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Friendly Conversation

Frequently Asked Questions
Click on the subject heading to find the answers the most frequently asked questions.

  • What is a counsellor?
    A counsellor is a highly trained and qualified person who you talk to so they can help you overcome difficulties in your life. They assist you in solving problems, developing problem-solving skills, and exploring options. If you are struggling with issues like relationships, mental health, parenting, or the loss of a loved one, counsellor's can help you cope and move forward in life. Counselling is a talking therapy where counsellors ask questions and listen to you in a non-judgmental, safe, and confidential way. You actively participate in the sessions, and together with the counsellor, you work towards improving your wellbeing and mental health, understanding yourself better, and developing strategies to achieve your goals.
  • What should I look for in a counsellor?
    When seeking a counsellor it is important to look for qualifications in counselling and skills to ensure you receive the best support for your needs. Additionally, they are registered with a professional counseling association such as the Australian Counselling Association (ACA). This ensures that they adhere to strict practice standards, undergo ongoing supervision, and engage in continual professional development. Counsellors should possess excellent communication skills, empathy, and the ability to create a safe and supportive environment for clients. Moreover, they should be skilled in various therapeutic approaches, such as cognitive-behavioural therapy, person-centred therapy, and solution-focused therapy, to tailor the treatment to your specific concerns and goals. You can trust that our counselling services at Better You HQ are equipped to provide you with the qualified, compassionate, effective care you deserve.
  • What is mental health and how can counselling and psychotherapy help?
    Mental health refers to our emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing. It affects how we think, feel, and act. Good mental health contributes to our ability to handle stress, relate to others, make choices, and enjoy life. Mental health is essential at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. One in five Australians aged 16-85 years experience a mental illness every year. Almost 45% of Australians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime. The most common mental illnesses are depression, anxiety and substance abuse. Counselling and psychotherapy are both forms of mental health therapy that can help improve wellbeing: Both counselling and psychotherapy aim to boost mental wellbeing. They provide tools to cope with stress, manage emotions, and improve relationships. By exploring thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, individuals can develop healthier ways of functioning. Remember that seeking professional help through counselling or psychotherapy is a positive step toward better mental health and overall wellbeing.
  • What are your counselling approaches?
    In brief, the counselling approaches we use are: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT): A type of counselling and a branch of clinical behaviour analysis that helps a person accept stressful events, and uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies along with commitment and behavior-change strategies to increase psychological flexibility. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT): An evidenced based approach which looks at the link between a person’s thoughts, feelings and actions, and how each may affect their perception and wellbeing. It can help in many different situations, including mental and physical health problems. Person-Centred Therapy: Person-centered therapy, which focuses on the client's needs rather than providing an in-depth study of the challenges or the client's current thoughts and actions based on past experiences, creates an environment in which individuals can make independent decisions and encourages them to strive for self-actualisation. Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT): an effective approach that puts emphasis on a person's present and future situation. It is a goal-oriented approach that usually does not concentrate on the issues or symptoms which caused the person to look for help. Focus is on the existing strengths and resources of the client, in order to help them reach their desired goal. Strength-Based Therapy: the strengths-based approach to counselling is social work based and focuses on a client’s personal, relational, and community assets, rather than their deficits. It is a holistic, collaborative approach concerned with identifying a client’s inner and outer resources to promote resilience.
  • What is the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?
    Although there can be overlaps, the distinction between counselling and psychotherapy lies primarily in the depth and focus of the therapeutic work. Counselling typically focuses on specific issues, such as relationship problems, grief, stress management, or career transitions, and the approach is often more short-term and solution-focused. On the other hand, psychotherapy tends to delve deeper into long-standing patterns, unconscious processes, and the root causes of emotional difficulties or psychological distress. It is often more open-ended and aims for profound, lasting changes at a fundamental level. As a client of Better You HQ, our services encompass both counselling and psychotherapy, tailored to your unique needs and goals. Prue is an experienced and compassionate professional that will work with you to address your concerns, provide support, and facilitate personal growth and healing.
  • Are Medicate rebates available?
    In order to receive a Medicare refund for a psychologist, you must first discuss your situation with your doctor/GP. After they have evaluated you and diagnosed you as having a Mental Disorder, they will create a mental health treatment plan (MHTP) for you. With this plan and diagnosis you are able to get a Medicare rebate for the counseling sessions you arrange with a Medicare-approved psychologist. ​ However, as part of the mental health treatment plan (MHTP) your doctor needs to record a Mental Disorder as a diagnosis so that Medicare can give you rebates. This diagnosis will also be added to your Medicare health record. Some clients don't mind having a formal Mental Disorder mentioned on their Medicare records, but many are unaware of this, aren't entirely comfortable with it, and would like to keep it to themselves. ​ So do I offer Medicare rebates? No, because many individuals who benefit from counselling are experiencing a brief difficult situation in their lives and do not necessarily fulfil or need a Mental Disorder diagnosis. Counselling alone benefits a huge number of people by assisting them in overcoming their anxious thoughts, unfavourable thought patterns, tense relationships, and other connected symptoms.
  • What if I need to cancel?
    We require at least 24 hours notice to reschedule or cancel a scheduled appointment. Less than 24 hours' notice may result in the entire fee being charged. Once you have scheduled and paid for your session, the time allotted to you is reserved exclusively for you, and Better You HQ will not accept any other appointments during this period. We hope you understand how much we respect both your and our time.
