing counselling. However, if you are wishing to claim a rebate for counselling for mental health issues please refer to our rebates for more information.
Q? What rebates are available?
Medicare rebates are available for psychological treatment under the Australian Government’s Better Access to Mental Health Care initiative.
To be referred under a Mental Health Care Plan you need a referral letter plus a GP Mental Health Care Plan (MBS 2715 or 2712) from your GP, or just a referral letter from your psychiatrist or paediatrician. You are eligible to receive rebates for 10 sessions per calendar year.
Our counsellors keep your GP, psychiatrist and other mental health professional up-to-date with your progress. A letter will be provided to your GP after 6 weeks and a follow up appointment will need to be made with your GP for a Review of your Mental Health Care Plan.
Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS) Program – Gap Free Counselling
ATAPS provides free short-term mental health services to people who may not otherwise be able to access the services they need.
Primary Health Networks, rather than the Commonwealth Government, will become fund-holders and purchasers of a range of health service across the catchment.
The program covers a maximum of 12 sessions per calendar year — six sessions initially, with an option for a further six sessions following a mental health review by the referring GP. Under exceptional circumstances a person may be eligible for a further six sessions.
Please contact us at EHC if you have any further queries regarding this program.
Private Health Fund Rebates
Private health funds offer rebates on psychological services if you have ancillary or extras cover.
Rebates vary depending on your fund and your level of cover. Contact your health fund for the latest rebate information.
Private health funds will not cover the gap between your Medicare rebate and our account. Private health can be claimed instead of using Medicare if it suits.
Other Referral Pathways
EHC also supports referrals from (show icons):
- Income Protection
- Victims of Crime
EFTPOS / HICAPS on the spot claims facilities
All services need to be paid in full on the day of service. EHC has full EFTPOS facilities and takes all major credit cards without extra charges. Cash payments are also accepted. For your convenience Medicare and Private Health Insurance rebates can be claimed on your behalf at the time of payment.
Q? How do I make an appointment?
To make an appointment to see one of our health professionals, simply call 03 9584 5150 and we will happily arrange a time that is convenient for you.