Frequently asked questions
These are some of the questions we are asked by our prospective clients. Please contact us if you would like more information on our approach or services.
Our fees reflect those recommended by the Australian Psychological Society and are consistent with the rates charged by most private psychological services in our region.
Of course, fees depend on the length of the session and the type of service. We recommend that you clarify the fee for the particular service you are seeking through our reception service when you make your appointment.
Appointments with a psychologist are usually for one hour, booked in advance. We aim to keep our fees low by minimizing the need to cover the real costs of missed appointments and late cancellations. For these reasons, we ask our clients to respect our need for advanced notification of inability to attend an appointment. In this way, we can re-schedule others who may be on a waiting list and keep the cost of the service to a minimum.
There are a number of ways clients can be rebated for our services. For example, consultations can be covered for clients who are referred through:
WorkCover, due to a workplace injury
ComCare, due to workplace injury for Commonwealth government employees
Transport Accident Commission, following a traffic accident.
The Department of Veterans Affairs
Victims of crime, for clients needing treatment as a result of being directly involved in a crime, or having a witnessed a crime
Employee Assistance Programs, for people and usually their families who are eligible to access free psychological counselling through a program offered by their employer in conjunction with our practice.
Clients with ancillary cover with a private health insurance fund may be able to claim a rebate for psychological services. Please contact your health fund for the latest rebate rates.
Psychologists and psychiatrists both work in the area of mental health, and sometimes work together in complimentary roles. At Davellen Consulting, for example, we have a psychiatrist working part-time from our rooms with whom we 'cross refer' clients when a different expertise or type of treatment is required.
There are three main differences between these two professions:
- As a general rule, psychologists help mentally healthy people find better ways of functioning, such as resolving personal issues, dealing with stress and emotional problems, looking for help in making a decision, managing and improving relationships, coping with illness or pain, or simply wanting to learn strategies to manage life's challenges more productively and with greater fulfillment. Psychiatrists mainly treat people with a mental illness, such as schizophrenia.
- Psychologists study human behaviour in their undergraduate and postgraduate degrees before undertaking supervised experience and gaining registration. They do not have a medical degree, but many study for a similar number of years to specialise in various aspects of psychology. To become a registered psychologist, students must study for at least six years. Psychiatrists have a medical degree, which requires six years of studying general medicine, followed by further study to specialize in psychiatry.
Psychologists cannot prescribe medication. Their treatments are based on changing behaviour without medication. Psychologists will often treat individuals who are on a medication regime. In some cases, under the guidance of the treating GP or psychiatrist, the medication can be reduced or even withdrawn from the treatment program. For many symptom patterns relating to the anxieties and depression, for example, evidence shows that a combination of psychological treatment and medication can be a more effective approach than either treatment method on its own. Psychiatrists can prescribe medication, and some combine medication with other forms of therapy.
We employ a wide range of general contemporary approaches to treatment, as well as a host of more specific modern techniques. Details about our approach to our work and the services we offer are available under 'About us' and 'Our services' on this site.
Our qualifications, professional interests and professional histories are outlined under 'The team' page of this website.
Please read 'About us' for information our on beginning, nature of our work and approach.
Most people call us to make an appointment or enquire about our services. Our contact number is (03) 5444 0689.
You can also use the 'Make an appointment' feature on this site to contact us. We will then be in touch to discuss your needs.
In some cases, we may need a referral from your treating doctor or medical specialist. This may apply, for example, to clients through the TAC, WorkCover, Veterans Affairs, ComCare, and other agencies that may be partially or fully funding the cost of the service. If you are unsure whether you need a referral, please feel free to call us to clarify the requirements for our service and those of the funding agency.
As a guide, we estimate that approximately about 20 per cent of our clients attend for a single session. More generally, we tend to average between three to six sessions per client. While we do have some longer term clients, they are in the minority and have specific requirements.
While different issues and different people need different treatment protocols, it is usually possible to give a client some idea of the type of treatments that we offer in relation to their issue, and even some suggestion as to how long it will take. We encourage those considering therapy to call us and ask for whatever information they might need to assist their decision making. Our team can usually be able to assist such enquiries.
Appointments can usually be made at our clinic, for a consultation session within a week to 10-day time frame.
This is always a good question, given the range of approaches, treatments and practitioners around these days. For someone who knows little about the psychological profession and types of therapy, it's often difficult to decide between all the options.
If you go to our 'Useful information' page, you will see that we have gone into greater detail to assist people to increase their awareness of some key factors in choosing their treatment path.
All psychologists are legally required to register with the Psychologist Registration Board, in the same way medical practitioners must be registered. Australian Psychological Society (APS) membership involves meeting standards in addition to this registration. Membership of the APS requires more university training than is necessarily required by the Boards. See our 'Useful information' page for more information on this topic.