  • What are the fees?
    Children's, adolescent and adult individual counselling is $129 per session.
  • How do I book and pay for my session?
    All appointments can be made via emailing prue@betteryouhq.com.au or our contact page Simply pick a day and time that suits you. Payments can be made at time of session.
  • Do I need a GP referral to book?
    No, you don't need a GP referral for counselling.
  • How long is each session?
    Each session is 55 minutes.
  • Are sessions confidential?
    All information that you disclose in your session is confidential. There are two exceptions to this rule. The first exception is if you are at risk of harm to yourself or someone else, and the second exception is in relation to court orders.
  • How do child and adolescent sessions work?
    Children and adolescent counselling sessions typically include a meeting with the young person and their parent or carer to address or understand the situation. However, adolescents will usually wish to be seen for some sessions without parents, and in general, it is desirable that adolescents have some individual sessions so they can talk openly. We understand it may not always be possible or appropriate to meet parents, and understandably, some young people may refuse to have their parents involved in treatment. Adolescents have the same right to confidentiality as adults. Confidentiality involves keeping the information disclosed by a young person during counselling private. This guarantees that discussions will remain private unless the adolescent gives written consent, or at times where we would advise the adolescent to share information with their parent. However, there are limits to confidentiality and these include: Risk of harm: If a teenager poses a risk to themselves or others (e.g., suicidal thoughts), the counsellor may need to breach confidentiality to ensure safety. Legal requirements: Counsellors may be legally obligated to disclose information (e.g., child abuse).
  • How many sessions will I need?
    Counselling can be either short-term or long-term. Some clients that desire to talk and unload their thoughts, feelings and emotions in a secure environment can choose short-term counselling sessions of 1-2 sessions. Or it may entail dealing with highly emotional issues or breaking long-standing behavioural patterns. It can be challenging and may necessitate several sessions. Following deliberation, you the client, decide on the number of sessions and can be reviewed as we progress.
  • What should I expect in my first session?
    It's common to feel unsure or nervous about your first session, but it's not as scary as you might think! Here's what to expect in your first counselling session. Your first session is about setting a good foundation. It's an opportunity to learn more about what you can achieve, how counselling can help, and get to know one another a little bit. It’s also a great time to ask lots of questions, which we’ll cover below. We might seem a little nosey, as we will want to understand more about you and how we can help. So be prepared for some questions (you can ask us questions too!), such as: Why did you come to counselling? What do you want to achieve? If you've attended counselling before What's happening in your life? Through all of this, your counsellor will probably be taking notes. This might take some getting used to, but it's important so they can refer back to your answers at a later date. While it’s valuable to be open and transparent, remember that you don’t have to share anything you don’t feel comfortable sharing. It’s okay to go at your own pace. As the session comes to an end, your counsellor will likely review what you've covered and offer some initial thoughts on the plan moving forward. This might involve actionable next steps, techniques, and strategies you can use, or it might involve spending more time understanding your issues—it really depends. It’s also a great time for you to ask any other questions you might have. Don’t worry if you leave your first session with more questions than you came with; that's normal. You can write down your questions and bring them up in your next session.
  • Where are in-person sessions held?
    We offer in-person counselling services at our private and comfortable Mansfield office which is conveniently located with a private entrance and under cover off-street parking, allowing for your utmost privacy and convenience.
  • How do I get the most from my sessions?
    Some clients just need someone to talk to and are happy with 1 session. For others, making progress in counselling requires several sessions and is the same as making progress in other parts of life, like a job, a sport, or something else. So, if you want to make the most progress and reach goals, you need to work actively during sessions.
  • Is Telehealth as effective as in-person counselling?
    Yes, and research confirms telehealth counselling works. Researchers have examined the findings of 26 studies comparing the effectiveness of telehealth versus in-person appointments and research showed that telehealth technologies had the same effects. Following such extensive research, the Australian Psychological Society was confident that telehealth appointments could be successfully delivered to clients across Australia.
  • How do I make the most of telehealth counselling?
    We recommend you find a private and safe space where you can be open and honest. We recommend holding your telehealth session in a private location where you can sit comfortably for the duration of the session without being distracted. This will allow you to freely express yourself, knowing that you are safe to discuss whatever is on your mind.
  • How is Telehealth counselling delivered?
    A video link (or WhatsApp new chat) will be sent to your email prior to your session. Simply click the link provided and this will log you into our private and secure meeting. Things may seem a bit different because you’re in your own space and not sharing a physical room with a counsellor. However, telehealth sessions will be the same as in-person sessions as we are able to see each other via video and we work at a pace that is comfortable for you. Just like in a physical session, you can be in control of what you want to discuss and what you want to get out of your session. This is a safe and confidential space dedicated to you.
  • What are the benefits of Telehealth counselling?
    Many clients have tried telehealth appointments and found a number of benefits. They don't have to miss as much work or time from their day to drive to appointments. Some people feel less worried and more at ease at home in their bedroom or living room than in a counsellor's office. Others like that the appointments are more private and they don't have to worry about someone they know seeing them enter the building or wait in the waiting room. Clients using telehealth services have greater availability, greater flexibility, and shorter waiting times.
  • Is counselling available via Telehealth?
    Yes, Telehealth also known as online counselling is conducted via your phone or computer enabling people to access support from anywhere. Our clients have the convenience of choosing between various mediums such as WhatsApp chat, voice, video Telehealth options to suit their preferences and comfort levels.
Image by Yoko Saito

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