What to expect

Your first appointment

It is natural to feel nervous prior to your first appointment.  We hope this information alleviates some common concerns and helps you feel prepared for your first session at Birch Psychology.

Each session will run for 50 minutes, and we find that the best outcomes usually follow weekly sessions.

Prior to your first session, you will receive information about Birch Psychology and a consent form that outlines important information about fees, confidentiality and our privacy policy. Psychological therapy is completely confidential, with certain exceptions that will be explained to you before therapy commences.

At your first appointment, your information will be reviewed, and we will explain the way we work and answer any questions you may have.

The first session is an opportunity for you to explain the reasons you are seeking psychological treatment, and for us to begin getting to know you. We will ask questions regarding your current experience. We will also explore your background, such as family, relationships and significant experiences. This is all to help us understand some of the things that might be contributing to how you are currently coping, and decide the best approach to meeting your goals.

There is often a lot to cover in this first session, and it is typical for it to take one or two sessions to get through all the information. Most people find this initial meeting a helpful first step.

The first session provides an opportunity to talk through what has brought you to therapy, and will be a place to begin to think through the best approach to meeting your treatment goals. Most people find this initial meeting a helpful first step.

Referral Options

You are not required to have a referral from your GP to see a Clinical  or a General Psychologist. However, a Medicare rebate is available for sessions when you have obtained a referral from your GP, psychiatrist or paediatrician.

This is a simple process, however GPs prefer you to schedule a double appointment to better understand your concerns and complete a Mental Health Care Plan. Remember to bring your referral and Mental Health Care Plan to your first session at Birch Psychology in order to claim the Medicare rebate.

Fees & Rebates

Appointments

We offer appointments during business hours and after hours. A $30 surcharge applies for after hours appointments (commencing before 9am, from 5pm, and weekends).

Payment

Payment is required on the day of your session. Payments can be made by EFTPOS, credit card and cash. 

Medicare

With a referral and Mental Health Care Plan, Medicare will rebate $93.35 to $136.35 per session, for up to 10 sessions in a calendar year. 

Private Health Insurance

A partial rebate may be available through private health insurance. It is best to contact your insurance provider to discuss whether your policy has psychological counselling extras. Rebates through private health insurance are not available on consultations where a Medicare rebate is being claimed. 

Cancellations

Birch Psychology has a 48-hour cancellation policy. If you need cancel your appointment, please contact us no later than 48 hours prior to your appointment, or a late cancellation fee will apply. This is to ensure that we have sufficient notice to offer this time to other clients also in need of support.

Unattended appointments

If you cancel your appointment with less than 48 hours notice, you will be charged 50% of the session fee. If you do not attend without providing notice, you will be charge the full fee for this session. Please also be aware that rebates through Medicare or private health insurance are not available for cancelled or unattended appointments.

Please contact us for further information about our fees.

Make an appointment

Please call Birch on 8592 1954 to discuss your needs and arrange a convenient time to attend.

Please note that Birch Psychology is unable to provide a crisis service.