Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between "counselling" and "therapy?"
You may have noticed that I often mention "counselling" and "therapy," or "counsellor" and "therapist." Essentially, both refer to the process in which a trained individual uses a skill set to help another with issues, problems, and concerns, and often these terms may be used interchangeably. However, in my experience I have noticed there to be slight differences between the two terms. Counselling generally refers to a process in which a person seeks advice - or counsel - for a particular thought or behavioural issue. For example, one may go to a counsellor to develop skills to manage anger, repair a rupture in a relationship, or stop smoking. The counselling process tends to be briefer than the longer-term treatment that therapy offers. Therapy utilises more in-depth approaches to address the deeper issues that may be contributing to those thought or behavioural issues that one initially seeks counselling for. For example, therapy may help with identifying unhelpful core beliefs that contribute to angry outbursts, damaged relationships, or addictive behaviours. Counselling and therapy processes often overlap during the course of treatment; to receive both counselling and therapy services from one practitioner is common and can be expected.
Click on useful links below for more information:
"Definition of Counselling and Psychotherapy"
What are the benefits of counselling and therapy?
Personal benefits can include, but are not limited to:
Increased sense of self-acceptance
Development of purpose and meaning in your life
Letting go of unhelpful life patterns
Increased sense of awareness
Discovering core values and beliefs
Identification of goals
Healing past traumas and abuse
Unhooking from unhelpful scripts and stories
Development of meaningful relationships
Exploration of spirituality
Development of loving kindness towards yourself and others
Ability to effectively cope with crisis and stress
Resolution of inner conflict
Growth and empowerment
Increased sense of hope
Who can access your services?
I see people from diverse backgrounds. Whether you present as a couple, family, or by yourself, you are welcome to access counselling and therapy services. I also have extensive experience counselling individuals from multi-cultural backgrounds, including Aboriginal Australian and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds and LGBTIQ individuals.
Group counselling is also offered in the areas of addictive behaviours, relapse prevention, harm reduction, anger management, dual diagnosis, and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) skills building and practice.
Where are you located?
Currently, I provide counselling and therapy services at the following locations:
Skype sessions are available depending on time zone differences. Please refer to the fee schedule for more information regarding how to pay for online sessions.
Paddington Professional Offices
20/261 Given Tce
Paddington, QLD 4064
Dreaming Tree Counselling
Sumner, QLD 4074
Address available upon appointment
How long are sessions and how many will I need?
Individual sessions are typically 60 to 90 minutes. Couples and family sessions are 90 minutes. Please refer to the fee schedule to review the difference in cost of these two services.
Individual and couples counselling and therapy sessions typically occur on a weekly to fortnightly basis in the beginning phases. However, the frequency of your sessions is dependent upon your needs. I recommend commencing treatment weekly at the start so that we can focus on building a therapeutic relationship, identifying your concerns, and clarifying your goals. Research also shows that treatment is more effective when a weekly commitment is made.
The number of sessions required depends on the scope of the presenting issue. Counselling sessions tend to be brief, requiring four to six sessions to see effective change take place. Therapy sessions tend to be more long-term, as more in-depth issues are explored and addressed so that you may live a more holistic and balanced life.
For couples, I strongly recommend committng to a minimum of four to six sessions.
How is Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) part of the counselling process?
I work with my own dog, Little "Gherki" Gherkin, from a non-directive, person-centred approach. He has been professionally trained and assessed by a government recognised training facility. His role as a therapy pet practitioner can assist with a wide variety of issues.
The incorporation of AAT in the counselling and therapy space is always optional; this is an additional service at no additional fee. All appointments will commence as scheduled in the absence of the therapy dog in the event of illness, injury, or other conditions.
Do you offer rebates?
Yes. Currently, the following private health insurance providers offer rebates to certain eligible members:
Medibank Private* Australian Unity Health** Westfund Health*** Bupa****
*Medibank Private members with appropriate policies are eligible for rebates for counselling services provided by PACFA registered counsellors and psychotherapists. For more information on whether you are eligible for rebates, please review this Information Sheet.
**Australian Unity Health members with Life Choice and Life Choice Plus policies can claim rebates under the "health management services provision" of your policy if you have a letter from a GP identifying what the condition is and the treatment recommended (i.e. counselling). You will receive a receipt from your session to provide along with your GP's letter when making a claim through your provider.
***Westfund Health members can receive ex-gratia payments available for counselling and psychotherapy services (for long-standing members of at least three years).
****Bupa offer benefits for counselling services provided by practitioners who meet Bupa’s recognition criteria. Benefits for these services will fall under the category called “Mental Health” in a number of Bupa’s Extras Products. For more information, feel free to review the Bupa FAQ for PACFA members.
How will my confidentiality be maintained?
Any information disclosed with your counsellor and therapist is confidential. I am bound by the Ethical Guidelines of the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA). All ethical stipulations regarding confidentiality will be discussed with you prior to treatment.
What if I cannot make my appointment in person?
We can adjust sessions via phone and/or Skype. Should you need to miss or cancel an appointment, please review the cancellation policy which states that a 24-hour notice is required for all cancellations and rescheduling. Please contact me to make any inquiries.
What do you mean by an "integrative approach?"
The therapeutic framework I adopt is an integrative one, meaning that I draw from a range of a variety of therapeutic models and methods. Over the years, I have found that there is no one-size-fits-all approach that works best for everyone. As a result, I find that best practice is to blend what I have found to be some of the most effective methods to form my therapeutic framework, which is underpinned by a humanistic philosophy that is person-centered and strengths-based. This ensures that all goals and interventions are driven by you, and tailored to meet your specific and unique needs.