Frequently Asked QuestionsSome common questions about therapy
Is therapy right for me?
There are many reasons why people come to therapy and seeking out therapy is very much an individual choice. Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing psychological issues, or more often problems with anxiety or depression. Other times it is in response to unexpected life changes such as a divorce or work transition, or slowly increasing pressures that are taking all the joy out of life. Many seek the advice of a therapist as they pursue their own personal exploration and growth. Working with a therapist as a life coach can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges. This is all part of therapy, although it is more often referred to as ‘life coaching’. Therapy can help address many types of issues including depression, anxiety, conflict, grief, stress management, body-image issues, and general life transitions. Therapy is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of their life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and working towards change in their lives to live happy, healthy and whole.
What can I expect in a therapy session?
Each therapy session I conduct is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals and life challenges. During therapy sessions it is standard to focus on the primary issues and concerns in your life. It is common to schedule a series of weekly sessions, where each session lasts 60 minutes, which gives good continuity to the flow of the therapy process. Sometimes individuals request more time per session or more than one session per week to work on particularly difficult life challenges—these are decisions we can work out together. Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth, or something in-between until you feel you have reached your goals for therapy. There may be times when you are asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviors. Between sessions it is important process what has been discussed and integrate it into your life. For therapy to be most effective you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions.
What benefits can I expect from working with you as a therapist
Therapy, or counselling, can provide insight and new perspectives into life’s challenges and can help create solutions to difficult problems. Many people find that working with a therapist can enhance personal development, improve relationships and family dynamics, and can ease the challenges of daily life. Sometimes, just having someone there to listen is helpful and stimulates your own problem solving ability. Overall, people in therapy tend to have lower levels of anxiety and stress, decreased conflict, and improved quality of life. Some of the benefits available from sessions with me include:
- Attaining insight into personal patterns and behavior
- Understanding how the brain functions to empower you for change
- Increasing confidence, peace, vitality, and well-being
- Developing new skills for handling stress and anxiety
- Modifying unhealthy behavior and long-standing patterns
- Improving ways to manage anger, depression and moods
- Discovering new ways to solve problems
- Navigating life’s obstacles more effectively
- Improving listening and communication skills
- Enhancing the overall quality of life
Is therapy confidential?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and a psychotherapist. Information is not disclosed without written permission. However, there are number of exceptions to this rule. Exceptions include:
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person/s. I have a professional responsibility to call the relevant authorities to ensure those threatened individuals are safe.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself. I will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in insuring their safety, but if they do not cooperate, further measures may be taken without their permission in order to ensure their safety. It is all about keeping the client and others safe.
Further information about confidentiality can be found in my Psychotherapist/Client Service Agreement.
What does it cost?
$110 for a 55 min session ($80 for concession).
Some health insurers will cover some of the cost of counselling by a registered counsellor such as myself – you will need to check the details of your insurance policy.
What you are paying for
Professional fees, such as counselling and psychotherapy, can seem high when one assumes that the amount you are paying for a session is all going to the therapist. However, a private practice has many “hidden costs” that clients may not be aware of, and the actual “take home” amount for the therapist is very modest.
The first consideration is that a session actually takes on average 80 minutes (at the minimum). That is 55 minutes with the client, 5 min to consolidate notes, and at least an additional 20 minutes on documentation, case notes & reflection, professional collaboration & supervision, and general administration. So an “hourly rate” is closer to an “hour and a half” rate. There are many fixed costs to running a therapy practice: Rent, office supplies, administration, advertising, insurance, licensing, ongoing training, supervision, company costs, bank fees, taxes, not to mention the cost of years of university study, student loans, and so on.
Are you qualified, licensed and Insured?
It is important to know that the counselling professional you are going to see has the qualifications and licensing that ensures their competence as a therapist. In Australia counselling is an unregulated profession—meaning that anyone can call themselves a “counsellor” and start a practice, regardless of their qualifications and experience. So it is wise to chose someone who comes under the jurisdiction of the Psychotherapy and Counsellors Federation of Australia (PACFA).
I have a Master of Counselling degree from the University of Queensland (a specialist postgraduate degree from one of the top universities in Australia where I also received commendation for academic excellence) as well as an undergraduate double major degree in psychology, also from UQ.
I am a registered member of the Queensland Counsellors Association and the Christian Counsellors Association of Australia, both of which are constituent members of the Psychotherapy and Counsellors Federation of Australia, and abide by the QCA and PACFA code of ethics and professional conduct, and professional development requirements. I also have the appropriate insurance for a practising professional counsellor/psychotherapist.